Solar Air Conditioner with Xantrex SW2000 Review (Solar Generator V3)

Almost done with the V3 rebuild of my solar generator. One of the primary new components is the Xantrex SW2000 inverter (1800W continuous). What will it run? (Solar AIR CONDITIONER!) What won’t it run and why? I’ll answer these questions in the video.

Here’s the spreadsheet I displayed at the end of the video (you can view and copy, not edit):

Curious how I made this solar generator? Watch the build video:

Products used in this video:

FLUKE-376 FC 1000A Ac/Dc Trms Wireless Clamp W/ Iflex: [affiliate]

Xantrex PROWatt 2000 Inverter, Model# 806-1220: [affiliate]

Xantrex 808-9001 PROwatt SW Remote Switch: [affiliate]

Frigidaire FFRE0833S1 8,000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner with Temperature-Sensing Remote Control: [affiliate]

Yamaha EF2000iS, 1600 Running Watts/2000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Inverter, CARB Compliant: [affiliate]

Blue Sea Systems 187-Series Circuit Breakers: [affiliate]

Blue Sea Systems Terminal Feed through Connector: [affiliate]

Midnite Solar Classic 150 Charge Controller 150VDC Input MPPT: [affiliate]

Victron BMV-700 Battery Monitor: [affiliate]

Coolerguys Cabcool1201 Single 120mm Fan Cooling Kit w/thermal control for Cabinet or Home Theaters: [affiliate]

GBS-LFMP100AHX 12V 100Ah 1.3kWh Lithium Battery: [affiliate]


Lee Nguyen says:

Nice work! I did something similar with 12 volt 180 amphr Lipo. After almost 2 years I see almost no degradation of the battery. it can actually store more than 180. Next step to switch to 24 volt and double my battery bank to be able to run a small a.c.. Keep up the nice work and I’ll be subbing.

Henry Devilliers says:

Microwave does not have a motor guilty of what you said. Its a Magnatron and its rated at a kilowatt

K Michael Flynn says:

Q: Can you have a 2 battery bank? One for initial start up and the other for continous running? Kinda both high power and low power system. Hopefully only needing to replace a couple high power batteries instead of a huge multi battery bank? Thanks. Great video.

Louis Y says:

You need a super capacity in order to drive heavy machine like table saw

Matt Lesak says:

Wow, I’m not worthy! Awesome job to say the least, bravo. My solar generators are light weights compared to this build. Impressive.

Mikes DIY Tesla Powerwall says:

Nice work

Four ZeroFour says:

Bro, your hair is awesome. XD
Nice work. 🙂

Louis Y says:

Never mind. My other video question. I use a 600w microwave to boil water regularly. Lol

orvin deo says:

what kind of invert would you recommen to run your table saw and plainer

Roger Kerkmann says:

Do you have gen support mode on inverter and have you tried it.

Travis Sawyer says:

do you think the inverter will run an LG front loading wash machine? And a gas dryer? Basically the dryer just turns the motor and is normally about 230 watts

Jeff B says:

Scouring YouTube vids leads to same conclusion, solar A/C “can” work. But, all I see is starting small window units and running 3-5 minutes. And, I see many folks doing this during day when the solar panel is handling the load and battery bank not being ‘used’ by the A/C unit. Several have stated “run the A/C during the day only to save your batteries from ‘death by draining’.

What about night, when solar panels can’t be tapped and you MUST use batteries? My thought … I work 7am – 3pm, I’m not ‘home’, I don’t need A/C. 3pm – 8pm I’m outside piddling. I need A/C at night, to sleep comfortably.

I’m NOT educated in the least with electronics, so here’s my stupid questions …

1) You mentioned 30 mins with your +/- 74% current battery level. What does it take to run an A/C unit throughout the night?

2) What about a timer system, whereas the A/C only ran 10 mins out of every 3 hours? I’m thinking a very well insulated tiny house or RV. Years ago I insulated and panelled a minivan and made a camper – even on muggiest nights could run the engine for 20 minutes with the van A/C wide open, cool the interior to below 70F, and that cool would remain most the night (actually used a light blanket).

I’m planning the feasibility of going off-grid in central NC, probably converting a school bus to RV. Pretty hot summer months (90F-100F high humidity). Any thoughts from anyone greatly appreciated.

Bill Harris says:

Hi Jessie, Thanks for showing and elaborating on your nice setup. I just wanted to throw in my 2 cents to help educate those interested in going to solar power.

First off, we are spoiled by the high quality power we receive coming into our house. It is perfect power (virtually unlimited, very low distortion, unaffected by appliances that have a high surge current and/or poor power factor). When you try to make your own power however (such as in an off-grid situation), limitations can quickly cause trouble.

Starting with the solar panels, the rated output is spec’ed under ideal conditions: direct, very bright sunlight, no shadow falling on any part of the panel, the panel temperature is 77F/25C, and the panel is perfectly loaded to extract the maximum about of power. In the real world, overcast days, high humidity, high temperature, shade from nearby trees/buildings, and the sun being within 3 hours of sunset or sunrise, can substantially drop the panel output. If you want to power a load 24/7, I recommend at least 10 times more panel power than the load.

