Can AC run on solar energy?

Rohit Grover

Rohit Grover

Senior Marketing Specialist

Can AC run on solar energy?

Today, solar energy is being adopted by almost everyone in almost every part of the world, so the use of solar panels has become very common. A few years back, solar energy was not that common as it was costly but thanks to subsidies provided by the central government, it has become very easy to get a solar solution. Not only the residential sector but the industrial and the commercial sector is also adopting solar energy for their energy needs.

Still, there are certain reservations about solar energy's ability to supply power to counter the demands of high-power consuming appliances such as air conditioners and refrigerators. In this post, we'll answer those questions head-on and show you how to use your solar panel system to power air conditioners and other high-power gadgets without breaking the bank.

Solar air conditioning is a cutting-edge technology used to stay cool in the summer while lowering your energy bills and carbon footprint. Significant advancements in the fields of air conditioning and photovoltaic technology have resulted in a wider range of more efficient solar energy-based air conditioners.

The majority of individuals nowadays have air conditioning in their homes. Traditional air conditioners, raise your electricity bill. Installing a solar-powered air conditioner in your home will provide you with numerous economical and environmental benefits.

Because of the rise in global temperatures, which create oppressive conditions in the sub-continent throughout the summer, air conditioners are commonly employed. Air Conditioners are becoming increasingly widespread not only in homes but also in commercial organizations of all sizes, including micro industries. Hospitals, schools, corporate buildings, and public places have a lot of ACs installed. All these places can save a lot of money by transferring an entire load of all of those appliances to solar energy.

The high temperatures seen throughout the summer, combined with the high cost of running air conditioners, create ideal conditions for larger solar panel installations, allowing consumers to save significantly in the long term.

When we talk about solar AC, there are two possibilities.

  1. You can get a Solar AC
  2. You can transfer your existing AC load to Solar energy

As in many cases, it is seen that people already have an AC installed in their home so what they need is to transfer the load on the solar energy.

On-grid solar system and Off-grid solar system for AC

Air conditioners can be run on both on-grid and off-grid solar systems. The most basic difference between the on-grid and off-grid solar solutions is that on-grid systems allow you to use your appliances even if for any reason your solar solution is not working. It imports the extra required power from the grid, but off-grid systems do not as they are totally dependent on the battery bank. Make sure you have kVA inverters installed if you're using an on-grid system to handle big loads.

If your average consumption of air conditioners is higher than normal, like if you are running multiple units of ACs at your place, then it's also a good idea to add more solar panels with a larger kW rating.

On-grid systems can readily accommodate the operation of many air conditioners in commercial office spaces or houses with electricity costs ranging from roughly 1 lakh to 5000-10000. Aside from that, one of the most important reasons to use the on-grid system is to benefit from net metering laws, which allow you to obtain a credit on your monthly electricity bills.

You'll need government approval as well as dedicated roof space to install your solar panels if you want to run an on-grid system. The government provides a variety of additional incentives for users who install on-grid equipment. This takes the form of subsidies, which will assist you in lowering your expenditures to some level.

In different states, subsidies are offered at varying rates. To be eligible for the advantages, your system must be grid-connected and battery-free, and you must be a domestic residential consumer.

The technical stuff you need to know:

When we talk of air conditioners as appliances that use more energy, we're referring to two key points that you should be aware of. Air conditioners and other similar gadgets draw a lot of current at first and require a lot of watts. The maximum wattage and suitable maximum kVA panels for ACs of various tonnages will be discussed here.

The maximum power requirement for a conventional 1 tonne AC, which is used by most small establishments and residences, is roughly 1300 watts (13 kW). We recommend a 1.6 kVA solar power system for this application, assuming a 0.85 power factor. A 2.4kVA solar panel can be utilized to match the 1900 watts or 1.9 kW requirements of higher-powered ACs like 1.5 tonnes. If this isn't enough and you need to run a 2-tonne AC, you'll need a 3 kVA solar panel with a wattage demand of roughly 2500 watts or 2.5 kW.

Most common questions asked by the clients

  • To run a 1.5-tonne air conditioner, how many solar panels do I need?

The number of solar panels one needs to run a 1.5-tonne air conditioner comfortably is determined by the maximum kVA of the individual solar panels. However, as a general rule of thumb, we recommend getting roughly 10 panels, each having a wattage of around 250 watts. It is advisable to install 6 solar panels with 250 watts each for a 1-tonne AC.

  • Number of batteries required to run an air conditioner

Batteries are devices that store converted solar energy so that it can be used by various household gadgets to perform daily tasks. Off-grid solar panel systems almost always require batteries to store the energy, which may then be used when there is no electricity available. If you're running a 1-tonne AC, most people advocate a four-battery arrangement using 150 mAh cells. As the AC capacity climbs to 1.5 or 2-tons, this may change.

  • Is it possible to run a 1.5-tonne air conditioner on solar power without batteries?

This is a common query from people who want to install an on-grid solar panel system in their homes. We propose that you calculate the power of your solar panel and the overall amount of power used by your air conditioner. In theory, if the solar panel generates enough electricity to power the equipment, you can run a 1.5-ton air conditioner without batteries. It's important to remember that a 1.5-tonne air conditioner consumes roughly 1.6 kW of electricity.

If you want to run a 1.5-tonne AC without batteries using solar power, we recommend a 2.5 or 3 kW power system. Overall, a higher kW capacity is preferable because you will be running other appliances in addition to your air conditioner, which will consume more energy and put more strain on your solar panels. In short, you can run a 1.5-tonne air conditioner without a battery, but you must first conduct a thorough study on your power requirements and whether your solar panels are capable of fulfilling them.

Why should you use a solar air conditioning module?

If you choose a solar AC module over a DC version, you will reap a number of significant advantages. The first big benefit is that, in the case of solar AC modules, an inverter battery is not required. Another reason for the popularity of AC modules is that they are easy to install, taking only about 15 minutes. Aside from that, you have the panel wattage monitoring device, which allows you to stay in control at all times and spot any anomalies that may emerge.

Prerequisites for installing an off-grid solar panel system for your AC

If you want to use a solar panel system to power your air conditioners, you must first understand solar net-metering, which allows you to quantify any extra power generated by your solar grid system.

The steps for installing an off-grid solar panel system are as follows:

  • You need to understand that the overall PV capacity in the local distribution network cannot exceed 30% of the capacity of the distributor transformer. Consider the following example: a distribution network powered by a 250 KVA distribution transformer cannot connect more than 75 kW of total solar PV capacity to itself. However, this scenario varies from state to state so you need to contact the Local DISCOM for the further details
  • The entire PV system capacity that is being proposed cannot exceed the service connection's sanctioned or authorized load. You will need to request for service connection load increase if this rule is broken and the PV system capacity exceeds the sanctioned connected load. Your solar net-metering application can only be submitted after you've applied for this.

We tried to answer the major question of whether it is possible and feasible to run your air conditioner on a solar-powered system in today's article. In this post, we explored a variety of subjects and sub-themes linked to this issue, and we hope that you learned something new that you didn't know before. We debunked the notion that operating air conditioners on solar power is inadvisable, and we highlighted why, given the hard summer weather and the price of running air conditioners on a daily basis, it could be a very good answer for a lot of Indian families.

If you have any more questions, please get in touch with us.

Rohit Grover

Rohit Grover

Senior Marketing Specialist

Rohit Grover is the Senior Marketing Specialist at Sunson Energy. He takes great pride in writing easy to understand content for everyone. He is a renewable energy enthusiast who has a keen interest in environmental protection.

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