What is an ampere?

An ampere, or amp as it is more commonly referred to as, is the standard unit of current. The symbol for an ampere is A. It is determined as the amount of current that flows when a potential difference of one volt is applied across a resistance of 1 ohm. 

Current is the measure of the amount of electrical charge moving through a specified point in a unit of time. It is referred to in mathematical formula by the symbol I. An ampere of current is flowing when a charge of 1 coulomb passes a point in a second. 

The calculation to determine the Current in Amperes can be simply stated as:

I=V/R where V is the Voltage and R is the Resistance. This is known as Ohms Law.

The current carrying capacity of a cable uses these basic principles but takes it further with temperature rises, electrical losses and thermal units all factoring into the calculation. The result of this more complex calculation is also stated in Amps. This is also referred to as the ampacity.

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