Air conditioners require a constant supply of power to run efficiently. For that reason, homes and institutions with air conditioners pay bills higher than those without these devices. Since these devices are vital, it would be better to install a solar PV system to reduce the bills associated with air conditioners.
How many solar panels does it take to install an air conditioner?
If you are installing a 1 Ton AC unit, you need a solar panel rated 1500watts and a capability to hold power the whole day. Since most solar panels are rated 250-370watts, you might need about 6 250watts solar panels for a 1 Ton AC unit. The same 1 Ton AC, 500Ah solar battery capacity is needed per hour in case there Is inefficiency.
Sizing solar panels for AC units is not done blindly and cannot be done the same way we do for other appliances. AC units run in AC, meaning some factors play a part in calculating the rating of an AC unit.
- An AC unit is rated in efficiency and not in voltage and current. Due to the constant change in cooling capacity it is impossible to use the V×I formulae to get the wattage. For that reason AC are rated in Tons.
- Even two AC:s with the same wattage have different cooling capacity. Cooling capacity or Ton is the cooling required to melt 2000 pounds of ice in an hour.
- The cooling capacity is also known as a short Ton and is usually 3.5kWh or 12000BTU/hr
A 3.5kWh means you need strong solar panels and solar batteries to sustain an Ac unit. That is why an AC unit will consume too much electricity.
Can you run an RV air conditioner with solar power?
With the latest advancements in technology, most campers and RV owners opt to install solar power systems on their RVs. The free form of energy is helpful, especially when you are camping in sites that have no access to electricity.
Sometimes the temperatures in the RV are too much to bear. People are finding ways to incorporate an AC unit in their RVs. Installing an AC unit in an RV is possible. However, it is very challenging.
- You will need to know the size of the solar battery you need to power both the car and the AC unit.
- Finding the right size of solar Installation of the required number of solar panels to power, the AC unit might also be challenging.
- You will also need an inverter to accommodate the wattage needed to power the RV AC unit.
A lot of calculation and thoughtfulness are applied while installing AC units in an RV.
For a standard RV, you will need solar panels with at least 1600watts to power an AC unit. Since the space on an RV is limited, you can consider getting 16 100watts solar panels or a large solar panel with high wattage.
How many ac can be run in a 3kw solar system?
A 1.5kw which is equivalent to 1500watts, can power 1Ton Ac. Therefore a 3kW which is equivalent to 3000watts, can power at least 2tons of AC. Since most AC units have 1Ton, you can power 2AC units using a 3kW.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.