CategoriesSolar Installation Solar Panels Tips & Tricks

What not to run on solar

KumbaDirect Solar Appliances (2)

Are you planning on getting solar and wondering what appliances and items you should get the solar to power.  Whether you want solar as back-up solar, to back up grid power when there load shedding  or whether you are after a totally off-grid solar power system, the most important thing is to get a solar system that works efficiently. Solar can generally handle most of your day-to-day electrical needs if you’ve the right solar package.  There are however some appliances and items that are not recommended for use on solar. Some of these items use a lot of energy therefore in some cases requiring you to buy very expensive solar package or could leave you with no energy for other things.

Solar panels mounted on roof
Solar panels mounted on roof


Trying to squeeze in some of these items into a package which was not designed for them is a reason many people who blindly buy without assessing load and usage end up facing problems with their solar systems. Make sure you get your load assessed as the very first process to getting solar. The assessment should look at your load/items you want to power, their wattage and usage.

The items to look out and avoid to use on your solar are mostly those that produce heat, for example stoves, heaters, cooktops etc., and some other that we will mention below, The list in not exhaustive, and again the best way to find if your particular items is suitable is to get an assessment done.


Electric ovens and stovetops, use far too much power to be viable on solar. The average oven runs at 3000W, and hobs run between 1500-3000W. On a fairly big package like our standard Diamond Package, this means a stove may run just for a few minutes. All cooking appliances like hopt-plates, slow cookers fall into this category.

The best options for cooking other than grid electricity are gas stoves and firewood cooking. Gas stoves and hobs tend make a great option as they tend to be less expensive. You can choose from real low cost to high end gas stoves. 


Clothes dryers average about 6kWh per use, so it’s best to switch to an alternative method – simply hanging them on the clotheslines or an airing rack.

Hair Dryers 

Hair dryers can use a lot of power, typically using 800-1800W when heating, but can also use as little as 70W when not heating. This is one appliance you can continue to use if you’re aware of your usage and use the heating functions for a minimal amount of time. This means therefore use of hair dyers on solar is not ideal for salon business use, as use time are frequent and usually long.


Technically all these things can be run on solar, but they will require an oversized (and much more expensive) solar package, so we recommend finding alternative methods wherever you can. If you’re looking to be as efficient as possible with your solar power, look to eliminate things you don’t really need to run on solar.

If there’s something you’re not sure about that we haven’t mentioned here, it’s easy to work out yourself. Find out the wattage of the item you want to use and multiply that by the number of hours you will use it. For example, a 1000W appliance will use about 166Wh when run for 10 minutes (1000×0.16), and 2000Wh when run for 2 hours (1000×2). Then you just take the estimated daily Wh for a package and see if you can fit that much power use into your day alongside your other appliances.


If these calculation look too complicated, leave it with the experts, KumbaDirect will help, let us know what you want your solar to power and we will do an assessment for you and recommend a suitable solar package .



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