A review study of instantaneous electric energy transport theories and their novel implementations

Y. Beck*, N. Calamaro, D. Shmilovitz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Electric energy transport theories are still a debatable subject regarding their validity and applicability in various aspects. This paper includes a comparative study of the group of theories which are categorized as instantaneous theories as opposed to periodic-averaged ones. As a preliminary review this paper presents first the three apparent power definitions in order to emphasize the difference between them. A discussion regarding their accuracy for energy metering of various conditions such as multiphase and non-sinusoidal environments is presented. Instantaneous theories are then reviewed and compared with periodic averaged theories. The review focuses mainly on p-q theory (PQT) and its derivative, instantaneous multi-phase theory. The legacy application of this theory for active filtering is briefly presented and the new idea of using the theory for multi-load and multi-source theory is presented as well. The comparison identifies the similarities and differences between the instantaneous and periodic averaging theories, and their inter-relations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1428-1439
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - May 2016


  • Active power
  • Energy metering
  • Harmonic distortion
  • Power transport theory
  • Reactive power


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