There are many ways to express and label units of power and electricity. Sometimes you see watts, volts, amperes, or amps, and other times, you see kVA. What is kVA, and what does it mean on a solid-state generator or other similar devices?

What Does kVA Mean?

Simply put, kVA means 1,000 Volt-Amps. The K comes from the Greek word “kilo,” meaning one thousand. People use K as an abbreviation when discussing numbers in the thousands, like a house costing 500k or a job’s salary offering 50k per year.

Volts are a commonly expressed form of electric pressure, and amps are more about the electrical current running through your devices, so the VA comes from multiplying the volts and amps.

Difference Between kVA and kW

When figuring out what kVA means on a solid-state generator, you may recall seeing other devices with labels of kW and wonder what the difference is between the two. kW or “Kilowatt” means 1,000 watts, much like how kVA means 1,000-volt amps.

However, volt amps often represent apparent power, while watts are a confirmed unit of energy. This means 1,000 watts would equal a single kVA in an ideal system. However, this is not always the case and may have a kilowatt output lower than the expected apparent power. This power factor is a number between zero and one that helps discover the measurable discrepancies between the apparent and actual power.

Typical kVA Ranges

Solid-state generators and frequency converters come in a wide range of kVA sizes and may be less than one kVA or greater than 100 kVA. In many cases, solid-state devices operate well between one and five kVA.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about volt-amps or solid-state frequency converters, the experts and specialists at Visicomm Industries have the information you need. Contact us today for more details.