Skip to content
Best Solar Generator for Refrigerator and Other Appliances. Solar generator for fridge

Best Solar Generator for Refrigerator and Other Appliances. Solar generator for fridge

    The Best Solar Generators of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

    Whether you are outfitting your home in case of an extended power outage or looking for a steady supply of off-grid power for your overlanding setup, it’s never been a better time to purchase a solar generator. But sifting through all the available options on the market—power stations that are lunchbox-sized to luggage-sized, solar panels that can pack in a backpack to multiple eight-foot long panels you chain together—can take a lot of time and effort. To help you choose the best solar generator for your purpose, we tested some of the most powerful models from Anker, Jackery, Goal Zero, and BioLite side by side to see how they stacked up.

    • Best Overall:Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro
    • Best Value:Anker 555 Solar Generator
    • Most Portable:BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100
    • Most Customizable:Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator
    • Best for RVs:Anker Solar Generator 767

    How I Tested the Best Solar Generators

    There are two components to a solar generator—a solar panel and a power station. To understand the performance of the overall package, I looked at each component and then also assessed how they worked in tandem.

    • Solar Panels were tested in tandem (to ensure similar conditions) under clear skies. Testing was conducted in late fall, when the angle of the sun is less ideal than it would be at the peak of summer, affecting the potential of each panel to reach its claimed maximum output. Solar panels were tested using power stations of the same brand, but where possible, I also used different panels with different power stations to see if that affected the results.
    • Power stations were evaluated on a number of criteria. After fully charging all the power stations, I left them in a climate-controlled room for three days and then outside for twenty-four hours in near-freezing temperatures—none of the power stations registered any loss of power during this test. Next, I plugged various appliances into all of the power stations to see how they handled the volume: a dehumidifier, a sunlamp, two laptops, one of the best power banks for camping, a pair of headphones, another power station, etc. Using these setups, I ran each power station down to half its estimated output. Finally, I considered how compatible each power station was with other solar panels, as well as additional features, such as Bluetooth-compatible apps, display panels, wireless charging, USB-C input ports, and more.

    Solar Panels Tested

    I tested six solar panels rated for both 100W and 200W capacity from Goal Zero, Anker, Jackery, and BioLite.

    I checked that all the solar panels were pointed in the same direction and at the same angle when testing their measured output against their claimed output.

    Model Weight Size (unfolded) Output Ports Warranty Claimed output Measured output
    Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel 18 lbs 540 x 2320 x 25 mm DC 1.5 years 200W 184W
    Goal Zero Boulder 200W 42 lbs 40 x 53.5 x 1.75 inches High Power Port (HPP) 2 years 200W 145W
    Anker 531 Solar Panel 20 lbs 23.75 x 83.75 x.75 inches XT-60 2 years 200W 158W
    Goal Zero Boulder 100W 20 lbs 40 x 26.75 x 1.75 inches High Power Port (HPP) 2 years 100W 73W
    Anker 625 Solar Panel 11 lbs 57 x 20.75 x 1.75 inches XT-60 2 years 100W 94W
    BioLite Solar Panel 100 10 lbs 20 x 57.5 x 1 inches High Power Port (HPP) 1 year 100W 52W

    Power Stations Tested

    The power stations I tested ranged in size from 1,002Wh to 2,048Wh, and were capable of either 110 volts or 120 volts (the latter is what you’ll need to run most major appliances).

    All of the power stations were capable of holding a charge for extended periods of time, losing no power in either the three-day indoors test or the 24-hour outdoors test in subfreezing and near freezing temperatures.

    Model Weight Wh Input ports Input Max for Solar Max voltage for the AC outlet App? Warranty
    Goal Zero Yeti 1500X 45.5 lbs 1,516 USB-C, 8mm, high power port (HPP) 600W 120V Yes 2 years
    Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro 25.5 lbs 1,002 AC and DC 800W 120V No 3 years
    Anker 767 XX 2,048 AC and XT60 1000W 120V Yes 5 years
    Anker 555 29.8 lbs 1,024 DC and USB-C 200W 110V No 5 years
    BioLite BaseCharge 1500 26.5 1,521 USB-C, high power port (HPP) 400W 110V No 2 years

