Like all industries we have plenty of specialty terms, we try and keep it simple but here we explain some of the concepts we discuss. This is important to work out what power we can offset through a well designed and installed solar system.
- Amps are defined as how many electrons flow past a defined point per second. This is equal to one Coulomb of charge per second.
- Volts is a measure of how much force those electron are under, or “potential”.
- Watts (Power) is volts times amps. A few electrons(amps) under a lot of potential (volts) can supply a lot of power, or a lot of electrons (amps) at a low potential (volts) can supply the same power.
Think of the difference between a sprinkler and a water blaster. In a sprinkler a litre a minute (think amps) will dribble out if it is under low pressure (think low voltage). By restricting the end of the hose like a water blaster the pressure build ups and the water has more power (like watts), even though it is still only a litre a minute in turns into an effective cleaning tool. In the same manner as the voltage is increased a small amount of amps (current) can turn into a lot of watts.
This is also why increasing the volts does not necessarily increase the available power. Power is amps times volts, so if you double the volts you halve the amps unless something in your circuit actually creates power, such as a battery, solar panel or wind turbine.
Does this clarify it? Let us know if you would like more terms explained.
Converting Watts to Amps
The conversion of Watts to Amps at fixed voltage is governed by the equation Amps = Watts/Volts
e.g 12 watts/12 volts = 1 amp
Converting Amps to Watts
The conversion of Amps to Watts at fixed voltage is governed by the equation Watts = Amps x Volts
e.g 1 amp * 110 volts = 110 watts
Converting Watts to Volts
The conversion of Watts to Volts at fixed amperage is governed by the equation Volts = Watts/Amps
e.g 100 watts/10 amps = 10 volts
Converting Volts to Watts
The conversion of Volts to Watts at fixed amperage is governed by the equation Watts = Amps x Volts
e.g 1.5 amps * 12 volts = 18 watts
Converting Volts to Amps at fixed wattage
The conversion of Volts to Amps if the wattage is known is governed by the equations Amps = Watts/Volts
e.g 120 watts/110 volts = 1.09 amps
Converting Amps to Volts at fixed wattage
The conversion of Amps to Volts if the wattage is know is governed by the equation Volts = Watts/Amps
e.g 48 watts / 12 Amps = 4 Volts
Converting Volts to Amps at a fixed resistance
If you know the volts and the load of the resistance the amps are found by Ohm’s law: Amps = Volts / Resistance
Converting Amps to Volts at fixed resistance
If you know the amps and the resistance Ohm’s law becomes Volts = Amps * Resistance
More on ohms law later