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Off Grid Air Conditioning A Success

I have an off grid solar powered camper for about $2000 and I am running a 32 inch TV, laptop, LED lighting, outdoor lights, an air conditioner and lots more. You can do the same. You do not need to spend 15k on an off grid system. Here is the proof.

The Off Grid Project has recently taken a leap forward in showing what is possible to run with a small investment in solar power. I now have air conditioning in my off grid solar camper.

Living off the grid means a bit of a change in your lifestyle. I had to give up my large freezer in exchange for a small propane fridge. If the AC part of it worked, I would be running it on solar as well, but its defective. I had to trade in my desktop for a laptop. My lights are all LEDs. You have to turn on more lights, but they work well and use way less energy. I do not yet run any larger kitchen appliances. Forget a microwave. They are not healthy for you anyway. I use propane for cooking (or outdoor camp fire).

Solar Panels On Adjustable Frames.jpg

My TV is a 32 inch LED TV. These use way less power. Mine uses only about 28 watts. My laptop uses about 30 – 60 watts depending on what I am doing at the time. These are the big “power hungry” devices that I use every day.




Now I have an air conditioner that uses 500 watts max at 5,000 BTUs. A larger air conditioner would require a larger solar setup to run.

I use an electric coffee grinder every day, electric shaver, fans, bug zapper 24/7, outdoor LED light 24/7 (because I cant remember to turn it off), indoor LED lighting, camera battery charger, power tool chargers and more.

A friend recently spent the night in my off grid camper and asked me if I should maybe turn off some lights. I asked him why should I. He responded – to save energy. I answered that I have energy to spare and do not have to worry about it. This is a good feeling.

My solar power system consists of the following:

800 watts of solar panels – cost $400

MPPT solar charge controller – cost $500

Pure sine wave inverter 1500 watts – cost $500

6 golf cart batteries – cost $600

Jumper cables (cut up for connecting wire) and connectors – cost $60

Total cost = $2,060.



You may pay a bit more or less depending on your needs and where you buy your supplies.

For example, you can get a Tiger Claw pure sine wave inverter for about $179 from Amazon. The solar panels you can get from Mine were from craigslist. Near the big cities you can find a ton of second hand, slightly imperfect or surplus solar panels for dirt cheap.

The solar charge controller is a Tristar 60 amp MPPT solar charge controller from Northern Arizona Wind & Sun


One very important point about running an air conditioner with this setup. I do not turn it up to full cool and take the temperature down to 65 degrees. I keep it about 75 to 78 inside. The humidity is gone within about 30 minutes and it feels very good. I do not believe I could keep it below 75 degrees for any sustainable time without more batteries.

When it is cooler outside, below 75 degrees, I open a window and use a fan.

But this is proof that you can run an air conditioner and live in relative comfort with a budget off grid solar powered home.

With 4 more batteries I could probably keep the whole camper at 70 degrees and run an AC powered fridge full time with no trouble. My batteries are topped off my noon each day. This means that I still have lots of solar power to spare. In winter it would be less, but then I would not need the air conditioner.

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You can watch today's video here: Off Grid Air Conditioning A Success You Dont Need An Expensive System  Off Grid Air Conditioning A Success You Dont Need An Expensive System


While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow our daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.


Feel free to ask any questions or get help with your project on our Discussion and support forum

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Troy Reid


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