What Does Horse-power Mean?


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Arun Raj answered
A horse-power is the common unit to measure power or the rate at which work is done. One horse-power is equal to 33,000 foot-pounds of work per minute. By this, it means that it is the power needed to lift a total of 33,000 pounds at a distance of 1 foot in 1 minute. In electrical parlance, 1 unit of power is 746 watts.

The horsepower is used to measure the power of engines. The term was coined by James Watt, the inventor of steam engine. Watt realized that a horse had the "power" or the ability to do a particular amount of work per second, when he sold his steam engines. The horsepower helped him to find out the worth of an engine with relation to the number of horses it could replace. An eight-horse power engine, for example is known to replace the power of 8 horses.

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