For maximum efficiency, the solar controller (the power converter that goes between the solar panels and storage batteries) needs to be a MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) type, which always loads the panels for maximum output power.

The inverter (the power converter that takes the battery power and converts it to house power) needs to be selected carefully depending upon the type of load you plan to power. If you are powering incandescent light bulbs, small heating elements, or simple electronic items, you can get by with a lower priced modified-sinewave inverter. If you are planning to power a nice TV, desktop PC, or an induction motor, you need a true-sinewave inverter. Yes, you can temporarily get by with a modified-sinewave type but, I don’t recommend it. The modified-sinewave inverter puts out squarewaves, cause continuous surges (due to the rapid rising and falling waveform) and voltage transients. Also, it does appear to run most induction motors but, if you check the power consumption, you will find the motor is drawing 10 – 20% more power (which turns into more motor temperature rise, shortening its life), which power you can’t afford to waste in a solar system.

Power factor. Inverters are spec’ed with a resistive load, which has a power factor of 1.0 (a perfect load). Many appliances around the house have a less than perfect power factor. Take a CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp), most of these have a power factor of 0.5. To find out how much power your inverter will need to put out, multiply the reciprocal of the power factor by the listed lamp wattage. So, if the lamp says 25 watts, you will need at least 50 watts inverter power to power the lamp (the same holds true for generators).

Inductions motors want perfect power at all times. An induction motor is basically a power transformer with the rotor being a shorted secondary. When that rotor is not moving, the motor draws high current (which is why motors have some type of high starting current). Induction motors have poor starting torque so, if you have high starting torque needs (such as with a compressor), these motors have a starting winding that is active when the motor is below 50% (more or less) normal operating speed. This starting winding is a secondary motor running in parallel with the normal motor, with 2 – 10 times the current draw. Motors with a starting winding have 2 current ratings, (1) FLA (Full Load Amps); normal current draw with the motor running with a full mechanical load and (2), LRA (Locked Rotor Amps); the maximum starting current with the rotor not moving. Because induction motors must be operated within about +/- 10% of the voltage rating (they quickly overheat if the input voltage is low), you need the inverter continuous rating to equal or exceed the LRA demand. Yes, I know inverters all have about a 2X surge rating however, there is no standard for the inverter surge rating. If the inverter manufacturer specs his inverter to output the surge rating for a maximum of 0.25 seconds, this inverter would shutdown if the motor took 2 seconds to get up to speed. I have found refrigerators to be the worst offender in this area. As an example, I have a 18 cu. ft. refrigerator that has a running current of 1.0 amp. However, the startup surge is 14 amps and lasts for 3 seconds! By comparison, brush motors (used in power tools) have high starting torque and typically draw 3X the running current at startup.

Batteries, the most expensive part of the solar system. If you are hoping to run a window air conditioner all night, you will need Lots of battery storage! For instance, if you want to run a basic 5,000 BTU unit (600 watt draw), you will need about 1200 amp/hours worth of batteries (assuming you would be running from 12 volt batteries; about 10 group 29 lead-acid marine batteries). This would give you about 9 hours of run time assuming the compressor is running full time. At the end of that 9 hours, you would need to have some guaranteed way to make sure those batteries got charged, or they would have a very short life (so, you would need to have a backup generator in case you have a day without full sun for at least 4 hours. You would also need a bare minimum of 2200 watts worth of solar panels to keep the A/C unit operating while you charge the batteries. I know this seems outrageous in light of YouTube videos where someone is running a small window A/C unit from their Harbor Freight 45 watt set of solar panels. Yes, you can do this but, you are only working off the charge in the batteries. With that type of system, the panels will only supply about 15 minutes of run time, assuming you had a least 4 hours of full sun.

Anyway… Sorry to be rather exhaustive. I like to do things on the cheap but, many of the YouTube videos really won’t give you a realistic expectation of what you would be getting into for a somewhat practical working system.

James Richardson says:

Would increasing the number of batteries in your battery bank increase the run time for the air conditioner? Great video. Thanks.

sok8888 says:

Have you thought of trying this, add a huge heavy duty capacitor to the output of the inverter to assist in the current surge? It is like adding a Relay/Capacitor Hard Start to a air con unit so that a small generator can power it.

Going Off Grid says:

I am pretty sure white is neutral, I have not looked it up though. great test loved it!

Tom Ziesmer says:

Really nice man

Danny T. says:

Thank You !!!!

Danny T. says:

Thank You !!!!

stevemichelle1203 says:

Most impressive. I cant seem ti find a 4 AWG wire at any of my Home Depot, Lowes stores. That is indeed really beefy cables from the inverter to the battery. how are you dealing with earth grounding the Xantrax 2000 Watt Inverter?

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