How many solar panels to run air conditioner

Nothing beats that great feeling of having your home filled with cool air, particularly in the heat of summer months. However, that cool air also happens to come with a price, and most of the time, running your AC may leave your pockets drained and empty. This is why more and more homeowners are wondering if they can power their AC using solar panels and how many solar panels to run the air conditioner they will need for it.

Can solar run air conditioners?

 Yes, you can power an air conditioner with a solar system. A typical air conditioner requires at least about 1.2kw to 2.5kw of power to function. A solar system can supply up to 2kw or 4kw of power, therefore, it can be used to run an air conditioner. However, it might come with a price.

When you use a solar panel to run your AC, it will consume almost all its energy, which means you will have lesser energy to power other appliances in your home. What is important in powering AC with a solar panel is knowing the capacity of the panel and comparing it with the energy requirement of the AC before use.

How does a solar air conditioner work?

One cool thing about the solar air conditioner is that they work the same way as the various conventional air conditioner models work. However, the only difference between the two is that a solar air conditioner relies on sunlight to generate power, while the conventional AC uses electricity as the major source of power. The solar system captures the heat from the sun and makes use of it to generate electricity.

Is solar AC worth buying?

Yes, solar AC is definitely worth buying. Although there are numerous reasons why solar AC is worth buying, yhr9st obvious is a reduction in electricity bills. Solar Ac instead of making use of electricity makes use of the sun, which means lesser electricity will be consumed and you will save more on the bill.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of solar air conditioners?

I said earlier that if there’s any reason a solar air conditioner is worth buying, it would be because they help reduce bills on electricity. Well, that’s a fact! However, the benefit of using a solar air conditioner is much more than that. Check below other benefits advantages) as well as the likely problems (disadvantages) associated with using solar air conditioners.


1. Budget-friendly

When you use the solar air conditioner, instead of having to pay a huge amount of your total income on electricity bills, you get to save more. In essence, you don’t have to spend beyond your budget before you can run a solar-powered air conditioner.

2. It encourages sustainable and clean energy.

Now that the world is faced with the reality of the damages that may arise as a result of climate change, a complete switch to solar-powered air conditioners could be a way out of the mess. Compared to the standard ac, solar air conditioners emit lesser greenhouse emulsion thereby reducing the amount of toxicity in the air we breathe in.

3. Not prone to power failure

Although we now live in a world where electricity is constant, however, sometimes, a power failure occurs due to extreme weather conditions and this may cause your ac not to work. With a solar air conditioner, you get to enjoy an uninterrupted flow of cool or heat in your house as they are less likely to be affected by power outages.

4. User friendly

Compared to the regular AC, solar-powered air conditioners are easier to use.


1. It is very expensive

Compared to the regular ac, solar air conditioners are more expensive because you will have to buy other compulsory components like batteries, inverter, and solar panels. Plus you will have to also pay for installation! For professional installation alone, you may have to pay up to 25% of the total of the AC. Installation costs may be as high as $5000 or $15000.

2.Heavy reliance on weather

All through the year, weather changes. Climate change has even made the prediction of weather more difficult throughout the world. Therefore, if you are the type that desires to use your air conditioner throughout the year, a solar air conditioner may not be the best for you because once it is unable to access enough sunlight, you might be disappointed.

3. Nightly issues

During, the day there is usually an abundant and sufficient supply of energy, therefore, your solar air conditioner will be super active during this time. However, once the nighttime set in, the efficiency of your solar-powered air conditioner may reduce due to insufficient electricity.

4. Solar panel is prone to deterioration

Even though your unit is placed indoors, the major source of its energy – solar panels are placed outside; which means they can easily get damaged or deteriorate due to constant exposure to rain, dust, or snow. When these solar panels deteriorate, they produce lesser energy which will also affect the overall efficiency of the unit.

Can a low-watt solar panel run an air conditioner?

No, a low-watt solar panel cannot be an air conditioner. A low-watt solar panel can be as low as 100 watts, which means it can never power an air conditioner. The smallest air conditioner requires about 500 watts of power to run.

How many solar panels do you need to run an AC?

There are actually a lot of different factors that will help determine the exact number of solar panels required to power one average home air conditioner. Such factors can include the specific type of solar panel, sunlight, and the average ratio of energy efficiency when energy is converted from solar sunlight into electricity.

