How many Solar panels to run an air conditioner? Backyard Revolution

The introduction of solar panels systems, but about a change that the world needed, a sudden change that radicalized the way we saw energy generation. For centuries, humans have tried to find ways through which we could generate energy other than hydro and heat.

The continual study of understanding the potential that solar energy holds can be seen in how the science and technology world keeps improving and working better concepts and patents of Solar energy harnessing. Several modes have been made to help harness energy from the sun so that we could use it in generating electrical energy.

Thousands of hectares of land stretch with solar panels, gathering energy to supply specific locations or institutions. Well, even most satellites in orbit, also use solar panels to generate energy. Now, how then do you power your home? How many Solar panels would you need to run your air conditioner and high electrical voltage appliances? This article is written specifically to answer that question.

Solar panels required for an air conditioner

The fact you want to run an air-conditioner with your solar panel system is a huge undertaking to embark upon, based on the fact that air-conditioners consume so much electricity. This fact alone is why most solar panels owners never try to use high energy consuming appliances with their solar panels.

Although logically speaking, the location of your home may determine the reason behind your choice of using an air-conditioner set, but a lot of things have to be considered before taking that huge step. It should be known that the air-conditioning system consumes roughly about 2000KWh a year, and to be very honest, that’s a whole lot of power supply.

It should be known that the average home runs on roughly about 11000KWh a year. This would mean that the air-conditioning system is the energy hogger in your home. To run an air-conditioner system of 1.5 tons, for one hour; however,  you need to consider that 1.5tons uses 1.3 to 1.5Kw; this would, in turn, mean 1.5Kw X 1hr = 1.5KWh.

Well,  since you have concluded to use the run your air-conditioner system through your solar panel system, you have to consider which grid system you’d be running your solar panel system through. If you intend to run your solar panel system through a central grid, running a solar panel system for your air conditioner should not be a problem. This is due to the fact already stated earlier that an air-conditioner system consumes a whole lot of power.

We have to consider scenarios where having an average of say 10 solar panels should be enough for the grid system. This is because in cases where there is a cloudy day, rainy or little sunlight, you should be able to rely on the grid system to backup your power usage.

The location of your home may also determine the number of solar panels you would need, based on a factor such as the level of sunlight available, the amount of heatwave getting to that environment.

Running an air-conditioner system off-grid, however, can be quite costly, due to the number of panels you would need to run an air-conditioner system conveniently. The off-grid system doesn’t give you a source of power to fall back to in a case of no sunlight or a storm.

This is why you would need to invest a whole lot of money on inverter batteries. These batteries would help save power for as much time as the battery capacity would allow. We all know that the sun only generates electricity when the sun is out; however, the battery would supplement in an off-grid system and must be powerful enough to run an air-conditioner system.

Basically, since we stated that an air-conditioner system of 1.5 tons uses 1.5KWh of electricity, to run an air-conditioner system conveniently, to run 5hours of air-conditioning, you’d need 1.5KW X 5hrs = 7.5KWh. Most standard Solar panels give out 250W of peak power, which would make it 4 solar panels to produce 1KW of AC power. So 4 250Wp solar panels would give 3 to 4KWh every day, and since the air-conditioning system need 7.5KWh to run for 5 hours, you would need 8 solar panels to power your air-conditioner for 5hrs.

To power a 1.5ton air-conditioner for 1hour = 1.5tons X 1hr = 1.5KWh

To power for 5 hours =1.5KWh X 5 = 7.5KWh.

A standard Solar plate generates 250Wp, 4 plates = 250W X 4 = 1KW

1KW gives out 3-4KWh of AC power, to get the air-conditioner 7.5KWh, you would need 2KW


If 1 Solar Plate = 250W, 2KW would be 8 plates of 250W.

So to power an air-conditioner for 5 hours every day,  you would need 8 plates of 250Wp solar panels.

In conclusion, running an air-conditioner with the solar can be very costly both through the grid and off-grid system. However, whatever your reasons may be is justifiable. In the case of any difficulties in planning about your solar installation process, you can always contact professionals in the game such as Backyard Revolution to help with a thorough and professional solar installation.

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