How Many Solar Panels To Power a Window Air Conditioner?

To make the calculations and come up with the answer, all you need is a few math skills and the problem is solved. Then you need to figure out if your budget can handle purchasing the number of solar panels you will need.

How many solar panels to power a window air conditioner? Sometimes only 2 or 3 solar panels will be the number you'll need. The answer lies in how many watts does your air conditioner need to run at peak efficiency.

To learn more about this important topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you will want to know about so you can make a smart decision. using solar panels can save you a lot of money if your air conditioner needs lots of power to operate.

Can a Solar Panel Run a Window Air Conditioner?


Yes, a solar panel can run a window air conditioner. As we said earlier, electricity is electricity and it does not change when you change power sources. The trick is finding a solar panel or two that will produce enough electricity to get that air conditioner going.

There is a difference between start-up power needs and run-time power needs. The latter is usually less than the former. But without the power to get the air conditioner up and running, you will not be able to enjoy any air conditioning.

Then your living situation will play a determining factor if you can use solar power or not in this situation. If you are totally off-grid then your whole solar power system must be large enough to store enough energy to run the air conditioner.

If you are not off-grid but use shore power or city electricity to power most of your RV or home, then your solar panel system doesn't have to be that large. Everything is going to depend on the system you install in your RV or trailer.

Just make sure to get quality components so you do not have to worry about repair or replacement any time soon.

How Much Solar Power To Run a Window AC Unit?

The number of solar panels you will need will depend on the make, model, and brand of the air conditioner. One brand-name air conditioner requires 535 watts per hour to push out 6000 BTUs.

Another brand will require enough solar panels to handle only 450 watts for 5000 BTUs. then a third brand name will require enough electricity to cover its 520 watts per hour need and you will get 6000 BTUs out of that model.

The final brand-name window air conditioner will need enough power to handle its 425 watts per hour demand. That is for 6000 BTUs as well. That calculates the number of solar panels very easily. In most cases, you would think you would need only 2 solar panels

However, since solar panels do not operate at 100% efficiency and lose some power as the system works, you will most likely need 3 solar panels of 250 watts each to produce the amount of electricity you will need.

The other factor you'll have to be concerned about is how much sunlight the solar panel receives. In a 12 hour day, that figure may be as low as 50 watts and on average the panel only produces about 125 watts per hour.

This fact means that you may have to go to 4-6 panels just to produce the amount of energy you will need to run your window air conditioner. Having more panels producing more electricity is not a bad thing as you still have to cover the start-up power demand which is often a lot larger than the run time demand.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need To Run a Window AC?


The above figures are based on a solar panel producing only 250 watts of electricity at ideal conditions. As you saw, that size of solar panel requires 4 panels to make sure you have enough energy to run your air conditioner.

The good news is that solar panels come in all sizes and you can get larger wattage-producing panels that will produce more power and cut your need for many panels down to needing only 2 or 3.

The number of panels you will need will depend on how many watts each one produces. It is not wrong to produce more power than your air conditioner needs. You just need your battery system to be capable of storing all the extra energy. You never know when that extra energy will come in handy.

If you go lower than 250-watt solar panels, then you will need quite a few panels to generate enough energy to handle the workload. If you went with 100-watt solar panels, then you are looking at using more than 6 panels at one time.

Your RV or trailer may not have the space on their roofs to handle that many solar panels. That is a factor you will have to consider when you start thinking about switching to solar power.

How To Run a Window Ac Unit On Solar Power


One reason why many people switch to solar power is that these panels can produce a lot of energy when the sun is at its brightest and hottest. But to harness that power you need a good system.

After installing the system, you can just plug your air conditioner in the outlet and turn it on. Sounds simple yet, there are a lot of components that need to be installed before you can take advantage of that simplicity.

Not only do you need the right size and number of solar panels, but you will also need the right cables, hookups, connections. Then you need to wire the panels to the solar batteries to store the power.

These batteries are not usually large enough to handle the created power on their own. You will need more than one and a safe place to store them. Once you have found that safe place, you then need to wire the batteries to an inverter.

That inverter also has to be large enough to handle the power supply. You are turning the power from DC to AC, not the reverse. After you have all of these components in place and in a secure and safe spot, then you can just plug in your air conditioner and play.

Tips For Running a Window AC On Solar

1. Window air conditioning units generally need around 500 watts of electricity on average. Some will be more and some may require less. How much you actually do need depends on the brand, BTUs, and size of the air conditioner.

2. Keep in mind that you will need more energy to get the air conditioner to start up than it will take to run the unit. Do not factor in run time only. You will need enough wattage to cover the amount of energy needed to start the device.

3. Also, solar panels lose energy. It may say it's 250 watts but in reality, you may only get 225 due to the loss of power as it goes through the system. Factor in this loss and add a panel to cover it for you.

4. It is best to get more electricity than you need. You can always have extra batteries to store the extra power. The key is not to generate less power than what you need. With smaller solar panels you can defeat your objective by producing far less power than you really need.

5. Measure your roof. You will need to have the right amount of space on your roof to handle the number of panels you are going to buy. Make sure you have enough space to position those panels so that they get the full benefit of being exposed to the sun.

6. You will need an inverter to plug your air conditioner in. Solar power is DC and most air conditioners run off of AC. Make sure to get the right inverter for your system.

Some Final Words

Getting enough panels to run your window air conditioner is all about math. You need to add the solar panel wattage output to each other to find out how many you need. Then subtract any power loss and add another panel or two.

That is the simplest method to finding the number of panels you will need. Once you have the number of panels, you can work on the next step and figure out how many batteries you will need.

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