The world is facing a major energy crisis. And unfortunately, one look at the current state of affairs will tell you that things are not going to get better any time soon. The sudden return to normalcy post-pandemic has escalated energy consumption exponentially on a global scale. And as time passes, the situation only worsens.
For homeowners, the energy problem is as precarious as it gets. Utility companies are going in for the kill with unprecedented rate increases every few months.
One of the best ways to mitigate these issues is to turn to sustainable energy sources, like solar power, to meet your household’s power consumption needs. Thankfully, you can make the transition one appliance at a time.
If you’re planning to make the switch to solar, this comprehensive guide outlines all you need to know about solar refrigerators and whether you’re better off investing in a solar generator for refrigerator.
Let’s get started.
What Is a Solar Refrigerator?
This refrigerator uses solar energy to operate. So, instead of utilizing the local power grid, the fridge runs on the energy produced by photovoltaic (PV) cells.
This solar-powered machine functions the same way a traditional refrigerator does. The only difference is that solar refrigerators use clean and renewable energy to get the work done.
Solar refrigerators are also versatile enough for residential and commercial purposes.
For simplicity’s sake, this article centers on solar-powered refrigerators for residential use.
Pros and Cons of a Solar Refrigerator
Solar refrigerators are not infallible. Although the pros outweigh the cons, it’s essential to have clarity on the whole picture before you decide to purchase one.
- Powered by a clean, green, and sustainable source of energy
- Helps reduce energy consumption and dependence on local utility grids
- Allows homeowners to make considerable savings on energy bills
- An excellent option for off-the-grid homeowners
- Can be used during outages or emergencies if PV cells have enough power
- Environment-friendly appliance with a minimal carbon footprint
- Easily portable
- May be challenging to maintain because of its 100% dependence on solar power,
- Not suitable for locations with limited sunshine
- More expensive than traditional refrigerators
- Limited variations in terms of function
That said, it’s important to emphasize that solar refrigerators can help you make significant savings on your utility bills. You will certainly offset your initial investment over time.
However, you probably already own a traditional refrigerator. Exchanging it for a solar counterpart will require financial preparation.
Thankfully, there’s another option you can explore to futureproof your home against the ongoing energy crisis. You can go for a solar generator to power your refrigerator (and other appliances).
What Is a Solar Generator for Refrigerator?
A solar generator stores energy generated by PV cells and converts it into usable AC/DC power. It’s no different than a traditional generator except that it stores solar power, is far more efficient, and has a minimal carbon footprint.
Solar generators consist of multiple elements, including PV cells, an inverter, a battery, and a charge controller. Each component works in tandem to power household appliances like refrigerators, TVs, air conditioners, and more.
No solar generators are made specifically for refrigerators, so let’s focus on the uses of solar generators for residential appliances for convenience.
Pros and Cons of a Solar Generator for Refrigerators
There are advantages and disadvantages of using a solar generator for refrigerators.
- Stores energy for future use, making it a reliable source of daily power that can lead to grid independence
- Powers appliances when solar panels are not generating power, like at night or when it’s overcast
- Keeps essential appliances going during a power outage or bad weather conditions
- It can be a foolproof and portable power storage for off-the-grid living
- It has a minimal carbon footprint that allows you to maintain a sustainable lifestyle
- Helps you maximize the utility of your solar array
- Requires minimal maintenance and operates much more quietly than traditional generators
- It has low operational costs because it does not need fuel to run
- Can be an expensive investment, especially compared to solar refrigerators
- Even the best solar generators are not 100% efficient and will always experience some form of energy loss
Despite being more expensive than solar refrigerators, a general solar generator for your household will have more utility. That’s why it is undoubtedly a worthwhile investment in the long run.
And the cherry on the cake is that your entire solar system setup will help you lead a significantly more sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle for decades to come.
Before you choose the best refrigerator option for your household, you need to know what you’re signing up for.
What Kind of Solar Generator Can Power a Refrigerator?
There is no simple answer to this question because a lot of factors come into play. It depends on:
- The size, capacity, and age of your refrigerator
- How much energy your refrigerator consumes
- Other contributing factors
To determine the capacity of your solar generator, you must know the following:
How Much Electricity Does Your Refrigerator Consume?
On average, a residential refrigerator with a separate freezer section consumes 300 to 800 Watts of power. If yours is Energy Star certified, it might be less than average. Those with older refrigerator models are likely consuming more.
A simple way to calculate energy consumption is by doing some math.
- Look at the Energy Guide label on your refrigerator. It should have an approximate annual energy consumption value printed in kWH.
- Divide this by 365 to see how much power your refrigerator consumes in a day.
- Further divide this amount by 24 to determine how much power your refrigerator consumes per hour.
If you don’t keep your refrigerator plugged in for 24 hours, you can multiply this value by the average number of hours it is on. This is the amount of power it consumes within that period.
This chart outlines the different types of refrigerators and the amount of power they consume on average:
Type of Refrigerator
Power Consumption (in Watts)
300 to 800
280 to 360
720 to 800
You can purchase a solar inverter that can produce continuous power at the rate that your refrigerator consumes. So, for an 800W side-by-side refrigerator, you need a solar generator with an 800kWh rating. Bear in mind that the higher the capacity of the solar generator, the more it will cost.
Optimize usage by setting your refrigerator to the correct temperature and keeping it away from heat or sunlight. Get it serviced regularly so that it always functions at its best.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long will a 2000-watt solar generator run a refrigerator?
The runtime of a 2000-watt solar generator powering a refrigerator depends on factors such as refrigerator efficiency, solar generator capacity, and more. On average, a 2000 watt (assuming a capacity of 1512 watt hours) solar generator can run a typical refrigerator (using 100-800 watts) for about 1.6 to 12 hours. In addition, if the solar generator is charged while powering a refrigerator, the running time needs to be calculated separately according to the specific charging efficiency.
2. Can a solar panel charge a fridge?
While you cannot charge a fridge like you can do a mobile phone, you can use stored solar energy to power your appliances. You can achieve this in two ways: by getting a solar refrigerator that runs on solar power or connecting your fridge to a solar generator that stores energy.