The WATT (symbol: W) is a unit of power . In the International System of Units (SI) it is defined as a derived unit of 1 joule per second , and is used to quantify the rate of energy transfer . In dimensional analysis it is described by M L 2 T 3 {displaystyle {mathsf {ML}}^{2}{mathsf {T}}^{-3}} . CONTENTS * 1 Examples * 2 Origin and adoption as an SI unit * 3 Multiples * 3.1 Femtowatt * 3.2 Picowatt * 3.3 Nanowatt * 3.4 Microwatt * 3.5 Milliwatt * 3.6 Kilowatt * 3.7 Megawatt * 3.8 Gigawatt * 3.9 Terawatt * 3.10 Petawatt * 4 Conventions in the electric power industry
* 5
EXAMPLES When an object's velocity is held constant at one meter per second against a constant opposing force of one newton , the rate at which work is done is 1 watt. 1 W = 1 J s = 1 N m s = 1 k g m 2 s 3 {displaystyle mathrm {1~W=1~{frac {J}{s}}=1~{frac {Ncdot m}{s}}=1~{frac {kgcdot m^{2}}{s^{3}}}} } In terms of electromagnetism , one watt is the rate at which electrical work is performed when a current of one ampere (A) flows across an electrical potential difference of one volt (V). 1 W = 1 V 1 A {displaystyle mathrm {1~W=1~Vcdot 1~A} } Two additional unit conversions for watt can be found using the above equation and Ohm\'s Law . 1 W = 1 V 2 = 1 A 2 {displaystyle mathrm {1~W=1~{frac {V^{2}}{Omega }}=1~A^{2}cdot Omega } } Where ohm ( {displaystyle Omega } ) is the
* A person having a mass of 100 kilograms who climbs a 3-meter-high ladder in 5 seconds is doing work at a rate of about 600 watts. Mass times acceleration due to gravity times height divided by the time it takes to lift the object to the given height gives the rate of doing work or power. * A laborer over the course of an 8-hour day can sustain an average output of about 75 watts; higher power levels can be achieved for short intervals and by athletes. ORIGIN AND ADOPTION AS AN SI UNIT The watt is named after the Scottish inventor
MULTIPLES For additional examples of magnitude for multiples and submultiples
of the watt, see
SI multiples for watt (W) SUBMULTIPLES MULTIPLES VALUE SI SYMBOL NAME VALUE SI SYMBOL NAME 10−1 W dW deciwatt 101 W daW decawatt 10−2 W cW centiwatt 102 W hW hectowatt 10−3 W MW MILLIWATT 103 W KW KILOWATT 10−6 W µW MICROWATT 106 W MW MEGAWATT 10−9 W NW NANOWATT 109 W GW GIGAWATT 10−12 W PW PICOWATT 1012 W TW TERAWATT 10−15 W fW femtowatt 1015 W PW PETAWATT 10−18 W aW attowatt 1018 W EW exawatt 10−21 W zW zeptowatt 1021 W ZW zettawatt 10−24 W yW yoctowatt 1024 W YW yottawatt Common multiples are in BOLD face FEMTOWATT The FEMTOWATT (FW) is equal to one quadrillionth (10−15) of a watt. Technologically important powers that are measured in femtowatts are typically found in reference(s) to radio and radar receivers. For example, meaningful FM tuner performance figures for sensitivity, quieting and signal-to-noise require that the RF energy applied to the antenna input be specified. These input levels are often stated in dBf (decibels referenced to 1 femtowatt). This is 0.2739 microvolt across a 75-ohm load or 0.5477 microvolt across a 300-ohm load; the specification takes into account the RF input impedance of the tuner. PICOWATT The PICOWATT (PW), not to be confused with the much larger petawatt (PW), is equal to one trillionth (10−12) of a watt. Technologically important powers that are measured in picowatts are typically used in reference to radio and radar receivers, acoustics and in the science of radio astronomy . One picowatt is the international standard reference value of sound power when this quantity is expressed as a level in decibels . NANOWATT The NANOWATT (NW) is equal to one billionth (10−9) of a watt. Important powers that are measured in nanowatts are also typically used in reference to radio and radar receivers. MICROWATT The MICROWATT (µW) is equal to one millionth (10−6) of a watt.
