How many solar panels for 3000 watt inverter?

How many solar panels for 3000 watt inverter

The inverter you choose has to be sized according to the demands of the alternating current (AC) side of the circuit. Therefore you will choose a specification according to the loads in your house (with a little buffer in case you increase your loads over time). Pretty straightforward.

If you aim to run a full 3000W AC of load, a 3000 watt inverter can get this job done. But how many solar panels would you really need for this inverter? 

Understanding solar inverters

Before we delve into the details regarding estimating the number of solar panels needed for a 3000-watt inverter, let's first briefly familiarize ourselves with the three types of inverters:

1. Grid-tied inverter: Directly connected to the solar panel array and the grid. It can convert the energy generated from the solar panels into alternating current (AC) that can be used in homes or sold back to the grid.

2. Charger inverter (or hybrid inverter): Combines the functions of an inverter and a battery charger. It is directly connected to the solar panel array and the battery bank. It can handle large fluctuations in voltage and current from the solar array.

3. Off-grid inverter: Connected only to the battery bank, as it is not designed to handle large fluctuations in voltage and current from the solar array.

How many solar panels are needed for a 3000W on-grid inverter?

If your inverter is an on-grid inverter that is directly connected to the solar panel array. you should first look at the specifications of the inverter.

Some specifications to keep in mind:

Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) range – these circuits allow the inverter to maximize their efficiency, and produce the highest amount of power possible.

Maximum recommended PV input power – this is never to be exceeded, and is the number for all the panels combined. If this number is surpassed by all the panels in combination, inefficiency reigns, and you have a “clipped” circuit. Basically, you can ensure proper model structure by comparing PV watts of your inverter in comparison with the array you are building.

PV Start Voltage – This is the PV level that needs to be reached to start your system. As soon as the first ray of light hits any panel, it begins to output power, but an inverter needs a certain level to be reached before they will start transferring power out. Obviously, you want your system outputting power to your loads as soon as possible, and to run all day.

If you're aiming to run a 3,000-watt inverter at full capacity with solar panels, you'll likely need between 12-14 solar panels of a 250W rating, or any configuration of panels that gives you a total power output between 3000-3500 watts. keep in mind that upsizing too much the solar array will result in power clipping. This is where your array produces more power than your inverter can handle. 

How many solar panels are needed for a 3000W inverter charger?

As its name suggests, the charger inverter also functions as a charger. so the number of solar panels needed will depends on the capacity of your battery bank. Just pay attention to the recommended maximum PV input power of the inverter. 

According to the brand of the inverter, a 3000-watt charger inverter allows for connecting anywhere from 3500W to 5000W as the maximum PV input power.

For instance, an EG4 3000W inverter can accommodate a 5000W PV input, which translates to roughly 20 solar panels rated at 250W each. With this setup, you won't have to worry about power clipping, as the inverter will store any surplus power generated by the array in the batteries.

How many solar panels are needed for a 3000W off-grid inverter?

If your inverter is an off-grid inverter that is only connected to the battery bank and AC loads, then it relies solely on the battery capacity and does not concern itself with the number of solar panels connected to the battery.

In this case, you will need to determine how many batteries are needed for a 3000W inverter. Afterwards, you may want to determine the number of solar panels required to ensure the continuous charging of these batteries according to your daily needs.

Anyway for solar power generators with batteries, you’ll need a little more planning…

For a start, we’ll look at how to determine the size of your solar array. Here are the steps to do it:

1. Calculate the capacity of your batteries in Watt-hours (daily usage); multiply the number of Ah with the battery backup voltage.

For example, let's say we have a 24V battery with a capacity of 400Ah. so, the battery has a capacity of 400Ah x 24V = 9600Wh.

Or compute how many hours you aim to run a 3000W inverter at full capacity. than multiply the number of hours with the inverter capacity (3000W).

2. Find out the average daily peak sun hours for your location.

Check in your area how many sunlight hours are available. We will use 4.5 sun hours in our example. 

3. Calculate the number of watts you have to generate per hour of solar exposure (divide #1 by #2)

Power = daily usage ÷ Average Daily peak sun hours 
Power = 9600Wh ÷ 4.5h = 2133.33W

4. With the solar module you have in mind, multiply its power rating by a factor of 0.8. If you are using a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) charge controller, you’ll multiply it by a factor of 0.9 instead.

5. Finally, you get the number of modules needed when you divide #3 (energy you need) by #4 (energy generated by your solar panels)

In our example, let's use a 250 watt solar panels with a MPPT charge controller.

2133.33W ÷ (250W x 0.9) = 9.5 ~ 10 panels

Therefore, we need 10 x250W solar panels. This will deliver (10 x 250W =) 2500 watts of power to the battery bank. 

Note: If your solar panels will be grouped into “strings” before you connected them to the charge controller, you must keep your panel in evenly grouped multiples, or you’ll ruin your system’s efficiency

For example, let’s say you need a 12 panel array with four series of three panels that are connected in parallel. This is fine but you can’t have 11 panels because there are no grouping multiples that equal 11.

After you arrive at the number of solar panels you need, you’ll also know how much space is needed on your roof. If there isn’t enough space, choose a more efficient photovoltaic module and do the calculations again. Going over this a few times, you will be able to find the solar panel that’s most suitable for you and at the right price.


While many factors come into play when pairing the right number of solar panels with a 3000-watt inverter, here's a summary of what you should consider:

  • Rule of thumb: You would need a solar array size that roughly matches the capacity of your 3000 watt inverter.
  • If you choose to oversize your solar array, you will spend more money by adding more panels while gaining better efficiency. However, a solar array that’s too large also results in power clipping.
  • Most inverter manufacturers specify in the device specifications the recommended maximum PV input power. If you choose to oversize your solar array, it's important not to exceed this limit to ensure the efficient and safe operation of the inverter.
If you're aiming to run a 3kW on-grid inverter at full capacity, you'll likely need 10 solar panels if you installed 320W panels – that will actually give you 3,200 watts of power.

Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url