Let's talk about some of the basics regarding energy and electricity.
Amp - Amp is the abbreviation of the word Ampere. This is a unit of electric current and is measured by how many electrons pass by a fixed point per second. To figure out Amps, use this equation: Watts/Volts = Amps
Amp Hours(Ah) - When you see this it is a measure of charge (or current flow over time). One ampere-hour (or amp-hour or Ah) is a current of one ampere flowing for one hour. The amount of charge transferred in that hour is 3,600 coulombs (ampere-seconds). What? Watt? Huh?(Thanks Google.) Basically this is telling you how long a battery can provide one amp of power per hour. If your battery is 20Ah this means it can expend 20 Amps of energy in 1 hour.
Watt(W)- the derived SI unit of power, equal to 1 joule per second; the power dissipated by a current of 1 ampere flowing across a potential difference of 1 volt. Google is just killing it today. Watts are basically a measurement of electrical flow.
Amps x Volts = Watts
Watt Hours(Wh) - This is the measurement of energy in a given electrical system. If your appliance is rated for 50W, it will require 50 Watts of energy(power) per hour and 100 Watts of power for 2 hours. Not that complicated, right?
Amps x Volts x Time = Watt Hours(Wh)
Volt(V)- One volt is defined as the electric potential between two points of a conducting wire when an electric current of one ampere dissipates one watt of power between those points. Yeah, no. Think of volts as the pressure from a power source that pushes the electricity between two points. If you connect an item rated for 12V to a 24V power source, you will essentially provide to much pressure and ruin your 12V item.
Watts/Amps = Volts
AC/DC - No not the totally awesome band.
AC - Alternating Current. This is a more efficient current than DC as the direction of the current flowing in a circuit is constantly being reversed back and forth allowing it to travel great distances with minimal power loss.
DC - Direct Current. Current(electricity) will flow in one direction, as a basic rule. This is not sustainable as power is lost over distance traveled. The power coming from your battery is DC, flowing in on direction from the battery to the appliance.
Equations to remember. Math? Nobody told me there was going to be math!
When trying to calculate your needs, here are a few simple equations to help you get the answers you need:
Amp Hours = Watts/Volts or W/V = Ah
Watt Hours = Amps x Volts x Time - or Ah x V x T = Wh
Volts = Watts/Amps or W/Ah = V
We hope this sheds a little light on the subject of energy and electricity. As always drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have and we will help you every step of the way as we are able. In the words of Brian Johnson(shout out to Bon Scott): For those about to rock, we salute you!