# What if the voltage is too low

## amp

### Definition: what is ampere?

Electrical energy can be thought of as a river. Just as different amounts of water can flow in a river bed, so too does a cable carry amounts of electricity of different sizes. The amount of current in a current flow is called this current strength. The physical unit is called ampere and is indicated with the unit symbol A. It is named after the French physicist André-Marie Ampère. In Germany, conventional lines are designed for a maximum of 16 amps. Fuses prevent short circuits. The units of amperes, volts and watts are not separated from each other, because power, voltage and strength are directly related.

### Practical example: laptop power supply

On laptop power supplies, amperages indicate the maximum amount of current that can flow through the power supply. For example, if a laptop needs 1.8 amps, it must never be connected to a power supply with a maximum of 1.6 amps. Because the device then tries to get too much power. The power adapter can burn out and damage the laptop.

### How is it measured in amperes?

An ammeter, more commonly known as an ammeter, is used to measure the strength of the current. For this, the current must flow through the measuring device, so it must be connected in series to the circuit. This actually makes it necessary to open the circuit. In order to avoid this time-consuming process, indirect processes determine the strength of the current, for example via the generated magnetic field. Pay attention to the type of current and the setting of the correct measuring range.

### Watt: The relationship between amps and power

Watt is the unit of electrical power. It indicates the work that a device has performed in a certain period of time. A normal power connection is designed for a maximum of 16 amps. That is the equivalent of a maximum power of this circuit of 3,520 watts. If too many devices are connected at the same time, the current is too high. That triggers the fuse. The fan with an output of 2,000 watts generates - at the standard value of 230 volts - a current flow of 8.7 amperes. If an identical device were to run in parallel in the circuit, the maximum of 16 amperes would be exceeded. The device outputs therefore accumulate and cause the amperage to increase.

### Volt: The relationship between amps and voltage

The unit of electrical voltage is called volts. If amps indicates the number of electrons flowing, volts stands for the energy they transport. In Europe, household networks have a voltage of 230 volts. If the voltage of a circuit is lower, the maximum current intensity also decreases. A fan with an output of 2,000 watts should not be connected to a network with a voltage of 120 volts, as is common in the USA. Because for this power it would take 16.7 amps.

### The watt-ampere-volt formula: This is how easy it is to calculate the strength

Because power, voltage and current are mutually dependent, they can easily be converted into one another. One can think of the reciprocal relationship as a triangle. This results in the three formulas:

• Amps = watts / volts
• Watts = volts x amps
• Volt = watt / ampere

### Attention abroad: Pay attention to the tension

In non-European countries, the voltage provided in the power grid can deviate from the 230 volts customary here. The standard in Japan is around 100 volts and 120 volts in the USA. This has a direct effect on the required amperage. To find out what strength a device generates, you divide the voltage by the wattage. Voltage converters solve the problem. Nowadays, many devices have the ability to manually adjust the voltage.

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