Can You Use Solar Batteries to Run Your AC?
One of the largest summer concerns for Arizonans and those that are new to the Grand Canyon State is being able to run cooling equipment to keep their homes comfortable and safe, especially during a power outage. For homeowners that are considering going off-grid with their solar, or incorporating battery storage into their existing solar PV systems, the prevailing question is, can you use solar battery storage for an air conditioner?
The short answer is yes. However, because an air conditioner requires a large amount of electricity, there are some things you should know about setting your home up for a solar powered air conditioner.
You Can Run an Air Conditioner on Stored Solar Power, if:
You have enough solar panels to cover all of your energy usage
Proper design and sizing is essential to any solar PV system, but in the case of using solar energy to power your air conditioner, you will need to have enough energy available to cover the hottest days of the year.
You have enough battery storage space to cover your 24/7 energy usage
Solar energy storage systems like solar batteries save solar electricity for use after the sun goes down and panels stop converting sunlight to electricity.
Similar to the number of solar panels your home needs to run, your solar batteries need to have the capacity to dispense the amount of electricity needed on the hottest day of the year if you plan to run your air conditioning system without the help from grid-supplied electricity.
Your inverter is powerful enough
The most important factor when running your AC during a power outage is having an inverter that is powerful enough. AZ homes are most often cooled by large 3-5 ton AC units. These big units require a large surge of power to turn on and run. Most solar installs are done with grid-tied inverters, which are designed for efficiency but they cannot keep up with the surge of power necessary to start a big air conditioner. For that task, it is usually best to use an off-grid type of inverter – which are designed to start and run large motors without the help of the utility grid. When hooked to the grid, off-grid inverters like the Outback Radian can save you money all year long and keep your AC running during an outage.
Arizona Uses AC Four Times More Than National Average
There is plenty of sunshine (and heat) to deal with here in Arizona, so thank goodness that sunshine can be put to good use! Because Arizonans use over four times the national average on air conditioning, the amount of solar electricity needed to use a solar battery for an air conditioner in AZ is higher than other areas of the country.
Despite, the added expense, solar batteries offer a number of benefits, including:
- Protection from power outages
- A reliably comfortable home
- Elimination of time-or-use and demand response charges
- Greatly reduced carbon footprint
Get A Solar Battery Quote from SouthFace Solar & Electric
If you are wondering if you can run your existing air conditioner on solar power, or you are planning your first foray into solar and want to have your solar panels directly power your AC, call the experienced and trusted team at SouthFace Solar & Electric.
With over 35 years of combined experience designing and installing residential and commercial solar PV systems in the Phoenix area, we know what it takes to battle the rising heat of the desert using solar powered air conditioning. With your customized solar quote, we can also advise you on how to reduce your energy consumption before going solar, which will require a smaller sized system for your initial solar investment.