Power is the rate at which work is done in a given period. Mathematically, power is the work/time ratio.

P = W/t

Description: P = power (Joule/second = Watt), W = work (Joule), t = time interval (second)

Based on this equation, it can be concluded that the greater the work rate, the greater the power. On the other hand, the smaller the work rate, the smaller the power. Work rate refers to the rate at which work is done.

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Power is a scalar. The SI unit of power is the Joule/second. The Joule/second = Watt (abbreviated as W), named so to pay homage to James Watt. The British imperial unit for power is foot-pound per second.

This unit is too small for practical purpose, so the greater unit horsepower (abbreviated as hp) is used. One horsepower = 550 foot-pound per second = 764 Watt = ¾ kilowatt.

The amount of work can also be expressed in power x time units, for instance, kilowatt-hour or kWh. One kWh refers to the work done at a constant rate of 1 kiloWatt for one hour.