Solar Panels for Air Conditioners – The Solution For Your High Electricity Bill

Solar energy creates a non-stop power solution for home appliances due to the self-dependent production system and low cost.

Air conditioners keep your room cool, but their high energy consumption will get an excessive electricity bill every month.

Besides, solar energy only requires a one-time investment and runs for at least 25 years. It is eco-friendly and suitable for remote and rural areas. You can use an air conditioner even in a forest with solar power.

Running and choosing solar panels for air conditioners has become more popular.

Consumers ask for the capability and number of solar panels to establish a reliable energy source for air conditioners.

In this writing, we present the power needs of different solar types of air conditioners, energy production rate, and the number of solar panels to power your air conditioners.

Let’s get started.

ThePhoenixsun Video Series
ThePhoenixsun Video Series

Can You Run An Air Conditioner on Solar Energy?

Can You Run An Air Conditioner on Solar Energy?
Can You Run An Air Conditioner on Solar Energy?

The direct answer is yes; you can run any air conditioner on solar energy. The latest solar system and inverter allow you to power your air conditioners with solar panels. 

Running air conditioners with solar power is an excellent idea, and it will allow you to get continuous power even without electricity. Sunlight is a significant renewable energy source.

Running Air Conditioners On Solar Power

In order to run air conditioners on solar, you need some other suppliers to connect solar panels and your AC, such as inverters, charge controllers, batteries, and some small devices.

Install solar panels, connect inverters, and charge controllers with batteries. Finally, connect your air conditioners to the batteries.

Running Air Conditioners On Solar Power
Running Air Conditioners On Solar Power

Before purchasing your solar panels to run your air conditioners, you need to calculate the required electricity to run your AC. You can have the final number of solar panels to power it based on the result.

Let’s walk through the steps you need.

First, electricity is needed.

The Electricity Needs to Run a House Air Conditioner on Average

In general, we use central and window air conditioners for our house. The energy consumption depends on the usage and other factors.

A central air conditioner requires 3000 to 3500 watts of power per hour operating. It will depend on the running mode of the air conditioner.

A small window air conditioner uses 500 Wh, while a medium air conditioner uses 900 Wh per hour. On the contrary, a large unit will consume 1440 Wh.

However, the number of portable air conditioners is not fewer than central or window. A medium-size portable air conditioner needs 2900 watts of energy per hour.

The electricity needed to run a house air conditioner depends on the brand, technology, mode, and other things.

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How Much Power Does a Solar Panel Produce a Day?

It’s not easy to determine the actual power output of a solar panel when considering the energy production rate/wattage. You will get solar panels of different sizes and energy production capabilities.

A 500 watts solar panel can produce 3000 watts of energy under 6 hours of bright sunlight.

The energy production rate depends on solar panel size, the efficiency of the cell, sunlight, and your location.

Solar panel manufacturers produce solar panels of different sizes, which affects the output because of space. A large solar panel can produce more energy; it is not always true. A small solar panel with standard cells and materials can also generate more energy.

The efficiency of a solar panel is related to solar cells. Solar cells are the small blocks you see on the top of the panel in blue color. This silicon cell comes with diverse quality and efficiency. A solar panel with high-quality solar cells can generate sufficient power for years.

Most importantly, sunlight is the fuel of the solar panel. You can not get power even from the most efficient panel without sunlight. A solar panel converts sunlight to photovoltaic energy for producing electricity.

So, it is important to locate your solar panel in a sunny place. You have to ensure that sunlight is available in this place for at least 6 hours a day. Otherwise, you won’t get the expected power from the solar system.

The south-facing solar panel gets sunlight for the whole day. It is prohibited to install solar panels under trees and shades of houses.

However, you can’t ignore the location while installing a solar panel. We know that the solar system is perfect for remote areas where electricity is unavailable. But, a foggy area will interrupt energy production.

Though solar panels can produce power in foggy weather, they are not trusted and efficient enough to produce expected power. Direct sunlight is the best solution, and you have to install the panels in a sunny location.

Here is the chart with several solar panel sizes and their power when getting direct sunlight for 6 hours.

Solar panelHow much power do they produce in 6 hours
100 watt600 watts
200 watt1200 watts
500 watt3000 watts
1000 watt6000 watts
solar panel sizes and the power that they can generate when getting direct sunlight for 6 hours

How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Run an Air Conditioner?

