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Difference between Real, Reactive and Apparent Power

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Do you know the difference between VA and watts? It is important to understand the different types of power in order to achieve efficiencies with all of your electronic and computer room/data center equipment.


One of the easier ways to describe power is to break it down into types – Real power, Reactive power, and Apparent power. Real power is the portion of power flow that results in the consumption of energy, and it is measured in Watts. Reactive Power is measured in or volt-amps reactive, or VAR, and in a UPS spec is referred to as the Power Factor. This Power Factor is very important to the efficiency of the UPS, as it affects power costs, power losses, and overall effectiveness of the system.


To learn more about the types of power, see our latest video post here. It describes in a little more detail the types of power and and how they affect your UPS system in a computer room environment. The video even has a fun beer analogy to help demonstrate the differences. Cheers to that!



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