What is the difference between volts, watts and amps?

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We hear these concepts many times about electricity. But what do they represent and how do they relate?

An easy way to understand them is by associating electricity with water flowing through a pipe.

  • Amperage (amps) is the volume of water flowing through the pipe that can be measured in liters / minute.
  • The pressure of water will be the voltage. That is, voltage represents the difference in charge between two points. Increasing the voltage also increases the current. For example, on batteries, the voltage difference occurs between the two poles (+/-) and it’s usually 12V. The voltage is a characteristic of electrical devices and is written on them. The power source and the electrical devices must be of the same voltage (e.g. 220 V).
  • Watts is the power (volts x amps) that the water could provide. This is the most common value that everyone recognizes on the labels of electrical appliances as power consumption rate.  Watt-hours or Wh is how much energy is consumed. For example, if a device has a value of 600 watts, it means it will consume 600 Wh in one hour. If for example the appliance works for 3 hours it will consume 1800 Wh. So, watt-hours are simply the consumption rate times the hours. If this number is more than 1000 Wh, then we use the term kilowatt-hour (KWh) known to all and is the unit of measurement by which energy consumption is calculated.

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