Can I Run My Caravan Air Con From a Battery/Solar System


Caravanning is a fantastic way to explore the world and enjoy the great outdoors. However, comfort is essential, especially during scorching summer days. Many caravan enthusiasts wonder if it’s possible to run an air conditioning unit in their mobile homes while also being environmentally conscious. The answer is yes, you can indeed run an air conditioner in a caravan using solar power but at what cost? 

In this blog, we’ll explore the feasibility and challanges with this energy-efficient option.

Understanding the Basics:

To grasp how you can power an air conditioning unit with solar energy in your caravan, it’s crucial to understand the key components involved:

  1. Solar Panels: Solar panels, usually mounted on the roof of your caravan, are the primary energy source. They convert sunlight into electricity.
  2. Batteries: The electricity generated by the solar panels is stored in batteries, such as deep-cycle lead-acid batteries or lithium-ion batteries. These store the energy for use when the sun isn’t shining.
  3. Inverter: An inverter is necessary to convert the direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panels and stored in the batteries into alternating current (AC) electricity, which most air conditioners require.
  4. Air Conditioning Unit: Choose an energy-efficient and appropriately sized air conditioning unit for your caravan. This ensures that your system can be adequately powered by your solar setup.

Determining Your Power Needs:

Before investing in a solar power system for your caravan’s air conditioner, it’s crucial to calculate your power requirements. Air conditioners can be power-hungry, so you need to know how much electricity your specific unit consumes.

Typically, air conditioning units for caravans require anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 watts of power to operate. However, this can vary significantly based on factors like the unit’s size, efficiency, and the desired indoor temperature. You must also consider the number of hours you plan to run the air conditioner each day.

Sizing Your Solar System:

To run your air conditioner on solar power, you need a solar system that can generate enough electricity to meet your power requirements. Here’s a simplified process to determine the required solar panel capacity:

  1. Calculate the daily energy consumption of your air conditioner in watt-hours (Wh).
  2. Estimate the number of hours of sunlight you’ll receive on average per day.
  3. Divide your daily energy consumption by the average hours of sunlight to determine the minimum solar panel capacity you need in watts.

Keep in mind that solar panels don’t generate a constant output, so you’ll need to account for variations in sunlight and energy losses in the system.

Battery Capacity:

Since the sun isn’t always shining, you’ll need a battery bank to store excess energy generated during sunny periods. This stored energy will power your air conditioner during cloudy days or at night.

Ensure that your battery capacity can cover your air conditioner’s power needs and still provide sufficient energy for other caravan appliances.


Running an air conditioning unit in your caravan using solar power is a feasible and eco-friendly option, but it does require careful planning and a large investment in the right equipment. Before making the switch, assess your power requirements, choose energy-efficient appliances, and properly size your solar panel and battery system. Our specialists can assist you in estimating the system you will need.

While the upfront costs are substantial, there are some long-term benefits of clean, sustainable energy and the ability to enjoy comfort in your caravan without relying on fossil fuels make the transition to solar power a worthwhile endeavour for environmentally conscious caravan enthusiasts.

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