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How many appliances does it take?

How many appliances does it take to use the power from a 4 kw solar system?

By ERIC WOLFF [email protected] | Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 5:12 pm

Solar power saves people money by making the meter “spin backward” during the day, when it’s generating more power than most people are using, or at least, more than they’re using during a work day when they’re not at home.

But exactly how much power are those panels generating, in terms of appliances we actually use? A solar installer in Murrieta, called HelioPower, decided to try an experiment to find out: They turned on lights and appliances in the Liguna Nigel home of their sales manager until they exactly balanced solar production with electricity consumption.

The video they made shows two employees flipping on and off different combinations of appliances, but if you’re a bottom-line person, the answer is 1 flat-panel TV, 2 DVRs, 5 ceiling fans, a pool pump, central air conditioning, and an energy efficient washing machine. Use all that stuff at once, and they used exactly as much power as the panels were generating that day.

August 10, 2011