Thanks to rapid advances in the efficiency of solar panels and the batteries used to store their power, running energy-intensive household appliances has become more viable and cost-effective today.
An air conditioner is a household implement that uses a lot of power. Just a few years ago, running even a low-wattage window-mounted air condition with solar panels was technically possible, but not terribly feasible. Fortunately, that has changed.
Today we can approach the air conditioning issue with solar energy in two basic ways. The first is to add enough solar panels to your house to increase the overall input of electrical energy to your home to balance out what your air conditioning units use.
The other option is to hook up an air conditioner directly to a solar system so that it gets all its power from the sun and does not add a dime to your home electricity bill.
Simple Math Determines Equipment Needed
Let’s assume you want to go the second route. The first step is to do the simple math. This tells you how much energy your air conditioner will require to function for X hour per day and how many solar panels will be needed to supply that amount of energy.
Let’s say your air conditioner will require 3,000 kWh per year. Solar panels are sold in a variety of power generating ability. A good average for most brands is 250 to 360 watts each. If you buy solar panels that generate an average of 300 watts each, you will need about 10 solar panels to deliver that amount of power.
You will also need batteries to store the power collected by the panels. The air conditioner will draw roughly the first 500 watts directly from the panels, but the rest must come from batteries. A ballpark figure for the battery power size needed would be those that deliver 800 to 1000-amp hours.
Other equipment is required, as well. For example, solar-produced power must be converted from DC power to AC power using a device called an inverter. Some other ancillary equipment is needed, such as charge controller, various cables, mounting systems and brackets and sundry pieces of support equipment.
Keep in mind that many variables are at play when determining how much power you need to run an air conditioner with solar panels. That includes your geographic location (cold or warm climate region), the number of hours the air conditioner needs to run, the average sunlight received your area receives daily and other factors.
Cooling a home using power from the sun has become more popular and viable than ever today thanks to energy-efficient appliances, better solar panels and powerful batteries. Call us at 408-295-2182.