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Kilowatt (kW)

A kilowatt (kW) is a unit of power defined by the International System of Units (SI). The basic unit of the kilowatt is the watt (W), named after the Scottish inventor James Watt. The prefix kilo means one kilowatt is one thousand watts or joules per second.

What does a kilowatt (kW) mean?

Kilowatts are used worldwide primarily to express the power of motors, tools, machines, and heaters. The European Union defines kilowatts (kW) as the official unit for engine power, but even so, horsepower is preferred in common communication.

What does kWh mean?

Electricity used in a home is usually measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh, which means 1000 watts are used in one hour. Megawatt or gigawatt hours, on the other hand, are used in large buildings or industries.

Metric horsepower (PS)

A horsepower is a unit of measurement of power. One metric horsepower (PS - Pferdestärke) corresponds to the force required to lift 4500 kilograms over a distance of one meter in one minute.

There is a difference between the horsepower used in the US (SAE standard) and the horsepower used in Europe (DIN standard). Metric horsepower (PS) is 98.6% of one horsepower (HP - Horsepower) in imperial units, respectively - 1.4% less.

Electric horsepower

One metric horsepower equals 735.5 watts (W) or 0.7355 kilowatts (kW). In imperial units, one horsepower equals 746 watts or 0.746 kilowatts. There is no difference between electrical and mechanical performance in terms of horsepower.

The history of horsepower

Horsepower was first coined by Scottish inventor James Watt in the late 18th century to help market his improved steam engine. At the time, it made sense to measure the output of a steam engine in horsepower because the value meant the number of horses the engine could replace. This made it very easy for potential buyers to understand the performance of the engine.