How Many Solar Panels to Run Air Conditioner?

To know how many solar panels to run an air conditioner, you have to understand various criteria to catch the point. Your understanding will assist you in setting up an effective solar air conditioning system.

This writing will interpret some elementary questions related to this field. These are:

  • Can you run an air conditioner with solar power?
  • How many solar panels do you need for an air conditioner?
  • How many watts does an AC use?
  • How many solar panels for a 3600 watt AC?
  • How many solar panels do you need for a one-ton AC?
  • Table of the number of solar panels needed for different wattages of AC

Finally, we will present a table of content, including the number of solar panels needed for different air conditioners.

Can You Run an Air Conditioner With Solar Power?

You can run an air conditioner with solar power, but it will likely be more expensive than running a traditional air conditioner.

Solar power is most efficient when it’s used to generate electricity rather than heat or cool air. That means that using solar power to run an air conditioner will be less efficient than using solar power to generate electricity, which can then be used to run an air conditioner.

320 Watts Air Conditioner Runs on Two Solar Panels
320-watts Air Conditioner Runs on Two Solar Panels

That said, there are a few ways you can use solar power to run an air conditioner. One option is to purchase a solar-powered air conditioner kit. These units are designed to be more efficient than traditional air conditioners, and they can run on either AC or DC power.

Another option is to use solar panels to generate electricity and use that electricity to power your air conditioner. This option is the most expensive because you need more panels to run your AC, but it will also be the most efficient. Solar panels are most efficient when they’re used to generate electricity, so this option will be less expensive in the long run.

Finally, you can use a solar-powered generator to power your air conditioner. These generators are similar to the ones used to power homes during power outages, and they can be used to run an air conditioner for a few hours at a time. This is an expensive option because, yeah, generators are always expensive, but it’s a good backup if you live in an area with frequent power outages. With the generator, you can run your air conditioner for a few hours during the day and then use traditional power at night. You can also use the generator to power other appliances in your home, like a fridge or a TV.

I personally will recommend you purchase a solar-powered generator due to its advantages. I know that it will cost more than the other two options, but in the long run, you will have the ability to upgrade the system and run your entire house on the backup generator and do not need to worry about the grid.

How Many Solar Panels to Run Air Conditioner?

How Many Solar Panels To Run Air Conditioner
How Many Solar Panels to Run Air Conditioner?

A one-ton air conditioner requires 1200 watts of electricity per hour of operating. You will need 4 x 300-watts solar panels to run that AC.

If you live in an area that has less sun, you may need more solar panels. If you live in an area with more sun, you may be able to get away with fewer panels. In general, though, four panels should be enough to power a one-ton air conditioner.

Peak sun hour in the US (Image Credit: Solarcraft)

Different types of air conditioners use various amounts of wattage. Depending on the wattage of the AC, you will need a different number of solar panels to run an AC.

Types of ACTonWattageNumber of Solar Panels (300-watt)
Central Air Conditioner3-ton3500 Watts15 solar panels
Central A/C Fan Only – Compressor Off0.75-ton750 Watts 3 solar panels
Largest Window Units1.3-ton1440 Watts 6 solar panels
Medium Window Unit1-ton900 Watts4 solar panels 
Smallest Window Unit0.5500 Watts2 solar panels
Number of solar panels you need to run different types of AC
Run An AC Using Solar Power

How Many Solar Panels to Run 3 Ton Air Conditioner?

As we mentioned above, a 3-ton air conditioner (central AC unit) will need 15 x 300-watts solar panels for one hour of operating.

How Many Solar Panels for a 3600 Watt AC?

In the US, 3600 watts AC unit is a common usage of a central air conditioner. A collection of 15 x 300-watts solar panels is enough to run that AC.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need for a One-ton AC?

One ton of cooling AC requires about 1200 watts. This means you would need 4 x 300 watts solar panels to power a one ton air conditioner.

How Many Solar Panels To Run 1 HP Air Conditioner?

1 hp = 745.7 watts. Because 1 kW = 1,000 watts, 1 hp = 0.7457 kW. Source: https://sciencing.com/

One HP air conditioner uses roughly 750 watts of electricity per hour of operating, which means you will need 3 x 250 watts solar panels to run 1 HP AC.

Again I have to mention that in different areas, solar panels will generate more or less power based on the sun peak. So, check the map above and consider purchasing the right number of solar panels you need.

Read our full article about solar panels for air conditioners to understand the topic.

FAQs About Powering Air Conditioner on Solar Panels

Can a 100 watt solar panel run an air conditioner?

No, a 100 watt solar panel cannot run an air conditioner. Air conditioners require a lot of power to run, and 100 watts is not enough. You need at least 300 watts to run a low-watt air conditioner. However, you could use a 100 watt solar panel to offset some of the power consumption of an air conditioner. For example, if your air conditioner uses 800 watts, you could use a 100 watt solar panel to offset about 12.5% of that power usage.

Can I run a 1.5 ton AC on solar without batteries?

Yes, you can run a 1.5 ton AC on solar without batteries, but you will need to have a very large solar panel system to do so. Without batteries, your solar panel system will need to be able to produce enough power to run the AC unit continuously during daylight hours.

How many batteries does my AC need?

If you want to run a central AC, you’ll need at least four batteries. However, if you’re only running a window unit, you may be able to get away with just two. Ultimately, it depends on the specific model of AC unit and the amount of power it requires. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual for specific guidance on how many batteries your AC unit needs.

Wrapping Up

Finally, you know that you can run an air conditioner with solar power, and the number of solar panels depends on the wattage of the AC. On average, you will need 4 x 300-watts solar panels to run one-ton air conditioner.

Air conditioner is one of the home appliances which use a lot of power. It would be expensive to run an air conditioner directly with solar power. Instead, you should consider using a solar powered generator to store the electricity, then use it to power your air conditioner and other appliances in your home.

7 thoughts on “How Many Solar Panels to Run Air Conditioner?”

  1. Just getting started. Your’s was literally the first video resourced on the subject of solar PV and AC. Excellent tutorial with information and pictures I can readily understand. Looking forward to more!

    Reply

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