Power to Spare

Posted on Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

A few years ago I bought a book called Standard Handbook For Electrical Engineers, but I never read it. It just sat on the shelf taunting me, making fun of me behind my back, sticking its $150 tongue out at me.

It’s a big, mean book. It’s literally two inches thick and it weighs five pounds. It has a lot of ugly formulas and information about electricity, power systems, motors, power electronics and a lot more. It’s the kind of book that will jump you from behind and force you into wearing pocket protectors and tape on your eye glasses.

Recently, a reader e-mailed me about an article I wrote entitled “That’s a Load of Watts” (PLSN, May 2010, page 40).The gist of the article is that generators are capable of delivering a limited number of amps at a given voltage, which means that the kVA rating is much more useful than the rated load in kilowatts, which can change depending on the power factor of the load.

Read the full article at http://www.plsn.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6001&Itemid=40