Solar panels are trending since 2014 and since then more and more people are showing interest in them. The questions related to solar panels become more and more exciting. I find excited about these questions is most people are concerned about how many solar panels are needed to power their heaviest load. And for most of the time, the heaviest load in a home is Air Conditioner.

Here I am going to answer one of my favourite questions which is “How many solar panels are needed to run an AC?”

For each one ton of capacity, AC consumes 1 unit of power per hour and to run the same for 8 to 20 Hours daily with solar panels you will need 5 to 12 numbers of 330 Watt solar panels with a grid-tie inverter and net-metering. Also, we can say that you will need a 1.6 kW to 4 kW grid-tied [also known as a grid-connected] solar power plant with net metering.

Since batteries are still expensive, they need time-to-time maintenance as well as replacement. It is not recommended to go with a solar power plant having battery backup (these solar power plants are also known as off-grid solar power plants, learn more) as long as grid power is available.

## What is a Gird-tied solar power plant?

Sunshine is available for 5 to 8 hours only but our requirement for electricity is for 24 Hours. To use solar power for 24 hours of requirement we need to have a solar power plant big enough to produce excess power more than our daytime requirement and a way to store this excess power for night usage.

To store this excess power, batteries could be an option, but storing electricity in batteries is still expensive. The reliability of solar energy is completely weather-dependent, leading us to blackouts on certain days of the year.

To overcome these issues, string inverters (also called on-grid or grid-tied inverters) have been developed, which convert DC (direct current) power generated by solar panels into AC (Alternate Current) power in synchronization with grid power.

A benefit of synchronization of solar power with the grid is that if we generate more power excess than our daytime requirement, this excess power can reverse feedback to the grid. In simple words, excess power from the solar power plants will be exported to the grid.

And this exported power will be subtracted from the power you will use at night. Hence your gird will become a huge battery for you and you don’t even need to pay for it.

When the sun goes down, a gird-tied solar power plant becomes unable to produce electricity. Hence we need to use the power from the grid and the amount of power we use at night will be compensated by the power we injected into the grid during the daytime.

The above diagram shows the typical connection of Grid-tied [on-grid]

Now, to subtract the power exported to the grid from the power imported from the grid, you will require “Net-metering”.

If the net-metering is not available in your state and you are looking for a battery-less on-grid solar power plant. I highly recommend you to read our blog on “Solar without net-metering”.

### Power consumption by AC [1 ton, 1.5 ton, 2 ton, 3 ton, 4 ton and 5 ton]

As I already mentioned each ton of AC consumes 1 unit of power per hour, which means that if you want to run a 2-ton AC for 8 hours per day the total power consumption by the 2 Ton AC in a day will be equal to [2x8 =] 16 unit [or 16kWh].

1 Unit of Power = 1 kWH

Similarly, we can calculate the power consumption by different ratings of AC [that is 1 ton, 1.5 ton, 2 ton, 3 ton, 4 ton and 5 ton] running for different hours daily. Refer to the below table showing the same.

As you can see from the above table running an AC is very expensive and installing a solar power plant to run it will be expensive too.

Whether solar panels are in your budget or not I highly recommend you to read our blog on “15 low-cost tips to reduce the power consumption of AC”.

### Sizing of Solar panels to run AC

Power generation from solar panels is dependent upon the sunshine time, pollution level shadow free area and tilting angle.

Now considering, a 100% shadow-free area, low pollution level, and right tilting angle then 1kW of Solar panels (330Wat x 3) will generate 5-6 units of power in 7 to 8 hours of sunshine.

To run 1 ton of AC for 8 hours, you will require number of solar panels that generate (1 x 8 = 8 Units) 8 units of power [that is 8kWh] per day. Hence the size of a gird-tie solar power plant required to generate 40 Units of power = 8/5 = 1.6kW

Solar panels come in various sizes like 330Watt, 325Watt and 360Watt etc, so the numbers of solar panels required can be different for different ratings of solar panels.

Since 330Watt of solar panels is popular these days, we can conclude that 5 numbers 330 Watt solar panels are needed to run 1 ton of AC for 8 hours daily.

Similarly, we can calculate the size of the grid-tied solar power plant needed to run different capacities of AC for different time periods. Refer to the below table showing the same for ease of your understanding.

## Solar Panels need to run 1 Ton AC

To run a 1-ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 5 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 7 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.

## Solar Panels need to run 1.5 Ton AC

To run a 1.5-ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 7 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 11 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.

## Solar Panels need to run 2 Ton AC

To run a 2 ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 10 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 15 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.

## Solar Panels need to run 3 Ton AC

To run a 3 ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 15 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 22 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.

## Solar Panels need to run 4 Ton AC

To run a 4 ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 20 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 30 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.

## Solar Panels need to run 5 Ton AC

To run a 5 ton AC for 8 hours a day on solar panels you will need a minimum of 25 numbers, 325 Watt solar planes and to run the same for 12 hours a day you will need 37 numbers of 325 Watts solar panels.

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