Cutting down on your expensive power bills in the summertime could be as easy as switching your air conditioning to a solar powered system. But is it even possible? Exploring the options that are currently available can help you choose a way to keep your home cool that fits your desires for solar power generation at home. Here are few ways you can run an air conditioner with solar panels if you're willing to spend the money on the right equipment.
Room vs Central
You need quite a few solar panels, usually upwards of five to nearly 10 in some cases, just to run the central air conditioning of an average house. You can cut down the number of panels you need to power your conditioner by only cooling a single room or a small area with a window mounted unit with a much lower total wattage. One room requires much less electricity to cool, and window-mounted or portable air conditioners are easier to use on solar power than central air conditioning units.
Thankfully, the time of day you need air conditioning the most tends to coincide with the peak hours when the sun is the strongest for power generation. Only running your A/C when it's the hottest each day is one way to know you are getting enough solar power for powering your cooling system during the hottest part of the day. You may need secondary ventilation equipment to keep the home cooler during the evening without running your batteries down while the sun is down.
Extra Solar Panels
You can install specific solar panels just for your air conditioner based on the wattage of the HVAC system. You will also need to install a high load inverter to give the air conditioner the extra power it needs to turn the compressor on. Without the inverter, the air conditioner will not be able to start and will burn out the motor in addition to damaging your batteries.
Ultra Efficient Equipment
Heat pumps have become much more efficient than when they first arrived on the market. It takes little energy to run a heat pump for cooling than traditional central air conditioners or room-sized equipment. They can also heat the home in the winter with a lower electrical load than an electric furnace, making it a good choice for a solar-powered home. Finally, there are also specialty air conditioning units that are designed to draw an extremely low wattage so that that can be powered by a smaller solar array of just three to four extra panels.
To learn more, contact a company like Allied Mechanical & Electrical, Inc.