When talking about motors and engines, the term horsepower is bound to come up. Most people have a general feel for what the term means. It has something to do with how much power a device has. Typically, more horsepower means more power from the engine or motor. What does it really mean though and how can you judge how much horsepower you need for your ultrasonic cleaner?

What is Horsepower?

To define what horsepower is we need to talk about James Watt. Watt was an engineer who worked on improving the steam engine. He needed a way to compare the output of his steam engines to the amount of output that a horse was able to do. That way he could give a direct comparison to people of the time between his engines and a horse. The measurement of horsepower was born.

Power and Work

To better understand what the measure of horsepower is we need to talk a bit about work and power. These are both terms used in physics and engineering to measure specific outputs of devices. Work is a measure of force over a distance. Think about walking up a flight of stairs. It takes you a certain amount of work to move up one step. That work is the force to lift your body up and forward along the staircase.

Power is the amount of work that is done over time. Again, in the staircase metaphor, the amount of work required to move your body up the staircase, from top to bottom, remains the same whether you walk up the stairs or run up the stairs. The power required goes up the faster move; running requires more power than walking. Horsepower is a measure of power.

Other Measures of Power

There are many other measurements of power. One in particular most people are familiar with is Watts (named for Mr. Watt above). Watt is a measure of power associated with light bulbs. We can easily envision the difference between a 25 W bulb and a 100 W bulb. Which brings up an interesting point – power can talk about both mechanical and electrical system measurements.

Mechanical vs. Electrical Power

Mechanical power is pretty easy to envision with our staircase illustration. Electrical power is a bit more difficult. Electrical power is a measure of energy transfer. It measures just how much electricity can be transferred by an electrical circuit. There is more energy transferred in a 100 W bulb than in a 25 W one. We can see this by the amount of light (and heat) given off.

Power and Ultrasonic Cleaners

When thinking of horsepower for your ultrasonic cleaner, you need to keep two things in mind. How much electrical power is available for the system and how much mechanical power is needed to get the job done? More horsepower (in the case of Omegasonics’ equipment Watts) means more electrical power needed to drive that particular unit.

Omegasonics is happy to work with you to provide a unit that meets both your cleaning and available power needs. Browse our catalog or contact us today.