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# You may need to convert Voltage, A mperage and electrical specifications from equipment into kW, kVA and BTU

information that can be used to calculate overall power and HVAC requirements. The following section addresses the process of taking basic electrical values and converting them into other types of electrical values.
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The specification nameplates on most pieces of computer, radio or network equipment usually list required electrical power values. These values are usually expressed in volts, amps, kilovolt-amps (kVA), Watts or some combination of all of the above. If you are an architect or engineer using equipment nameplate information to compute power and cooling requirements, you will find that the total power and cooling values will exceed the actual run requirements of the equipment. Reason: the nameplate value is designed to ensure that the equipment will start and run safely. Manufacturers build in a "safety factor" (sometimes called an "engineering cushion") when developing nameplate specifications. Some nameplates specify power requirements that are higher than the equipment will ever need. The most common engineering solution is to utilize only 80% of available capacity and therefore your computed results will overstate the power and cooling equipment requirement by a factor close to 20%. Develop the power and cooling budget using the nameplate specifications inserted into the formulae below and use the resultant documentation as your baseline. Document everything. There will come a day when you will need every amp of power you projected. Power budgets are notoriously consumed in a much shorter time than predicted. Don't forget to add a "future factor" to your power and cooling budget. Power supplies double in power draw and heat output every two to three years. If you don't include these factors in your budgets, you will consume a 10 year power and cooling budget in three years (this happened to me, I know this is true).

Three Phase Power
You will notice that all of the equations that refer to three phase power contain the value 1.73 in the formula somewhere. The value 1.73 is the square root of 3. Intuitively, you can see how this value is applied in the formulae. (3 phases therefore 1 phase = square root of 3)

Computing Watts When Volts and Amps are Known
POWER (WATTS) = Volts x Amps
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For example, a small computer has a nameplate that shows 2.5 amps. Given a normal 120 Volt, 60 Hz power source and the ampere reading from equipment, make the following calculation: POWER (WATTS) = 2.5Amps x 120Volts = 300 WATTS

Volt-Amps (VA) = Volts x Amps = 300 VA Computing Kilovolt-Amps (kVA) kVA stands for "Thousand Volt-Amps". Computing Volt-Amps (VA) Same as above. SINGLE PHASE KILOVOLT-Amps (kVA) = Volts x Amps / 1000 Using the previous example: 120 x 2.034 kVA THREE-PHASE . kilovolt-Amps (kVA) = Volts x Amps /1000 220 x 4. A 2-Pole Single Phase 208-240 power source requires 2 hot wires from 2 different circuits (referred to as poles) from a power distribution panel.7 amp rating and requiring a 208240 power source.5 = 300 VA 300 Va / 1000 = .3 kVA 208-240 SINGLE-PHASE (2-POLE SINGLE-PHASE) y Example: An enterprise computer bvserver with a 4. Use 220 volts for our calculations. current and voltage.Generally: P=IE P= Power(WATTS) I = Current(Amps) E = Voltage(Volts) So: I = P/E and E = P/I Therefore: 1 Watt = 1 Ampere x 1 Volt Click here to see my Ohm's Law Pie Chart for complete relationships between power.7 = 1034 1034 / 1000 = 1.

y Example: A large disk storage system loaded with disks.73 = 19. For purposes of these calculations.0 = 720 VA 720 VA x .85 = 1757. SINGLE PHASE y Example: We have a medium-sized Intel server that draws 6.030 kVA This would be rounded to 19 Computing KiloWatts y Finding KiloWatts requires using a power factor in the computation. kilovolt-Amps (kVA) = Volts x Amps x 1. Use 220 volts for the calculation. This random number places a slight inaccuracy into the numbers. Do not calculate any value for the plug or receptacle. The power factor is a number that adjusts the power calculation to reflect the efficiency of the use of the electricity supplied to the system. .7 x 2 = 2068 2068 x . The equipment documentation shows a requirement for a 50-amp 208-240 VAC power source. I'll use 220 volts and a power factor of .85 for our example calculations. It is common for the power factor to be considered 1. Most UPS equipment will claim a power factor of 1.85 = 612 612 / 1000 = .030 / 1000 = 19.7 amp rating and requires a 208-240 power source. Its OK and it gets us very close for the work we need to do.76 kW THREE-PHASE y Example: A large storage system loaded with disks. we use a power factor of .8 / 1000 = 1. This factor can vary widely (usually from 60% to 95%) and is never published on the equipment nameplate and is not often supplied with product information.85. The equipment documentation shows a requirement for a 50-amp 208 VAC Power source.85.0 for devices less than 3 years old.8 1757. Use 220 volts for the calculation. kiloWatt (kW) = Volts x Amps x Power Factor / 1000 120 x 6.030 19.00. kiloWatt (kW) = Volts x Amps x Power Factor x 2 / 1000 220 x 4.0 amps and the power supply has a power factor of .612 kW 208-240 SINGLE-PHASE (2-POLE SINGLE-PHASE) y Example: An enterprise computer server has a 4.73 / 1000 220 x 50 x 1. Do not calculate any value for the plug or receptacle.

