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The most important electronics terms, demystified in one place.

Volt-amp reactive (VAR)

Our Take

While power is measured in watts, if there’s a phase difference between voltage and current, which causes a power factor less than 1, then you need a way to indicate the difference between real power and reactive power. Watts are volts times amps, but if they’re out of phase, we keep the notation volt-amps or volt-amp reactive (VARs) to indicate the total of real and non-real power.

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