Important powers that are measured in microwatts are typically stated
in medical instrumentation systems such as the
MILLIWATT The MILLIWATT (MW) is equal to one thousandth (10−3) of a watt. A typical laser pointer outputs about five milliwatts of light power, whereas a typical hearing aid for people uses less than one milliwatt. Audio signals and other electronic signal levels are often measured in dBm , referenced to one milliwatt. KILOWATT "Kilowatt" and "Kilowatts" redirect here. For the place in the United
States, see
The KILOWATT (KW) is equal to one thousand (103) watts. This unit is typically used to express the output power of engines and the power of electric motors, tools, machines, and heaters. It is also a common unit used to express the electromagnetic power output of broadcast radio and television transmitters . One kilowatt is approximately equal to 1.34 horsepower . A small electric heater with one heating element can use 1.0 kilowatt. The average electric power consumption of a household in the United States is about one kilowatt. A surface area of one square meter on Earth receives typically about one kilowatt of sunlight from the sun (the solar irradiance ) (on a clear day at mid day, close to the equator). MEGAWATT The MEGAWATT (MW) is equal to one million (106) watts. Many events or machines produce or sustain the conversion of energy on this scale, including large electric motors; large warships such as aircraft carriers , cruisers , and submarines ; large server farms or data centers ; and some scientific research equipment, such as supercolliders , and the output pulses of very large lasers. A large residential or commercial building may use several megawatts in electric power and heat. On railways, modern high-powered electric locomotives typically have a peak power output of 5 or 6 MW, although some produce much more. The Eurostar , for example, uses more than 12 MW, while heavy diesel-electric locomotives typically produce/use 3 to 5 MW. U.S. nuclear power plants have net summer capacities between about 500 and 1300 MW. The earliest citing of the megawatt in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a reference in the 1900 Webster\'s International Dictionary of English Language . The OED also states that megawatt appeared in a 28 November 1947 article in the journal Science (506:2). GIGAWATT The GIGAWATT (GW) is equal to one billion (109) watts or 1 gigawatt =
1000 megawatts. This unit is often used for large power plants or
power grids. For example, by the end of 2010 power shortages in
China's Shanxi province were expected to increase to 5–6 GW and the
installed capacity of wind power in Germany was 25.8 GW. The largest
unit (out of four) of the Belgian
TERAWATT The TERAWATT (TW) is equal to one trillion (1012) watts. The total power used by humans worldwide is commonly measured in terawatts (see primary energy ). The most powerful lasers from the mid-1960s to the mid-1990s produced power in terawatts, but only for nanosecond time frames. The average lightning strike peaks at 1 terawatt, but these strikes only last for 30 microseconds . PETAWATT The PETAWATT (PW) is equal to one quadrillion (1015) watts and can be
produced by the current generation of lasers for time-scales on the
order of picoseconds (10−12 s). One such laser is the Lawrence
Livermore's Nova laser , which achieved a power output of 1.25 PW
(7015125000000000000♠1.25×1015 W) by a process called chirped pulse
amplification . The duration of the pulse was roughly 0.5 ps
(6987500000000000000♠5×10−13 s), giving a total energy of 600 J.
Another example is the
Based on the average total solar irradiance of 1.366 kW/m2, the total power of sunlight striking Earth's atmosphere is estimated at 174 PW (see: solar constant ). CONVENTIONS IN THE ELECTRIC POWER INDUSTRY In the electric power industry, megawatt electrical (MWE or MWe )
refers by convention to the electric power produced by a generator,
while megawatt thermal or thermal megawatt (MWT, MWt, or MWTH, MWth)
refers to thermal power produced by the plant. For example, the
When describing alternating current (AC) electricity, another distinction is made between the watt and the volt-ampere . While these units are equivalent for simple resistive circuits , they differ when loads exhibit electrical reactance . RADIO TRANSMISSION Main article:
DISTINCTION BETWEEN WATTS AND WATT-HOURS The terms power and energy are frequently confused. Power is the rate at which energy is generated or consumed and hence is measured in units (e.g. watts) that represent energy per unit time. For example, when a light bulb with a power rating of 100W is turned on for one hour, the energy used is 100 watt hours (W·h), 0.1 kilowatt hour, or 360 kJ . This same amount of energy would light a 40-watt bulb for 2.5 hours, or a 50-watt bulb for 2 hours. Power stations are rated using units of power, typically megawatts or
gigawatts (for example, the
The watt second is a unit of energy, equal to the joule . One kilowatt hour is 3,600,000 watt seconds. The watt second is used, for example, to rate the energy storage of flash lamps used in photography, although the term joule is generally employed. While watts per hour has a conceivable use in highly technical situations, it is almost always mistakenly used where watts or watt-hours is meant. SEE ALSO *
NOTES * ^ The energy in climbing the stairs is given by mgh. Setting m = 100 kg, g = 9.8 m/s2 and h = 3 m gives 2940 J. Dividing this by the time taken (5 s) gives a power of 588 W. * ^ Average household electric power consumption is 1.19 kW in the US, 0.53 kW in the UK. In India it is 0.13 kW (urban) and 0.03 kW (rural) – computed from GJ figures quoted by Nakagami, Murakoshi and Iwafune. * ^ Watts per hour would properly refer to a rate of change of power being used (or generated). Watts per hour might be useful to characterize the ramp-up behavior of power plants , or slow-reacting plant where their power could only change slowly. For example, a power plant that changes its power output from 1 MW to 2 MW in 15 minutes would have a ramp-up rate of 4 MW/h. REFERENCES * ^
* ^ Nakagami, Hidetoshi; Murakoshi, Chiharu; Iwafune, Yumiko
(2008). International Comparison of Household
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