Note: The information provided below is only intended as a guide. Additionally, you need to consult a qualified Solar System installer.
With the subsidies and reduced prices of solar systems over the last fewer years, it is more cost-effective than ever to use solar power as an alternative energy source for your solar appliances.
With the reduced prices, you may wonder if it applies to ACs as well. For example, if you can run an AC – a 1.5 ton AC on solar? ACs have some unique attributes that can make them appear outliers. For example, they have high power surges when starting and can have a considerable power draw when running.
And if an AC can use solar, you may want to know what it takes – what type of solar system and number of solar panels you need? This can help you work out the budget and also confirm if you have a large enough area to install them.
So, read on to learn whether you can use solar to power a 1.5 ton AC, it is a good idea, what kind of system and number of solar panels you need so that you can make an informed decision whether to go solar or not for your 1.5 ton AC.
Can 1.5 ton AC Run on Solar?
Yes, you can power a 1.5 ton AC using solar. Keep in mind that you’ll need about 300 sq. ft to mount the solar panels. The actual number and area depend on both the number of hours of operation of the AC, and the number of sunshine hours your location receives.
To keep the size of the investment low and for a faster payback period, consider a solar grid-tie (battery-less) system if your motivation for going solar is to save money. Offgrid solar systems cost more but provide battery back when the sun is down.
How Many Solar panels you need for a 1.5 ton AC?
You need about 22 x 320 watt solar panels to run a 1.5 ton Ac continuously for a period of 24 hours. With 200 watt solar panels, your need about 36 solar panels to run the AC continuously.
The number of solar panels you need depends on the capacity of solar panels used (watts), how long the AC runs each day, and the number of sunshine hours the solar system is expected to receive each day.
Solar System size for a 1.5 ton AC
To power a 1.5 ton AC continuously over a 24 hour period, you probably need a 7,000 – 8,000 watt solar system. This size of the system assumes that your solar system installation is exposed to an average of 5 hours of sunshine a day.
If the hours of operation of the AC are fewer, then you can use a smaller solar system. For example, to run the AC for 8 hours a day, you’ll need an estimated solar system size of between 2,000 – 3000 watts.
How Many Amps does a 1.5 ton AC draw?
The estimated current draw of a 1.5 ton AC is between 7- 8 amps at 208/230V. In practice, the current draw varies depending on whether the AC is starting, in a continuous mode of operation, or if the fan speed settings are set to maximum.
At startup, the AC’s current draw can be as high as 3-7 times of a conventional, non-inverter-type AC.
The current draw is also highest when the fan speed is set to maximum speed.
What Is the Power Consumption of a 1.5 Ton AC?
The estimated power consumption of a 1.5 ton AC is about 1,500 watts. Actual power consumption depends on the fan speed and overall efficiency (Energy Efficiency Rating – EER) of the AC. More efficient ACs have a lower power consumption.
Is it Worth it to Use Solar?
Considering the size of the investment and the long payback period, it is probably not worth it given the alternative power sources you can use instead.
A 7 kW solar grid-tie system costs about USD 15,000 (without subsidies) at current market prices and has a payback of about 9.5 years. You also need to have enough space to install the estimated 22+ solar panels!
The Payback Calculation
How much it costs to run a 1.5 ton AC per day?
Assuming a tariff of 12 cents per kWh, at an estimated daily consumption rate of 36 kWh (AC is assumed to run for 24 hours a day), it costs you USD 4.32, (12 cents per kWh x 36 kWh).
The annual cost of running the AC for a year is 365 days x USD 4.32 = USD 1,576. Assuming the estimated cost of the grid-tie solar system is USD 15,000 (without batteries), the payback period is about 9.5 years.
Can a 1.5 ton AC run directly on Solar without Batteries?
Yes, you can run the AC directly on solar without batteries with a solar grid-tie solution. Grid-ties do not require batteries and are preferred as they can eliminate the use of batteries which keeps system costs low.
To get it started, you need solar panels, solar inverter, and power optimizers that maximize the solar system performance even when some of the solar panels are shaded. The drawback of such a setup is that it only works when the grid is available.
An example of a solar grid-tie system that you can use to run a 1.5 Ton AC is:
- 22 pcs, of 320 watt Solar panels
- 7,000 watts grid-tie inverter
Alternatives for Run an AC on Solar
You can use a good quality 7kW (25 amps) genset or higher to power the AC instead of a solar gridtie solution. It is cheaper compared to a solar gridtie (USD 8,000 vs USD 15,000) at current prices but requires gas, regular maintenance, and is also noisy.
What size of AC can run on a 3 kW solar system?
You can power a 5,000 – 6,000 BTU AC or smaller continuously for 24 hours using a 3 kW solar system assuming the solar system is installed in a location with an average of 5 hours.
You may also be interested in this post: How many solar panels you need to run a 6,000 BTU AC?
The number of solar panels you need to power a 1.5 ton AC depends largely on the capacity of solar panels uses (watts), how long the AC runs each day, and the number of sunshine hours the solar system is expected to receive each day.
Assuming your location receives an average of 5 hours each day and you plan to run the AC for 24 hours, then you’ll need about 22 x 320 watt solar panels.
Alternatively, you can use a good quality 7kW genset. While it costs less, it requires regular maintenance and is noisy.