AC and Solar Panels: Setup Options, Panel Needs

AC and Solar Panels: Setup Options, Panel Needs

As many home and building owners modernize their structures and upgrade various components, there may be questions about whether certain elements are compatible with one another. Within the realm of HVAC, one such question will often sound something like this: If one is installing solar panels as their primary power source moving forward, will this be compatible with your air conditioner setup?

At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we're here to tell you that the answer is yes - and we're also here to provide constant support for all your HVAC needs around Riverton, Lehi, Bluffdale, Herriman and other parts f Utah, from air conditioner repair and installation to furnace services, indoor air quality and more. This two-part blog series will go over everything you need to know about operating your AC in a home or building powered by solar, from the system setups available to the number of panels you may need and more.

Solar Setup Options and Impact on AC

Solar panel setups come in a few different varieties, and which your home or building utilizes will play a major role in how your AC operates. Here are the general options:

  • Off-grid system (battery storage): The most common setup for a home or building powered by solar energy, this option stores the energy collected from the panels into a battery bank, which can then be tapped into when needed, such as during peak times of day. For air conditioners, this means that there will never be any interruptions in power or disruption to the cooling process.
  • On-grid system (net metering): This setup is a bit different as it involves sending energy collected from the solar panels back into the grid, and drawing on it when needed. For air conditioners, this means that any excess energy collected can be used to supplement your AC usage, however you may experience power outages if the grid runs low or during a solar eclipse.
  • Solar panels solely for AC: While these are much rarer, there are some homeowners and building owners who opt to install solar panels solely for the purpose of powering their AC. This setup can be beneficial as it ensures a constant supply of power for your cooling unit, but may also include some nuance and complexity because of the rarity of such setups.

How Many Panels Do You Need

While this is an understandable question, it's also not one that has a singular answer. It will depend on the size of your home or building, how much energy you use, and where you're located geographically. Generally speaking, however, if you want to power your AC with solar panels alone, experts recommend that you install at least 5 kW worth of them with a minimum of 10 panels overall.

At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we're always here to help with any AC or other HVAC setup, upgrade or repair. Contact us today to learn more about this topic or any of our other services!