Which appliances can be used on solar power?

As technology gets better, appliances are using less electricity, yet there are still some appliances which should be avoided and other appliances which can be used on solar power. 

When you install solar panels, the main concerns are often saving cost and saving electricity by using solar energy instead of mainstream energy. 

Solar power is an environmentally friendly way of generating electricity for your home or business and can drastically reduce the cost of grid-based electricity. Having a backup battery means that the solar power will be available even on rainy spells. Solar batteries are used to store charge for the rainy days and are specialized battery systems to ensure supply to appliances during these times. Be careful not to put unnecessary appliances on when using the solar batteries, as this will use energy which could rather be directed to more needed areas. Choosing the battery needed depends on the appliances needed to run on battery power. When the inverter runs with high continuous loads, it is possible to exhaust smaller batteries, and a deep cycle battery is recommended.

To calculate the power consumption of appliances, you need to know what the energy usage of the appliance is as well as the energy units currently being used. 

In South Africa, the electrical energy supply is 220.230 volts AC 50 Hz. 

Look closer to the plug to find the amps and put the amounts into this simple formula.

Converting amps to watts

watts = amps*volts

Work out how many hours per day, the appliance is used to get a general understanding of how much energy is needed. 

When an appliance starts working, there is a start-up a load which needs to be included in working out how much electricity the appliance uses.  

To calculate approximate start-up load

Watts of appliances x 3 = Peak/surge Watts

Watts per hour gives you the energy needed for that appliance.

For a full energy audit, please contact us for more information.

Which appliances can be used on solar power but are big energy users:

This list is an estimate and can vary between items and personal needs.

  • Oven
  • Large hot plates
  • Geyser
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machines
  • Swimming pool pump
  • Pool heaters
  • Kettles
  • Electric frying pans
  • Toasters and grilling machines 
  • Irons
  • Express coffee machines
  • Hairdryers
  • Power tools
Lower energy-usage appliances:
  • LED lights
  • Energy-saving globes
  • Alarm systems
  • Charging cell phones/laptops
Tips to save electricity:
  • Save electricity by filling the kettle with only the amount of water needed to heat up
  • Use a solar geyser or a timer on the hot water taps to reduce hot water wastage
  • On taps which direct hot and cold water through a central tap into a sink/basin, turn the tap towards the cold water to reduce using the hot water from the geyser unnecessarily.
  • Use a flask to keep the hot water from a kettle warm in-between tea breaks
  • Start changing over to LED lighting, and switch lights off that are not necessary. 

How long can appliances run on an inverter

Deep cycle solar batteries are built to support power tools, or appliances used regularly as they have a higher reserve. It is vital to work out the energy usage which is needed, to ensure you have the energy when you need it!

For a reputable and experienced solar-energy installer in Pretoria, Centurion and Johannesburg, contact us for solar installations.