Electricity Basics

What are Volt, Amber, Hertz and Watt?

Volt (V) is the measuring unit of the voltage difference between two points. Usually, there is standard governing the voltage used in each country from the generation till the end user stage.

In Saudi, the voltage standard is 127V or 220V, however the standard has been changed to be only 220V phasing out all 127V electrical equipment and power supply over the coming 10 years.


Amber (A) is the measuring unit of the current flowing in the wire circuit. The electrical current is generated when there is voltage difference on two ends of a load. The current depends on the load power connected; hence if the load consumes higher energy then the current flowing is higher.


To make a sense of the Amber value, a typical AC which consumes 2400 W, would have an input current of 11 A. Moreover, a typical 50 W Halogen lamp would have an input current of 0.227 A on 220V supply and 0.393 A on 127V. We notice that the current increases as the voltage decreases for the same load, so it is recommended to operate high loads on 220V.


Hertz (Hz) is the measuring unit of the frequency which the current and voltage resonate. This is valid for Alternative Current (AC) only and not for the Direct Current (DC). The AC is the supply we get at homes that is generated in the power plants. However, the DC is usually used in the batteries that is why we use transformers to charge our mobile phones to transfer the voltage from 127/220 V AC to 5 V DC.


Normally, the frequency is 50 or 60 Hz around the globe where in Saudi, we use 60 Hz. That’s why we should be careful using local products abroad and vice versa to confirm that the frequency used is the same.

Watt (W) is the measuring unit of the wattage which represents the power consumption of certain load like lamps or Air-condition. We use this to compare the power of different electrical equipment. The higher the wattage, the higher power consumption and electricity bill.


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