The news is dominated these days with the emergence of crypto-currency. With the dollar and other forms of age-old physical currency losing both value and consumer confidence, the virtual crypto-currencies (such as bitcoin) have created both fever and allure as it is neither issued by nor subject to the potentially interfering and manipulating ways of a central government.
In the realm of electricity, Peak Power Solutions has helped provide an alternative path from the monopolistic structure of the traditional utility. No longer do the utilities solely own the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; other entrants have made their way and now occupy space within the generation slice of the pie. New generation options exist, in the shape of distributive generation (i.e. residential/commercial solar) as eluded to in previous Peak Power Solutions blogs. As we will explore today, the power industry also has its own form of currency: the kilo-watt/hour.
Whether assessing liquid pressure needed to drive a piston to move a determined load (measured by pounds per square foot) or determining the heat value of #2 oil versus propane (measured in British Thermal Units, or BTU’s), the kilo-watt hour captures both the effectiveness and energy needed to produce meaningful work from an electrically-driven device. I think it would behoove us to first define a kilo-watt/hour. Since kilo represent 1,000 and a watt is the widely accepted unit of power, a kilo-watt/hour is defined as the consumption of 1,000 watts over a period of one hour.
I always encourage our Peak Power Solutions representatives to put complex solar talk into every day concepts so that our customers can relate in real and sensible manner. To paint such a picture, take out the blender from your cupboard and flip it over. Most likely you will see a little white sticker or a metal nameplate that shows the electrical usage parameters of the appliance. Find both the voltage rating (likely 120 volts) and the amperage/amps. Let’s use 2.5 amps for our example. By simply multiplying the volts and amps, you would then have the watts. In our example, 250 watts would be required to run the blender for an hour. Therefore, if you ran the blender for 4 hours (250 x 4 = 1,000 watts), you would have consumed 1 KWh.
Peak Power Solutions university is in full effect; brace yourself for the central point. Let’s face it; you are more likely to burn up the motor in your blender than make smoothies for four hours straight. The point I’m illustrating here is the mathematics behind your electrical currency, the kilo-watt/hour. What is the most common way to increase the value and buying power of any currency over time? Investing into bonds, stocks, funds, and infrastructure. You’re probably not used to hearing the latter, but infrastructure, as related to your home’s ability to operate more cost effectively, has tremendous value when we are talking about the perpetual cost increases passed down by the utility. The key is redirecting your currency away from the global infrastructure and investing that same currency locally, specifically your home.
Just like reinvesting dividends or saving the residual earnings in an interest-earning account, the consistent unchanging cost per KWh generated throughout the life of your solar system produces more currency in your pocket. That is the breath that makes Peak Power Solutions truly solutions. We fervently desire that what we bring to the table has meaningful and tangible impact beyond your utility bill. It is always a pleasure to bring this content to you and bring some clarity to all the jargon that gets tossed around the solar industry. We look forward to serving your energy needs.