General Solar Information and Facts

The simple answer: A kilowatt (kW) is a measure of 1,000 watts of electrical power.

What’s the difference between kWh and kW?

Simply put, a kilowatt is the measurement of power while a kilowatt hour (kWh) is the length of time something can use a kW. One kilowatt hour is equal to one thousand watts sustained for one hour.

While that still sounds technical, let’s use a real example. If you take a 60-watt light bulb, it tells us that it sustains 60 watts of energy as it is used. That means the light bulb is about .06% of 1000 watts, which translates to .06kWh.

Solar panels are the most important part of any photovoltaic (PV) solar system. Here's a step-by-step guide to what they're used for:

  1. The sun constantly releases tiny packets of energy called photons. The PV solar panels capture just tiny fraction of those photons to convert into electricity.

  2. Solar panels are typically arranged on a roof or in a backyard – anywhere with uninterrupted sunlight. The more sunlight a panel can get the more power it can produce.

Solar storage, or energy storage, plays an important role in the future of the solar industry and how people use and consume energy. When a homeowner chooses to go solar and install solar panels, they have an option to add solar batteries as well. By having a solar + storage system, homeowners can choose how they use the energy that their solar system generates – whether storing to use during the evening, to mitigate peak-energy charges (time-of-use pricing) from their utility, or in case of a power outage.

When it comes to solar energy pros and cons, we've heard it all: It's for hippies, it's too expensive or it doesn't work. Yet more solar energy systems are being installed on homes and businesses than ever. We explain some FAQs about the pros and cons of solar energy.