Concept

AC power

Résumé
In an electric circuit, instantaneous power is the time rate of flow of energy past a given point of the circuit. In alternating current circuits, energy storage elements such as inductors and capacitors may result in periodic reversals of the direction of energy flow. Its SI unit is the watt. The portion of instantaneous power that, averaged over a complete cycle of the AC waveform, results in net transfer of energy in one direction is known as instantaneous active power, and its time average is known as active power or real power. The portion of instantaneous power that results in no net transfer of energy but instead oscillates between the source and load in each cycle due to stored energy, is known as instantaneous reactive power, and its amplitude is the absolute value of reactive power. In a simple alternating current (AC) circuit consisting of a source and a linear time-invariant load, both the current and voltage are sinusoidal at the same frequency. If the load is purely resistive, the two quantities reverse their polarity at the same time. At every instant the product of voltage and current is positive or zero, the result being that the direction of energy flow does not reverse. In this case, only active power is transferred. If the load is purely reactive, then the voltage and current are 90 degrees out of phase. For two quarters of each cycle, the product of voltage and current is positive, but for the other two quarters, the product is negative, indicating that on average, exactly as much energy flows into the load as flows back out. There is no net energy flow over each half cycle. In this case, only reactive power flows: There is no net transfer of energy to the load; however, electrical power does flow along the wires and returns by flowing in reverse along the same wires. The current required for this reactive power flow dissipates energy in the line resistance, even if the ideal load device consumes no energy itself. Practical loads have resistance as well as inductance, or capacitance, so both active and reactive powers will flow to normal loads.
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AC power
In an electric circuit, instantaneous power is the time rate of flow of energy past a given point of the circuit. In alternating current circuits, energy storage elements such as inductors and capacitors may result in periodic reversals of the direction of energy flow. Its SI unit is the watt. The portion of instantaneous power that, averaged over a complete cycle of the AC waveform, results in net transfer of energy in one direction is known as instantaneous active power, and its time average is known as active power or real power.
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