In solar terminology, the term “load” refers to the power consumption of appliances that are being used in your home. Understanding your loads is critical to designing and maintaining a well-functioning solar power system, for both off-grid and grid-connected systems.
Understanding your energy load for an off-grid solar system is essential as it helps to determine what size solar energy system you will need, i.e. how many solar panels you need to produce the required amount of energy, what size inverter and battery storage you need and the ideal generator size.
For example, an off-grid solar system may power a small fridge, LED lights or both! The power being consumed by these appliances are the “loads”. The small fridge may consume 220W of power, while an LED light may consume 10W of power, resulting in a total continuous load of 230W, if using both simultaneously, which of course is very straightforward. Now – what if these devices are powered on for 24 hours a day? That would be a total of 5,520W or 5.52kWh per day.
We’ve included a handy appliance list from Power Shop to help you work out your energy loads.
In a grid-connected environment, understanding your loads is made easier with the help of your power bill. Your power bill provides a breakdown of the number of units (kWh) you have used during the billing period, which is typically 30 days.
Most electrical companies also provide an annual overview of your energy consumption. If not, a quick phone call to your electricity retailer will give you an annual breakdown, comparisons of summer and winter, or even a half-hourly interval report (helpful for homes using more than 60kWh per day or commercial properties).
Our Solar Designer and Solar Consultants will use this information to determine the appropriate solar system size and battery storage requirements for your home.
Check out how to read your energy consumption in the power bill example below.