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Power Conversion Efficiency Measurement Methods

Application Notes

What is power conversion efficiency?


Efficiency is an assessment of how well time and effort are used to accomplish a specific task. If that task is the conversion of one form of power to another, the efficiency of the conversion indicates how well the power conversion is implemented. For an electrical power conversion process, efficiency is measured simply by dividing the output power in watts by the input power in watts and is expressed as a percentage. In power electronics, the Greek letter eta (η) is used to represent efficiency.


A perfect electrical power conversion process would have an efficiency of 100 percent. However, achieving 100 percent efficiency is not possible, because all real-life electronics lose some energy as heat. Some of the input power is used for the power conversion process itself, so that input power does not make it to the output. As a result, the efficiency must be less than 100 percent.


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