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Solar Powered Air Conditioner with a Kodiak Solar Generator
We are testing how long an Inergy Kodiak solar generator will operate a 5000 BTU window unit air conditioner.
The Kodiak solar generator has a 95 amp hour lithium battery and a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter. It can handle up to 600 watts of solar while it’s operating (in other words, you can charge it while you use it).
How Long Will it Run?
How long will this generator operate a window unit right out of the box? It is not designed for air conditioners but is typically intended for smaller appliances and necessities during power outages or in an off-grid situation. Air conditioners are hard to run using battery power because they use so much energy. It’s a 5000 BTU air conditioner so I will assume it will use around 500 watts.
Plug the air conditioner into the Kodiak and turn on the power for the inverter. We have full battery. We will turn that to high cool and maximum cold temperature. Before the Kodiak kicks on its resting wattage is about 9 watts. When we turn the air conditioner to “high fan” the watts jump to 120 and come to rest at 65 watts. Turn the compressor on to “high cool” and that jumps the watts to around 400 but as the compressor builds up it will get closer to around 500 watts in the next 30 minutes.
The temperature reading on the Kodiak is about 109 degrees, the air conditioner is blowing at 59 degrees fahrenheit. It is now down to about 50 percent and it has been one hour. About an hour and a half into the test the Inergy Kodiak Generator used 80 percent of its battery capacity. It didn’t have the current to continue pumping the 5000 BTU air conditioner.
Maximizing Your Power Output
However, if you had enough solar and a few extra batteries you can run a 5000 BTU air conditioner for much longer. We ran another test to see how much extra time we would get with one 100 watt solar panel hooked up to the generator.
We plugged the solar panel into the Kodiak solar generator and turned on the air conditioner. We are now running at 400 watts with 100 percent power. Two hours into the test the generator is maintaining 40 percent power. One 100 watt solar panel gave us an extra hour of runtime compared to just using the generator by itself.
For every 100 watt panel added, you may gain up to an extra hour of run time from the generator. Considering the generator can handle 600 watts of solar as well as additional batteries, the Inergy Kodiak solar generator could run an air conditioner for about eight hours.
It’s important to note that this generator will handle large appliances for shorter amounts of time, including larger air conditioners like a the 15000 BTU air conditioner in my RV. That unit drew anywhere from 1300 watts to 1800 watts of power. Thankfully, the Kodiak generator has a 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter with peak built in to handle surges, this enabled it to handle the load.
Thanks for watching and as always, Happy Camping!