No one beats the wonderful sensation of filling your home with cold air, especially during the warmer months!

However that cool air comes at a cost, and operating your air conditioner can leave your pockets empty most of the time.

boiler room operative

As a result, an increasing number of owners are questioning whether they can use solar panels to run their air conditioning unit and how many panels they’ll need in a solar panel system to do that.

To figure out how many solar panels you’ll need to run an average air-con system, you’ll need to consider several criteria. Knowing the answers to the questions below will lead you to know what kind of solar panel system you’ll need to run your solar-powered AC unit.

This knowledge will aid you in the installation of efficient power and a solar air conditioning system – so we’ve done the research for you!

The following are some of them:

  • Is it possible to run a portable AC unit on solar power?
  • How many solar panels are required for an AC?
  • What is the wattage of a portable AC unit?
  • How many solar panels are required to run air conditioning units?

We’ll wrap up this content for your convenience!

Is it possible to run an air conditioner on solar power?

Yes, solar power can be used to power air conditioning systems!

An inverter, a battery bank, and solar panels are required for a basic solar system. After connecting those components, you can use solar panels for running air conditioning instead of using electricity from the grid.

How much power does an air conditioner use?

Depending on their function and activity, portable air conditioners may use a variable wattage. Central air conditioners, central A/C fans with disabled compressors, the largest window units, medium window units, the smallest and most modal window, and door units are perhaps the most prevalent types of AC units, based on their capacity.

A central air-con requires about 3500-watts. The solar panels should be able to supply enough power to run your central AC units. A central cooling system is appropriate for small and medium-sized organizations. The compressor-off power of the central air conditioner fan necessitates 750 watts of electricity, so you should set up a similar solar energy-producing system. It uses less energy than other types of solar air conditioners.

The largest window unit requires 1440 watts and so more than one solar panel would be required in your solar array to match this power consumption. These systems can collect a lot of air, allowing for quick cooling and coverage of a large area.

The cooling system of a medium window unit consumes around 900 watts of energy. It is appropriate for a medium-sized living room and bedroom. When using certain types of AC units, you can utilize additional batteries as a backup. These will store the energy from your solar system and make it available when the panels are not producing much such as in cloudy weather when direct sunlight is reduced.

The smallest window units consume 500 watts of electricity. Because of its lower cooling capacity, it uses less power, so fewer solar panels are required for the setup.

Remember that your air-con requires more power throughout the hotter seasons. Wattage is determined by a variety of factors, and the overall energy usage will be calculated depending on the running time per hour or day.

What is the wattage of an air conditioner?

A 3.5 kW air conditioner is installed in a standard 2,000-square-foot home. While in cooling mode, this AC unit consumes around 3,500 watts per hour. In the fan-only mode, a central air conditioner consumes around 750 watts per hour.

To find out how many Watts, just multiply the number of Amps by the number of Volts to get the power (for example, 10A x 120V = 1,200W).

Calculate the total energy consumption using BTU (British Thermal Units) and EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings. You can calculate the power by dividing the BTU by the EER rating (for example, 5,000 BTU/10 EER = 500W).

How many solar panels are required to run an air conditioner?

There are a number of factors that go into determining the precise number of solar panels needed to run a typical home air conditioner.

  • As discussed above, you’ll need to know the energy consumption of your air system and roughly how long you will use this for on average per day.
  • Solar location will effect the amount of sunlight hitting your solar system in daylight hours, so this can also make a difference.
  • The energy efficiency of the panels in your solar system in converting sunlight into electricity is also relevant – if they are less efficient you’ll need more panels.
A man checking the condition of the solar panel

How many batteries you have stored energy for your air conditioning system will determine how long the system will run for when the sun goes down, or if you live off-grid.

So, there are many individual general factors that might sway these numbers in either direction!

How many solar panels do I need for a one-ton air conditioner?

To comprehend the situation, you must first determine the wattage required by a 1-ton air conditioner. The capacity of a 1-ton air conditioner is 3517 watts, so to run this air conditioner, you’ll need about 3500-watts.

To get an accurate estimate, multiply the number of solar panels by the number of watts used. So you need 14 solar panels with a capacity of 250 watts if you want to run a 1-ton air conditioner.

This might sound like a lot, but remember when you power a one-ton air conditioner from the grid, the expense is enormous! This system will use a lot of energy over the course of a month. Solar air conditioning systems will allow you to operate a one-ton machine without breaking the bank!

Remember that the number of solar panels needed and their cost are always determined by the capacity, amount of sunshine, and location of the panels. Depending on the weather, you could need more solar panels to get the watts of solar electricity you require to match the power consumption of your AC.

The total number of solar panels can be differentiated by the system and function of the air conditioner. If you have a central air conditioner with the largest window unit, it will use a lot of electricity so to turn it on, you’ll need extra panels.

Other considerations and concerns

The efficacy of the collected solar panel energy that will be turned into electricity might also be affected by the position where the solar panels are installed.

If the solar panels were positioned on a roof space or wall that faces south, there is a great possibility for optimal solar energy conversion, requiring fewer solar panels than if they were placed on a rooftop or wall that faces other directions.

Man using a gadget

As with some other solar farms that are built on wide-open grasslands, you can also build domestic solar systems on the ground. This should mean the solar panels will be simpler and easier to operate, and the angles will be easier to modify for optimum seasons every year as the sun passes across the sky.

Do window air conditioner units consume more energy than transportable units?

Since it is more difficult for it to exchange heat, a compact portable unit the same size as a window AC will probably use more energy.

A portable air conditioner requires duct piping to vent hot air outdoors, which ironically can warm the air you’re trying to cool!

The benefits of having a solar-powered air conditioner

You can generate a lot of electricity when it’s the hottest and the sun is shining brightest! This allows you to run the air conditioner at its maximum capacity to keep your home cool during the hottest part of the day. Even with the air conditioner on high, if you sized it right your solar panels produce enough electricity to charge the batteries and keep the aircon going!

Wrap up

Overall, installing solar panels to run your cooling system is a good way to save money over the long term.

While the initial investment may look substantial, with careful planning you can develop a strong solar energy strategy that will allow you to spend the least amount of money on running your everyday home appliances including your air-con unit.

And don’t forget the huge environmental benefits of using a solar unit to power your energy-hungry AC!