How Many Solar Panels to Run a Mini Split: A Comprehensive Guide

Running a mini-split air conditioner using solar power is an efficient and eco-friendly way to cool your home. However, determining the right number of solar panels required can be a complex task, as it depends on various factors. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the technical details and provide a step-by-step approach to help you determine the optimal solar panel configuration for your mini-split system.

Calculating the Power Requirement of Your Mini-Split

The first step in determining the number of solar panels needed is to calculate the power requirement of your mini-split unit. This involves several key considerations:

  1. BTU Rating: The BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating of your mini-split unit will directly impact the power consumption. Typically, a small, efficient mini-split (9,000 – 12,000 BTU) will require between 3 to 4 solar panels.

  2. Power Draw: Look up the power draw of your specific mini-split model, which is usually measured in watts. For example, a 12,000 BTU mini-split with a power draw of 2,400 watts would require approximately 7,200 watts of solar panels (2,400 watts x 3) to accommodate the start-up requirement and some energy inefficiency.

  3. Amperage: Many residential mini-splits draw between 15 and 20 amperes. To determine the wattage requirement, multiply the amperage by the voltage (typically 120V or 240V) to get the power draw in watts.

  4. Efficiency Factors: Consider the energy efficiency rating of your mini-split and the average solar radiation (sunshine) in your location. These factors will impact the overall energy requirements and the number of solar panels needed.

Selecting the Appropriate Solar Panels

how many solar panels to run mini splitImage source: Flickr

Once you have calculated the power requirement, you can determine the number of solar panels needed. Here are some key considerations:

  1. Panel Wattage: Standard residential solar panels typically range from 250 to 365 watts. Divide the total wattage requirement by the individual panel wattage to get the number of panels needed.

  2. Panel Efficiency: Look for high-efficiency solar panels to maximize the energy output and minimize the number of panels required.

  3. Panel Size: Consider the physical size of the solar panels and ensure they can be accommodated on your roof or designated installation area.

  4. Panel Orientation: The orientation and tilt angle of the solar panels can significantly impact their energy production. Consult with a solar expert to determine the optimal placement for your location.

Additional System Components

In addition to the solar panels, you’ll need several other components to create a complete off-grid solar-powered mini-split system:

  1. Charge Controller: A charge controller is essential to prevent battery overcharging and ensure the proper flow of electricity from the solar panels to the batteries.

  2. Inverter: An inverter is required to convert the DC electricity generated by the solar panels into AC electricity that can be used by the mini-split unit.

  3. Batteries: Batteries are necessary to store the excess electricity generated by the solar panels, allowing you to use the energy when the sun is not shining.

  4. Wiring and Mounting Hardware: Proper wiring and mounting hardware are crucial for the safe and efficient installation of the solar panel system.

Consulting with Experts

While this guide provides a comprehensive overview of the factors to consider when determining the number of solar panels needed for a mini-split system, it’s always recommended to consult with a qualified solar expert. They can help you:

  • Accurately assess your specific energy requirements
  • Recommend the appropriate solar panel size and configuration
  • Ensure the proper installation and integration of all system components
  • Provide guidance on any local regulations or permits required

By working with an expert, you can be confident that your solar-powered mini-split system is designed and installed to meet your needs and local requirements.


Transitioning to a solar-powered mini-split system can be a rewarding and eco-friendly choice for your home. By carefully considering the factors outlined in this guide, you can determine the optimal number of solar panels required to power your mini-split and enjoy the benefits of clean, renewable energy. Remember to consult with a qualified solar expert to ensure a seamless and successful installation.