Electrical Formulas Made Easy

Not every day will include working with complicated electrical formulas, but there will times during your career as an electrician when you will have to do some calculations.

This is true regardless of which type of electrician job you choose. Your classroom training will include units on these formulas, and you will likely be asked to either explain or calculate some formulas on the final licensing exam.

Most of the time all you need is a good calculator, but these days many electricians use software and even apps to help with electrical formulas.

Just as with the many tools used by electricians every day to make the job easier, formula calculating software can remove some of the guesswork in complicated calculations. Plus, they save valuable time and energy.

What Does Electrical Formulas Software Do?

Just what it sounds like. It is software specifically designed to help you complete electrical calculations quickly and easily.

Many software applications feature a pop-up calculator so you can verify results and special graphic screens you can keep open for quick input. You can have several windows open at the same time to easily move between screens if you need to.

And the software is instant, giving you an answer as soon as the calculation is input.

The Benefits

Aside from having instant answers and saving you a lot of time and headaches, the software allows you to keep your mind on your work instead of struggling with complicated formulas.

You can rest easy knowing that the calculations will be accurate – eliminating the risk of human error, which is quite possible when you are in a hurry.

Types of Calculations

There are various types of software available, but the basic formulas you can expect to see include:

  • AC series circuit formulas
  • DC series circuit
  • AC parallel circuit
  • DC parallel circuit
  • Capacitive reactance circuit
  • Inductive reactance circuit
  • True power
  • Power Factor

Remember, the software can make your life easier, but it cannot replace real knowledge. You will still be required to know how to do the calculations manually, and to understand how the electrical formulas work.

There may be many times when you don’t have your computer handy, or job sites where you won’t be able to take your laptop with you. So, if you can’t do the calculations manually, you could be in big trouble.

That is another reason why it is important to learn the electrical formulas and how to do the calculations required for the job.

The terms you will come across most often in equations and electrical formulas include:

  • Volt – a volt is the unit of motive force or electrical potential required to push one amp of current through the resistance of one ohm.
  • Ohm – an ohm is the unit of resistance. An ohm represents the amount of resistance one amp experiences as it flows through a conductor when it is impelled by one volt.
  • Amp – amps are the units of current. One amp represents how much current one volt can push through one ohm of resistance.
  • Watt – a watt is one unit of electrical power or energy. One amp and one volt will produce one watt. This means that one amp of current being forced by one volt will produce one watt of power.
  • Volt Ampere – the volt ampere is produced by volts and amperes. It is shown by an ammeter and a voltmeter. In a system using a direct current, the volt ampere is the energy delivered, the same as watts. In systems using an alternating current, the volts and amperes can either be totally synchronized or not. When synchronized, the volt ampere is equal to the watts on a watt-meter. When they are not synchronized volt amperes are greater than watts.
  • Kilovolt Ampere – a kilovolt ampere is equal to one thousand volt amperes.
  • Power Factor – the power factor is the ratio of watts to volt amperes.

This is Not As Bad As It Sounds!

This may all sound overwhelming right now, but you will soon learn that it’s not as mind boggling as it appears. Before long the electrical formulas and other electrician math will be like second nature.

All the things you learn as an electrician apprentice will be very useful in your career.

After a while you may start having dreams of formulas running through your brain, but remember: the more you learn now, and the more you practice your electrical formulas, the easier your job will be.

Even if you do use formula software later on, or now to help you learn the formulas, you need to know the basics. Your calculations will only be as accurate as the data you enter.

Mistakenly entering the number of ohms where you should enter a different value will give you the wrong answer, no matter how sophisticated the software.



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Industrial Electrician Dusten Huebner
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