E-journal for electrical and electronic engineers


Vol. 2, Nr 3 (5) 2011

Publ. 25.09.2011

Is the active power a useful power and what should we pay for?

s. 24-32 DOI:


The active power is one of the best defined power quantities. It is based on clear physical fundamentals and has major technical importance in electrical engineering. It is regarded as a useful power of electrical loads. There is some awareness in electrical engineering community, however, that in systems with asymmetrical and/or nonsinusoidal voltages and currents this power cannot be as useful as it is when these quantities are symmetrical and sinusoidal. This is related to doubts regarding usefulness of the energy conveyed by harmonics and symmetrical components of the negative sequence. In this situation, an increase in the cost of energy would lead to the question of whether energy accounts based on the integral of the active power are fair. The author of the paper claims that energy accounts based on the integral of the working active power, called the active energy, are fairer than accounts based on the integral of the active power. Such accounts can create natural economic incentives for improvement in supply and loading quality.


energy accounts; supply quality; loading quality, active power



[1] Czarnecki, L.S.: (2005) Moce w Obwodach Elektrycznych z Niesinusoidalnymi Przebiegami Prądów i Napięć, Oficyna Wydawnicza Politechniki