Input and Output – Volts, Amps & Watts

You can’t get away from volts, amps and watts.

To repeat:

What is a volt? A volt is the pressure of electricity.

What is a watt? A watt is the amount of electricity. (Often used when referencing a consuming device.)

What is an Amp? An amp is the volume of electricity.


Volts, amps and watts are the tip of the iceberg of types of frequencies/measurements discussed in relationship to a solar energy electrical system. They are the values mentioned most often, however. Sometimes it’s necessary to turn one into another.  You don’t have to understand them to know how to make use of them.


How to Find Amps from Watts & Volts        

Watts divided by Volts = Amps   (Example: 12 watts divided by 12 volts = 1 amp)

How to Find Watts from Amps & Volts             

Amps x Volts = Watts    (Example: 1 amp x 110 volts = 110 watts)

How to Find Volts from Watts & Amps     

Watts divided by Amps = Volts (Example:  100 watts divided by 10 amps = 10 volts)

How to Find Watts from Volts & Amps                  

Amps x Volts = Watts (Example: 1.5 amps x 12 volts = 18 watts)

How to Find Amps from Volts & Watts                     

Watts divided by Volts = Amps (Example: 120 watts divided by 110 volts = 1.09 amps)

How to Find Volts from Amps & Watts                           

Watts divided by Amps = Volts (Example: 48 watts divided by 12 amps = 4 volts)

On a small system your battery will likely be a 12 volt battery (or 2, 6 volt batteries). The solar panels are advertised in watts but amps will usually be known/provided. A controller usually comes measured in  amps. Each component is related to the other. As I mentioned, you can’t get away from discussing volts, amps and watts (as much as you might want to).




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