Watt? Watt? How can we speak “the truth about solar panels” using only current in amps?
Is it because Watt is on second … not first?
The writer (Gary Hartman, Oct. 5) advises caution to his California friend who is looking into solar power, but with gentle errors of omission offers a cloudy overcast to the photoelectric effect! Let me be direct and yet offer an alternating truth (pun intended)!
The greatest component of being cautious is being informed. The power output of any solar panel is measured in watts produced per hour of operation. Power in watts equals voltage times amperage.
A 14-panel solar array is criticized as totaling only 17 amps’ current. Amps don’t add because the string is wired in series. Low amps allow smaller wires to cut costs but voltage totals! Want more amps? Just wire in parallel.
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I found it impossible to go into detail without repeating errors of omission. But that “California Dreamin” array should produce about 5,600 watts per hour.
I have a friend too. He wrote that his on-grid, 22-panel solar array in North Albany produces about 1 million watts (1 megawatt) of power every 30 days from May to October, and then it tails off during winter. But their monthly power bill is set at $10.43!
The truth is not simple. Panel efficiency, series circuit, parallel circuits, degradation string or micro inverters, on-grid, off-grid and so much more. But not worthy of heart pills containing nitroglycerine. Instead, do some Oregon dreamin’!