Friday, April 12, 2024

Can An Air Conditioner Run Off Solar Power

What Is The Cost Of Solar Powered Air Conditioners

Can We Run RV Air Conditioning On Solar Power? A Quick System Overview!

Installation costs of solar-powered air conditioners can be a bit varied. The exact amount depends on the number of air conditioners, the number of solar panels required, and a few other variables. Additionally, it can be more economical to install a solar panel system for your home, which can also cover your air conditioning.

In addition, according to, solar powered air conditioners can cost $2000 before installation while around $5000 including installation. However in some cases, though, this can gain you a 26% tax credit to bring your costs down. provides a nice breakdown of total costs of solar air conditioning ranging between $4,300 to $11,000 for solar air conditioning. Other than this amount, other than the AC and solar panels and installation, also includes additional costs of wiring, inverter, batteries, charge controller

Is It Worth It To Use Solar Power For My Rv Air Conditioner

While its certainly possible to use solar power for an RV air conditioner, we dont think that its really all that practical for the average RVer.

When you require air conditioning to be comfortable in your RV, using your generator or hooking up to shore power are the most practical ways to stay cool.

Unless you have a specific need to be able to do it, youll likely be better served by going to a full hook-up RV park or running your generator. The amount of money needed to size a solar & battery bank to be able to stay off the grid and run your air conditioner will pay for a lot of fuel for your generator.

Then theres the option that, for us and many other RVers, makes more sense: travel with the weather to areas that dont typically require extensive AC usage and visit campgrounds & RV parks with full hookups whenever AC is needed for comfort.

How Long Can A Solar Generator Run An Air Conditioner

Well, it depends on the standard of your air conditioner, i.e., the power required to run the particular air conditioner. If the solar generator features a higher storing capacity, like the ones we recommend later in this guide, then your AC could run as long as three to seven hours constantly.

As mentioned earlier, on average an air conditioner requires 1KW of power to run, and the average solar power generators in the market range from 1KW to 4KW. No matter what, never choose a product whose capacity is less than 1KW when looking for a solar generator for air conditioners.

You had better be careful that the solar generator can deliver 3KW of power, as sometimes the air conditioner could demand more and usually would run the air conditioner for a few hours.

So, you could consider a low BTU AC unit to run it for more hours. A good solar generator with a reliable battery capacity can run AC units for up to 16 hours. Later in this guide, you will find products that could run AC units even longer.

Read Also: What Different Types Of Solar Panels Are There

How Much Power Can A 300 Watt Solar Panel Generate

A solar panels output power in watts depends on these factors:

  • solar panel efficiency
  • solar panel area in square meters
  • irradiance
  • orientation
  • will you be using fixed or auto-tracking for the solar installation

Solar panel ratings given by the manufacturer follow the guidlines laid out in the Standard Test Conditions or STC.

Basically, the panal rating is stipulated when the solar irradiance is 1000 watts/m2 and the temperature is 25 degrees C.

This assumes that the panel is directly under the sun at 90 degrees, but this is hardly ever the case!

Solar panel output reduces when the angle to the sun becomes more acute. Unfortunately, it also reduces at other angles, if the temperature is above 25 degrees C.

The power output goes down at a rate of 0.5 watts for every degree increase in temperature.

If the suns energy is low because of the irradiance level in your geographical location, then solar panel output will go down proportionately.

What Are The Key Specifications To Look At

Can A Solar Generator/Power Station Run An Air Conditioner ...

There are 3 specifications that should be considered When sizing an inverter for your RV air conditioner:

  • Continuous Power: This is the amount of power that the inverter can continuously deliver. This specification should be higher than the maximum running wattage of your RV AC.
  • Surge Power: This spec represents the amount of power that the inverter can briefly provide. Usually, the Surge Power of an inverter is double its rated wattage . This specification should be higher than the power that the AC requires to start.
  • Input Voltage: This specification relates to the input side of the inverter, which is the side that connects to the battery bank. An inverter that is rated at 12V for its input voltage, will not be compatible with a 24V or a 48V battery bank configuration.

Lets see how you can match these specifications with your RV air conditioner and your battery bank specs.

Read Also: What Size Solar Panel Do I Need

Can You Run Air Conditioner Off Solar Panels

When talking about d.c. loads, power calculations are quite easy. Power rating is found by multiplying volts x amps.

For example, when a d.c. resistive load has a 12 volt supply and pulls 12 amps, we use this formula to find the power:

12V x 12A = 144watts

In a.c. circuits, volts x amps doesnt always equal watts Read on

A.C. power calculations take into account the voltage and current waveforms

Home appliances use a.c. power and the calculation is handled in a different way. Voltage and current waveforms constantly move from positve to negative in a sinusoidal shape.

If V and I are maximum at the same time, they are said to be in phase and volts x amps will really equal watts.

