Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Amps and Watts

Amps vs Watts

Amps and Watts are two things that you commonly hear when it comes to how much power will be consumed by certain appliances and lighting fixtures. There is a big difference between the two though as watts is a comprehensive measurement of power while amps is just the quantity of current being drawn. The amount of power can still vary depending on the voltage. The current in amps and the voltage of the source multiplied is equal to the power draw in watts. For example: a device that draws 2 amps from a 12 volts source is consuming 24 watts while a device that draws 2 amps from a 24 volts source is consuming 48 watts.

Both amps and watts can be measured by instruments. It is easier and simpler though to measure amps as you only need to connect an ammeter in series to the circuit in order to measure the flow. To measure watts, you need to connect an ammeter in series. To measure watts, it’s a bit more complex as you need to measure volts as well as amps then multiply the two values to get watts. There are wattmeters available in the market that simplify this process but still operates on the same exact principles. If you want to measure watts on a typical appliance but you do not have a wattmeter, you can just measure the current in amps then multiply it with either 110V or 220V, depending on the standard voltage in your part of the world.

Another difference between these two units is where you can actually use them. As amps is the unit of current flow, it is easy to conclude that it is exclusive to electricity. On the other hand, watts can be used to describe power in other types of energy. For example, one horsepower is the equivalent of roughly 746 watts; so you can describe a 2 horsepower engine as having 1492 watts of power output.

Watts is a more comprehensive unit for power. When the voltage is known, as in the case with electrical outlets, the power in watts can be interpolated as long as the current in amps is known.

Summary:

  1. Amps is the unit of current flow, while Watts is the unit for power
  2. Amps, when multiplied by voltage, equates to Watts
  3. Measuring amps is much easier compared to measuring watts
  4. Amps is applicable only to electricity while watts is can be used for other forms of energy

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1 Comment

  1. If a device delivers 100v and 1a, then I get 100w. Now, if another device delivers 20v and 5a, I also get 100w.

    The two are devices delivering 100w, but at differerent voltages. I dont understand why we use “watts” when these two devices clearly deliver differnet energy?

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