The difference between kVA and kW is that one is a measure of power and the other is a measure of energy. The most common use of these two terms is in the power industry, where they are used to describe how much power a generator can produce.

Power Defined

Power is defined as the rate at which energy is used, expressed in watts. This can be calculated by multiplying voltage (V) by current (A).

Energy is the amount of work done by an electric current, expressed in joules (J). This can be calculated by multiplying voltage by current squared (V2 A).


kVA = kW x 0.836

Formula: kVA = kW x 0.836

Example:  If a load has 3 phase, 4 wire, 240 VAC supply with a current of 5 A, then its power rating would be 240 V x 5 A = 1200 W or 1.2 kW (1 kW = 1000 W). If this load was connected to a generator rated at 2 kVA, then to calculate its power output we would use the formula P = U x I and substitute into it 2 kVA for P: P = U x I = 2 kV x 5 A = 10 VA which means that it can produce 1.2 kW (1 kW = 1000 W).

What is kVA?

kVA, or kilovolt-amps, is a measure of the power rating of a generator, motor or other devices. It is expressed as kilovolt-amps and is equal to 1,000 volts times amps. The abbreviation kVA is often used in place of kilovolt-amps.

kVA power ratings are important when choosing generators or motors for use in industrial settings. For example, if you need a motor that can help operate a conveyor belt in your factory, you will want to ensure that the motor has enough power so it does not overheat and stop working.

You can also use kVA ratings to determine if an electrical system has enough capacity to meet your needs. For example, if your business has several high-powered machines that need electricity to run efficiently, you might need more than one circuit breaker panel for each machine.

kVA Power Rating

The kVA power rating is a measure of how much current a generator can supply to a circuit. The higher the kVA power rating, the larger the capacity of the generator. The term “Kilovolt-Ampere” (kVA) is used to describe this measurement. The lowercase letter “k” stands for kilo, which means thousand. So, if you want to know how many watts your generator can produce at any given time, multiply its kVA by 1000. For example, A 5kVA generator will produce 5,000 watts of power.

You can calculate your kilovolt-amperes using this simple equation:

kVAR = Volts x Amps x Power Factor / 1,000

For example: If you have a 120V/240V system that draws 25 amps from each phase and has a PF of 0.8 (default), your total KVAR would be: 25A x 240A x 0.8 / 1,000 = 25kVAR or 30 kW

Rating the Amount of Power

The kVA (kilovolt-ampere) rating measures the amount of power that can be generated by a generator over time. It is calculated by multiplying the voltage by the amperage and then dividing that figure by 1,000. For example, if we have an output voltage of 240 volts and an input current of 12 amps, then our kVA rating would be 2,400 watts (240 × 12 = 2,880). This means that our generator can produce 2.8 kilowatts at any given moment in time.

A typical household circuit has 15-20 amps available for use at any given time and many appliances will not draw more than this limit; however, if you are installing several large appliances like air conditioners or electric clothes dryers on one circuit at the same time, then you may need to upgrade your electrical service by adding more circuits or upgrading existing ones with higher capacity breakers (which usually require professional installation).

kW vs kVA – Which One is Best?

Kilowatts (kW) and kilovolt-amperes (kVA) are both measures of power. The difference between kW and kVA is that kW is a measure of power over time while kVA is a measure of instantaneous power. The values for kW and kVA are calculated using different formulas, but they’re both used to determine how much energy appliances will use.

The formula for calculating kW is Watts = Volts * Amps, while the formula for calculating kVA is Volts * Amps / 1000. To calculate the amount of kW or kVA required to run an appliance, plug in its voltage and current draw into either formula, depending on whether you need to determine instantaneous or continuous power.