Can a Solar Generator Power a Refrigerator?

By Kami Turky

Last Updated:

If you’re looking for an off-grid power solution, you might be wondering if a solar generator can power a refrigerator.

The answer is yes – a solar generator can definitely power a refrigerator! In fact, some solar generators can take whole house off-grid!

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what size solar generator to power a freezer and refrigerator, as well as how much can you save by switching to solar.

What Size Solar Generator To Power A Fridge?

When it comes to choosing solar generators to run a refrigerator, there are only 3 things you’ll need to consider:

1. Rated/Running Wattage

Most refrigerators and freezers require between 100 and 600 watts of power to run, so you’ll want to make sure your solar generator has enough wattage to power your appliance.

To find your fridge’s wattage, check the appliance’s nameplate or look up the model number online.

If you want to run a fridge and freezer off of one generator, you’ll need to make sure the generator can handle the combined wattage of both appliances.

For example, if your fridge requires 200 watts and your freezer requires 400 watts, you’ll need a solar generator that can provide at least 600 watts.

With a 0.85 power factor, this means that you need a 700W solar generator.

2. Starting/Surge Wattage

Surge wattage is the amount of power a generator can provide for a short period of time.

This is important to consider when powering appliances that require a lot of power to start like well pumps, for example.

While most solar generators have a high surge wattage, it’s still important to make sure your appliance isn’t going to overload the generator.

So always make sure to check how much power does an appliance use to start and compare it to the generator’s surge wattage.

3. Generator Capacity

The capacity of a generator is the amount of power it can store.

This is important to consider because you’ll need enough stored power to run your appliance when there is no sunlight.

Believe it or not but refrigerators don’t stay on all the time.

They have something called a duty cycle, which means they cycle on and off throughout the day.

Most freezers have a 50% duty cycle. This means that even though they keep working all day, they only need 12 hours of electricity.

So if your refrigerator is rated 200W with 50% duty cycle, it will only need 2400Wh during the day.

Adding 20% to that for emergency usage and inefficiencies, then you should opt for solar generators with around 2900Wh (2.9kWh) of capacity.

4. Solar Panel Size

Obviously, we need enough solar panels to power the refrigerator.

In this example, we need a solar system to provide roughly 2.9kWh per day.

Assuming you only get 4 hours of peak sunlight, then you need 700W (2900/4) of solar panels to run a refrigerator.

If you have a longer daily peak sunlight window, then you’ll need fewer solar panels.

How Much Can a Solar Generator For Refrigerator Save Me?

Assuming that the kWh of electricity costs $0.12, you can save $122 by investing in solar generators.

Average solar generators can last for up to 25 years if properly maintained.

This means that you’ll save $3050 over the lifetime of the solar generator by switching to solar.

And that’s not even including the rising electricity prices and the tax credits you get by investing in solar energy.

So if you’re looking for an off-grid power solution to power your fridge or freezer, solar is definitely the way to go!

Kami Turky

Kami is a solar engineer with nearly a decade of experience in researching, testing, and reviewing various solar products. He has also provided technical consultation to several organizations on the best ways to incorporate solar energy into their operations. When he’s not busy helping others find the best solar solutions, Kami enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, and exploring the natural wonders of his home state.

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