If volts and amps are not in phase, then the equation doesnt work. Well take a look at this later.

Using Solar To Power Your Air Conditioner: Next Steps

You dont have to be a casualty of high electricity bills this summer or the next. Solar energy is an effective way to generate renewable energy for your air conditioner to use, while also providing power to the rest of your appliances. Solar panel systems will generate thousands in electricity savings for over 25 years, and outlast your air conditioner plus all the other appliances they power.

If you want to be comfortable and save on electricity, use the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to explore your solar options. By signing up online, you can receive multiple solar quotes from local, pre-screened installers for free. If youre planning on adding air conditioning in the near future, simply note it in your account so that the installers know to size your solar panel systems a bit larger than your past electricity bills indicate.

Recommended Reading: Does Cleaning Solar Panels Help

Solar Powered Air Conditioners: A Comprehensive Guide

The Sun has been a source of energy in our cosmic system for billions of years. The history of humans using the Sun as an energy source is as old as mankind itself. It helps to grow food, for warmth, for fire, and for other uses across different continents. With the passage of time and advancement in technology though, we have been able to harness the immense potential of the sun in the form of photovoltaic cells and use it for much greater purposes.

The Suns rays can now be converted into electricity, and be used to power our homes and appliances at a fraction of the environmental impact as compared to conventional sources. In this era of sustainability, this serves as a major driver for the growth of solar power. What started as a niche application of this concept, has now turned into mass scale implementation of solar power.

One such application of this renewable energy source is in air conditioning, through solar air conditioners. These heating and cooling appliances can work by using the sun as an energy source. Reduced energy bills and minimal environmental impact are just some of the benefits which this energy source provides. Lets read on and find out all there is to know about solar air conditioning.

Minimum Solar Panel Array Size For Rv Ac

Can you run a Dometic rooftop air conditioner off of solar panels?

Unfortunately, solar panels and cool inside temperatures operate with completely separate goals in mind. Whereas your RV is more likely to stay cool if it is in the shade, solar panels require direct sunlight to produce electricity. With this in mind, you will want to have a solar panel array that is large enough to run your RV air conditioner continuously while exposed to full sunlight.

For an average sized RV air conditioner , we would recommend a minimum of 1500 watts of solar power. If youre in a school bus or an RV with ample roof space, you could consider a set of 16 x 100 Watt Solar Panels such as these monocrystalline ones. Or if you are a bit more limited on space, you may want to consider looking into larger, high efficiency solar panels generally found on residential homes. Five of these 325 watt panels from Canadian Solar should do the trick.

Read Also: How Solar Energy Works Step By Step

How Rv Solar Panels Power An Rv Air Conditioner

Yes, its technically possible to power an RV air conditioner with solar panel. But to generate enough power, a large amount of solar panels and upgrades to the electrical system are required. Or, another device called a Soft Start. The vast majority of RV owners will not go to these lengths. But you are willing to design a big enough system for RV solar panels to power an RV air conditioner, keep reading.

Using A Kill A Wattmeter

If you want to accurately measure any household appliances power consumption without going the manual way, use a Kill A Watt meter.

You first plug your AC wire into the meter. Then, connect the meter to a wall socket. Lastly, get the AC running. Study the meter for up to seven days for best results. At the end of the week, make a reading of the final value.

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Usage Patterns To Reduce A/c Running Costs

A/C units are designed to cool a home or a room but they have limits. The hotter it is outside and the cooler you want the room, the harder the unit needs to work, to achieve the temperature you desire. Generally the A/C units, should be set to a maximum of 5 degrees below the outside temperature. Lower than this and the unit will either work much harder to get to temperature and remain there or, it will work at maximum, continuously trying to get to the desired temperature. For example: If the outside temperature during the day is a high of 31, you will get the best results by setting the A/C unit between 26 and 28. Below 26 and the unit will waste energy trying to keep the room or home cool. The closer to the high temperature you can set the A/C unit, the less energy it will consume to get the room to that temperature and maintain it. Try setting your A/C to a minimum of 24 degrees in summer, and a max of 20 in winter. Here is a trick to work your way toward a higher A/C setting. Adjusting the A/C to one degree higher each week or two, will allow you to acclimate to the new higher setting far more easily than increasing the setting from 22 to 27 from one day to the next.

Turning your thermostat down a few degrees will reduce your energy consumption considerably

Tony Hugh is CEO of Emerald Coast Solar, Yucatan Mexico

Can I Run Air Conditioner With Solar Power

Coolala Solar

Some air conditioners will even use as much as2.5kw, meaning that the minimum power of your solarpanel system would need to be 3kw just to power the airconditioning. If you are able to find one of these lowpower models, they only use three or four solarpanels in your array to run.

People also ask, how many solar panels does it take to run an air conditioner?

