Very often one needs to know the power absorbed by say, a pump or a carrier or fan or some other equipment driven by an electric motor. If one has a three-phase electric power meter and one measures the three phase currents and voltages then the power can be calculated directly.

Most often however all one has is the current reading from the MCC panel ammeter, the method outlined below can be used to estimate the power absorbed by the driven machine.

P = η·√3·V·I·cosφ

where
P is absorbed power in watts
η is motor efficiency
V is applied voltage
I is absorbed current in amps
cosφ is the power factor

The applied voltage is usually known or can easily be measured, the current we have, our problems are the efficiency and the power factor. Electric motor catalogs usually state the efficiency and power factor at full load and at various part loads(for example at no load, 25%, 50%, and 75%).
Curves can be fitted to these points (as shown), but our problem is that we don't know the absorbed power and in fact that is precisely what we want to calculate: an iterative solution is required; ie.

guess the absorbed power

calculate efficiency and power factor from fitted curves

calculate power from

P = η·√3·V·I·cosφ

use this as new estimate of power to recalculate efficiency and power factor