# true power vs. apparent power

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by paul_alan, Dec 6, 2011.

1. ### paul_alan Thread Starter Member

Nov 5, 2011
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Is the true power on a circuit usually greater than the apparent power? and are they equal in a circuit with both resistance and inductance?

2. ### GetDeviceInfo Senior Member

Jun 7, 2009
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consider that circuits perform a wide variety of functions, some where a high value of reactance is desirable, others not. But, generally speaking, unity power is the most desirable, as such, measures are taken to reduce the reactive component as much as possible. If there is any measurable amount of reactive power, then the apparent power will be larger than the real power. Inductive reactance can be negated with capacitive reactance to bring it into unity, where real power and apparent power are equal.

3. ### bountyhunter Well-Known Member

Sep 7, 2009
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True power can never be greater than apparrent power. At unity power factor they are equal. At any other PF, apparrent power is greater.

4. ### crutschow Expert

Mar 14, 2008
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True power is less than or equal to apparent power. They are equal when there is no inductance or capacitance in the circuit.

If the circuit has both inductance (or capacitance) and resistance than the relative value of real power to apparent power is determined by the value of the resistance to the reactive impedance (which determines the power factor).

Dec 7, 2011
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