Starting with Solar

  • A little homework is required.
    Solar electric panels (PV) and wind generators create electricity. If we are to help you size a system for your home, we need to know how much electricity (kilowatt-hours or kwh) you use each month. If you are currently buying electricity from a utility company that information is avaliable on your electric bill. If you are looking into a system for your RV or cabin where there are no electric bills to refer to. Then please go through the process of filling out the load calculator visit http://www.usbattery.com/energy_chart.htm. Filling out this chart requires you to supply two pieces of information - how many watts each appliance that you want to run uses and how many hours it operates in a day. Once we know how much electricity you use, we can offer system sizing recommendations. Without knowing that kwh number, we will not be able to provide recommendations with any accuracy.

    Yes, the math for figuring all this stuff out can be somewhat confusing since it involves numbers that most people never really think about. The important numbers that can be read off the appliances are listed as volts, amps or watts. Everything in the US runs of 120 or 240 volts. Electric dryers and large power tools often use 240 VAC, but most everything uses 120 volts. You may see the voltage written as 110 or 117 volts also; it's the same difference just a different way of rounding to number off.

    Volts x Amps = Watts.

    All appliances are required to list one of these three units. If the appliance only lists amps then you are ok because you know you can multiply that 120 volts to get the watts. A kilowatt is 1000 watts and the amount of time you use a specific appliance is the number of hours.

    For example if you run a computer that uses 150 watts for one hour, you have used 150-watt hours. After you run that computer for 1000 hours you have used 150,000-watt hours or 150 kilowatt (KWH). We will also want information about your peak load or peak power consumption which is also listed on your electric bill or can be found by adding up the wattages of every single load. 

Solar Panel Installs