How to convert VA to Watts and KVA to Kilowatts
Since watts are volts time’s amps, what is VA? VA (or volt-amps) is also volts times
amps, the concept however has been extended to AC power. For DC current
VA = Watts (DC current).
In AC if the volts and amps are in phase (for example a resistive load) then the equation
VA=Watts (resistive load)
where V is the RMS voltage and A the RMS amperage.
In AC the volts and amps are not always in phase (meaning that the peak of the voltage
curve is does not happen at the peak of the current curve). So in AC, if the volts and amps
are not precisely in phase you have to calculate the watts by multiplying the volts times
the amps at each moment in time and take the average over time. The ratio between the
VA (i.e. rms volts time rms amps) and Watts is called the power factor PF.
VA·PF = Watts (any load, including inductive loads)
In other words, volt-amps x power factor = watts. Similarly, KVA*PF = KW,
Or kilovolt-amps times power factor equals kilowatts.
When you want to know how much the electricity is costing you, you use watts. When
you are specifying equipment loads, fuses, and wiring sizes you use the VA, or the rms
voltage and rms amperage. This is because VA considers the peak of both current and
voltage, without taking into account if they happen at the same time or not
Finding the Power Factor
How do you find the power factor? This isn’t easy. For computer power supplies and
other supplies that are power factor corrected the power factor is usually over 90%.
For high power motors under heavy load the power factor can be as low as 35%.
Industry standard rule-of-thumb is that you plan for a power factor of 60%, which
somebody came up with as a kind of average power factor.
Converting VA to Amps
How to convert VA to amps? Use the following formula:
Where A stands for the RMS amps, VA stands for volt-amps, V stands for RMS volts and
PF stands for the power factor.
Converting VA to Volts
How to convert VA to volts? Use the following formula:
Where V stands for RMS volts, A stands for the RMS amps, VA stands for volt-amps,
and PF stands for the power factor.
What is KVA?
KVA is just kilovolt-amps, or volts time’s amps divided by 1000:
KVA·PF = KW (any load, including inductive loads)
Where KVA stands for kilovolt-amps, KW stands for kilowatts, and PF stands for the
Keep the factor of 1000 straight when dealing with mixed units:
KVA·PF = W/1000 (any load, including inductive loads)
VA·PF = 1000·KW (Kilowatts to VA)
The Following equations can be used to convert between amps, volts, and VA.
To convert between kilovolt-amps, kilowatts, and kiloamps, keep track of the factor of
Converting VA to Amps (voltage fixed)
The conversion of VA to Amps is governed by the equation Amps = VA·PF/Volts)
For example 12 VA·0.6/(12 volts) = 0.6 amp
Converting KVA to KW (Kilovolt-amps to Kilowatts)
The conversion of KVA to KW is governed by the equation KVA = Watts/PF)
For example, if the power factor is 0.6
120 KVA·0.6 = 72 Kilowatts
Converting Amps to VA (voltage fixed)
The conversion of Amps to VA is governed by the equation VA = Amps · Volts/PF
For example 1 amp * 110 volts/0.6 = 183 VA
Converting Amps to KVA (voltage fixed)
The conversion of Amps to KVA is governed by the equation KVA = Amps ·
For example 100 amp * 110 volts/(1000*0.6) = 18.3 KVA
Converting VA to Volts (current fixed)
The conversion of VA to Volts is governed by the equation Volts = VA·PF/Amps
For example 100 VA · 0.6/10 amps = 6 volts
Converting Volts to VA (current fixed)
The conversion of Volts to VA is governed by the equation VA = Amps · Volts/PF
For example 1.5 amps * 12 volts/0.6 = 30 VA
Converting Volts to Amps at fixed VA
The conversion of Volts to Amps is governed by the equation Amps = VA·PF/Volts
For example 120 VA* 0.6 /110 volts = 0.65 amps
Converting Amps to Volts at fixed VA
The conversion of Amps to Volts is governed by the equation Volts = VA·PF/Amps
For Example, 48 VA · 0.6 / 12 Amps = 2.4 Volts
Amps are how many electrons flow past a certain point per second. A volt is a measure of
how much force that each electron is under. Think of water in a hose. A gallon a minute
(think amps) just dribbles out if it is under low pressure (think voltage). But if you restrict
the end of the hose, letting the pressure build up, the water can have more power (like
watts), even though it is still only one gallon a minute. In fact the power can grow
enormous as the pressure builds, to the point that a water knife can cut a sheet of glass. In
the same manner as the voltage is increased a small amount of current can turn into a lot