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  • Yakub Ansari

How many solar panels are needed to run AC [1,1.5,2,3,4 & 5Ton]

Updated: May 23

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 excited. 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 that 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 [aslo known as a grid-connected] solar power plant with net metering.

Since batteries are still expensive and 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 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.