How Many Solar Panels to Run an Air Conditioner? (Answered)

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All home appliances can be easily calculated to determine how many solar cells are required to power them. Some equipment, such as refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners, are more complicated because they contain hydraulic systems with motor drives.

This means that the amount of power they pull differs and must be approximated. People often want to know how many solar panels to run an air conditioner. So, how many solar panels will be required to power an air conditioner?

Basically, 2 or 3 solar panels each of 300 watts would be able to run your air conditioner. Photovoltaic air conditioning is a marvelous experience, particularly in places where the weather is warm and humid and there is a lot of sun!

Solar AC is a great do-it-yourself project, but before we address the point about how many solar panels that are needed to run an air conditioner unit, we need to investigate AC’s electrical and cooling attributes.

Can Solar Energy Be Used To Power Air Conditioners?

Yes, you can use a solar panel to generate electricity and an air conditioner. A traditional air conditioner demands between 1.2kw and 2.5kw of power operation. A solar system can provide up to 2kw or 4kw of energy, allowing it to output an air conditioner. It may, nevertheless, come at a cost.

When using a solar panel to generate electricity for your air conditioner, it will absorb so much of its energy, leaving you with much less electricity to run other equipment in your residence.

Realizing the panel’s ability and making comparisons with it to the power requirements of the AC before use is critical when propelling an AC with a solar panel.

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How Much Power Does An Air Conditioner Consume?

First of all, why is alternating current measured in tons rather than watts?

Because all air conditioning systems have varying efficiency gains, comparing their electrical kilowatt evaluations would not represent their cooling capacity properly.

This implies that two different kWA units will never have the same cooling capacity.

So, what exactly is a ton in AC ratings? It describes the condensation required to break 2000 pounds of ice in a single day. It is usually referred to as a short ton in the trade.

The greater the tonnage, the more air can be cooled per hour. One ton is also equal to 12,000 BTU/h (British Thermal Units per hour) or 3.5 kW. (kilowatt).

How Many Solar Panels to Run an Air Conditioner?

For each Massive amount of cooling load, an air conditioner might require 1200 watts of solar cells, presuming illumination of 4 Peak-sun-hours/day.

A 100Ah power source is suggested per ton for every hour of predicted runtime. This will permit operating when the solar output is low and serve as a reservoir for engine surge current.

Before we install a solar system to power an air conditioner, we ought to consider the following:

  • Why are air conditioners consistently ranked in tons?
  • Power rating in alternating current (kW)
  • What is the difference between surge efficiency and voltage factor?
  • How long is the air conditioner going to run?
  • Is it necessary to use batteries to drive your air conditioner?
  • What kinds of capacitors are best for energy conversion?

Now that we’ve looked at what occurs on the load end of an air conditioning unit let’s look at the consumption side.

The rest of this article will be based on the usage of the 300 watts attached solar panels since greater panel evaluations are a better bargain in concepts of an installed watt.

When the solar output is 1000 watts/m2, and the air temp is 25 degrees Celsius, the panel rating is specified.

This makes the assumption the panel is explicitly in the sun at 90 degrees, which is rarely the case!

When the sun’s tilt becomes much more apparent, the output of solar panels decreases. If temperature rises above 25 degrees Celsius, it also decreases at other corners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worthwhile to invest in solar air conditioning?

Yes, solar air conditioning is unquestionably worthwhile. Although there are multiple reasons why photovoltaic AC is worthwhile to purchase, one of the most apparent is a reduction in electricity bills. Instead of using electricity, solar ac uses the sun, which means less electricity is consumed, and you save more money on your bill.

Can a solar panel with a low wattage power an air conditioner?

No, a low-wattage solar panel cannot function as an air conditioner. A low-watt solar cell can be as small as 100 watts, which implies it will never be sufficient to activate an air conditioner. The lowest air conditioner necessitates approximately 500 watts of energy to operate.

What is the operation of a solar air conditioner?

One cool feature of solar air conditioners is that they operate similarly to various existing air conditioner designs.

The only distinction is that a photovoltaic air conditioning system uses sunlight to generate power. In contrast, a mainstream air conditioner tends to rely on electricity as its primary power source. The solar system collects solar heat and converts it into electrical energy.


For dimensioning systems, air conditioning and solar installers use rule-of-thumb guidelines. According to these rules, an air conditioning unit draws approximately 7 amps for every 1 ton of cooling load grading system. This rule, however, varies when the tonnage alters.

When constructing a solar panel mounting, you should be very interested in knowing what’s happening electrically. This knowledge has an important impact on any solar energy system intended to power air conditioning.

If operating every day without a battery system as an energy reserve, the wattage performance of the solar panels must be large enough to deliver this engine surge current.