If you look at kW (power) and kVA (power). use it.85 x 1. kWH is energy and kVA is power (not necessarily dissipated).413 kBTUs) If you divide the electrical nameplate BTU value by 3413 you may not get the published kW value.73 1000 220 x 50 x . otherwise use the above formula.175 kW To Convert Between kW and kVA y The only difference between kW and kVA is the power factor. For this example.175. These are two different measures.95 = kW To Convert Between kW-Hours and kVA y There is NO conversion from kWH to kVA. If the BTU information is provided by the manufacturer. That relationship is the power factor of the load. then there is a relationship. Shotgun Section Here are conversions. unless taken from the manufacturer's specifications.50/1000 = 16. kW to kVA kVA TO kW kW / . The power factor.50 16. Computing BTUs y y Known Standard: 1 kW = 3413 BTUs (or 3. is an approximation.kiloWatt (kW) = Volts x Amps x Power Factor x 1. we use a power factor of . short and sweet: y .175.95.73 = 16. The kVA value will always be larger than the value for kW.95 = kVA kVA x .

2 62.To convert kVA to Amps: Multiply kVA by 1000/voltage [ (kVA x 1000) / E ] For 3 Phase power divide by 1.73 = 35. E and EFF are known: When kW and E are known: SINGLE PHASE When P.95Amps To convert kW to Amps: Multiply kW by 1000/voltage and then by Power Factor [ (kW x 1000) / E x PF ] for 3 Phase power divide by 1.2 divided by 1.840 divided by 480 (3 Phase) = 62.73 To convert Amps to Watts when volts are known: Watts = Voltage x Amps P=ExI For 3 Phase power multiply by 1.73 ] y y y y To convert Watts to Volts when amps are known: Voltage = Watts / Amps E=P/I To convert Watts to Amps when volts are known: Amps = Watts / Voltage I=P/E For 3 Phase power divide by 1.73 [ (kVA x 1000) / E x 1. E and PF are known: When HP. E. EFF and PF are known: P / E x PF HP x 746 / E x EFF x PF HP x 746 / E x EFF kW x 1000 / E .73 [ ( kW x 1000) / E x PF x 1.840 29.73 To convert Horsepower to Amps: Horsepower = (E x I x EFF) / 746 Efficiency = (746 x HP) / (V x A) Multiply Horsepower by 746W (1 HP = 746 Watts) Find Circuit Voltage and Phase Example: 40 HP at 480 (3 Phase) 746 multiplied by 40 = 29.73 ] y Shotgun Table of Formulae HOW TO FIND Amps (I) Direct Current When HP.

I and PF must be known: THREE PHASE E.73 / 1000 E x I x PF / 1000 E x I / 1000 HOW TO FIND KILOVOLT-Amps (kVA) SINGLE PHASE E and I must be known: E x I / 1000 . EFF and PF are known: When kW. E and PF are known: When kVA and E are known: THREE PHASE When P. E. E and PF are known: When HP. I and PF must be known: (See abbreviations explained below) E x I x PF x 1. E and PF are known: When kVA and E are known: (See abbreviations explained below) kW x 1000 / E x PF kVA x 1000 / E P / E x PF x 1.73 kW x 1000 / E x PF x 1.When kW.73 kVA x 1000 / E x 1.73 HOW TO FIND WATTS (P) When E and I are known: When R and I are known: When E and R are known: (See abbreviations explained below) IxE R x I2 E2 / R HOW TO FIND KILOWATTS (kW) Direct Current E and I must be known: SINGLE PHASE E.73 HP x 746 / E x EFF x PF x 1.

73 / 1000 HOW TO FIND HORSEPOWER (HP) Direct Current E.7777 * 10 -7) WHERE: E = VOLTS P = WATTS R = OHMS I = AMPS HP = HORSEPOWER PF = POWER FACTOR kW = KILOWATTS kVA = KILOVOLT-AMPS EFF = EFFICIENCY (decimal) Basic Horsepower Calculations .7661 * 10 -7) Joule * (2. I. PF and EFF must be known: (See abbreviations explained below) E x I x PF x EFF / 746 E x I x EFF / 746 E x I x PF x EFF x 1. PF and EFF must be known: THREE PHASE E. I and EFF must be known: SINGLE PHASE E.9307 * 10 -4) FtLb * (3.THREE PHASE E and I must be known: (See abbreviations explained below) E x I x 1.73 / 746 HOW TO FIND KILOWATT-HOUR (KwH) BTU * (2. I.

