How Many Solar Panels Does It Take to Run an Air Conditioner?

As the world gears towards sustainability and eco-friendliness, solar energy is becoming more than just an alternative to coal and other non-renewable sources. In fact, it is becoming one of the solutions in efforts to mitigate climate change.

While the transition to renewable solar energy may be met with skepticism, the effectiveness of this new form of energy on sunny days, smog clear skies and cooler temperatures will forever tip the scales in favor of solar energy.

Most countries around the world, including the United States, have taken a stand in favor of the solar revolution. There is some pretty exciting solar energy news out of Europe.

Even countries like Spain are currently embarking on very ambitious solar energy projects for their people. Today, individuals have also jumped on the train, seeking ways to explore the power of solar energy.

While it is exciting to consider the possibility of renewable energy finally taking over, helping to reduce carbon emission, and thereby creating a safe and healthy world to live in, there are key things to consider, such as the efficiency of these panels in running important home appliances like Air conditioners.

Can you run an Air conditioner on solar power?

One very underrated advantage of these solar energy options is their ability to power a wide range of home appliances.

From washing machines and ovens, to vacuum cleaners and microwaves, there’s not much when it comes to electric appliances that they can’t handle. However, air conditioners are a different story.

Imagine a hot, sunny day in the middle of summer, you’re home with a bunch of your friends and suddenly feel the need to condition the air to get more comfortable.

You would benefit from having an air conditioner in your home, and then the glaring question of if your solar energy can power an air conditioner, or how many solar panels it would take to run one effectively, will pose an unnerving dilemma.

Air conditioners differ from so many other appliances in that they consume a lot of energy in order to run smoothly. But to answer the question; Yes, it is possible to power your air conditioner with solar panels, although it is no small feat.

Averagely, air conditioners require about 1.3kW of power to run. An average solar panel, on the other hand, may produce power between the ranges of 2kW to 4kW.

This means that attempting to power an air conditioner will take up more power from the panels than you may have bargained for.

Some air conditioners may consume a whopping 2.5kW of power to run smoothly every hour, and so your solar panel would need to produce about 3kW of power just to be able to power the air conditioner.

Let’s explain this further; if you own a small air conditioner of about 1.3kW, and your panel unit produces about 1kW of power, you would need to provide about 6 to 8 units to power the air conditioner for about 5 hours, which would otherwise have lasted you for the entire day with other appliances.

Although there are air conditioners that require less power, between 500W and 800W (like 1 HP units), they are not suitable for most homes, and as a result, are not desired.

How Many Solar Panels Required to run an Air Conditioner?

On average, you may require between 4 and 6 250-watt panel units, depending on the type of Air conditioner you have.

We’ll get into the details shortly, but before we share details of how these things work, it is important to note that advanced solar power systems make powering air conditioners much easier, and they are now easily accessible around the world.

Before you can select any particular solar panel, you must first be certain that the unit is suitable for your region, and you have deliberated on its efficiency, running time and production capacity.

After addressing those key points, you may then consider how many solar panels you need to run your air conditioner. This largely depends on your air conditioner wattage, and the type of panel you settle for.

For example, you will require 6 250W panel units on average to run an air conditioner of about 1.3kW.

Likewise, when you use a medium window unit air conditioner for your bedroom or a medium-sized living room, 4-panel units of 250W should get your AC up and running.

How many Solar panels does it take to run a 3600W Air conditioner?

Most businesses and homeowners often opt for air conditioners with up to 3600W of power to cool the rooms.

Using a standard of 240W or 250W solar panels, you would require about 15 units to power a 3.6kW air conditioner.

A combination of 15 units of 240W solar panels can power a central air conditioner without any hassles.

Recommended product:

Our recommendation for efficient solar systems is the ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel System with Inverter.

It is a trusted product and this unit can give as much 4kW per day, meaning that it can comfortably power a 3,600W air conditioner.

How many Solar panels does it take to run 1 Ton of Air conditioner?

Similar to the 3.6kW air conditioner, the 1 Ton air conditioner can be pocket draining when you decide to power it with conventional electricity every month.

A cheaper and safer alternative is the use of solar panels. It is imperative you remember that the efficiency of these panels is affected by sunlight, capacity, and the region where it is used.

A 1 Ton air conditioner comes with 3517W of power. For a 220W panel unit to power a 1-ton air conditioner seamlessly, you will require at least 16 units of them combined.

Recommended product:

For a 1-ton AC unit, the DOKIO 220 Watts Foldable Solar Panel  is a very suitable option. It is powerful, durable and extremely reliable.

How many Solar panels required run Air Conditioners of different Capacity?

Considering analysis in above section about solar panel requirement for 1 Ton AC, you can calculate the required sonar panels for any capacity air conditioners.

Below table provide the necessary sonar panel capacity for 1 Ton AC, 1.5 Ton AC, 2 Ton AC, 3 Ton AC, 4 Ton AC and 5 Ton AC.

Air ConditionerRequired PowerNo. of 220W Sonar PanelsNo. of 250W Sonar Panels
1.0 Ton3517W1614
1.5 Ton5276W2422
2.0 Ton7034W3229
3.0 Ton10551W4843
4.0 Ton14068W6457
5.0 Ton17585W8071

The table below gives a detailed representation of the number of solar panel units needed for the different air conditioner types;

Types of Air conditionerAmount of Power (Watt)Number of Solar panels (250 watts each)
Smallest window unit500W2 solar panel units
Medium window unit900W4 solar panel units
Largest window unit1.44kW6 solar panels units
Central air conditioner (with only fan, compressor turned off)750W3 solar panel units
Central air conditioner (running fully)3.5kW15 solar panel units

Do Solar panels offer good value for your money?

While we say solar energy saves electricity costs, the panels aren’t free. When it comes to running an air conditioner with solar panels, there really is no way to boycott the electric circuit of the air conditioner from the rest of the house.

That means that when considering how many solar panels can power your air conditioner, you must also consider power for other parts of the building.

The only way to avoid this is by installing an off-grid solar energy system that utilizes batteries that will ensure the air conditioners are functional even on cloudy days.

Usually, when installing solar panels, one must first install the system directly to the entire building. This begs the question; won’t this be just as expensive as paying the electric company? Will I get good value for my money?

Well, as a result of solar panels producing a lot more power on sunny days and days with high temperatures than they do in colder climates, it is much easier for these panels to effectively power your air conditioner and the rest of your house and as such offer good value for your money.

There is the initial investment to buy the panels, cables and the converters, as well as fees for instalment. Over time, the cost of maintenance is very low, compared to paying electric bills.

Think about it, you may not require any maintenance on your solar installation for the first 5 years, and after that, all you may require occasionally is the replacement of panels (if they fall to rust) and rewiring at some point.

Final Words:

Finally, when it comes to powering air conditioners in your home with solar energy, you must pay strict attention to the wattage of the air conditioner. After that, you have to select a suitable solar panel model for your region and ensure it is compatible with the wattage of your air conditioner.

Remember, choosing to use solar energy to run your air conditioner doesn’t just save electricity costs, but is also important for the preservation of the environment. Eco-friendly options are not just the future but the present and we can all do our parts.