Is It Possible for Solar Panels to Power a TV?

January 12, 2024

Have you ever wondered how people can occupy themselves during a blackout or when the electricity is cut off locally? Although such occurrences are rare, individuals with a modern and tech-savvy lifestyle may find them disconcerting.

The answer, however, is quite simple yet unpredictable — you can engage in activities like watching TV or browsing the Internet. I bet you wonder how this is possible without a power source. The secret is — using solar panels to power your TV.

Taking preventive measures to prepare for potential electricity shortages is a wise approach if you wish to enjoy your favorite TV series or catch essential sports events. The emerging trend of solar TV live streaming is gaining popularity. This article will examine the reasons behind the popularity of solar panels for TVs and guide you in choosing between solar generators and solar-powered televisions.

Is It Possible for Solar Panels to Power a TV

What Is Solar Powered TV?

These days, you can experience virtually limitless and off-grid entertainment with a solar-powered TV. This environmentally friendly and easy-to-use option has a convenient setup. You need to set a TV in the viewing area and find a suitable outdoor location for the solar panel with a smart antenna. The internal battery can be replaced if necessary.

Experts expect a 40% increase in solar panel installations between 2023 and 2027. Given that the TV is one of the major energy consumers in a household, binge-watching leads to higher utility costs, particularly in challenging economic times. As a cost-cutting measure, an increasing number of individuals are transitioning to solar-powered televisions.

How Much Energy Does a TV Use?

If you’ve decided to go green and switch to solar panels, first identify your LED television wattage. The power rating, indicating the manufacturer’s specified wattage for normal operating conditions, is normally located on the back of the TV, in the manual, or in specifications on sales pages. While the actual wattage usage is typically lower than the listed one, this information can be more challenging to find.

In a study analyzing over 107 TVs, Eco Cost Savings found that, on average, TVs use 58.6 watts. To discover more wattage details, including standby wattage, you may refer to the study on TV watt usage.

It’s a common practice when some storage systems indicate their capacity in amps. Thus, it’s also necessary to identify the TV’s amperage and its average amp usage. You may find the research already conducted on this aspect, providing detailed guidance on determining and measuring the TV’s amp draw. However, to start a TV solar panel installation, you need to know either watt or amp figures.

Therefore, at this stage, you have determined the maximum wattage in On and Standby modes, estimated the actual watt usage and/or maximum amps, and approximated the amp draw. Look at the table below if you haven’t found the needed information for transitioning to a solar power TV.

TV sizeWatts usedAmps usedCost per hourCost per day / 24hrsWatts used on standby
19 inch TV16.5W0.14A$0.0025$0.060.5W
24 inch TV19.8W0.16A$0.0030$0.070.8W
32 inch TV28W0.23A$0.0042$0.100.7W
40 inch TV34.1W0.28A$0.0051$0.120.5W
43 inch TV47.8W0.4A$0.0072$0.170.9W
50 inch TV70.5W0.59A$0.0106$0.252.1W
55 inch TV77W0.64A$0.0115$0.281.4W
65 inch TV94.7W0.79A$0.0142$0.341.1W
70 inch TV109.1W0.91A$0.0164$0.390.5W
75 inch TV114.5W0.95A$0.0172$0.412.6W

Have you noticed a tendency that the older TV is, the more energy it consumes? Remember that these are average numbers. A few other aspects also influence the amount of power a solar TV uses:

  • Brightness (it adds up to overall power consumption by a TV).
  • Volume (the louder a solar TV “speaks,” the more energy it needs to work)
  • Duration (binge-watching means using more power).

Let’s find out the daily energy consumption of a battery-powered TV. To calculate that, let’s consider a TV with a rated capacity of 50W that is watched for 4 hours daily. In this scenario, the solar TV consumption would be 200W. Similarly, if the TV’s nominal consumption is 100W and it is viewed for 2 hours daily, the solar-powered TV would still consume 200W.

