How to Calculate the Horsepower of a Compressor

Horsepower (hp) measures the amount of mechanical energy a device uses to complete a task. An air compressor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy to move air or liquid particles. Typically electrical power is measured in watts which equals a single joule of energy consumed every second. A single unit of horsepower is equivalent to 745.8 watts. A watt meter allows you to calculate the horsepower of a compressor by first finding its power in watts.

Things You'll Need

  • Watt meter
  • Calculator

Instructions

    • 1

      Turn on the watt meter.

    • 2

      Plug the compressor into the watt meter. Note the number of watts of power the device draws. For example, the power might be 1500.0 watts.

    • 3

      Convert the power to horsepower by dividing by 745.8. In our sample exercise, 1500.0 watts divided by 745.8 watts equals 2.0 horsepower.

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References

  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images

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