For instance, if an average gets produced thanks to the solar panel’s effectiveness and it gets transmitted to the battery with the ability to provide self-reliant energy storage straight to the AC unit, it is very much possible to have an air conditioning system to be powered with just 8 solar panels. However, the exact number may vary and there are some instances when it may require thrice as many solar panels based on the energy storage capacity, performance, and efficiency. 

If the air conditioner needs 1500 watts of power, a set of 6 solar panels with a capacity of 250 watts can theoretically power the AC unit. However, there are still many individual factors that may throw these figures in either direction. The amount of sunlight and the place where you live also play a major factor in the efficiency level of your solar energy storage that may change the number of solar panels required to power an air conditioner. 

Other factors and considerations

The location where the solar panels have been mounted can also affect the efficiency of the retrieved solar energy that will be converted into electricity. In case the solar panels have been installed on a rooftop that faces toward the south, there is a high potential for the optimal conversion of solar energy that will then require a lesser number of solar panels as compared to if the panels have been mounted on a rooftop or wall that faces another direction. 

There are also solar farms that are better mounted on wide-open fields and pastures primarily because it will be easier and simpler to maintain the solar panels and it will be possible to easily adjust the angles as well for optimal seasons throughout the year while the sun transitions across the sky.

How many AC can run in 3kw solar system?

A one-ton air conditioner uses 1.3kWh. A normal solar panel system, in comparison, can produce power of 2kW up to 4kW on average.  It means that it will consume about half of the total energy generated by the solar panel system.

Since AC units have different sizes, they will also have different energy consumption. An average single room AC will consume around 0.5kW up to 1.5kW while central ACs may consume around 3kW to 5kW. This means that a 3kW solar system may be able to run a single room air conditioner and cover the requirements for the energy of other fixtures and appliances. 

How many AC can run on 10kw solar system?

A 10kW solar system suits large families with heavy demands for electricity. You might have 4 to 5 bedrooms using in-floor heating and ducted air conditioning or a big in-ground pool that uses several pumps.

One 10kW solar system needs 37 panels as well as a roof space of around 64 square meters and can generate a maximum of 42 kWh of electricity daily. This single system alone can power up to two ducted AC units, several pool pumps, and over 30 deep freezers. 

How many AC can run on 5kw solar system?

A 5kW solar system can run one solar air conditioner, TV, fridge, lights, fans, washing machine, and more. For the accumulated load of 2,000 watts in an off-grid or hybrid solar system, you will be able to run your appliances for a minimum of 12 hours.

How many solar panels to run 1 HP air conditioner?

A single 1 HP air conditioner has 745.7 watts, while domestic solar panels have an average power output of about 265 watts though this can also range from anywhere less than 225 watts to over 350 watts.

You can use 10 solar panels to run a 1 HP air conditioner. But again, remember that this number can still change depending on many different factors as stated above.

How many solar panels to run 3 ton air conditioner?

A 3-ton air conditioner usually uses 3,500 watts per hour so you might need 10 to 12 solar panels to run one. 

How many solar panels to run a window AC?

The largest window AC units with 1440 watts will need 6 solar panels. Four solar panels are required for running medium window AC units with 900 watts. Finally, the smallest window AC units with 500 watts can do well on just 2 solar panels.

How many solar panels to run central aircon?

The number of solar panels you will need to run your central air conditioner will depend on the specific wattage of your unit. However, generally speaking, you will need 1 to 5 panels for 100 watts. This is the most common system for power distribution for measuring the power of solar panels for an AC unit. If you are using a panel with 250 watts, then, one solar panel is already enough for running your air conditioner.

How many panels to run an RV air conditioner?

If you make use of 12 volt RV panels, then you will need up to 1800 watts of solar panels. Plus you must also have massive battery power.

The Bottom Line

All in all, powering your air conditioning system using solar panels may be a smart idea to help you save money in the long run. While the upfront cost may be a bit significant, through a careful thought process, you can establish a good solar energy plan that will let you spend the least amount possible for powering your daily household appliances such as your air conditioner.

Are you a fan of Lennox ac? If yes, please read our previous lennox solar ac review.

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