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Difference Between Energy and Power


People always seem to consider Energy and Power to be the same. They even make the mistake of thinking ‘Energy and Power’ as synonyms. Well, one cannot even be blamed of finding a similarity between Energy and Power as they are interrelated.

It is not that difficult to distinguish between Energy and power. While energy is the ability to do work, Power is its measurement, which calculates the time by which the energy has been used. Well, Energy is what one delivers and Power is the rate at which it is delivered.

Energy is the capability to do something. For example, energy is used for moving the car or heating the home or lighting the night or even flying an aeroplane. The basic unit of Energy is Joule but normally it is termed in watt-hour or kilowatt-hour. Energy appears in many forms and is often expressed in multiple units.

Coming to power, it is rate of Energy per unit of time. Power is the capacity of energy, which is being used. In more simple terms, power is defined as the rate of doing work. Power finds it use in mechanical applications, heat applications, electrical applications and several other areas.

Let us see an example of a weight lifter to understand Energy and Power more precisely. Power is like the strength of a weight lifter and Energy is the measure of how long he can sustain the output of power. While energy is ‘joules’, power is ‘joules per second’. Well, in another words Power is ‘watt’ and Energy is ‘watt-hour’.

Another difference is that energy can be stored whereas power cannot be stored. While energy comes with a time component, Power is an instantaneous quantity. Power cannot vary but remains constant. Meanwhile energy accumulates predictably.

Energy changes form but power doesn’t change form. If something has to happen, Energy has to change form. But Power only measures how fast the change has happened; Power is the rate at which the energy has been converted every second.

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  1. hi…
    the difference between power and watts is so well explained in this website..
    i understood the concept so easily..
    good work


    • This analogy is backwards:

      Let us see an example of a weight lifter to understand Energy and Power more precisely. Power is like the strength of a weight lifter and Energy is the measure of how long he can sustain the output of power.

  2. Hello,

    I would like to use and cite some information from your article of ‘Difference Between Energy and Power’ in an eBook I’m writing and webinar presentation on Power verses Energy. I will fully cite your article and website on the works cited page, according to MLA eight edition citation format.
    Thank you in advance!

    Kind Regards,

    DeMetria SH.


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