Motor or Heater which consume more Electricity?

There are mainly two types of load that have major use and applications - 1. Inductive Load and 2. Resistive Load. Electric Heater is a resistive load whereas an electric motor is an inductive load. Now the question is which consumes more electricity, motor or heater for the same power rating? Before going to understand this topic, you must know about the properties of resistive load and the properties of inductive load.

Motor or Heater which consume more Electricity?

How a Motor Consume Electricity?

A motor is an electrical machine that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. When a motor is connected to a power supply but does not drive any mechanical load then it will take a very low current or consume low power. The power consumption by a motor depends upon the load on the motor. If you notice the nameplate of the motor, you will observe there are two current ratings are noted - 1. At no load 2. At full load. So when we talking about the power consumption by a motor, it should be included whether the motor is loaded or not loaded.

As the motor is an inductive load, so here the reactive power and power factor concept will come. An electric motor consumes both active and reactive power. Active power is consumed to drive the load and reactive power is consumed due to the lagging power factor.

How a Heater consume Electricity?

An electric heater is a resistive load that converts electrical energy into heat energy. When the heater is connected to a power supply it will start to consume electric current. The current consumption by a heater depends upon the applied voltage and the internal resistance of the heating coil. So as both are constant, an electric heater always consumes constant power. Unlike an electric motor, an electric heater has only one current rating in its nameplate. So there is no concept of no load or full load.

As the heater is a resistive load, it consumes active power only, and the power factor is always unity, so the power factor does not have any effects.

Differences in Motor and Heater Power Consumption

1. Electrical Motor is an Inductive load whereas Electric Heater is a Resistive Load

2. Electric motor is a variable load, its power consumption varies with the variation of mechanical load connected to it. On the other hand, an electric heater is a constant, it always consumes constant power if there are no changes in the power supply.

3. Electric Motor consumes both Active and Reactive power whereas Electric Heater consumes active power only.

4. Electric motor causes the power factor lagging, whereas Electric Heater causes the power factor unity.

5. In the case of an Electric Motor, the active power and apparent power is different but in the case of a heater, the active power and apparent power are the same as the power factor is unity.

Which consumes more power Motor or Heater?

Generally, in electrical engineering, the electric motor is the major power-consuming machine. In any industry or general application, most of the electrical power is consumed by an electrical motor only because the motor drives a very heavy mechanical load. Electric motors are available in very high power ratings. An electric motor can be used for so many different types of work and applications. 

On the other hand, an Electric heater only converts electrical energy into heat energy. It has limited applications compared to the electric motor. High power rated electrical heater also available but not like an electric motor. Only the Electric motor is possible to available as the highest power electrical load.

Now, the main point is for the same power rating both the heater and motor will consume the same active power. Just difference is motor consumes reactive power as extra and causes the power factor low. Of course, we can say for the same power rating, the motor will draw more current than a heater due to the low power factor. The low power factor does not affect the active power energy bill. But the industry must have to maintain the power factor near unity if it uses electric motors because that industry has to pay penalty fees if the power factor is low.

Also, remember that a heater is a constant power-consuming load whereas an electric motor is a variable power-consuming load. When a mechanical load is varied on the motor, the power consumption by the motor also varied. The power consumption by an electrical motor also depends upon the power factor.

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Motor or Heater which consume more Electricity? Motor or Heater which consume more Electricity? Reviewed by Author on April 24, 2021 Rating: 5
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