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Air conditioners, as appliances, are considered a necessity in almost every household. There is no argument over the facilitation and the ease they add in life, generally. But, if there was one thing that worries consumers, it is the mounting electricity bills when air conditioners work.
With increasing taxes, power tariffs, and the recent decrease in prices of solar panels, interest has suddenly increased over whether one would be able to run an air conditioner solely on solar power. Through this write-up, we are going to highlight some of the common questions, challenges, and queries that needed our attention.
The simple and outright answer is, yes!
DC Inverter air conditioners are far more energy-efficient than our traditional air conditioners and can work on solar power plates, but the real question is how?
Air Conditioners are high-wattage appliances and the compressors need high current to run. The current might vary during its running, so a smart 2 to 3 kW inverter is connected with the solar power generation system to regulate current.
Along with the high current, an air conditioner consumes a lot of energy during its operation. Depending on the tonnage of the air conditioner, you would need a solar generation system that produces more than 2 to 3kW power. On a system that produces 2kW power, you would be able to run a 1-ton air conditioner easily.
To get an estimate of how much it will cost to run an air conditioner on solar power, you would first need to understand the complete system. Your solar system would include solar panels, charge controllers, batteries, and an inverter. A solar panel would be the most basic expense in your system and they are expensive.
Currently, in Pakistan, a solar panel that produces 300W of electricity costs around Rs. 18,000. For a 1-ton air conditioner, you would need a solar system that produces 2kW power. So, if you install 7 plates that produce 300W of electricity, the cost of your solar plates will amount to 18000x7= Rs. 1,26,000.
This is just the estimated cost for the plates. Combined with the complete system including the batteries and the inverter, the total can rack up to almost 2-3 lacs and is bound to keep increasing if your air conditioner has more than 1-ton capacity. For 1.5-ton, you would need a system with almost 3kW power and the cost would almost double. But there will also be an advantage. Not just the air conditioner, with this power, you would be able to work most of your smaller appliances like fans, lights, LED TVs, and laptops.
You can run your air conditioners on solar power if you can afford the high costs of setting up the whole system. We recommend that you get a grid-connected solar panel because the output from the solar system is not always consistent and you should not run your air conditioner directly on solar power. The grid-connected system works to keep the power supply consistent as it makes up for the deficit and the excess (sold to the grid). The only downside may be that the system will not work when there is a power cut.
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