    Best Overall: Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Pro (Explorer 1000 Pro Solar Saga 200W)

    Key Features

    • Power station capacity: 1002 watt hours
    • Solar panels: four 200-watt solar panels
    • Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 184 watts
    • Max AC output: 120 volts and 1000 watts
    • Also available with a 2000Wh power station
    • Also available with two 80-watt panels

    Along with the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 and Anker 555, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro had one of the more streamlined user interfaces. There are separate buttons to activate the USB outlets, AC outlets, and DC outlet, along with a button to turn on the power station’s light (in case you want to light up your camp or home) and one to turn on the display. The display here gives you the bare minimum of information—watts in, watts out, percent of the battery remaining, and the time to charge or deplete the battery based on the current conditions.

    The Explorer 1000 Pro has a max output of 1000W (peaking at 2000W), which is enough juice to power many modern refrigerators. But given that its battery life is only 1002Wh, it can only supply that power for about a day (assuming it’s not charging anything else) unless it’s also being supplied with fresh juice from a solar panel setup at the same time. For some, this won’t be an issue, as they’ll simply be using the battery to channel power to their other devices during the day while it’s charging, and then using the battery at night to power more low-key items like the best camping fans or maybe one high-energy device like a portable fridge.

    At over 25 pounds, the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro, is one of the more transportable units I looked at, but it’s still not something that you’d want to lug more than a hundred feet or so at a time.

    The Solar Panel

    I originally tested the SolarSaga 200W solar panel as a full setup, with four panels plugged into a single power station. This test showed the full power of the array, which registered 650W of power generation on a sunny (albeit hazy) day. I retested a single panel in tandem with the rest of the units in this review more recently, and under completely clear skies, the panel was even more impressive: It registered 184W of energy coming from a single panel. If you don’t have much time to recharge your power station from the sun, then the full setup with all four panels is a no-brainer.

    It is, though, a little complicated. Each panel comes with a carrying case and a cable that connects back to the two DC ports on the Explorer 1000 Pro. If you see a math problem here, that’s correct: You’ll also need two of the Jackery Solar Panel Connectors, which, strangely, are not included in the purchase price. Two of these can be used to double the number of panels you can connect to the Explorer 1000 Pro.

    Setting up and taking down this many panels takes some time, but I was impressed by how easy and intuitive it was. That’s because Jackery streamlined the number of ports on each unit, making it that much clearer what cable connects to what unit in what port.

    While there might at first glance appear to be a disconnect between the charging time capabilities of this setup and its battery life, it’s worth keeping in mind that conditions are not always optimal. One of the things that impressed me most about these units is the panel’s ability to generate electricity in lowlight conditions. Even in complete shade—dusk fast approaching—a single SolarSaga was generating a 6W input.

    Best Budget: Anker 555 Solar Generator (555 PowerHouse with Two (2) 625 Solar Panels 100W)

    Key Features

    • Power Station Capacity: 1024 watt hours
    • Solar Panels: two 100-watt solar panels
    • Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 94 watts
    • Max AC output: 110 volts and 1000 watts
    • Also available with a 1229Wh power station and three 100W solar panels
    • Max power station output is 110V
    • XT60 port on the solar panel needs an adapter to be compatible with the power station

    If your family has a bevy of devices that seemingly all need to be plugged in simultaneously, you are in luck with the Anker 555 PowerHouse. It was the only unit in my test that boasted six AC outlets, as well as three USB-C outlets and two USB-A outlets. There were so many outlets that it was actually hard to find enough things to plug into it in my home—I ended up with an air purifier, sun lamp, two fans, a laptop, and a battery pack plugged in. The 555 PowerHouse had no problem with this—it barely used a third of its total output power. If your family has a bunch of devices that simply must be charged at all times, then this is a great option.

    Note that this would not be the best choice for someone looking for backup power for their refrigerator, as its 1,024 watt hour capacity was on the smaller side in my test and only has up to 110-volt output.

    Something else I liked about this unit was the utility—and comparative simplicity—of its charging abilities. It has one DC input port in the back and a USB-C 100W port that plays double duty with input and output. As someone who struggles to keep track of the sheer number and variety of cords that are always floating around, I appreciated the ability to recharge this unit without tracking down the original cord.

