Kilo-what? Differentiating kilowatts and kilowatt-hours

Kilo-what? Differentiating kilowatts and kilowatt-hours

Each month our customer service staff answers common questions heard across the airwaves.

There is often confusion differentiating kilowatts and kilowatt-hours when it comes to measuring personal wind turbine production potential, efficiency and actual output. To understand these two terms you must first understand the difference between power and energy:

Power: The rate at which energy is consumed

Energy: The amount of power consumed over time

Power and energy are typically measured in watts or kilowatts and kilowatt-hours respectively. So to define our original terms:

Kilowatt (kW): A measure of power for an electrical current

Kilowatt-hour (kWh): A measure of the amount of energy corresponding to the work that can be done with a one kilowatt source of power operating for one hour

In essence, kilowatt defines the demand, and kilowatt-hour, the consumption, required by a machine.

How does this help me in purchasing a personal wind turbine?

Though all models provide a rated capacity output (kW), the measurement you should be most concerned with is the energy potential (kWh). This number is a measurement of the annual output of the turbine based on an average wind speed. It can vary based on site conditions and tower heights, but can give you an idea of the potential energy that can be produced.

Also, keep in mind that your home consumes energy, not power. Though renewable and traditional energy systems can have equal power ratings, the more efficient systems have a higher energy rating.

Your dealer can help you to evaluate the best turbine for your location and energy needs.

Have a question of your own about personal wind turbines? Let us know.

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