Solar Overload – A Unique Home Solar Demonstration

Joanna Schroeder

This is kind of fun. Have you wondered how much power you can really get from a home solar power system? You’re not alone. A new video, “Solar Overload” demonstrates just how much power can be produced from a home solar power system. HelioPower has created “Solar Overload, How Many Appliances Does It Take to Spin the Meter Forward?” and features a 4 kilowatt (kW) residential solar power system in Laguna Niguel, California trying to “overload” the solar system. Scott Gordon had the system installed in 2006 and today he is the vice president of residential sales for HelioPower.

More accurately, Gordon along with his colleague Bret Pursuit, demonstrate how many appliances it takes in Scott’s 2200 square foot home to incur a utility charge, or “spin the meter” forward – what happens to most of us folk not benefiting from solar energy.

“As a leading solar installation firm in California, HelioPower is committed to educating consumers on the benefits of solar,” said Gordon. “In ‘Solar Overload‘ I’m able to show just how many appliances it takes to activate a utility cost from my residential solar power system. Over the five years I’ve had the solar panel system my family has saved $10,000 in utility bills. We are able to demonstrate how that happens when you see the many appliances it takes to spin the meter forward.”

So how much did it take? At 2 pm on a sunny afternoon, he turned on two refrigerators, two DVRs, one laptop, a 21″ monitor, and one cell phone charger. Guess what? The meter was still spinning backwards. He also added 56 light bulbs, one attic fan and five ceiling fans set on high. Still not running the meter forward. Now take a guess and see what happens when he adds a microwave, electric clothes dryer, energy efficient washing machine, and a pool pump.

Electricity, Energy, Solar, Video