Having to convert and calculate specific solar measures can be difficult. Thankfully, this isn’t true of converting kilowatts (kW) to kilowatt hours (kWh). Solar beginners often encounter difficulties with these calculations and aren’t provided with the correct guidance to make these calculations easier.
The truth is that many of these solar calculations and conversions are overcomplicated with unnecessary solar jargon and intricate equations. The internet is littered with impressive and powerful online solar calculators which include, kWh per square foot calculators, kWh cost calculators, and standard kilowatt usage calculators.
To make things simple, we want to take you through a basic kW to kWh calculator, why you need it, and exactly what each of those terms in the equation represents. Our solution uses a straightforward formula that can be used to quickly translate these two measurements, free of any overly intricate math.
The Difference Between kW and kWh
Because the terms kilowatt-hour (kWh) and kilowatt (kW) sound similar, they’re often confused which can make understanding what each represents difficult. In truth, these two variables are inextricably linked. What happens to one of the values will affect the other.
The key distinction between the two is that kWh measures total electricity usage over time, while kW measures the rate of electricity usage.
Although the terms power and energy are frequently misused interchangeably, technically speaking, a kWh is a measurement of energy, whereas a kW is a measurement of power.
Why Is kWh Important?
To put it in perspective, a kilowatt is equivalent to 1,000 watts. It measures how much power electrical equipment uses or produces.
On the other hand, a kilowatt-hour measures the energy consumption of an electrical device every hour. This is particularly important for working out energy costs for the month or even the entire year.
If you use a kettle that uses 2,000 watts of energy for five minutes, you need to calculate that as a fraction of an hour.
In this case:
kWh = 2 x (5/60)
kWh = 0.17 kWh
Let’s say you have a daily household kilowatt-hour usage of 5 kWh. You can use this number to determine how much money you spend on electricity by using your local utility rates.
All you have to do is first multiply your average kilowatt-hour usage by 30 days to get your monthly consumption—in this case, the result is 150 kWh per month. Next, take your local electricity rate per kWh and multiply it by your monthly usage.
For this example, we can use the national average rate of $0.16 per kWh. Take your 150 kWh and multiply it by the $0.16 and you have a monthly rate of $24. Realistically, your household usage is likely to be higher than this, but the same rules apply.
kW and kWh Calculator - How to Convert
Instead of scouring the internet in search of an online kW to kWh converter that isn’t accurate and doesn’t show you the steps, you can use our formula that only involves two key electrical metrics.
Often your solar panel guide displays the following formula in a complicated way, but it’s much simpler than what these manuals portray.
The one in solar manuals will read as follows:
E(kWh) = P(kW) X T(hrs)
These letters (E for energy, P for power, and T for time) along with their subscripts (kWh, kW, and hrs) tend to confuse new solar owners which means you might end up making careless mistakes.
To make this formula easier to read, all you have to do is drop the letters and let the subscripts take the subject of the formula.
kWh = kW X Hrs
This is the only formula you need to convert kW to kWh, which is more accurate than relying on an online converter.
kW and kWh Calculator - Conversion Example
To demonstrate how simple this formula is to use, here’s a common example that many solar panel owners often face. First, we’re going to calculate the kWh from kW.
Let’s say we have a solar panel system that has an output of 20 kW running for 5 hours a day. To convert it to kWh, all we need to do is substitute the given values into our simple formula.
kWh = 20 kW X 5 hrs
This will give us a total kWh consumption of 100 kWh.
You can then use this number and work out your monthly output that we worked out previously. This allows us to work out the monthly output of our solar system to see how much energy is given off by the panel system.
Additionally, with our simple equation, you can convert kWh to kW you are given the kWh and the amount of time a specific device is used for.
As an example, we have a solar system with a kWh reading of 80 kWh and a running time of 4 hours. All you would need to do is substitute your known values into the formula and rearrange it so that kW becomes the primary variable.
The new formula reads as follows:
kW = kWh/hrs
We simply have to substitute the 80 kWh and divide it by the hours to get the kW reading. For this example, we get a final kW reading of 20 kW.
And that’s how easy it is to convert between kW and kWh using our simple formula.
kW and kWh Calculator - Conclusion
Electrical conversions and calculations, especially in the solar panel space, often aren’t as complicated as electrical manuals make them out to be. Once you understand the variables going into the equation, these calculations are surprisingly simple.
If you’re still in the dark and need further solar assistance, visit ShopSolar.com. We can provide you with any additional help from selecting a solar panel converter to the installation.
We’re sure you now have a solid understanding of solar conversions and know how to convert kW and kWh quickly and easily. You now have the experience to broaden your understanding and learn how to convert amps to kWh.
With the increase in global carbon emissions and the threat these harmful gases have on the environment, it’s time to make the wise decision and switch to solar energy.
You can also make use of our solar load calculator to determine your needs.
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