    The Solar Panel

    The Anker 625 was easily the best of the 100W panels I tested—it was one of the best solar panels for camping I tested back in the spring, and it’s still one of my favorite pieces of gear. It even beat out the 200W Jackery SolarSaga if you consider that this panel generated 94 percent of its claimed output, while the Jackery only managed 92 percent. Part of this is the inclusion of a sundial in the top center of the panel, which helped me align the panel correctly during setup. This sundial is such a useful feature, that after I had correctly aligned the Anker 625, I went back and adjusted all the other panels to match it—an instant uptick in power was measured. Two of these panels is a great choice for recharging a power station the size of the 555 PowerHouse.

    I’ve been testing this panel for a while—unlike some of the others in this test—and in that time I’ve noticed that it’s picked up a bit of scuffing along the edges of the fabric backing. While not ideal, this has not impacted the functionality of the unit in the slightest.

    Most Portable: BioLite BaseCharge 1500 Solar Panel 100

    Key Features

    • Power station Capacity: 1521 watt hours
    • Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
    • Energy Created By One Panel In Direct Sunlight: 52 watts
    • Max AC output: 110 volts and 1200 watts
    • Also available with a 622Wh power station
    • Lightest unit I tested
    • Power station is easy to use
    • Power station is compatible with the Goal Zero Boulder 200 (up to two)

    Like the Jackery Explorer 1000 Pro and the Anker 555 PowerHouse, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 has a sleek and streamlined user interface that is easy to read and understand. The display panel shows the percentage of your battery left, the estimated number of hours it will take to either run through or finish charging the battery, the watts coming into your unit, and the watts going out. It also shows you the number of watt-hours the unit has used in total—watching that number was a bit like watching the odometer tick up on your car. Not super useful daily, but a nice thing to know in the aggregate. There are separate buttons to turn on the ports for USB, DC, and AC power, as well as a button to turn on the display. (A second button allows you to reset the display of how many watts you’ve used, useful if you are interested in getting an accurate read on your total power needs).

    There were three details that made the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 stand out next to the competition:

    • A wireless charging option on top of the unit. (Unfortunately, I was not able to test this as I do not have a device with this capability.)
    • The choice to put the input port on the front of the unit, as opposed to the back. During testing, I found that this configuration was easier when plugging in solar panels.
    • This power station is surprisingly lightweight, especially compared to the Yeti 1500X, which has a comparable watt-hour capacity. If you plan to move your power station from room to room, this is a no-brainer.

    During testing, the BioLite BaseCharge 1500 was one of the few power stations where the “hours to empty” estimate kept jumping around. It probably accurately reflected the change in power needs of the bigger devices, but was confusing to look at and made the time estimates less useful than they would have otherwise been. (The percentage estimate of the amount of battery life remaining, however, stayed fairly consistent.)

    The Solar Panel

    While the BaseCharge 1500 ended up being one of my favorite power stations, the BioLite Solar Panel 100 was my least favorite solar panel. First off, two kickstands simply don’t provide enough support for the panels. This is partly because two just isn’t enough, but also because one of the kickstands is situated closer to the middle of the unit, rather than both being on the outer edges. I was able to use the BaseCharge 1500 to help prop it up a bit, but it wasn’t an ideal solution.

    One thing that I did like about this unit is that, like the Anker 625, it incorporated a sundial, which helped me to situate the panel at the right angle to maximize the energy output.

    However, even with that advantage, this was by far the weakest panel in my test, only generating about half of its claimed output even on a clear day with sunny skies. If you choose to go with a BaseCharge 1500, it’s worth considering pairing it with a Goal Zero Boulder 200W, a pairing that proved successful during testing.

