What Can a 3kW Solar System Run? (With Examples)

This is going to be a short but thorough guide on what you can power with a 3kW solar system? and also is a 3kW solar system enough for you?

In short, On average a 3kW solar system will produce about 12kWh of power output per day. which is enough to run most of the basic home appliances like fridge, TV, laptops, AC (for a few hours a day), microwave, LED light bulbs, Fans, etc… 

The output power production of a solar system will be different from region to region.

3kW Solar System Average Output?

On average a 3kW solar system will produce about 12kWh of DC or 10.8kWh of AC output per day, considering 5 hours of peak sunlight

  • Watt-hour (Wh) = The total energy produced or used in a specific period of time 
  • Kilowatt-hour (kWh) = 1000Wh 

DC vs AC? Solar panels produce power in DC (Direct Current) but most of our household appliances required AC (Alternating current)

  • DC voltage: 12,24,48 volts
  • AC voltage: 110-240 volts  

So to convert DC into AC we use an inverter but, the inverters are not 100% efficient. Most of the inverters available right now are about 90% efficient. 

This means there will be a 10% power loss when converting DC into AC 

12000 * 0.9 = 10,800Wh or 10.8kWh

Related Post: Solar Panel Output Calculator – Average Solar Panel Output?

Peak Sun Hours 

Peak Sun Hours

A peak sun hour is defined as when the average sunlight intensity is equal to 1000 watts per meter square (1kW/m2 = 1 peak sun hour) 

When talking about solar panel output, the number of peak sun hours is the factor that you should keep in mind. 

The total intensity of the sunlight will differ from location to location

For Example, the number of peak sun hours will be lower in Alaska than in Arizona

Why consider peak sun hours? The solar panels are designed and tested under controlled laboratory conditions. Which we usually refer to as standard test conditions (STC)

Which includes, 1kW/meter2 of sunlight intensity ( = Peak sun hour) hitting the solar panels, no wind, and 25oC temperature

To calculate how many hours of peak sunlight your location receives. Read my in-depth post on how much power does a 3kW solar panel produce?

Which i have shared a method and charts which you can use to calculate the number of peak sun hours your house receives

What can a 3kw Solar System Power?

A 3kW solar system with the right size batteries can run any appliances in the house that you can think of. 

One thing to keep in mind, if the batteries are fully drained your output load should not exceed the output AC power of your solar panels 

Which you can calculate by multiplying the output power of your solar system by the inverter’s efficiency rate

If your goal is to run most of the basic household appliances on solar power then follow these steps 

  1. Make a list of appliances you wish to run on solar power
  2. Multiply the rated input power consumption of every individual appliance by daily runtime
  3. Add up the total power consumption of all the appliances  
  4. The total load should not exceed the daily total AC output of your solar system

Still confused? Here’s a list of appliances that you can run with a 3kW solar system as an example

List Of Appliances A 3kW Solar System Can Run

ApplianceWattage Consumption (W)Running Hours (per day)Total Wattage Consumption (Wh)
Fridge200 watts24 hrs1,700 Wh
LED TV60 watts3 hrs180 Wh
3 x Fans300 watts6 hrs1,800 Wh
4 x LED Lights80 watts5 hrs400 Wh
Microwave1500 watts20 mins500 Wh
2 x Laptop 180 watts4 hrs720 Wh
Wifi Device 5 watts24 hrs120 Wh
Washing machine500 watts30 mins250 Wh
Dishwasher20 watts1.5 hrs30 Wh
Clothes dryer4000 watts20 mins1300 Wh
Coffee machine800 watts5 mins 70 Wh
Total = 7.1kWh
Table: What can a 3kW solar system run?

A 3kW solar system can easily run these appliances on daily basis. 

Note! Adjust the values according to your use or requirement 

To check the wattage consumption of your appliances. Read the product description sheet (usually located on the backside of every device).

The power consumption will be mentioned in watts. If not look for input voltage and amps (Ah). 

(watts = amps * volts)  

Or use this electricity power consumption meter to check the power consumption of any appliance. This is the most  useful meter for anyone who’s involved in solar power

Is 3kW Enough To Run A House?

3kW solar system will be enough to run a small 2-3 bedroom house. An easy way to find out if a 3kW solar system is enough for you is to check your previous month’s electricity bill. If the total electricity consumption was between 300-320kWh then a 3kW solar system would be enough for you. 

According to the U.S information administration (EIA), the average electricity consumption of US residential customers is about 893 kWh per month. 

Based on this survey average house in the US will need about an 8-9kW solar system to run the house fully on solar power. 


A 3kW solar system is enough to run most of the basic household appliances and can decrease your electricity bill by 30-35%. But it's not the size of a solar system to run an average US house off-grid.

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I hope this short guide was helpful to you. still, have any confusion? LEAVE A COMMENT or contact us. Thank You!

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Chris Tsitouris is a renewable energy professional with 10+ years of experience as Director of Engineering at Solar Spectrum, previously working as Project Manager at SunPower and Energy Analyst at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. As a thought leader, Chris has authored numerous articles and research papers.

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