Solar Power Panel

Dennis Said:

I’d like to build a solar panel to power my air conditioner?

We Answered:

You can find sizing calculators for solar electric off and on grid at

First use the load calculator to find out how much energy in terms of wattage your AC unit consumes per day. Then you have 2 choices. You can use the off grid calculator to figure out the size of a system it would take to power your ac unit completely detached from the utility. Or you can use the on grid calculator to see what size system you would need to connect a PV array to the grid to offset your AC usage.

Cathy Said:

How big should solar panel be to power up my house, if our average is 1000 kilowatts per/month?

We Answered:

The first move before installing solar is reduced your load.

1000kwh is allot of power and there are probably opportunities to reduce the load without sacrificing comfort or lifestyle.

Solar Thermal or hot water from the sun is cheaper and more efficient than PV or electric. Consider one of these systems first and you will greatly reduce your load. ( I assume you use electric heat for water based on your area)

With your current usage I would guess closer to a 6kw system to satisfy your current needs

your usage is roughly 33 kwh per day

Natalie Said:

What kind of Solar Power panel setup do I need for this horse bucket?

We Answered:

figuring at 4 dollars a watt for solar power, that is very expensive not to mention that the solar panel does not work during darkness and when the sunlight is greatly shaded.

you would need a battery with the ability to supply 260 watts per hour for darkness and that will require a battery

i suggest you place it near a power outlet, if this it not possible, contact the alternate energy store and talk to one of the sales staff and if you go with a panel, look for a dent and scratch, they cost less but still work

Claire Said:

Is there a way to hook up a solar power panel to a small appliance?

We Answered:

Sure you can use a solar panel and dump the output into a bank of 12V batteries as an example. However, you need an inverter which converts the 12DC into 120VAC so you can run your toaster. The cheaper/cheapest inverters give you a simple (bipolar) square wave. using a switching transformer. Then there are the ones who have a stepped waveform (4 steps being the minimum with a distinct zero portion) and the very expensive ones deliver a sine wave. The latter is basically a DC amplifier with a 60Hz sine oscillator driving the power section. The sine wave can also be derived from a digitized signal with various numbers of steps.

EDIT: I assumed that anyone using an inverter knows that one can not power a 500W microwave with a 100W inverter.

Carrie Said:

can you connect a electric lamp to a solar power panel?

We Answered:

as long as the panel produces the voltage and current the lamp needs, yes.
if not, you will need a converter or inverter.
and most people hook the panel to a battery and the lamp to the battery. it evens out the bright sun days and cloudy days, and a lamp that only works when the sun is out, is not much good.