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 The efficiency of an entity (a device, component, or system) in electronics and electrical engineering is defined as useful power output divided by the total electrical power consumed (a fractional expression), typically denoted by the Greek letter small Eta (η – ήτα).
{\displaystyle \mathrm {Efficiency} ={\frac {\mathrm {Useful\ power\ output} }{\mathrm {Total\ power\ input} }}}{\mathrm  {Efficiency}}={\frac  {{\mathrm  {Useful\ power\ output}}}{{\mathrm  {Total\ power\ input}}}}

If energy output and input are expressed in the same units, efficiency is a dimensionless number. Where it is not customary or convenient to represent input and output energy in the same units, efficiency-like quantities have units associated with them. For example, the heat rate of a fossil-fuel power plant may be expressed in BTU per kilowatthour. Luminous efficacy of a light source expresses the amount of visible light for a certain amount of power transfer and has the units of lumens per watt.

Efficiency of typical electrical devices[edit]

Efficiency should not be confused with effectiveness: a system that wastes most of its input power but produces exactly what it is meant to is effective but not efficient. The term “efficiency” makes sense only in reference to the wanted effect. A light bulb, for example, might have 2% efficiency at emitting light yet still be 98% efficient at heating a room (In practice it is nearly 100% efficient at heating a room because the light energy will also be converted to heat eventually, apart from the small fraction that leaves through the windows). An electronic amplifier that delivers 10 watts of power to its load (e.g., a loudspeaker), while drawing 20 watts of power from a power source is 50% efficient. (10/20 × 100 = 50%)

  • Electric kettle: more than 90%[citation needed] (comparatively little heat energy is lost during the 2 to 3 minutes a kettle takes to boil water).
  • A premium efficiency electric motor: more than 90% (see Main Articles: Premium efficiency and Copper in energy efficient motors).
  • A large power transformer used in the