You can compute the daily power consumption by utilizing the information provided in the table and calculating the number of hours spent watching TV. Try to calculate the peak consumption, which typically occurs during the weekend, to get ‘real’ numbers.

What Is The Best Choice Between a Solar Generator For TV and A Solar Powered TV?

Once you’ve got the numbers of your average daily TV usage, we can move to the next step: deciding how many solar panels for TV are needed. On the large, a 150W solar screen can power a 50-inch TV for 4–5 hours a day when used as a solar-powered TV. You can extend the time of watching TV on solar power by adding a 50Ah battery and inverter to the setup.

However, take into account the following aspects when deciding on the number of necessary solar panels for your home:

  • Amount of solar energy a TV consumes (that one we’ve already calculated).
  • Number of working hours (you can take weekend screen time as a daily indicator).
  • Geographic characteristics of the area (the number of sunny days, the intensity of sunlight, the season).
  • Other devices that require a solar panel powering (if it is not only a TV running on solar energy, calculate the consumption of other devices you want to use off-grid).

Choose The Equipment For Solar Panel Installation

When going green, remember that solar cells might not function on cloudy days and during nighttime. Here is another way to power a TV: solar generators. These devices can be used at night or on cloudy or wet days as they accumulate and store energy. Additionally, you can charge these generators via your outlet, garage, and solar panels. turn your TV into a solar-powered TV is using a solar generator. The average energy-consuming TV requires a 302.5 Wh battery and a 160W solar panel.

Is It Possible for Solar Panels to Power a TV

Source: Ecoflow

This method removes the complexity of the battery management technology, including charge controllers, inverters, designing circuits, possible interconnectivity issues, etc. Another benefit is portability, making it quicker to set up, and if chosen correctly, it’s easily expandable.

For battery-powered TVs, you can use lower-capacity batteries and panels as, in many cases, the solar panel will recharge the battery as it’s discharging while running the TV.

Compare Solar Generators And Solar Power TVs To See What Is More Suitable For You

Now, watching TV using solar power without relying on an off-grid power source is feasible. Nonetheless, find out whether your TV is compatible with solar panel electricity before buying an item of equipment.

Some art-of-the-state TVs are already equipped with integrated solar panels that can now harness the sun’s energy directly. These solar power TVs are designed to help consumers cut down on utility expenses.

Here’s a detailed comparison of the two most popular ways of using solar energy for powering a solar TV:

Solar-Powered TV
  • Lower utility billsEnvironmentally friendlyFeasible during blackoutsSuitable for off-grid living
  • Working poorly on cloudy days / not working at nightInstallation neededSpecial battery neededAn inverter neededA compatible TV neededMaintainance costs
Solar Generators for TV
  • Charging your TV anytime, anywherePortableMultiple recharging methodsCombination of solar panels with power stationsNo maintenance costs
  • A price for generators

The optimal choice for leaving less environmental impact while watching TV and using various appliances is a solar generator. Compared to a solar-powered TV, the former doesn’t require installation, specific equipment (such as batteries and inverters), or ongoing maintenance.

As you may see from the table, functioning as a clean and cost-effective energy source, the solar generator is best for backup power, off-grid living, camping, etc. Moreover, its versatility allows you to charge multiple devices through several ports, even on cloudy days or at night.

Solar-Powered TV: A Dream Come True?

Nowadays, it is possible to watch a TV solely powered by solar panels but also utilize a solar generator instead. Both options have pros and cons, but it’s you who decides. Solar-powered TV has been gaining popularity as a modern commodity.

Freedom of watching a TV off-grid seems appealing to many of us. Moreover, it is an environmentally friendly and sustainable way of using natural resources. If you consider transitioning to solar panels for TV, you need to do a few calculations to identify how much energy a TV uses and how many solar panels you need to install. Naturally, the newer device you have, the less energy it consumes.

Jed Hilton
Jed Hilton

Jed Hilton, our Founder and CEO, has over a decade of experience in the solar industry. His innovative leadership and expertise in solar technologies guide our company's vision and strategy.

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