    Best Customization: Goal Zero Yeti 1500X Boulder 200 Briefcase Solar Generator

    Key Features

    • Power Station Capacity: 1516 watt hours
    • Solar Panels: one 100-watt solar panel
    • Energy created by one panel in direct sunlight: 73 watts
    • Max AC output: 120 volts and 2000 watts
    • Solar panels also available at 200-watt and 300-watt capacity
    • power station s available in sizes ranging from 187 watt hours to 6071 watt hours
    • Possible to monitor the power station from another room using the app
    • The larger power station s could power major appliances for days without recharging
    • Heavy
    • Less intuitive than other power station s I looked at
    • Difficult to recharge if you lose the original cables

    The Yeti 1500X was one of the most complicated user interfaces to navigate, and included several details that I have mixed feelings about. The most glaring one is that when the unit is plugged into a power source, a light blinks blue continuously until it is charged, when it switches to solid blue—if you are in the same space as this unit when it is charging, this is very distracting. Next is the three buttons above the display—which read “unit,” “light,” and “info.” Unit is fairly straightforward—it toggles the input and output measurements between volts, amperes, watts, etc. This is pretty handy if you’re curious about how much power a given device is chewing through. Next is light—on other power stations, this button turns on an actual light, which is useful if you’re trying to see what you’re doing in the evening hours. The Goal Zero, however, does not have a built-in light; what this button turns on and off is the display screen showing the power supply. The info button only seemed to turn on the display (not off)—it was unclear what other use this was meant to have.

    Interestingly, despite having one of the most powerful AC ports in my test, there was only space for two plug-ins. Most of the time, I suspect this will be plenty for people (and it does help to cut down on the unnecessary juice being lost out of these ports), but others might find themselves digging out a powerstrip to make up for the lack fo ports.

    One of the more unusual features of the Yeti 1500X is a top lid, which has storage for charging cables, or anything else you want to throw in there. Underneath, it also has detailed descriptions of all of the power limitations of the various ports, plus evergreen reminders about not letting your power station get wet—all in semi-legible font. Surprisingly that can’t be said for any of the power stations in my test (including the Anker 767, which despite having the largest surface area strangely didn’t include this information at all). There is also a second 8mm port under the lid as well as a 12V HPP output port.

    The amount of power it was being charged with supplying—1385 watts through a single AC port (I had plugged it back into the Anker 767 unit) was higher than anything else I tested, due to this being the only combination where that was available—the maximum input capability of the Yeti 1500X is 150V from AC power). The icon showing how much power was remaining did, however, stay consistent.

    Like the Anker 767, the Yeti 1500X has an app that you can use to monitor the battery’s power usage. This app was not as intuitive to use as the Anker 767’s, requiring several more steps to get to the point where I could monitor the battery usage (it also asked me to upgrade its firmware seemingly every other time I opened it). However, once you have the whole thing set up, it provides just as much information and control as the Anker 767 app.

    The Solar Panel

    I tested both the Boulder 100W and the Boulder 200W from Goal Zero. These are basically the same panels (although with different ports (HPP versus DC), affecting what other power stations you might be able to pair them with), just at a different size, so whether you choose one over the other will depend on your energy needs, and your personal strength.

    These panels are significantly bulkier and more cumbersome than anything else I tested. While the likes of Jackery’s SolarSaga series and the Anker solar panels are a bit like someone took a backpacking solar panel and just blew it up to 20x the size. The Boulder series from Goal Zero looks like a solar panel off your house that’s shrunken down to something you could throw into the back of your car.

    Both the 100W and the 200W solar panels come with carrying cases, which due to the placement of the zippers are kind of a nuisance to use. But use them you should because the way these panels fold up leaves the solar cells on the outside of the package, rather than on the inside (like the rest of the solar panels in my test). While the 100W panel was heavy, but otherwise easy enough to move thanks to the inclusion of a comfortable handle on the long side of the folded-up panels, the 200W had a tendency to drag across the ground (at least this was my experience, as a 5 foot 5 inch individual), forcing me to lean to one side as I walked. Did I mention that these panels were heavy? At 42 pounds, the Boulder 200W is extremely heavy.

    While the Boulder solar panels were reasonably easy to set up, the way the legs are designed give you fewer options for maximizing the angle of the sun in the winter months, when it’s lower to the horizon. This showed during testing, when the panels only pulled in 73W for the 100W panel, and 143W for the 200W panel.

    Best Solar Generator for Refrigerator and Other Appliances

    Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.

    Get the 3-minute weekly newsletter keeping 5K designers in the loop.

