Energy Guide

Some interesting facts related to solar energy are:

  • One kilowatt equals 1,000 watts.
  • One kilowatt-hour (kWh) equals the amount of electricity needed to burn a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours.
  • A sunny location (like Los Angeles, California, US) receives an average of 5.5 hours of sunlight per day each year.
  • A cloudy location (like Hamburg, Germany) receives 2.5 hours per day of sunlight each year.
  • A 1 kilowatt peak solar system generates around 1,600 kilowatt hours per year in a sunny climate and about 750 kilowatt hours per year in a cloudy climate.
  • A solar energy system can provide electricity 24 hours a day when the solar electric modules are combined with batteries in one integrated energy system.
  • Solar modules produce electricity even on cloudy days, usually around 10-20% of the amount produced on sunny days.
  • The typical components of a solar home system include the solar module, an inverter, a battery, a charge controller (sometimes known as a regulator), wiring, and support structure.
  • A typical silicon cell solar module will have a life in excess of 20 years
  • Monthly average residential electricity bill in the US in 2008 was $103.67. (Source: US DOE)

                                          

 

Common Electric Usage Data

We compiled this list to help determine our own use and added other common appliances.

The amounts listed were determined either by reading the label on the appliance, measured

listed by the manufacturer on their web site.

 

Here are some examples of the range of nameplate wattages for various household appliances:

  • Aquarium = 50–1210 Watts
  • Clock radio = 10
  • Coffee maker = 900–1200
  • Clothes washer = 350–500
  • Clothes dryer = 1800–5000
  • Dishwasher = 1200–2400 (using the drying feature greatly increases energy consumption)
  • Dehumidifier = 785
  • Electric blanket (Single/Double) = 60 / 100
  • Fans
    • Ceiling = 65–175
    • Window = 55–250
    • Furnace = 750
    • Whole house = 240–750
  • Hair dryer = 1200–1875
  • Heater (portable) = 750–1500
  • Clothes iron = 1000–1800
  • Microwave oven = 750–1100
  • Personal computer
    CPU - awake / asleep = 120 / 30 or less
    Monitor - awake / asleep = 150 / 30 or less
    Laptop = 50
  • Radio (stereo) = 70–400
  • Refrigerator (frost-free, 16 cubic feet) = 725
  • Televisions (color)
    • 19" = 65–110
    • 27" = 113
    • 36" = 133
    • 53" - 61" Projection = 170
    • Flat screen = 120
  • Toaster = 800–1400

    Toaster oven = 1225

    VCR/DVD = 17–21 / 20–25

    Vacuum cleaner = 1000–1440

    Water heater (40 gallon) = 4500–5500

    Water pump (deep well) = 250–1100

    Water bed (with heater, no cover) = 120–380

    Air Conditioner

  • Room = 1200
  • Central 3000-5000