How many solar panels do I need to run an AC? – Expert’s Guide

How many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run an AC (Air Conditioner)?

In hot and humid climates, where electricity is scarce and not available most of the time due to regular power outages, solar modules seem to be the right choice for air conditioning.

If you are considering running your AC through solar panels rather than electric grid power, then you are pursuing a more sustainable future.

However, just thinking about it won’t help you, you need to know whether it is possible and if it is, then how many solar panels you will need to run an AC.

One more thing you need to consider is whether your AC can run on solar modules alone or you will need a battery backup for the same.

Well, you don’t have to worry about any of these things. In today’s post, we’ll get into detail on “how many panels are needed to run an AC?”. Furthermore, you will also learn the importance of batteries.

So without any further delay, let’s dive right in!


Is it possible to run an AC on Solar Power?

In general, you can run AC with no problem as long as you have enough solar panels installed on your roof that capture sunlight and convert it to electricity smoothly without any interruptions.

Now that you know running an AC is possible on solar power, let’s get back to the main question of how many solar panels do you need to run an AC.

Well, to answer this question you need to take into consideration two basic factors, namely the kVA of the solar panel you will be using and the wattage of your AC.

Run AC on Solar Power

More importantly, it doesn’t always depend on the number of solar panels you use but also on other factors like the capacity of the battery you are using and other factors like location and weather condition of that place matter too.

By taking basic assumptions that you live in a place with adequate sunlight throughout the day with sunny weather and you are using a 1 ton AC, then you will need a minimum of 8 to 10 solar panels (250-watt each) to run AC.

But if you assume that you will get roughly four hours of sunlight throughout the day then you will need a powerful battery with a capacity high enough to store electricity.

In order for AC to work properly, it requires continuous power, which is not possible with only solar panels alone. Without a battery, your AC will not run long.

In addition to this, you must have an alternate power source from the grid power so that when you run out of solar power, you can still run your AC without a break.


Know your AC Wattage

To be honest, the answer is very simple, just look into the energy efficiency label that is attached to the body of your AC and you will find your answer.

But if we assume that you have an old AC and the label on that AC is not there anymore so in that case, you can use the method described below to find out your AC’s wattage.

To make this simple, I will take an example of an electric bulb of 50 W running for 50 hours so it will consume 50 watts multiplied by 50 hours = 2500 watt-hours that are equal to 2.5 Kilowatt-hour (kWh) = 2.5 unit electricity.

Another way of knowing your AC’s wattage is by using any third-party application that will give you the reading about the wattage your AC is consuming. You will find search applications from Amazon easily.

But the actual figure cannot always be accurate because the wattage depends on various factors like the size of the room, the number of people in the room, the temperature inside and outside of the room, and duration of use, and many other factors.

How many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run an AC?

It depends on what ton of AC you are using and what is kWh of the solar panels you are using.

We will look into it in detail below for different tons of AC. We assume that you will be using your AC for 4 hours a day on average.

For 1 Ton AC

If you want to know how many solar panels you need to run a 1 ton AC, then you need to know how much electricity your AC consumes then accordingly you will need that number of solar panels to generate that much electricity. 

Usually, a 1 ton AC consumes about 1200 to 1500 watts of electricity so you are going to need about 6 solar panels of 250 watts to generate that much electricity.

This is just to run the AC alone but if you want to run any other appliances along with your AC using solar power, then you are going to need more solar panels that will depend on the number of appliances and the total electricity wattage of those appliances.


For 1.5 Ton AC

A 1.5 ton AC consumes an average of about 2500 watts of electricity so to match this much electric consumption you are going to need ten solar panels of 250 watts each to produce this much electricity.

In addition to this if you are thinking of getting an inverter, then you will need a 2.5 kVA grid inverter. 

Ten solar panels of 250 watts each will be enough to run a 1.5 ton AC if you already have ten solar panels installed to run other electrical applications then you are going to need an additional ten modules.

