The use of solar panels for air conditioning is an increasingly popular option. It is gaining more attention given the constant increases in the price of electricity as there is an increase in consumption during the summer and winter months.
Solar panels are commonly used to produce domestic hot water, but they can also provide heat in winter and cooling during the summer season in large offices or at home.
What are solar panels for air conditioning?
We need air conditioning systems in the summer, especially during the hottest hours which coincide with the highest solar radiation. Therefore, it is logical to think that a photovoltaic installation can help support air conditioning usage, reducing electricity bills dramatically.
Solar panel installations can power any electronic device. This includes household appliances used for thermal regulation, such as air conditioners. These devices have high electricity consumption, especially in regions where temperatures are very high, and there are frequent heat waves.
Homes and businesses are choosing to install solar panels for air conditioning and thus consume less by staying cool.
How does solar air conditioning work?
Solar installations for air conditioners are easy to use and do not cause any damage to household appliances.
The main element needed for an installation is the solar panel. Air conditioners typically consume a lot of power, so it is important to install the necessary solar panels. For this, it is necessary to evaluate how many you will need for only that device.
Batteries are another important part of the installation process. They help store electricity so you can have your air conditioner at any time. Batteries are not mandatory, but they are necessary if you want to have use at any moment.
In addition, the installation must have a power inverter, a charge controller (if you use batteries), and all relevant connection systems and protections. It may seem complex, but the installation is simple.
Types of solar panels for air conditioning
Solar panels for air conditioning should be photovoltaic type, made of cells that transform the sun’s ultraviolet rays into electric current.
There are different types of panels; these split according to the manufacturing material to build the cells.
- Monocrystalline panels
These are formed by a single silicon crystal, using a process known as ‘Czochralski’; this process builds monocrystalline ingots that become the basis for solar panels. The advantage is that their efficiency values are higher, and they have a useful life of up to 40 years. These are easy to recognize by their dark blue color.
- Polycrystalline panels
They are composed of a group of rectangular silicon crystals manufactured by melting this compound in molds. The process is simpler and cheaper, so they are cheaper in the market. Their efficiency is lower but sufficient to supply a house. It is easy to spot by its dark blue almost black color.
How many solar panels does an air conditioner need?
Air conditioners, like heaters, are typically designed for use with a permanent power grid. This forces us to seek greater capacity, which is why it is recommended that calculating how many solar panels you would need is a task to be performed by professionals in the area. It is preferable to think of installing more power than theoretically demanded.
The first of all would be to know the power of the air conditioner. For this, consult its characteristics and look for its power value in Watts.
Then you would have to estimate what each solar panel produces. Take into account that there are solar panels of different powers, also the photovoltaic generation capacity, which is different depending on the area.
It is vital to consider the maximum power that the panel generates. This power would be under ideal in the ideal conditions of inclination, orientation, and temperature with specific radiation. But it is preferable to consider 80% of the power to avoid saturating the panel.
It is also worth considering solar production since it tends to vary depending on the time of the year.
In short, for the air conditioning equipment to work correctly it will require a power higher than the power consumption of the equipment itself; we also recommend using batteries of sufficient capacity to keep the equipment running.
Benefits of solar panels when using air conditioning
The advantages of using solar panels to power air conditioning are many. Perhaps the most notable would be that they can help to be less dependent on our electric company with their price increases. But, below are some other advantages:
When talking about installing solar panels for air conditioning, we should take into account that clean energy does not generate toxic waste in the environment and helps minimize the ecological footprint.
Today’s solar technology allows photovoltaic installations to adapt to practically any type of space and need. As there is a wide variety of models and materials, each user can choose what may best suit their needs and their air conditioning system.
- Saving on electricity bills
Air conditioners tend to be the cause of high electricity bills during the summer due to the heat. Instead of causing increases in energy through air conditioning demands, it is best to use the sun’s energy to power the solar panels which power air conditioning. This increased efficiency will be notably reflected with each electricity bill.