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What is a Kilowatt Hour

Grade Level Grades 9-12


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When measuring electrical energy one of the most common ways is by the kilowatt hour. Before being able to measure a kilowatt hour you have to know, what is a kilowatt hour? How do you measure a kilowatt hour? What is the difference in a kilowatt hour and a kilowatt? In this piece of writing it will explain and answer each question.

A Kilowatt Hour

A kilowatt hour is a way to measure electric energy. Specifically, it measures the amount of electric energy used within one hour. It is measured by kilowatt. Using a 1,000 watt piece of technology for one hour would equal to one kilowatt hour. To explain more what exactly a kilowatt hour is; it uses the metric term energy which is a power used over a period of time. When using Kilowatt hour as a measurement it is for small electrical needs. Such as the measurement of a residential house hold. You would also use kilowatt hour when changing a building to solar power because you would have to measure exactly the amount of power you would need.

How To Measure A Kilowatt Hour And Convert It Into Solar Energy

To measure kilowatt hour you would have to do one simple formula. It is kilowatt x hour = kilowatt hour. 1 kilowatt is 1,000 watts of power and one hour is 3,600 seconds. So to find the measurement of energy you would need to know the amount of watts that the electronic device takes up. Now if you are trying to convert your energy into solar energy you would need to use this formula. Solar Array System Size = Annual Energy Needs / Solar Panel Production Ratio. To be able to solve this formula you need to already know how much solar power your solar panels will produce and how much kilowatt hour your household uses a year.

The difference between Kilowatt and Kilowatt hour

Now even though it is in the name kilowatt and kilowatt hour are not the same thing. They are both units of measurement but the biggest difference is that kilowatt hour is a measurement of energy where as kilowatt is measure of power. Now power is not Energy it is the rate that energy is consumed or used. Another difference is a kilowatt is not a measurement over time it is a solid amount of energy that can be used in kilowatt hour. Kilowatt hour is power measured over a certain amount of time. For example if you were to measure the kilowatt of every object in your house your t.v could be 2,000 kilowatt of power but the kilowatt hour would be the kilowatt x the hour and it would be the consumption of energy over that hour.

Now when finding the kilowatt hour of a business or house the formula kilowatt x hour = kilowatt hour can be used on everything. You can even use it to find how much energy your phone charger consumes. Or you could even go as wide as a entire household. However if you want to find how much energy is consumed in a more large scale area you would use the term megawatt hour. A megawatt is equal to 1,000 kilowatts. 1 megawatt hour is equal to 1,000 kilowatt hours. It measure megawatt hour you would still use kilowatts but you can use kilowatt hour as well.

Kilowatt hour is the most common electrical energy measurement it is used more because typically more household use it to measure energy consumption to try to lower their monthly light bill. Which is why kilowatt hour has become so valuable today.  


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