Can I Run My AC On Solar Power?
Here in Orlando, we often get questions about whether solar panels can power an air conditioning system. The answer? Yes! Depending on the size of your solar system and the requirements of your AC system, solar panels can power your AC.
Now that summer is on its way, learn how your solar system can power up your air conditioning system and save you money on energy costs!
What to Know About Powering Air Conditioners with Solar Power
It’s a fact that air conditioners use A LOT of electricity. Your solar panel system will need to generate a lot of energy to keep your air conditioning system running through our Orlando summers.
Consider these factors to determine how many solar panels you will need:
- Weather conditions
- Type of solar panels
- Energy efficiency ratio
- Energy storage capacity
- Geographical location
- Grid-tied vs off-grid systems
How Many Solar Panels are Needed to Run an AC?
Your air conditioner is a big draw on your home’s electricity. If you notice that your electricity bills climb in the summer, it might be time to consider solar energy options.
To figure out how many solar panels you need to power your AC, you need to first determine how many watts of electricity your air conditioner requires. Keep in mind, that you will need an average of 1-5 panels for 100 watts.
This may seem like a large range, so you must consider how many watts your solar panels can generate. For example, if you choose a solar panel with 250-400 watts, one panel will be enough to run 100 watts in your home.
Determine How Many Watts Your AC Uses
Watts is the rate of power that your air conditioner uses per hour. Once you determine the wattage of your AC, you can figure out how many solar panels you will need to run it.
Approximate wattage of different sizes of air conditioners are:
- Small window AC units: 500 watts
- Medium window AC units: 900 watts
- Large window AC units: 1440
- Central AC: 3500 watts
- Central AC fan: 750 watts
Remember, these are just estimates, so you will need to calculate your specific air conditioner’s wattage.
To do this, determine how many watts your AC uses and how many hours it runs per day. Also, make sure you have your energy bill handy.
Say your AC unit uses 500 watts an hour. You run it all day, so you will use 12 kWh or 360 kWh a month. If your electric company charges $0.13 kWh for net metering, you will be charged $43.20 to run your AC with solar panels.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed for Central AC?
The average central air conditioning unit is around 3500 watts. We recommend installing a solar panel system using solar panels that are 250 or 300 watts.
If you want to generate enough solar power to operate your central AC for around 5-6 hours a day, you will need a 15-panel system. Keep in mind if you want to run the AC for a longer period you will have to account for this energy usage.
Also, you will need to include three solar panels to compensate for the central air conditioner fan’s energy consumption. This puts the total up to around 18 panels.
How Many Solar Panels Are Needed for Window AC Units?
To determine how many solar panels are needed for a window air conditioner, check to see how many watts they require.
Typically, a 500-watt small window air conditioner might only need one to two solar panels to run. Four panels may be sufficient for a medium 900-watt air conditioner, while six panels will likely be able to power a 1440-watt large window unit.
Related Reading> How Long Does it Take for Solar Panels to Pay for Themselves?
Stay Cool This Summer with Solar Bear
If you want to power your air conditioning with solar panels and save on energy costs this summer at your Orlando, Florida home, call on Solar Bear Orlando! We can help you determine how many solar panels you need and get you set up with net metering so you can start reaping the benefits of Florida’s ample sunshine!
Stay cool and save money by going solar this summer! Call Solar Bear Orlando for a quote today; (727) 471-7442!