Estimating Your Solar Power Needs
If you are using solar power to run single items, from a water pump to remote lighting to a solar powered laptop computer, your needs will be easy to assess.
For a larger solar electricity system, here is a short guide to deciding your needs:
This is really the first step in determining your needs. If you are using excessive energy, it is in your best interest to learn all you can about efficiency. In planning a solar energy system of any size, some simple steps you can take are:
- Reduce your energy needs by shutting off lights and power when not in use.
- Use energy efficient appliances, tools, machines, etc. For example, fluorescent light bulbs use one quarter of the energy of regular light bulbs (and last longer).
- Use more fitting energy sources, where applicable. For example, heating your cottage with solar-powered electricity is impractical compared to a wood stove.
Solar Energy Calculation
We have a handy solar calculator for assessing your needs.
Take the time to find the wattage of each of the appliances, machines, tools, systems, etc. that you will be using. Find out of they require AC or DC, then plug the numbers into our solar calculator.
A watt meter is a handy tool that makes it easy to determine the watts being used by each electrical item in your home. The appliance is plugged into the meter and then the meter is plugged into the wall. Items such as TVs, computers and microwaves draw electricity even when they are turned off.
Factors Affected by Your Needs
Almost all aspects of your system are affected by your energy needs. A short guide to estimating your solar needs also includes: