The demand for solar energy is skyrocketing these days. This is due to a combination of factors. The first is growing awareness of our impact on the earth’s climate. The second is the increase in availability and affordability of solar power.
Utilizing solar power carries a host of benefits. It is clean energy so there’s very little impact on the environment. It also reduces utility bills, so users typically end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
As demand increases, it is common that the average consumer will be interested. Interest isn’t enough though. We all have some questions about products that we wish to purchase.
When it comes to solar power, people generally ask things like how much it costs, and how to install solar panels. You may specifically want to know, how many solar panels to run an air conditioner. Given the heat in some places and our growing dependency on ACs, your question is justified.
Today we’ll take a look at this question.
How Many Solar Panels to Run an Air Conditioner
The answer to this question varies from household to household. There are several factors that influence the final answer. Let’s take a look at what these are:
The region where you live significantly impacts your life. Similarly, the amount of solar panels required to run an AC will vary based on your location. Homes in hotter regions will run the AC for longer than homes in cooler regions.
Similarly, if your home is in a well-shaded area, it will remain cooler and reduce the load on the AC. For homes under direct sunlight, the opposite is true.
If your AC is in a room where there are a lot of other appliances, it will have to work harder to cool the room. This is especially true for large appliances like refrigerators. This is because they radiate heat. If the room has an active heat source, no matter how negligible, it will increase the burden on your AC.
This refers to movement into and out of the room. If people frequently enter and exit the room, warm air from outside will constantly enter the room, meaning the AC will have to work harder. Not to mention, people carry their own body heat into the room.
The amount of people in the room also affects the load on the AC. Lots of people means lots of body heat that the air conditioner will try to reduce. It’s obvious that an AC that works harder will have higher energy demands.
Your HVAC system needs to factor in the number of windows in your room as well. During summer season, windows bring conduct heat from outside into the room. In winters, they lose heat to the outside. In any case, the amount of windows directly affects your ACs energy demands.
Calculating AC Energy Consumption
Air conditioners remove heat from the area in which they’re installed. This is referred to as their cooling capacity. To determine the energy consumption of your air conditioner you will need the following:
- Hours of Use
- Electricity Cost
The wattage will vary based on the factors mentioned above, but it will never exceed the wattage rating mentioned on the AC itself.
Multiply the wattage (kW) with the hours of use; this will give you the number of units of energy used in kWh. kWh is a unit used to measure electricity consumption by your provider. Multiply this with the cost per unit, stipulated in your energy bill. You should now have the cost of electricity consumption.
Note: Electricity tariffs can vary based on peak usage hours. Factor these into your calculations.
How Many Panels Do You Need
Once the above steps are complete, you should have an idea of how much electricity your AC consumes. Once you know that, determining how many solar panels you need is a relatively straightforward task.
If your AC energy consumption was at 4kWh, you will need to install panels in any combination that can generate this much energy. This could mean 40 100-watt panels, or 20 200-watt panels. Any permutation is valid as long as it meets the energy demands that you’ve calculated.
The wattage for each solar panel is mentioned on its box. So, you won’t have to carry out any calculations to determine this.
Our Final Thoughts
As we had pointed out earlier, the answer to how many solar panels to run an air conditioner is not straightforward. A lot depends on variables that only you can account for. The best method is to carry out the steps mentioned in this guide correctly.
If you follow all these steps, you’ll know exactly how many solar panels you’ll need and prevent any mistakes that could prove costly down the road.