Such sets are connected in series to make 48 V. So 22solar panels of 80 Watt are required to run 1 tonAC throughout the year. NB* I have tried to make accuratecalculation. Still some optimizations can be done depending on theAir Conditioner load curve and available solarsunshine.

Beside above, can I run a 1.5 ton AC on solar without batteries? An ideal choice/correct size to run a 1.5 ton ACis 7.5 kW . As when the compressor motor stats, itsstarting current can go upto the 3 -3.5 times ofrunning load. So, install a direct on-line systemwith enough capacity to power 7.5 kw. Anything less than itwill trouble you no-end.

Then, how many solar panels do I need to run a window air conditioner?

Solar panels to recharge what you use at thisrate are large. The first 500 watts produced go to the airconditioner directly. Ballpark, 800 to 1000 amp hours of batteryand 1500 watts of solar would be a starting point. Where youare and what tempetature and humidity you want can require doubleor half that.

What can a 300 watt solar panel run?

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Divide The Number Of Watts You Need By The Wattage Of Each Panel In Your Solar Panel System

Next, youll need to divide the number of additional solar wattage you need by the number of watts in the solar panels you plan on adding. Solar panels come in a range of sizes most on the market today are between 250-365 W. The higher number of watts per panel, the less of them youll need to generate your full electricity needs.

This number will be the number of solar panels necessary to cover your air conditioning needs.

Number of panels = Additional watts needed / Watts per panel

To follow the example above, lets say youre looking to generate an additional 3,333 W to run your air conditioner in Massachusetts. If youre installing 300 W panels, you should plan to install an additional 11 to 12 panels . If you prefer higher efficiency 350 W panels, the number would be reduced to 9 to 10 panels.

Dc Solar Air Conditioners

You can connect these types of air conditioners directly to the panels without conversion. You can only add batteries to these ACs if you have extra energy. On the upside, maintenance is easy.

However, on the downside, this type of AC requires batteries and an inverter when there is no sunlight.

Therefore, they are not the best off-the-grid, especially at night.

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Is Your Rv Battery Bank Big Enough

With an air conditioner taking 150 amps, 150 Ah would be needed for extra things every hour the air conditioning is being used without the sun shining.

The battery bank is required to be significantly larger in use during cloudy weather or at night.

For instance, rather than having at least 300 Ah, it would need at least 700 Ah. This allows the battery to last during nighttime and cloudy hours.

Arizona Uses Ac Four Times More Than National Average

Air Conditioner Runs All Day Off Solar Panel, Solar Energy Projects for DIY

There is plenty of sunshine to deal with here in Arizona, so thank goodness that sunshine can be put to good use! Because Arizonans use over four times the national average on air conditioning, the amount of solar electricity needed to use a solar battery for an air conditioner in AZ is higher than other areas of the country.

Despite, the added expense, solar batteries offer a number of benefits, including:

  • Protection from power outages

Recommended Reading: Do I Qualify For Solar Tax Credit

You Will Need An Inverter Too

An inverter will convert battery power into 110 volt power. Air conditioning units will require 110 volt AC power. When you consider a 15,000 BTU air conditioning unit needs about 3,500 watts of power just to start up, you will need at least a 5,000 watt inverter. The reason is because inverters will convert DC to AC power with a 85% efficiency. So, a 4,000 watt inverter will realistically deliver 3,400 watts. Meanwhile, a 5,000 watt inverter will deliver about 4,250 watts.

Dc Powered Solar Air Conditioners

DC solar air conditioners are also called conventional solar powered air conditioners.

Solar panels generate DC current electricity. Here are the pros and cons:


  • DC solar air conditioners can be direct-wired to the panels without converting it.
  • Batteries can be added to the system to store excess solar power produced, but only if you have enough panel wattage to run the air conditioner and store energy.
  • DIY installation is easier with this type. If you hire a pro, installation cost is less.
  • Systems are easy to maintain.
  • They are ideal for off-grid use but only if you add the extra equipment described in the cons.
  • DC solar ACs are easy to maintain.


  • A DC-powered solar air conditioner needs batteries, an inverter and solar charge controller to work in non-daylight hours so it costs more than an AC unit.
  • A vacuum pump is usually needed to charge the system with refrigerant if/when needed.

The bottom line is that if youre off the grid and are OK with no air conditioning after dark, a DC solar air conditioner is a good choice.

Read Also: How To Use A Solar Battery Charger

How Much Solar Power Does An Rv Air Conditioner Require

Those who have air conditioning at home may look at their increased electric bills during the summer and realize that air conditioners need a large amount of power to run. Even in a smaller space like an RV, running an air conditioner requires a large amount of electricity to both start up and sustain.

As laid out by, an average RV air conditioner requires around 1800 watts of electricity to start up and 650 watts per hour to maintain use and cool down the RV .

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