    Enter your Email to Sign up

    If there is one thing you need to add to your home, then it is a solar generator. You will definitely find a couple of benefits of solar-powered generators, including the fact that they can work as a great backup option in case you face a disruption in the power supply. In addition, these solar generators are especially perfect options for outdoor usage. In this post, we will comprehensively look at the best solar generator for refrigerators and other home appliances. Read on to find out more!

    What Is a Solar Generator?

    A solar generator is a huge-capacity rechargeable power station with a large battery and potable solar panel that makes a device that offers power backup for off-grid activities and during emergencies at home. Solar generators are simpler and safer to store and maintain than gas generators.

    With that understanding, let’s dive in and look at the best solar generators for refrigerators and other appliances.

    Product Image

    Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 300, Solar Generator

    Jackery portable power supply explorer 300 is our top recommendation. Our generator had a lithium-ion battery pack of 293Wh and two Pure Sine Wave AC outlets that provided safe and stable 300W power. The device was portable with a dimension of 23 x 13.3 x 19.9 cm and a weight of 7.1 pounds or 3.2 kg.

    The generator remained compatible with Jackery SolarSaga 100 solar panel. In addition, it had an incorporated MPPT controller that allowed the solar generator to function at optimal power points and fasten the recharge of the battery.

    The solar generator took only two hours to recharge the battery at 80 percent through a 60W OD USB-C port and standard wall outlet simultaneously. In addition, it provided an option of recharging the generator at home using an AC adaptor and car outlet.

    The power generator featured one PD 60W USB-C port, two AC outlets, one USB-A port, and one fast charge 3.0 port. over, the station recharged itself and recharged approximately six devices simultaneously.

    FlashFish Portable Power Station Generator

    FlashFish Portable Power Station is a powerful generator with a compact station of 151Wh to fulfill the electricity needs for travel trailers, camping, outdoor home usage, and long road trips. Our generator is super light and weighs 4.07lb. The amazing bit is that it came with a soft handle that allowed us to move around.

    Image Source: flashfishtech.com

    Additionally, the power station came with a lithium battery pack which we charged using a 15 to 24-volt panel, car charger, or standard AC wall adapter. It was exciting to note that it did not have any memory effect, and we did not worry about reducing battery capacity. over, it had two DC outputs, a 110 AC output of 200W, one USB port, and two QC 3.0 fast charge US ports to charge any appliances and devices.

    FlashFish had a standalone DC/AC that made it easy to operate when charging various gadgets. over, the LCD showed us the remaining charge, energies, DC output, and AC output status. Plus, the ultra-bright LCD screen lets us view the battery pack status.

    MAXOAK Portable Power Station 2400Wh/1000W EB240 Solar Generator

    The MAXOAK portable power station solar generator is another perfect choice you can go for. Our generator had a large lithium battery of 2,400 Watt Hours. It could power devices such as television, mini-fridge, laptops, CPAP machine, heated blankets, and lights for more than 24 hours on one charge.

    over, the power station had two AC outlets, one USB-C, four USB-A, and one car outlet to handle gadgets below 1000W. Surprisingly, the power station charged from 0 to 80 percent within ten hours.

    The EB240 possessed a strong 2400-watt inverter. As a result, it handled various appliances at the same time. We charged the generator from compatible solar panels and a standard wall outlet, making it an ideal portable power supply.

    EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station

    ECO FLOW portable power station is another one of our favorites. Our portable solar generator had a large capacity of 1260Wh, which was perfect for professional work, outdoor activities, and power outages. The power stations had 6x 1800W AC outlets, allowing us to access important power devices and heavy-duty power equipment, including refrigerators.

    Image Source: EF ECOFLOw.com

    Amazingly, it charged from zero to eighty percent in less than an hour, always giving us a power boost. over, it powered approximately thirteen devices at the same time. The power stations allowed us to use the three 160W solar panels to harness the sun’s power. It charged in three and a half to seven hours.

    so, it offered an alternative of linking to four 110W solar panels to charge fully in four to eight hours. Using a car adaptor, the power station charged in 13.5 hours and 96 minutes to get charged fully when plugged into a standard AC wall outlet.