For 3 Ton AC

The average electricity consumption of a 3 ton AC is about 3000 to 3500 watts. So matching that much electric generation you will need fourteen 250 watt solar panels just to run AC alone.

Although it is not good to run a 3 ton AC fully on solar panels alone because it won’t be able to generate and supply continues to keep the AC running for a long time. 

So have your grid-wired electricity as a backup when there is not enough sunlight to keep the AC running.


Battery Requirements to Run AC at Night

Solar panels are there to help you run your AC throughout the day but when the sun goes down or on cloudy days when there is not enough sunlight then you are going to face problems if you don’t have a battery for electricity storage.

You are going to need batteries to store the solar power and generate electricity to run the air conditioner during the night.

Battery Requirements to Run AC

But the thing is, a different wattage of AC requires a different capacity of the battery. It is meaningless to use a high-capacity battery to run a 1 ton AC that doesn’t consume enough power.

If you are using an inverter along with the battery, then you won’t need a high-capacity battery because the load can be shared by the inverter.

So in conclusion depending upon the duration of your use of AC a 1.5-ton air conditioner requires four batteries of 150Ah to run AC for three to four hours without any problem.

If you want to run your AC for long periods, then you will have to increase the number of batteries.

Benefits of Running an AC on Solar Modules

Perhaps, you might be wondering why use solar energy to power your AC? Why not go for a normal electric grid?

However, the truth is that you are not installing solar panels solely for running AC. These modules can also be used for running other appliances as well.

Some of the top benefits of installing solar modules for using electrical appliances like AC are:

Save electricity bill: Using solar modules for your AC is a one-time investment & it will continue to result for decades. Once installed, your energy bill can be drastically reduced.

However, I am not saying that it will zero out on your electric bill but instead, it will greatly reduce the cost of your energy bill.

Run during Power Outages: If you live in a place where there is frequent power cut then getting solar modules for your AC will be the right decision for you. 

It is so because you can use solar power as an alternative to run your AC. Having an inverter and a few solar panels to keep it charged will help you to run your AC without electricity or in times of power cut.

Low maintenance cost: When you run AC on grid power then there is a problem of overloading and low voltage. These problems affect your AC and you need to incur additional costs for proper maintenance of your AC. But when you use solar-powered AC’s, it’s all automated using an inverter, thus reducing the cost of maintenance.

An Environment-friendly step: Solar energy is a clean & sustainable energy source. Investing in it will lead to lesser use of fossil fuels that produce enormous gases & pollutants.

Using solar panels can be your environment-friendly step towards a sustainable future.

These are some of the top benefits of running your AC by means of solar energy. 

Check Out: 21 Surprising Benefits of Solar Energy



Can you run an air conditioner on solar power?

Like any other electronic device, air conditioners (AC’s) can also run on solar power. However, the number of modules required might be high in comparison to normal appliances.

How many solar panels do I need to run a 1.5-ton air conditioner?

In order to match the amount of electricity required to run a 1.5-ton air conditioner, you’re going to need ten panels of 250 watts each.

How many solar panels do I need to run a 3-ton air conditioner?

An average 3-ton air conditioner consumes around 3000 to 3500 watts of power. So, 14 solar panels of 250 watts will be needed just to run AC alone with that much electric output.

How many solar panels do I need to run a window AC?

It completely depends on the power of the AC. However, the overall consumption is less in the case of Window AC while comparing it to Split AC. For a 1 ton AC, you will need around 1250 watts which can be easily generated by 5 solar modules.

Final Words

In conclusion, if you want the comfort of air conditioning in the hot weather with no extra bucks added on every month on your electricity bill then get yourself solar-powered. This will be your one-time investment but will help you save money on your bill in the coming months in the long run.

So if you are thinking of getting solar panels installed on your home then don’t delay this wise decision.

I hope this post has helped you know how many solar panels do you actually need to run an AC.

If you find this post informative, then make sure to leave a comment & let us know whether you are using solar modules for your AC or not!

Also, stay connected with us on Instagram for the latest solar news & technology updates.


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