Solar Panel for Refrigerator - Nature's Generator

Solar Panel for Refrigerator

Discover a sustainable and cost-effective solution to powering up refrigerators through solar panels.
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Many people are now considering or utilizing alternative energy sources like solar panels to power their homes. Aside from the awareness of the environmental impact, advancements in solar technology, and the decreasing cost of solar panels over the years (thanks to government incentives and manufacturing efficiency), are now making solar energy more accessible to homeowners and businesses. This energy source alternative is also synonymous with savings in the long run.

Nowadays, you can either go full-off grid, have a solar system as a backup system during grid failures, or choose a grid-tied system, where you can tap on both traditional and solar power. 

If you are wondering if homeowners can just choose a specific appliance to be solar-powered, the answer is yes. An increasing number of homeowners are opting for solar panels to exclusively power specific appliances such as well pumps, heating systems, and outdoor lighting, effectively reducing overall utility costs.

One of the moderate to high-wattage appliances suitable for solar panels is the refrigerator given its 24/7 nature of operation and constant energy consumption. This “unique” household appliance requires no power interruptions for it to do its job smoothly, making it a perfect candidate to consider with solar panels.

If you want to learn more about solar panels for refrigerators, continue reading.

How Does a Refrigerator Work?

Modern living equals convenience and this is what refrigerators bring us. It is an indispensable appliance worldwide that is used to preserve and ensure the freshness of perishable food over an extended period.  

Refrigerators work by removing the heat from the interior and releasing it to the external environment. They keep the content cool by continuously cycling the refrigerant through the compressor, condenser coils, expansion valve, and evaporator coils. The insulation and airtight sealing of the refrigerator compartment ensure that the cooling effect is maintained. Modern refrigerators often come with adjustable temperature settings that allow users to customize the level of coolness based on their requirements.

Power Requirements of Refrigerators

As mentioned above, refrigerators have moderate to high power requirements. On average, a standard-sized household refrigerator can consume anywhere from 100 to 800 kWh annually, equivalent to about 0.27-2.19 kWh per year. The wattage depends on several factors, like age, size, and efficiency. We now have energy-efficient models in the market, but older and larger refrigerators demand more electricity. Energy Star-Rated refrigerators meet the efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and typically use around 350 kWh to 400 kWh annually, while older models can consume 600 kWh or more per year. 

Another factor to consider in terms of energy consumption is the type of refrigerator. For instance, a top-mount freezer is generally more energy-efficient compared to a side-by-side refrigerator, which features two separate compartments each with its own door.

Note that actual energy consumption may also vary depending on how the refrigerator is used e.g. frequent door opening and temperature of the surrounding environment. You can check the Energy Guide label to know the quoted power rating. In addition, some utility companies also provide tools or calculators to help you estimate.

Solar Panels

Determining Your Solar Panel Requirements:

If you are considering using solar panels to power your refrigerator, the next step after determining the annual kWh requirements is to find the running watts. This figure indicates how much energy your solar panels need to generate daily to for the appliance.

Calculating this is straightforward. Start by dividing the annual kWh requirement by 365 (the number of days per year). Then, divide that result by 24 to determine the watts required per hour for your household.

For example, if your refrigerator has an annual energy rating of 365 kWh, it implies a daily requirement of 1 kWh. When you divide this by the 24 hours in a day, the running watts will be 0.042 kWh. 

Now that you know the daily running wattage, you can select a solar panel that matches your energy requirements. For a more complete solution, you can invest in a complete solar kit, which includes solar panels, batteries (ensure that they can store enough electricity for 24 hours), and inverters (capable of handling the maximum load). This ensures a continuous power supply, overcoming challenges such as inclement weather, nighttime, and other external factors.

Tip: Also, consider the start-up surge. This is when the refrigerator’s compressor kicks in. Though short-lived, it is higher than the appliance’s normal running wattage.

If the process seems a bit daunting, you can always go to a trusted company, like Nature’s Generator. This trusted company can offer you generators that can power up not only specific appliances but even entire houses.

One of the company’s flagship products is  Nature’s Generator Powerhouse series. This has a maximum power output of 120V/240V 7200Watt and has a substantial 4800Wh battery capacity. It is capable of powering almost anything. Its expandable and customizable features allow users to seamlessly add power pods, solar panels, and wind turbines according to their preferred eco-systems. Investing in a complete solar kit, such as Nature’s Generator Powerhouse series, can provide a complete solution to help you shift towards sustainable living. For more information and to assist you in determining the setup for your requirements, feel free to get in touch with the Nature's Generator team here.

Final Thoughts

The 24/7 operation of refrigerators, coupled with their moderate to high energy requirements, makes them an ideal candidate for solar power integration. By harnessing the power of the sun, homeowners can power up their refrigerators with clean and renewable energy. One notable advantage of adopting solar power for refrigeration is its cost-effectiveness in preserving food without relying on traditional electrical sources. The key to a successful transition is in applying due diligence. Homeowners should determine their power requirements and choose a reputable company to provide solar panels or solar kits tailored to their specific needs. Beyond reducing electricity bills, homeowners can contribute to a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.


* We want to give credit where credit is due. Professional writer, Michelle Gamana, contributed research and content to this blog titled: Solar Panel for Refrigerator Thank you, Michelle, for your contributions!