Résumé
Electric power is the rate at which electrical energy is transferred by an electric circuit. The SI unit of power is the watt, one joule per second. Standard prefixes apply to watts as with other SI units: thousands, millions and billions of watts are called kilowatts, megawatts and gigawatts respectively. A common misconception is that electric power is bought and sold, but actually electrical energy is bought and sold. For example, electricity sold to consumers is measured in terms of amounts of energy, kilowatt-hours (kilowatts multiplied by hours), and not the rate at which this energy is transferred. Electric power is usually produced by electric generators, but can also be supplied by sources such as electric batteries. It is usually supplied to businesses and homes (as domestic mains electricity) by the electric power industry through an electrical grid. Electric power can be delivered over long distances by transmission lines and used for applications such as motion, light or heat with high efficiency. Electric power, like mechanical power, is the rate of doing work, measured in watts, and represented by the letter P. The term wattage is used colloquially to mean "electric power in watts." The electric power in watts produced by an electric current I consisting of a charge of Q coulombs every t seconds passing through an electric potential (voltage) difference of V is: where: W is work in joules t is time in seconds Q is electric charge in coulombs V is electric potential or voltage in volts I is electric current in amperes I.e., watts = volts times amps. Electric power is transformed to other forms of energy when electric charges move through an electric potential difference (voltage), which occurs in electrical components in electric circuits. From the standpoint of electric power, components in an electric circuit can be divided into two categories: If electric current is forced to flow through the device in the direction from the lower electric potential to the higher, so positive charges move from the negative to the positive terminal, work will be done on the charges, and energy is being converted to electric potential energy from some other type of energy, such as mechanical energy or chemical energy.
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