How Much Solar Power Do I Need to Run a Refrigerator | Expert Guide

Solar power systems derive clean, pure, renewable energy sources you can get from the sunlight by having solar panels on your home helps combat greenhouse gas emissions. It reduces our collective dependence on fossil fuels, as traditional electricity is sourced from fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Moreover, unlike fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, solar panels do not release harmful pollutants like carbon dioxide in the air and water supply. Still, they help run many home appliances.  In the article, we will discuss how much solar power I need to run a refrigerator?

How Much Solar Power Do I need to run a Refrigerator?

how much solar power I need to run a refrigerator

Typical refrigerators use about three to four solar panels for power. This means that a typical household requires between six and eight solar panels to make up the difference when it comes time for dinner!

The typical refrigerator consumes about 700 watts of power on average, so it requires three or four solar panels to operate. Different sizes and types need different amounts: smaller refrigerators can consume as little as 250 watts, while larger models may require 1KW+ per day.

Solar generators that can power my refrigerator

The devices like refrigerators come with different ratings and sizes; for that reason, you should know what type of fridge your solar generator can operate with. Refrigerators are formed of thermally insulated components and a heat pump. The heat pump enables the heat from the inside of the fridge to the outer atmosphere. The heat pump also makes sure the temperature in the refrigerator is cooled below room temperature.

Annual power consumption table for living room appliances

AppliancesWatts
Fridge.1411
Garbage disposal.450
Clothes dryer electric.3000
Clothes dryer gas.1800
Iron.1200
Clock radio.7
Hairdryer.1500

Key points about the Solar Power Refrigerator

how much solar power I need to run a refrigerator
  • You will need two to three typical solar panels to run an average refrigerator. According to the report, a distinctive and excellent solar panel can produce approximately 30kWh in one month.
  • At the domestic level, a solar panel can produce power from 1kWh to 4kWh. These solar panels can also shut down the system if the stored energy is less than 50%.
  • Different types and sizes of refrigerators need other amounts of solar power.
  • Time is also an essential factor that can affect the operation of refrigerators operated by solar panels. Because most people use the refrigerators for a long time by staying at home, but some go to office and do not use it for a longer time.
  • If you live in a cloudy area, even though the solar panels can produce 25% as much energy as you can get on a sunny day. 

Solar-Powered Refrigerator

Solar-powered refrigerators can only work when there is sunlight in the daytime, but how can you power it when it is night? The solution for this problem is to install a battery for the storage of power. As a result, your refrigerator can work continuously during the night.

The batteries with 12V, 24V, and 48 V are available in the market for various common appliances; to operate a refrigerator, you can opt for a 12V battery. For example, if your refrigerator runs at 200 watts, then the total watts per day can be calculated by multiplying 24 hours to 200 watts, and you will get a total wattage of 4800 kWh.

Then you can calculate total amperes by this formula, 4800 WH divided by 12V = 400Ah, so you will need a 12V or 400V battery because you cannot discharge the batteries below 50%; multiply this number 2.

The function of the charge controller 

The charge controller in solar panels is used to prevent your appliance from overcharging. Therefore, it plays an essential role in converting solar power from solar panels to batteries.

According to the research, the MPPT controller has an efficiency of 93%-97% when it converts power.

Power consumption of the fridge

Domestic fridge power consumption is typically between 100 and 250 watts. So over a full day, a fridge is likely to use between 1 to 2 kilowatt-hours. This will give you the running cost of about $150 per year per fridge.

Solar Power VS Battery Power

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The question arises here that how much power do you need to power your fridge? Because reason is that you cannot power your refrigerator only on solar panels, as there is no sunlight in the nighttime to power your fridge. The solar panels should be attached to the inverter and the battery to give power to your fridge. The solar panels will help in battery charging and continuously supply power to your fridge.

Inverter

The inverter will need to operate twice as much as the maximum load, so a 2,200w inverter will work best to run a refrigerator. Therefore, it is better to add some extra tolerance up to 25% to your inverter in use. According to research, 60% of the power can be lost during the conversion procedure.

Battery Power

Your batteries can handle the load without depleting it. 

Solar Panels

For the charging of batteries, you will need solar panels. For example, if you are using 404kWh in one year, that equals 1.11 kWh in one day. You will need total wattage of 300 in combined solar panels, and then you will multiply the total watts of the solar panels by the number of hours they will get sunlight in one day. You will get the answer in watt per hour if you divide it by 1000 to get the energy needed in kWh in one day.

Using solar to power your tiny house

Tiny homes are considered significant for solar panels because small spaces will need less power indeed. The traditional dwellings in America consume approximately 30Ws in one day. 

Moreover, the tiny house will consume 4kWs in one day, in which 80% of that power will be used in cooling and heating processes. You will need 15 solar panels to power a tiny home. This assumes an average-sized solar panel of around 300 watts, which would generate about 4500 watts of energy from the sun.

In a tiny home, the mini-split, fridge, lights, cell phone, and laptop will use 3,000, 780, 100, 30, and 240 Watts per day, respectively.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How many solar panels do I need to power a refrigerator?

The average refrigerator consumes about three or four solar panels to run. As a result, the average refrigerator used in the United States uses approximately 57Kwh per month, while the average freezer uses 58kWh.  

Can a 100-watt solar panel run a refrigerator?

On average, a refrigerator gets about 600-700 watts per day on an average basis. Therefore, the refrigerator can run for one day but requires two days to recharge the batteries.

Can you run a fridge off solar power?

To keep food safe and consistently excellent, refrigerators should have a regular power supply, so it is proved by facts and figures that solar power is not a good option. However, with the correct solar power configuration and power requirement calculations, you can run any refrigerator with solar power.  

What size solar panel do I need to run a 12 V fridge?

Each panel can produce 1kWh per day. So you need 1.1 solar panels to run a fridge.

How long will a 12-volt battery run a refrigerator?

A car battery disconnected from a vehicle but connected to a properly sized inverter can power a fridge for around 10 minutes and start your car. If connected to an inverter and a running car, it can power a refrigerator for as long as the car has fuel in it.

What appliances can run on solar power?

The mobile chargers, chimneys, solar-powered waste compacting bins, solar cooker, solar-powered fans, and solar furnace can run on solar power. In addition, TVs, laptops, microwaves, fluorescent light bulbs, electric cooktops, and toasters can run by solar energy.

Can I run a 12V fridge on solar?

This fridge can run directly off your solar system, needs a 200-300 watt system and at least a 10 amp hour battery. 

What will a 100-watt solar panel run?

A single 100- watt solar panel can power up several small devices, including cell phones, lamps, and fans on ceilings, wifi routers, laptops, and other small devices. Bigger appliances such as heaters, TVs, air conditioners, and others similar to these require more than an one100-Watt solar panel.

How many watts does it take to run a refrigerator?

Conventional refrigerators can typically work at a starting wattage of 800-1200 Watt-hours per day and a running wattage of around 150-watt hours per day. 

How long will a deep battery run a fridge?

Suppose a fridge consumes on average 1 amp per hour and is the only appliance running from a 100 amp–hour battery. In this way, you should have the refrigerator run for around 50 hours before recharging becomes necessary.

Conclusion

Well! How much solar power I need to run a refrigerator is not an easy task to answer. With the help of the above calculations and ways, you can easily calculate the solar power to run your refrigerators and easily save your electricity bills. Of course, you have to pay special attention to opt for specific appliances like inverters and generators: batteries and solar panels to make accurate calculations. I hope that the above information will help calculate the amount of power needed to run your refrigerator. 

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