How many solar panels to run a 3-ton air conditioner?

To run a 3-ton air conditioner on solar panels we have to install a heavy watt of solar panels. It also depends on how much sunlight we get each day to charge our solar panels and how much time we run our ACs in a day. In this article, we’ll go through the more such factors that determine how many solar panels to run a 3-ton air conditioner and how the calculation is done. 

Calculating how much power 3-ton air conditioning uses

Calculation of power consumed by a 3-ton air conditioner

Let’s say we have a 3-ton AC that uses 3000 watts of power. So, if we use the AC for the whole day, i.e., 24 hours, then it will consume 72 KWh, or (3000 X 24) / 1000 hours of energy each day. 

Steps to calculate the power consumption of AC

  1. Know the 3-ton value in watts which is 3000 watts in this case.
  2. Multiply the watts by the ACs running time in a day.
  3. Divide the resulting value by 1000 to know the KWh of power consumption. 
  4. Similarly, add the other appliance’s household consumption per hour to know the total consumption for each hour.

Steps to calculate the number of solar panels 

  1. Firstly, know the peak hours of sunlight in a day, assuming 6 hours a day.
  2. Multiply the per-hour requirement of a 3-ton AC (or total consumption per hour) by peak hours of sunlight.
  3. Suppose we are considering installing the 150 watts or 300 watts solar panels. 
  4. Divide the total consumption per hour by the watts of solar panels to know the number of solar panels required. 

Here is the table which shows each hour of calculation and the number of solar panels we need at our place: 

Running time in a dayPower consumption of a 3-ton ACOther household consumption Total consumption in a dayNumber of solar panels required (for 150 W)Number of solar panels required (for 300 W)
1 hour3 KWh30 KWh33 KWh11
2 hours6 KWh60 KWh66 KWh31
3 hours9 KWh90 KWh99 KWh42
4 hours12 KWh120 KWh132 KWh53
5 hours15 KWh150 KWh165 KWh73
6 hours18 KWh180 KWh198 KWh84
7 hours21 KWh210 KWh231 KWh95
8 hours24 KWh240 KWh264 KWh115
9 hours27 KWh270 KWh297 KWh126
10 hours30 KWh300 KWh330 KWh137
11 hours33 KWh330 KWh363 KWh157
12 hours36 KWh360 KWh396 KWh168
13 hours39 KWh390 KWh429 KWh179
14 hours42 KWh420 KWh462 KWh189
15 hours45 KWh450 KWh495 KWh2010
16 hours48 KWh480 KWh528 KWh2111
17 hours51 KWh510 KWh561 KWh2211
18 hours54 KWh540 KWh594 KWh2412
19 hours57 KWh570 KWh627 KWh2513
20 hours60 KWh600 KWh660 KWh2613
21 hours63 KWh630 KWh693 KWh2814
22 hours66 KWh660 KWh726 KWh2915
23 hours69 KWh690 KWh759 KWh3015
24 hours72 KWh720 KWh792 KWh3216

Calculation of Central AC and Window AC

Calculation of central ac and window ac
  1. Central AC

The centralized ACs are the ones that are of higher watts and can cool the whole area. Therefore, if we install a 3-ton centralized AC in our house, it requires more solar panels. 

Suppose we are using the AC for nine hours a day and considering installing 150 W of solar panels, then we need 12 solar panels. As the central AC has more fans, then we require more than 12 solar panels, which can go up to 15 solar panels. 

  1. Window AC 

The window ACs come in different sizes and in various wattages. Suppose we have installed three window ACs in three rooms each having different wattage of electricity requirements with one being a 1-ton, 2-ton, and 3-ton. By converting each in watts it will be approximately equal to 1000 W, 2000 W, and 3000 W and they run for 12 hours, 11 hours, and 10 hours each day, respectively. 

Suppose, we have installed 150 W of solar panels, and the peak hours of sunlight in a day is 6 hours. Following the steps of the calculation, the total number of solar panels required will be 3. But to know the total number of solar panels we need to add the requirement for the other appliances as well. If the additional consumption in a day is 150 kWh per hour, then we need a total of nine solar panels. 

Air Conditioning TypeAC CapacityDaily Usage (hours)Solar Panel Capacity (W)Peak Sunlight Hours (hours)Additional Consumption (kWh/hour)Estimated Total Solar Panels
Central AC3-ton9150—–—–12 to 15
Window AC1-ton1215061509
Window AC2-ton1115061509
Window AC3-ton1015061509

Factors to consider to know how many solar panels to run a 3-ton AC

  1. Type and efficiency of solar panels: There are in general three types of solar panels that are available nowadays. Monocrystalline solar panels are more heat resistant and efficient as compared to polycrystalline and thin-film solar panels. 
  1. Watts of solar panels: The higher the watts of solar panels, the lower will be the number of solar panels required to install. It is because the higher watts producing solar panels will convert the solar energy into electrical energy at a faster rate. 
  1. Peak hours of sunlight in a day: If we get more hours of sunlight in a day, then solar panels will produce more KWh of electricity. If we get fewer hours of sunlight, then we require more and more solar panels to produce the required amount of electricity.
  1. Storage capacity of a battery: The storage capacity of a battery plays a key role when determining the number of solar panels because as the watts of solar panels increase, then the storage capacity of a battery should be increased. 
  1. The angle of a solar panel: The angle at which the solar panel is installed also affects its efficiency. The solar panels should be installed in such a manner that their upper area faces toward the south at an angle of at least 30 degrees. 
  1. On-grid and Off-grid: ACs come in two types, on-grid and off-grid. An on-grid AC can run on an electrical grid even if our solar system is not working while the off-grid only works on the battery storage and inverter power of the solar system. Therefore, if we use the on-grid AC, then less wattage or few solar panels can be installed than what is required for off-grid ACs. 


To calculate how many solar panels to run a 3-ton air conditioner, we must do the calculation right by following all the steps. We should keep all the factors in mind because each area has different peak hours of sunlight and thereby each area requires a different number of solar panels. As far as ACs are concerned, they are very heavy appliances and therefore also need to be supported by on-grid electricity as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How many solar panels do I need for AC?

The number of solar panels I require for a 3-ton AC to run 10 hours in a day will be somewhere around 13 solar panels of 150 watts each and 7 solar panels of 300 watts each. This is the requirement if all my other appliances in 10 hours require 300 KWh of electricity.

Can we run AC on a 3 KW solar system?

Yes, we can run AC on a 3 KW or 3000 W solar system. Suppose we are installing the 3-ton air conditioner and running it for five hours a day, then it requires a power consumption of (3000 watts X 5 hours) / 1000 which is equal to 15 kWh.

Can I run 1.5-ton AC on a 3 KW solar system?

Yes, we can run 1.5-ton AC on a 3 KW solar system. Suppose we get 6 hours of peak sunlight in a day. Then the 1.5 ton running for 8 hours in a day requires 12 KWh of electricity. 

Can I run my AC all day with solar?

We can run AC all day with a solar system only when we get a good amount of sunlight all over the year and a strong storage battery to store the excess amount of electricity that can be used at night

How to run 1 ton AC on solar?

To run 1 ton AC on a solar system, suppose for 2 hours in a day, we need to have a 400 W of the solar system. If we want to run the AC for 8 hours a day, then we need 1.6 KW of the solar system. If we want to run the AC for 20 hours a day, then we need 4 KW of the solar system. 

This article is better than the other because it covers the step-by-step solution to calculate the number of solar panels requirements and later explains it in a tabular form for each number of hours. 

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