Can you run a heater on solar power

Can You Run A Heater On Solar Power?

4 Min Read

If you’re keen to start using solar as a backup source of power or if you’ve got an RV, you might be wondering, can you run a heater on solar power? Heaters take a lot of power, after all, so are your solar panels up to the task?

You can run a heater using solar power, as long as you are able to generate enough power. You will need to calculate how many solar panels you need to run the required number of heaters, but it can certainly be done, and many homeowners are looking into this as a means of heating their houses.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can run a heater on solar power, and what you need to be aware of before you try this. This should put you in a strong position to get a working system!

Can You Run A Heater On Solar Power?

The first thing you need to consider is what kind of energy your heater uses – but an electric-powered heater can be very easily run on solar power. You will need to speak to an installer about getting the system set up correctly to make sure you have all the equipment you need.

Before making any decisions about whether this system will function and whether you should go ahead with it, you need to think about quite a few different factors, including:

  • How many heaters you want to run
  • How large the heaters are and how much current they need
  • How many hours per day the heaters will be on
  • What will happen if you aren’t able to generate enough power (what backup source of energy you might use)
  • How much power the solar panels will be able to produce
  • How much room you have for solar panels

If you take all of these things into account, you should be able to determine whether solar panels are a viable source of energy for heating your home or RV. You can then do the following calculation to check whether you can generate sufficient power:

(Number of kWs x hours of operation) x number of heaters.

As an example of this, let’s take a house with 3 1000w radiators. Running these for 2 hours would look like this: (1 kW x 2) x 3 = 6 kWh. That means you need to generate 6 kWh with your solar panels in order to keep the heaters running.

Remember that the more radiators you have and the more power they require, the more solar panels you will need.

Do You Still Need Other Energy Sources?

Although solar panel technology has come a long way over the years, you will still need another source of energy for the days when you can’t generate enough power for the heaters. Heaters are intensive and require a lot of energy to keep running, so don’t underestimate this.

You will need a backup supply of energy, especially if you live somewhere cold. Bear in mind that during the winter, your solar panels may not produce nearly as much energy as they do in the summer, so even if they are capable of powering your heaters at full capacity, they may not do so when the sky is cloudy.

You should remember too that even the best solar panels aren’t currently 100 percent efficient. If your panels can generate 1500 watts of power, they probably won’t manage to power a 1500 watt appliance – because some of that energy will get lost and wasted. Instead, you’ll need between 1600 and 1800 watts.

How Do You Set Up A Solar Panel With A Heater?

This will depend on whether you are setting up an on-grid or off-grid system, but either option can be quite complicated and it is best to get a professional involved to make sure that the system is wired up correctly. On-grid systems may be simpler because they are connected to the grid and feed their power into the overall system.

Off-grid systems tend to be more complicated and they require an inverter, battery banks, a charge controller, and more. This may make them a lot more expensive in some cases. You also need to bear in mind that your heaters will drain your power quite quickly, which will stop other devices from working.


So, the answer to the question can you run a heater on solar power is that you can, but you need to pay attention to a wide variety of factors. This includes things like how many heaters you have, how much power they require, and how long you will be operating them for. Don’t set the system up without understanding these things, or it won’t function well. 



Brian has spent over 30 years as a general contractor, and in that time seen and faced many challenges. He brings all his knowledge of portable generators, battery powered tools, and outdoor equipment to every post he writes through real life experience. Learn more about us.

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