Difference Between KVA and KW

There is a noticeable difference between KVA and KW even though both are used to represent electric power. These units are power ratings used in every measuring instrument for measuring the current characteristics. Both the units are used to express power and are abbreviations of kilovolt amperes and kilowatts. In this session, let us know the difference between KVA and KW.

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Difference Between KVA and KW

KVA is used to represent apparent power and KW is used to represent the real power of an electrical system. Its usage differs in electrical circuits because of the difference between AC and DC circuits. When considering a DC circuit, the kW and kVA are equal because the current does not get out of phase. But, when considering an AC circuit, we could find out several differences.

For solving real power, we need a nebulous value which varies depending on electrical appliances. It is called the power factor, its values are given as 0 and 1 or percentage. The closer the power factor to unity, the more the efficiency of any device regarding electricity usage. The relation between a kVA and kW and the power factor is kVA=kW/power factor. In the DC circuit, the power factor is unity. Therefore, kW=kVA.

Difference Between KVA and KW
It is used to represent apparent power. It is used to represent actual power.
Both kinds of power are equal in DC circuits. Both kinds of power are different in AC circuits.
A fraction of kVA is accessed to do work and the rest is considered excess in current. It shows the actual power which does the valid work.
Its full form is kilovolt amperes. Its full form is kilowatts.

These were some differences between KVA and KW.

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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs


What is kilowatt?

It is a measure of how much power an electric appliance consumes. It is equal to one thousand watts of electrical power.


State true or false: KVA is used to represent apparent power.



Give the KVA and KW relation for AC and DC circuits?

The KVA and KW relation for AC and DC circuits are:

For the DC circuit:

    Power Factor=1
    kW= kVA

For the AC circuit:

    Power Factor >1
    kW= kVA*PF

What is the full form of KVA?

Kilovolt amperes.

Define power factor?

Power factor is defined as the cosine of the angle between voltage and current. Power factor is the measure of how effectively the incoming power is used in the electrical system.
Test your knowledge on KVA and KW differences


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  1. The ac current and dc current how its work ,and then dc current application?

    • Electric circuits allow the electric current to flow through them in either Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC) form. A rotating magnetic field is usually used to produce AC, which generates a current in a wire that alternates between positive and negative values. AC flows periodically, reversing its direction multiple times per second. Typically, AC has a frequency of 50 or 60 cycles per second (Hz).

      On the other hand, DC flows through an electric circuit in one direction only. This is due to the constant voltage produced by a DC generator, such as a battery or rectifier.

      DC power is an essential component of modern technology and is used widely in various applications, such as powering electronic devices like computers, televisions, and smartphones. DC’s efficiency, ease of control, and low noise make it a preferred choice for many applications.