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. Suppose you are looking for a portable solar heater or a heater powered by solar. You can have a look at our article about the best solar-powered heater.

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Solar power may be a great option if you are worried about running a heater. 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 need for 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.

ThePhoenixsun Video Series
ThePhoenixsun Video Series

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

Calculate Energy Needed And Its Cost

If 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 use an electric heater that uses 1500 watts per hour operating. Since 1,000 watts equals 1 kilowatt, that means the heater uses 1.5 kilowatts of power.

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

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

  • 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.

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

How many solar panels do you need to operate a 1500 watt heater?

To run a 1500-watt heater, you need 15×100 watts or 5×300 watts solar panels. With 500 watt solar panels, you only need 3 panels in total. We highly recommend that you go with 3×500 watt solar panels because they will not require much space and installation effort compared to small solar panels.

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 to provide uncut power during the day.

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 solar power production.

Also, the size of a solar panel affects the power generation in a solar system. The outer part of a solar system collects heat from the sun and supplies it 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 solar panel size 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 Wh that can power 5×60 watt bulbs.

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel for Explorer 240/300/500/1000/1500 Power Station, Foldable US Solar Cell Solar Charger with USB Outputs for Phones (Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)
  • EASY SETUP & KICKSTAND INCLUDED: The Solar Saga 100 features 2 kickstands that can be placed firmly on any surface ground. With just a few seconds of setup, you can start soaking energy from the sun for your Jackery power station. The TPE rubber handle allows you to carry around easily when taking off-grid adventures.
  • HIGHER ENERGY CONVERSION RATE: Covered by monocrystalline silicon solar cells, the solar panel adopts multi-layered cell technology to generate energy from the sunlight and perform better with higher conversion efficiency that up to 23% than other conventional panels.
  • DURABLE & SPLASH-PROOF: The ETFE-laminated case is durable enough to extend the lifespan of the solar panel. It is IP65 water-resistant that will protect from water splashing (Do not place it under the rain, or to soak in water). The zippers on the pocket can hold the power cords, and cover the power port.

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

At 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 will be 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 panels.

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Portable Solar Panel for Explorer 240/300/500/1000/1500 Power Station, Foldable US Solar Cell Solar Charger with USB Outputs for Phones (Can't Charge Explorer 440/ PowerPro)
  • EASY SETUP & KICKSTAND INCLUDED: The Solar Saga 100 features 2 kickstands that can be placed firmly on any surface ground. With just a few seconds of setup, you can start soaking energy from the sun for your Jackery power station. The TPE rubber handle allows you to carry around easily when taking off-grid adventures.
  • HIGHER ENERGY CONVERSION RATE: Covered by monocrystalline silicon solar cells, the solar panel adopts multi-layered cell technology to generate energy from the sunlight and perform better with higher conversion efficiency that up to 23% than other conventional panels.
  • DURABLE & SPLASH-PROOF: The ETFE-laminated case is durable enough to extend the lifespan of the solar panel. It is IP65 water-resistant that will protect from water splashing (Do not place it under the rain, or to soak in water). The zippers on the pocket can hold the power cords, and cover the power port.

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 it 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, you have to establish a powerful energy source.

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 solar energy production 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. It will be really affordable if you can run several heaters on one solar power source. 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 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 do you need to run a 1500-watt heater?

To run your 1500-watt heater for 10 hours, you need 15KWh of energy. To generate 15KWh, you will need at least eight 1000W batteries, or you can buy four 12v 100Ah batteries to run a 1500-watt heater for 10 hours.

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

Sale
Renogy 12V 100Ah LiFePO4 Deep Cycle Lithium Battery, over 4000 Cycles, Built-in BMS, Backup Power for RV, Marine, Off-Grid System, Maintenance-Free
  • 【Uncompromising Quality】State-of-the-art battery cells ensure a lifespan of more than 4000 cycles, 100A continuous discharge current, and a wide range of operation temperature, Protection Rate: IP54, Insulation Resistance: 500V DC
  • 【Reliable BMS System】The state-of-the-art battery management system (BMS) with high-performance dual-processors provides short circuit, over charging and over-temperature protection while maintaining a balanced voltage across all cells.
  • 【Activation switch】The battery with an activation switch will allow you manually get into the shelf mode, the battery will have a very low self-discharge rate in the mode and can hold the charge for a longer period. To better protect your battery when not in use.

It’s a solid lithium battery that would make a great RV house battery or 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 as a power storage solution.

If you already have a solar system with batteries or capacitors, you don’t need 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 it requires. Let’s enjoy the warm living space with solar power heaters.

3 thoughts on “How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Run a Heater?”

  1. Whether you want a large or small array, all your solar panels will be connected with the use of wires. These wires will transmit electricity from the photovoltaic cells to your inverter. Therefore, when you have many panels, you have more cells which simply means more power to produce.

    Reply
  2. My greenhouse is 9.5 x 19.5 I live in Beaver Utah, average night temperature during winter, 12-32. My greenhouse has full sun exposure. Looking for solar panels, batteries and anything else that would be necessary to grow during cold months. What do recommend. Thank you.

    Reply
  3. I live in Price Utah and I have solar it is not cost effective to try and heat the whole green house. So I have small 200 watt heaters that I sit on the bottom shelf my plants/seed starts are on the upper shelf’s i incased My shelf unit in bubble wrap the front has a removable piece for during the day. This keeps my starts between 50 and 60 degrees if I need it warmer I add one more small Heater and it will stay about 70 to 75 degrees. During the night. I have 3 100 watt panels and 3 100 watt batteries I am going to add 3 more panels and batteries eventually. But this has been working for me. Hope it helps

    Reply

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