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Volts, Amps and Watts ........what's the deal?

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  • Volts, Amps and Watts ........what's the deal?

    You can think of electricity as water.

    Amps is the size of the pipe the water is flowing through.
    Volts is the pressure that the water is under.
    Watts is the total amount of water flowing through/out of the pipe. You can also think of Watts as Power.

    Amps times Volts = Watts.

    So in your car for example..........the battery cables are huge.......same as a Big Pipe.
    The voltage is small....only 12V
    But the Watts, or Output is large, cause of the big cables.....so you have enough Power to turn over your starter.

    Now on say a bug zapper.......the Volts is 5,000 .......the Amps is small .....so the total power is pretty small also, cause the pipe is tiny.


  • #2
    Great analogy!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Zardiw
      But the Watts, or Output is large, cause of the big cables.....so you have enough Power to turn over your starter.

      Now on say a bug zapper.......the Volts is 5,000 .......the Amps is small .....so the total power is pretty small also, cause the pipe is tiny.
      I would not attempt to attribute the Watts directly to the size of the wire. Bruce Roe

      Comment


      • #4
        An amp isn't related to the size of the conductor/pipe, it's related to the number of charges passing a point per second. The water equivalent would be some unit over time, like gallons per hour, Watts would be pressure x flow rate. Watt hours would be the amount of water.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zardiw View Post
          You can think of electricity as water.

          Amps is the size of the pipe the water is flowing through.
          Volts is the pressure that the water is under.
          Watts is the total amount of water flowing through/out of the pipe. You can also think of Watts as Power.

          Amps times Volts = Watts.

          So in your car for example..........the battery cables are huge.......same as a Big Pipe.
          The voltage is small....only 12V
          But the Watts, or Output is large, cause of the big cables.....so you have enough Power to turn over your starter.

          Now on say a bug zapper.......the Volts is 5,000 .......the Amps is small .....so the total power is pretty small also, cause the pipe is tiny.
          So, say I've got 1,200 W of DC power to transmit in one of two ways. One way with a circuit voltage of 12 volts. The other is with a circuit voltage of 240 volts. Which circuit is more likely to require a heavier gage wire ? Why ?

          Hint: your analogy is off. Electric current is analogous to fluid (mass) flow rate, not pipe size.

          On the bug zapper, the current is small so the wire can be thinner.

          Also, you better think of Watts as power because that's exactly how it's defined. 1 W == 1 Joule/sec. = =1 N-m/sec = Work/unit time, or the time rate of doing work.

          I'd suggest you spend more time to get the basics right before you embarrass yourself more, or more importantly before you spout nonsense that can do real damage and give someone equally as ignorant as you bad, incorrect and misleading information. IMO, that's unsafe and also very inconsiderate.

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          • #6
            If you want to relate pipe size to something, make it resistance.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sdold View Post
              If you want to relate pipe size to something, make it resistance.
              Or electrical resistance somewhat analogous to things that cause changes in flow induced pressures in fluid-hydraulic systems like pipe roughness, changes in direction or diameter, including orifice flow, or different fluid viscosities. With respect to pipe size as related, resistance, a better analogy than pipe size alone might be changes in pipe size.

              Analogies are useful learning tools, but they only go so far.l

              The resistance analogy comes down to things in either system that increase system entropy.
              Last edited by J.P.M.; 01-11-2019, 01:00 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sdold View Post
                If you want to relate pipe size to something, make it resistance.
                I have always liked this analogy : Ohms-law-cartoon-by_unknown.jpg
                OutBack FP1 w/ CS6P-250P http://bit.ly/1Sg5VNH

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bcroe View Post

                  I would not attempt to attribute the Watts directly to the size of the wire. Bruce Roe
                  I didn't. But since Volts x Amps = Watts.......and you have a very low amperage (tiny pipe).....then the total output will also be tiny.......even with a high voltage.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by butchdeal View Post

                    i have always liked this analogy : Ohms-law-cartoon-by_unknown.jpg
                    lmao.........

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by J.P.M. View Post

                      So, say I've got 1,200 W of DC power to transmit in one of two ways. One way with a circuit voltage of 12 volts. The other is with a circuit voltage of 240 volts. Which circuit is more likely to require a heavier gage wire ? Why ?

                      Hint: your analogy is off. Electric current is analogous to fluid (mass) flow rate, not pipe size.

                      On the bug zapper, the current is small so the wire can be thinner.

                      Also, you better think of Watts as power because that's exactly how it's defined. 1 W == 1 Joule/sec. = =1 N-m/sec = Work/unit time, or the time rate of doing work.

                      I'd suggest you spend more time to get the basics right before you embarrass yourself more, or more importantly before you spout nonsense that can do real damage and give someone equally as ignorant as you bad, incorrect and misleading information. IMO, that's unsafe and also very inconsiderate.
                      I'm an electrical engineer buddy.......lol

                      And the higher the voltage (pressure), the smaller the wire you need to transmit with minimal loss.....That's why battery cables are huge......cause you're trying to move massive power with only 12V pressure pushing it.......

                      It's always amazed me how when you try to help people understand something......there's always assholes that bust your balls for whatever reason pops into their head.......lol

                      z

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zardiw View Post
                        You can think of electricity as water.

                        Amps is the total amount of water flowing through the pipe.
                        Volts is the pressure that the water is under.
                        Watts is how much work all that water can do. You can also think of Watts as Power.

                        Amps times Volts = Watts.

                        So in your car for example..........the battery cables are huge.......same as a Big Pipe.
                        The voltage is small....only 12V
                        But the Watts, or work you can do, cause of the big cables.....so you have enough Power to turn over your starter.

                        Now on say a bug zapper.......the Volts is 5,000 .......the Amps is small .....so the total (instantaneous) power is still pretty high. Even with the skinny wire.
                        Make those minor changes and it's a great analogy. Voltage is pressure, current is amount of water flowing, watts is the work all that water can do for you.

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                        • #13
                          While you can make the conclusion that the size of the wire is related to the amount of watts, a wire size is really based on the number of amps that can run through it. So even a small wattage can require a big wire if the voltage is small and the amps are big.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                            While you can make the conclusion that the size of the wire is related to the amount of watts, a wire size is really based on the number of amps that can run through it. So even a small wattage can require a big wire if the voltage is small and the amps are big.
                            Length of the conductor also plays a role in sizing.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zardiw View Post

                              I didn't. But since Volts x Amps = Watts.......and you have a very low amperage (tiny pipe).....then the total output will also be tiny.......even with a high voltage.
                              High voltage power lines are relatively small wire. They carry millions of watts
                              2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024

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