How to Calculate Average Current

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Current is the rate of “flow” of electrons in an electrical circuit. In other words, it is the amount of electricity traveling past a specific point in a certain time period. Average current refers to the average of every instantaneous current value from zero to the peak and back again on a sine wave; alternating or AC current is represented by a sine wave.

According to Integrated Publishing: Electrical Engineering Training Series, you would use the following formula to determine average current: I avg = 0.636 X I max. I avg is the average current from zero to peak and back to zero (one alteration) and I max is the “peak” current. The unit of measurement for current is the ampere or amp.

    Write, on a piece of paper, the formula for finding average current: I avg = 0.636 X I max.

    List all the known information using units; since you are determining average current, you should be given the maximum current by your teacher.

    List your unknown or what it is you are being asked to find. In this case you are being asked to find the average current.

    Plug in your values and then follow through; multiply the given maximum voltage by the constant, 0.636, to obtain the average current.


    • Always include units as you complete your problems.

      It is helpful to list your known values and your unknown values. This practice will help you keep track of the parts of your problem.


    • If you are working with a live current, do not touch bare hot wires, that is, noninsulated wires that are carrying a current.