65 for eff. A lead-acid battery is good for about 125 thousand joules per kilogram. or 2 TM When rotation is at the rate N rpm. The integrated energy from a 100-Watt light that runs for 60 seconds equals 6000 joules. to be raised by motor S = hoisting speed in feet per minute E = overall mechanical efficiency of hoist and gearing.Horsepower is work done per unit of time.2415 x 1018 eV (Electron Volts) 0. When it comes to energy density (Watts per liter or Watts per kilogram) it is difficult to beat gasoline. which is enough energy to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius (or Centigrade). When work is done by a source of torque (T) to produce (M) rotations about an axis.000 x E Where: W = total weight in lbs.000 ft-lb of work per minute.000 = TN / 5. 4. Gasoline tends to run about 45 million joules per kilogram.2390 cal (calorie) (small calories. A power level of one Watt that continues for one second equals one joule.18 joules equal 1 calorie." Energy measurement with Joules and Dynes Energy is measured in joules (Watt-seconds) or kiloWatt-hours.5 million joules per kilogram. lower case c) .250 For vertical or hoisting motion: HP = W x S / 33. the work done is: radius x 2 x rpm x lb. Lithium batteries can provide as much as 1. 1 joule is approximately equal to: y y 6. the HP delivered is: HP = radius x 2 x rpm x lb. For purposes of estimating E = . / 33. Joules: 1 joule is exactly 107 ergs. of hoist and "connected gear. One HP equals 33.

For example.1868 J 1 Watt hour = 3600 J 1 kiloWatt hour = 3. the dyne is defined as "the force required to accelerate a mass of one gram at a rate of one centimeter per second squared": 1 dyn = 1 g x cm/s2 = 10 . force) is a unit of force specified in the centimeter-gram-second (CGS) system of units.184 J 1 International Table calorie = 4.7778 x 10í7 kiloWatt hour 2.45359 kp § 2. One dyne is equal to exactly 10 micronewtons.0197 x 10 § 2. Calories (food energy. Equivalently.184 GJ Useful to remember: y 1 joule = 1 Newton meter = 1 Watt second Dynes: In physics.5 kg x m/s2 = 10 µN The dyne per centimeter is the unit usually associated with measuring surface tension. from Greek (dynamis) meaning power.2481 x 10 § 7.448222 N § 0.6 MJ) 1 ton TNT = 4. the surface tension of distilled water is 72 dyn/cm at 25°C (77°F). dyne kilopond = 105 dyn =1gx cm/s2 = 980665 dyn § 444822 dyn § 13825 dyn § 0.6 x 106 J (or 3. upper case C) 9.7778 x 10í4 Watt hour Units defined in terms of the joule include: y y y y y 1 thermo chemical calorie = 4.031081 lbf = 1 lb x ft/s2 The value of gn as used in the official definition of the kilogram-force is used here for all .7376 ft-lb (foot-pound force)2.22481 lbf - poundal § 7.014098 kp § 0.2330 pdl § 1.174 pdl § 0.3901 x 10í4 kilocalorie.138255 N pound-force § 0.2330 x 106 5 kp lbf pdl = gn x (1 kg) § 0.10197 kp -6 newton (SI unit) 1N 1 dyn 1 kp 1 lbf 1 pdl = 1 kg x m/s2 = 10-5 N = 9.y y y y 2.80665 N § 4. Units of force kilogramforce.2046 lbf = gn x (1 lb) § 70. the dyne (symbol "dyn". a predecessor of the modern SI.932 pdl § 32.4782 x 10í4 BTU (British thermal unit) 0.

Mechanical General Approximations . a motor develops a 1. a 3-phase motor draws 1 AMP per HP at rated HP output At 460 volts.RULES OF THUMB Use these in the field for fast approximations: At 3600 rpm. a motor develops a 4. a single-phase motor draws 5 AMP per HP at rated HP output At 115 volts. a motor develops a 6 lb-ft of torque per HP at rated HP output At 575 volts. a single-phase motor draws 10 AMP per HP at rated HP output .25 AMP per HP at rated HP output At 230 volts a 3-phase motor draws 2.gravitational units.5 lb-ft of torque per HP at rated HP output At 1800 rpm. a motor develops a 3 lb-ft of torque per HP at rated HP output At 1200 rpm. a 3-phase motor draws 1.5 lb-ft of torque per HP at rated HP output At 900 rpm.5 AMP per HP at rated HP output At 230 volts.