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What are Voltage, Amps, and Watts


Voltage is the difference in electric potential, or electric pressure between two points. In the case of solar, the difference in electric potential/pressure between the panel’s positive and negative terminals.

Electricity is the flow of free electrons between atoms.

In a circuit without voltage, the free electrons will move between atoms randomly. When voltage is applied, the electrons will all move in the same direction. This is called current.

For example, if we have a copper wire on its own electricity will not flow through it. Voltage, or electric potential difference is the factor that triggers the flow of electricity. 

On a battery, electrons flow from the negative end to the positive end.

Voltage is how strongly electricity is being pushed through a circuit. Circuits often only accept a certain number of volts.

The amount of voltage is indicated by volts. The symbol for volts is V.

Potential Energy

Potential energy is the stored energy when an object is at rest.

The electric potential energy of any charge describes how much stored energy it has.

A negative charge close to another negative charge has high potential energy. The charge will be repelled by the negative charge and will move toward the positive charge.


Amps are a unit of how much electrical charge is flowing past a given point in one second.

Amps are a measure of current.

The symbol for amps is A.


Amps x Volts = Watts. Watts are a unit of power. Watts measure the rate at which energy is transferred or used. Watts tell you how much work can be done in a given time.

For example, a 100-watt light bulb uses 100 watts of power, meaning it consumes 100 joules of energy every second.

1 watt = 1 joule per second.

The symbol for watts is W.

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