ThePhoenixSun is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Run a Heater?

Electric heaters can consume ample electricity and increase the bill significantly. The consumer wants to decrease electricity costs and looking for an alternative option, especially solar energy. The question is – how many solar panels does it take to run a heater?

Hello there! This article is for the one who wants to power their existing heater on solar. If you are looking for a solar portable heater or a heater powered by solar. You can have a look at our article about the best solar powered heater.

Check it now

If you are worried about running a heater, then solar power may be a great option. You can run heaters with solar panels and reduce expenditure.

This writing will estimate the number of solar panels and answer some basic questions related to this field. It will explain the needs of electricity to run a heater on average.

How much power does a solar panel produce a day? How many solar panels does it take to run a heater? Can I run many heaters on one solar power source? We will explore all of that in this post.

The Electricity Needs to Run a Heater on Average

The Electricity Needs to Run a Heater on Average
The Electricity Needs to Run a Heater on Average

You are trying to make the living space warmer in the chilly temperature, then an electric heater can make all the difference. But what about the costs? The question is- How much electricity does a heater use on average? Let’s explore.

Suppose you are using an electric heater that uses 1500 watts. Since 1,000 watts equals 1 kilowatt, that means the heater uses 1.5 kilowatts of power.

Generally, the electricity bill is measured in kilowatt per hours that means the energy used during an hour to run a 1-kilowatt device.

You can use a formula to estimate the electric cost used by a heater. For example, you have spent 10 hours in your living room and run the heater for 10 hours.

So, your 1500 watts heater consumes, 1500 x 10 = 15000 watts.

Now, divide the total amount by 1000, 15000/1000 = 15 kilowatts.

Next, multiply this number by the rate of your utility charges for electricity.

That means, to run a 1500-watt heater, you need about 15 solar panels 100-watt type or 5 solar panels 300-watt type.

Want more? For example, the company charges $0.30 per kilowatt for electricity, so the cost is 15 x $0.30 = $4.5 for 10 warmer hours.

Do you want to power your pool heater with solar panels? Learn solar pool heater cost now!

How Much Power Does a Solar Panel Produce a Day?

How Much Power Does a Solar Panel Produce a Day?
How Much Power Does a Solar Panel Produce a Day?

The production of the power of a solar panel depends on three significant factors. These are the amount of sunlight, the size of the panel, and the efficiency of the solar cells.

However, the amount of sunlight is very significant in the case of solar energy. The sun is the only source of solar energy. The panels need heat from the sun during the day to provide uncut power.

So, the production limit is dependent on sunlight. A panel only can function when it gets heat from the sun. A panel on a sunny day will produce more power than a rainy or cloudy day. The factor is strongly related to the power and production of a solar panel. The sunlight is the obligatory source of energy in the production of solar power.

Also, the size of a solar panel is involved in the production of power in a solar system.  It is the outer part of a solar system that collects heat from the sun and supplies to the battery through a converter.

The size of a panel is one of the significant parts of the system. A solar panel is a combination of 60 silicon photovoltaic cells. Most of the solar panels come with 6 columns that contain 10 cells.

The average size of a solar panel is 65 inches in height and 39 inches wide.

According to the American Physics Society and National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an average size solar panel can produce up to 320 watts that can power 5+ 60 watt bulbs.

The production power of a solar system also depends on the efficiency of the panel. The efficiency of a panel is related to the available amount of energy that a panel can get to the sun.

In the primary level of the invention, a panel can only catch 6% of the energy from the sun to produce electricity. In 2020, solar panels are more efficient and capable of catching up to 25% of the energy from the sun.

You can get the power rating of a solar panel by combining the efficiency of the cells with the size of the solar panel.

Solar Power You Need

How Many Solar Panels Does it Take To Run a Heater?

How Many Solar Panels Does it Take To Run a Heater?
How Many Solar Panels Does it Take To Run a Heater?

It depends on your heater size and energy consumption rate. Similarly, several types of solar panels are available in the market with different capacities.

The heaters need a power supply suit to its capacity and running time. You have to consider the watt and operating time to estimate the number of panels.

Generally, a 1500-watt heater needs three 500-watt solar panels to run. If you are using a 500-watt heater, you can use two 300-watt solar panels to power it.

Not satisfied with this article? You might be looking for a solar-powered space heaters solution. We had a super detailed article to guide you on how to run a space heater on solar.

Solar powered space heater

You can calculate the number of solar panels by considering the watts and usage of the heater can calculate the number of panels.

Heater WattageSolar Panels Needed
100 wattA single 100-watt solar panel
200 watt2 panels
500 watt5 panels
1000 watt10 panels
1200 watt12 panels
1500 watt15 panels
2000 watt20 panels
4000 watt40 panels
5000 watt50 panels
Number of solar panels needed for a heater

You can reduce the number of panels by selecting high power solar panel.

The above calculation is a sample measurement. The number of solar panels can be increased or decreased with the power requirement of the heaters.

Besides, power production relies on the technology of the panels. If you use the latest technology and systems, then a few panels are perfect for the heater. Try to understand the technology and calculate power production.

Can I Run Many Heaters on One Solar Power Source?

Can I Run Many Heaters on One Solar Power Source?
Can I Run Many Heaters on One Solar Power Source?

Yes, you can run several heaters on one solar power source. It is affordable and hassle-free.

Solar power source produces energy from the sun and converts into electricity. A solar system can be established with multiple panels to supply the desired electricity for multiple heaters or other appliances.

However, the system collects energy from the panels. If you need more energy then, you have to establish a powerful source of energy.

On the other hand, multiple heaters need ample solar power to provide uninterrupted service. It can be a wise solution to reduce electricity costs while running multiple heaters in different rooms.

Even, the production of solar energy is related to sunlight, the efficiency of solar panels, and the size of the panels. You have to discuss with the service provider for better understanding and perfect results.

It is a lifetime solution, so try to bring the latest technology and equipment. The investment will come back with benefits. If you can run several heaters on one solar power source, then it will be really affordable.  The system will reduce electricity costs and provide a continuous power supply to make the room warmer.

Do you need a battery to run a heater on solar power?

Yes, you need batteries for any solar system, not just heaters. You can choose to run your heater without batteries, but we would recommend getting one at least. Having batteries will enable you to get a better experience without interrupting.

Solar powered heater on batteries: Simple diagram
Solar powered heater on batteries: Simple diagram

How many batteries you need to run a 1500-watt heater?

To power your 1500-watt heater for 10 hours, you need 15KWh of energy. To generate 15KWh, you will need two batteries with 8KWh capacity or one large-capacity battery. Having four 12v 100Ah batteries is a fit number for your needs.

One of the best batteries to run a heater is the Renogy Li 12V 100Ah Lithium battery.

It’s a solid lithium battery that would make a great RV house battery or in any off-grid solar setup.


Another alternative with a lower price for battery solution is Mighty Max Battery 12v 100Ah. It is not a lithium battery, so you will not get the highest value from a lithium battery. But the Mighty Max Battery will do a great job for a power storage solution.

If you already have a solar system with batteries or capacitors, you don’t need to have specific batteries just for a heater. But having this power battery as extra energy storage would be perfect for you.

Small note: As you can see in our diagram, you need a breaker box to convert the energy to 120V AC because the heater is an AC device, and it needs 120V input.

Wrapping Up

Finally, the solar system is a great solution to produce electric power for the heater and other appliances. According to your needs, you have to establish multiple or single solar panels to run a heater. Consider both the panel and heater and their watts.

Because the necessary energy will come from the solar panels, and the heater consumes the energy as it requires. Let’s enjoy the warm living space with solar power heaters.

Leave a Comment