How to calculate volt amperes

Written by bill brown
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How to calculate volt amperes
You can calculate volt amperes from watts and other units. (Ancien Ampèremêtre image by slinge from

A volt ampere is a unit of power in an electrical circuit. In simple terms, in a direct current (DC) circuit, it is equal to a watt; no further calculation is required. The watt may be familiar as the unit used to measure power usage in light bulbs and other household appliances. In an alternating current (AC) circuit, however, you need to take into account the power factor (PF) to calculate your volt amperes. If you aren't sure of the PF of your circuit, use the figure 0.6, an industry average.

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  1. 1

    Calculate volt amperes from watts by dividing the watts by the PF, so if you have 24 watts with a 0.6 PF, you have 40 volt amperes.

  2. 2

    Calculate from volt amperes back to watts by multiplying the volt amperes by the PF, so if you have 16 volt amperes with a 0.6 PF, you get 9.6 watts.

  3. 3

    Calculate volt amperes from kilovolt amperes, another common unit, simply by multiplying the kilovolt amperes by 1,000.

  4. 4

    Calculate volt amperes from kilowatts by multiplying the kilowatts by 1,000, then dividing the that figure by the PF. Thus, 1.8 kilowatts with a 0.6 PF yields 3,000 volt amperes.

  5. 5

    Convert volt amperes back to kilowatts by multiplying the volt amperes by the PF first, and then dividing by 1,000.

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