Can a Tesla Powerwall Run an Air Conditioner?

If you want to run large appliances like an air conditioner with solar battery backup, Tesla Powerwall is the best choice. Tesla Powerwall batteries are designed for whole-home backup and can support heavy electrical loads, including 240V air conditioners. 

Element Electric is a Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer in Davis, Dixon, Vacaville, and the surrounding areas. We can install a residential solar panel and battery system that will provide all the backup power you need to get through the next outage comfortably. 

How to Run an AC with Tesla Powerwall 

Tesla Powerwall solar batteries integrate with your solar panel system to store excess solar energy for backup protection. When the grid goes down, your system will detect the outage so you don’t have to worry about switching to battery power—it will happen automatically. When sunlight is available, your battery will recharge so you can keep your appliances running for longer. 

We can set your Powerwall battery system up to power specific loads, like your air conditioner, or your entire home. The Tesla Powerwall battery is ideal for powering window air conditioners rather than central ACs and heat pumps. It’s possible to power a central cooling system with a Tesla battery, but you will need a powerful inverter and, most likely, multiple batteries. 

Element Electric specializes in custom solar and battery backup design. We will analyze your home’s power consumption and help you decide which appliances to include in your backup power plans. Then, we’ll design and install a custom battery system to keep your home running for as long as possible during an outage. We can stack up to 10 Powerwall batteries together to give you uninterrupted, whole-home backup. 

Right now is the best time to install solar with battery backup thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act solar tax credit. Tesla batteries are eligible for the 30% tax credit, so you can save 30% on your solar and battery installation costs!  

Tesla Powerwall Capacity vs Air Conditioner Capacity 

How long a Tesla Powerwall will last while running an air conditioner depends on the capacity of the air conditioner and the charge level and capacity of the Powerwall. 

Tesla Powerwall has a total usable capacity of 13.5 kWh. That means, if your battery is fully charged, it can provide 13.5 kWh of electricity. The power consumption of an air conditioner varies widely based on its size, type, and efficiency. A window unit might use around 3 kWh for each hour it runs, while a central AC will use much more. If your air conditioner consumes 3 kWh per hour, a fully charged Powerwall will be able to run it for about 4.5 hours. 

Fully draining your battery can, however, have detrimental effects and it’s not recommended. In real-world situations, the usable capacity will be slightly lower. 

To backup most electronics and appliances, you only need to think about capacity. But air conditioners have motors that take more power to start than they do to run. The amount of power it will take to start a motor is measured in locked motor amps (LRA). The latest version of the Tesla Powerwall has a 118A max LRA start, which means your AC needs to have an LRA of 118A or lower to be compatible with a single Tesla Powerwall. 

How to Extend Your Powerwall’s Capacity While Running AC 

There are a few things you can do to keep your Tesla solar battery running your air conditioner as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. 

1. Set the Temperature Higher 

During a power outage, you should set your air conditioner at a higher temperature than normal to conserve energy. 

2. Turn off the AC When Cool 

Once your house has cooled off, turn your AC off to conserve energy. You can help your house retain the cool air by keeping all windows and doors closed and shutting blinds to block out the sun. 

3. Insulate!

A well-insulated home will retain cold air much better than a poorly insulated house, so you can run your AC less frequently to conserve energy and stay just as comfortable. Insulating your house will help your AC perform more efficiently at all times, not only during an outage.

Get the best backup power for your home with Tesla Powerwall. Call 707-693-1651 or contact us for a free estimate.