kWh – Kilowatt Hour – A Unit of Electricity

Summary: kWh is the abbreviation for Kilo Watt Hours. A kWh is the basic unit of electricity used worldwide.

Have you heard of the term kWh before? No? You know what, this is a term that has been close to you and house for a very long time!

Watt is the fundamental unit of power. A watt-hour (Wh) is the amount of electrical energy a power system of 1 watt can generate in one hour.

One kilo-watt hour, equal to 1000 Wh, is the amount of electrical energy that a 1 kW system operating at peak capacity can generate in one hour.

A Unit of Electricity – kWh is used as the basic unit of electricity all over the world.

kWh is the basic unit of electricity is used all over the world. Thus, if you are consuming 1000 units of electricity every month, you are consuming 1000 kWh a month.

Next time, when you receive your electricity bill, spend a few minutes running through the details. You will most likely find this term kWh written out there!

In the context of solar power, in a location with a good amount of sunshine, a 1 kW solar panel can generate about 4 kWh of electricity per day, and about 1400-1500 kWh per year.

Questions from the curious cat

How can I estimate the approximate number of kWh that a solar power system can generate, on an average day?

The simple method to estimate solar power output per day in kWh is as follows

  • Check out the capacity rating of the solar power system (which could comprise multiple solar panels)
  • Let’s say the total capacity of the power system is 500 W (this could be 2 panels of 250 W each)
  • First, convert the capacity into kW if it is not provided in kW. In the example, the solar power system capacity in kW is 0.5 kW, as 1000 W makes a kW. In case the capacity is in MW, you will need to multiply the capacity by 1000 to get the capacity in kW.
  • Once you have the capacity rating in kW, you should check out the amount of sunlight in your region. If yours is a very sunny location, having good sunlight for over 300 days a year, you can say that 1 kW will produce 4-4.5 kWh of electricity a day. If yours is a somewhat but not very sunny location, you can take the multiplier as 3-3.5 kWh per kW. Locations that are very cold, gloomy and have little sun for most of the year could generate on average 2-2.5 kWh per day per kW. There are standard tables available that provide this estimate for most cities worldwide.
  • Thus, if your location is in a very sunny region and the capacity of the solar power system is 0.5 kW, your solar power system can generate 2-2.25 kWh per day.


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