James Elston

James Elston

Published June 5, 2024

Not only do solar panels allow you to power a variety of appliances, but they also help reduce your carbon footprint and minimise your electricity bills. Over 1.5 million property owners in the UK have had solar panels installed, with this number expected to continue rising as more people become aware of the many benefits that solar panels have to offer.

In this article, we’ll discuss the various appliances that can be run on solar as well as some other important aspects of solar energy.

What Common Appliances Can Run On Solar Power?

If an appliance can be run on electricity, it can be run on solar power, provided you have enough solar panels and the right-sized battery. While dozens of appliances are compatible with solar energy, here are six appliances that are most commonly connected to solar grids.

1. Lightbulbs

Even those who can only invest in relatively small solar panel systems can still run their lightbulbs on solar power. Lightbulbs have very little solar energy usage, especially if you use energy-efficient bulbs, like LEDs.

2. Fridges and freezers

If you have a large enough solar panel system, you can run your refrigeration appliances on solar power. If you find your fridge is drawing too much electricity for your solar panels to keep up with, you could always run your fridge on solar during the day and on the electrical grid at night.

3. Ovens

Ovens draw a lot of electricity, so running them on solar energy can help keep your electricity bills down. However, your solar panels will need to generate around 4 kW of power if you want to connect your oven to your solar grid. Even then, you may only be able to use it during daylight hours. If you have a gas oven, you won’t be able to run it on solar power at all.

4. Television

If you have one or more solar panels on your property, you can easily run your television on solar energy. Televisions don’t require a lot of power, but just make sure that you keep it turned off when not in use if you want to conserve energy.

5. Small appliances

Small household appliances like kettles, microwaves, hairdryers, vacuum cleaners, and other electrical devices can run on solar energy, provided the plug point is connected to your solar grid.

6. Washing machines

Washing machines are known for consuming a lot of electricity; however, you can switch your washing machine over to solar energy. If you want to reduce your energy usage, you should only use the cold water setting. The hot water setting can draw significantly more power and cause your clothing to fade.

Can Boilers Be Run On Solar Power?

Whether or not a solar panel system can power your boiler depends on the type of boiler and how many solar panels you have.

Boilers typically require a significant amount of energy to heat water. This means that you’ll require quite a large solar setup to power your boiler. Instead, many property owners use solar energy to power their appliances and keep their boilers connected to the electrical grid.

If you have a gas boiler, you won’t be able to power it with solar panels at all. However, investing in solar panels will still help reduce your energy bills. You could also always make the switch to an electric boiler if you want to run your boiler on solar power.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need To Power My Household Appliances?

In most cases, a 3-4 kW solar panel system can handle the majority of your electrical needs. This size system typically consists of between seven and nine solar panels and usually requires around 15 square metres of roof space.

Certain factors impact the number of solar panels you’ll need to power your home appliances, including:

  • Your average energy consumption.
  • The size of your property, including how many bedrooms.
  • The average daylight hours in your area.
  • The types of home appliances you have.
  • Your available roof space.
  • Your typical monthly electricity bill.

Even if you take all of the above factors into consideration, it may still prove difficult to determine the exact number of solar panels you need to power your appliances. The best solution is to get a solar panel expert to assess your specific situation and provide you with a quote.

FAQs

Can I install my own solar panels?

Getting solar panels installed is a fairly complex process that is best left to the professionals. In the UK, it is legal to install your own solar panels but you could end up damaging the panels, connecting them incorrectly, or even injuring yourself. It’s just not worth the risk!

How do I manage my energy usage when using solar panels to run appliances?

These days, plenty of useful applications allow you to manage your energy usage and easily swap between solar power and the municipal electrical grid. With just a few clicks on your mobile phone, you can see how much energy is left in your battery and which appliances are drawing the most power.

How much do solar panels cost?

The cost of solar panel installation is often what deters people from making the investment. You can expect to pay roughly £7,000 for an ‘average’ house. While this seems like a lot, you will save when it comes to electricity costs and you won’t have to rely on the municipal electricity grid. The SEG scheme also allows you to sell any excess energy back to the national grid.

Do I need a solar battery?

While you can harness solar power without a solar battery, proper battery storage can enhance your experience and ensure you get the most out of your solar PV system. Stored energy in the battery is converted back to usable energy should you want to use solar power when the sun isn’t shining. A standard solar battery can hold a charge for between one and five days.

How else can I reduce my environmental impact?

There are many ways in which you can reduce your environmental impact, including choosing appliances with higher energy efficiency, opting for an electric car, recycling, and choosing renewable energy over fossil fuels when you can.

Conclusion

It is a common misconception that solar panels can only power certain appliances; however, the truth is that almost all electrical appliances can make use of solar power. All you need is a proper grid setup, a large enough battery, and the right number of solar panels.

If you want to minimise your carbon footprint and enjoy reduced energy bills, you may want to invest in a solar panel system for your home or commercial property. Here at Eco Happy, our experienced team can take care of your solar panel installation in the UK and offer professional advice based on our years of experience. Feel free to contact us and request a quote today.

James Elston

James Elston

Boiler Expert


James Elston is the top boiler replacement and heating expert at Eco Happy. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry, focusing on Gas Safe boiler installations and offering home-heating and energy-saving solutions to homeowners across the UK. From sourcing the most energy-efficient combi boiler to providing specialist heating advice, James ensures that Eco Happy maintains the highest standards and best customer service.

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