Kill-A-Watt

Here is a great device to use for measuring the wattage output of your solar panels back into your grid.  It is called the Kill-A-Watt from P3.  This device is usually used to help you determine what appliances in your house are using the most wattage, and to help you get control of your electricity waste in your home.  We have included the original description below so that you can see how useful this tool is – but here is how we use it for our solar panel grid-tie setup.

We use this device in line with our solar panels and our grid tie inverters to measure how many watts, and amps our solar panels are actually producing through our grid tie inverter, and how much energy we are putting back into our grid.  This device is great because it plugs into your outlet, and they you plug your grid tie inverter into it.  Once you switch on the inverter, the Kill-A-Watt, starts recording how many amps, and watts are being produced.  It will even show you how many Kw have been created and over how many hours so that you can really judge the effectiveness of your panels.  We think it is a great device and we have it hooked up to all of our solar panel arrays that are grid-tied.
HERE IS WHAT THE KILL-A-WATT is normally used for:
The Kill-A-Watt allows you to connect your appliances and assess how efficient they are. A large LCD display counts consumption by the Kilowatt-hour.  You can figure out your electrical expenses by the hour, day, week, month, even an entire year. Monitor the quality of your power by displaying Voltage, Line Frequency, and Power Factor.

  • Enables cost forecasting
  • Accurate to within 0.2%
  • Cumulative killowatt-hour monitor
  • Displays Volts, Amps, Watts, Hz, VA, KWH, Power Factor
  • Operating voltage: 115 VAC
  • Max current: 15 A
  • Max power: 1875 VA

You can find these online, ebay, or even radio shack.

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