As we discussed, a small window air conditioner uses an average of 500 Wh every hour operating. If you want to run this air conditioner on solar power, you have to install a single 500 watts solar panel.

The panel can generate 500 watts per hour under bright sunlight, and this energy is enough for running a small window air conditioner.

There are different types of solar panels with various power outputs. You can also install two 200 watts solar panels and a single 100 watts panel. But, purchasing more solar panels will cost you more. It is better to install a large solar panel that fits the air conditioner.

On the contrary, a 200 watts solar panel can run a 200 watts air conditioner. The size is too small, and you can only run a small portable air conditioner with a single 200-watt solar panel.

To operate a single one-ton center air conditioner (3500 watts), you need around 7×500 watts solar panels in total to have your air conditioner working fine.

If you have a complete solar energy system, you can use multiple 200 watts solar panels on the rooftop. You have to consider the size of the solar panel and the space where you want to install them.

Large solar panels will save your space and installation cost. Similarly, they are easy to maintain and repair.

The air conditioner is a heavy home appliance with a high energy consumption system. So, before calculating the power and measuring the space, you have to install the most suitable options that stand out.

Again, how many solar panels you will install for your air conditioner is up to you. Try to come up with an expert’s opinion, and don’t just purchase unnecessary solar panels to fill up your rooftop.

Let’s explore the chart to learn more about the number of solar panels.

Air conditioner wattsPanels Needed
100 watts2 solar panels (100 watts)
200 watts2 solar panels (100 watts)
500 watts1 solar panel (500 watts)
1000 watts2 solar panels ( 500 watts)
1200 watts2 x watts and 2x 200 watts
1500 watts3 solar panels (500 watts)
2000 watts4 solar panels (500 watts)
4000 watts8 solar panels (500 watts)
5000 watts10 solar panels (500 watts)
Solar Panels Needed To Run Air Conditioners

Can I Run Many Air Conditioners on One Solar Power Source?

Can I Run Many Air Conditioners on One Solar Power Source?
Can I Run Many Air Conditioners on One Solar Power Source?

Yes, you can run several air conditioners on solar power. 

If an office, industry, or city can run with solar power, why don’t you? Now, you can run everything with solar energy. Here are a few steps that illustrate how you can do this.

First, you have to calculate the air conditioners’ power and energy consumption rate that you want to run from a single power source. Start communicating with solar energy professionals who will help you determine the number of solar panels for the project.

It will help you save installation costs and guide you to walk on the right track to establish an independent power source for your air conditioners.

Second, finalize the air conditioner type and the pace for solar panels. Central, window, and portable air conditioners require different installation processes but the same power source.

The next steps are installing solar panels, converters, and additional power storage if you want a backup. But, it is expensive to make additional storage for many air conditioners.

Now we present some advantages and disadvantages of running many air conditioners on a single solar power source.

Pros

You will save installation costs, and a single space is enough for multiple air conditioners. That means if you have many air conditioners, you don’t need to install several panels separately.

This system will give you a cost-effective solution from massive electricity bills. You have to invest once and receive the profit for at least 25 years.

You can run the air conditioners from an independent power source.

Cons

You have to invest more in heavy energy production. If you have more than 3 air conditioners, the system will need at least 9000 watts of energy capacity. 

Establishing a 9000 watts solar system requires multiple panels, converters, and huge space. The installation cost will be increased.

If you don’t have energy backup and additional power storage, it will be difficult to get power due to the lack of sunlight.

Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner

Midea 12,000 BTU U-Shaped Smart Inverter Window Air Conditioner–Cools up to 550 Sq. Ft., Ultra Quiet with Open Window Flexibility, Works with Alexa/Google Assistant, 35% Energy Savings, Remote Control
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Our Honest Recommendation: Only Run Air Conditioner If You Are About To Install A Solar System

Running and ac need a lot of energy. And installing solar panels just to run AC is not a good idea.

Alternatively, you should calculate your house’s energy needed and get some advice/quotes from experts/companies.

Wrapping Up

Finally, you know solar energy’s power management and calculation to run an air conditioner. You can run single or multiple air conditioners on solar power.

However, the size of the solar system and energy production depends on several things. But, high-quality solar panels are the only solution.

Air conditioners need heavy power, and you have to select the most efficient solar cells for generating sufficient energy.

Depending on the quality and manufacturer, you can use the solar system for more than 25 years.

You might have to change the air conditioner during this time but not the solar panel or system. It is the durability of solar panels.