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Is it possible to have an Electric AC in Car? Answered

Simply, I want to replace my Car AC with one with the same power but runs on Electricity and cover the car roof with solar panels to run it.
Is it possible? I mean is a AC of this power capable of running on a current produced by a solar panel of the roof's size?

How to calculate these things? I have no idea since Physics doesn't like me so much :v


With the SAME power? Probably not, AC systems draw large amounts of current. Plus the panels might be covered with dust from driving and be less efficient, also solar panels aren't quite efficient enough, especially cheap ones. Your best bet would be to mount a few marine batteries in the trunk and plug it in to a charger when you aren't driving (like a prius lol). Then use an inverter to power a small ac unit.

I guess (did no math, but that's just my guts feeling) that a solar panel will not create enough energy to power a electric AC (without draining the car's battery).

My idea: Do not try to cool the car (especially while you are not in it). Just power the fans if the interior temperature get (much) higher than the external temperature. This way, the car would not be cool, but at least not much warmer than the outside and the normal AC will be able to cool it down quickly. A solar panel will provide enough power for the fans - you may even use the cars battery for quite a long time (given that you drive some distance to charge it later)

I guess, given the Beekoz is in Cairo, he's looking for a way to keep his car from cooking out when he's not actually in it ! Especially in August, because its brutal there right now - I've worked there !

You can see most of my thoughts on this in my reply to Rick but another issue here is your current AC compressor is being driven via serpentine belt from the drivetrain. You can't just remove it from the chain because the belt obviously won't fit any more. Technically the car will still run but you won't have power steering and your battery won't charge, at a minimum. It's highly unlikely that you'll find a standard belt that will fit so now you're looking at a custom belt or building a free wheel in the same place that the compressor was in the S (which means you will need a bit of extra space in the engine compartment).


3 years ago

I have looked around, and it looks like the Toyota Prius has an electric system for the AC.

Is it possible to use it for any other one? It runs on a 200V AC (Alternative Current)

The only direct way to get cooling from electricity is to use Peltier cells - They are only 5% or so efficient so it is very hard to make something that will really work that can run of a small solar panel.

This is largely why cars have mechanical AC driven by the engine.

He wants to power the AC compressor with power from solar cells rather than from the drivetrain.

Personally I don't think he's going to find a compressor, or motor to turn the existing compressor, that will run effectively on solar alone with out adding enough weight in batteries to offset any gains from removing the compressor from the drivetrain.

You COULD have a 12V DC compressor though. The question is how much power it takes, and how much cooling it would generate.

The Danfoss BD series compressors are designed for this kind of work, but they are expensive.