    BLUETTI Portable Power Station EB70S Solar Generator

    The EB70S portable power station was developed from stay-of-the-art technologies and innovations. Our generator came with a 716Wh LiFePO4 battery pack and the 800W/ 1000W power inverter, which was adequate to power most of our devices during a power outage and when on the road. With a dimension of 12.68.58.7inch, 21.4lbs in weight, and a built-in ergonomic handle design, we found EB70s portable and could power our mini-refrigerators efficiently.

    What’s more, the generator has various DC and AC ports for charging or powering devices. The 12 output ports allowed us to charge various gadgets simultaneously. In addition, the generator charged fully from an AC wall outlet in three to four hours or seven to eight hours using a 12V car port. over, it charged fully in three to four hours using solar panels with 200W as the maximum input.

    Interestingly, the generator offered power output while charging and had over-heating, overdraw, and overcharge protection circuity. However, the generator could not handle a full-size fridge with more than 800W. But the good news is that it comes with a circuity that protects it from damage when we run the fridge with more than 800W.

    What to Consider When Purchasing the Best Solar Generator for Refrigerator

    Image Source: futurecdn.net

    best, solar, generator, refrigerator, other

    Size and Weight

    Before you purchase the best solar generators, you must first consider the size of the generator you need. Solar power generators come in different sizes, which might impact your experience.

    best, solar, generator, refrigerator, other

    Again, keep the weight in mind if you need a portable solar power generator. You should purchase a generator that is compact and lightweight. However, if you intend to use it for home use only, weight does not matter.

    Wattage and Voltage Rating

    The wattage and voltage rating of a solar-powered generator is other vital factor you must consider. Generally, these ratings illustrate the generator’s capabilities ans show you which devices can be powered by this generator.

    The wattage rating is usually the total power output obtainable from the generator’s battery. For instance, if your refrigerator needs a higher power output than the generator’s, you won’t be able to power the refrigerator at full capacity. Therefore you need to ensure thay the generator you purchase can power up the refrigerator you have.

    On the other hand, the voltage ratings are provided for the output ports of the generator. Therefore, these units must have the identical voltage port required by the refrigerator you have to power.

    Number of Ports

    Image Source: walmartimages.com

    In addition to checking the voltage and wattage ratings, you must check the number of ports the generator you intend to buy has. The more ports, the better compatibility the generator offers. Getting a generator with at least 2 or more output ports is typically best.

    Inverter

    You will also need to factor in the type of inverter the power generator you want to purchase has. The inverters regulate the flow of electrical power. It converts direct current electricity, which is what a solar generates, to alternating current electricity, which the electrical grid uses. Basically, go for a generator with the best inverter; Pure Sine Wave Inverter is a great option.

    Battery Type

    Image Source: generatorsource.com

    The battery type of the solar generator is another factor you need to consider. Although most solar-powered generators are usually lithium-ion batteries, you can find others with lead acid and salt water.

    a) Lithium-ion

    Lithium-ion batteries are the most popular batteries used on solar generators since they are usually compact and lighter than batteries. They even last much longer and go for over 5 years or at least 2,000 charging cycles. The one limitation of lithium-ion batteries is that they are usually highly-priced.

    b) Lead acid

    Lead acid batteries are reliable and well-understood since they have been in the market for years. These batteries are fairly affordable and have a decent life of anywhere from 3 to 5 years. The major limitation is that they threaten human health and the environment if discarded wrongly.

    b) Saltwater

    Unlike the two types of batteries we have covered, saltwater batteries do not comprise any heavy metals; they fully rely on salt electrolytes. A standard saltwater battery lasts for about 5000 cycles, but you can easily use them beyond this cycle safely.

    Battery Capacity

    Understanding the battery capacity of the solar-powered generator you intend to purchase is also necessary. The battery capacity shows the absolute amount of electricity a solar generator can hold or store. Any generator with more than eight-hour battery capacity is good for a refrigerator or fridge.

    Reliability

    You will need to check the reliability of the solar-powered generator you get. Although reliability is mostly about the unit’s power capacity and backup time, we are speaking about the unit’s lifespan. Since you will invest heavily, it’s only fair that you get a generator that will serve you for a long.

    On that note, going for a generator with a long warranty is necessary. This way, you can have peace of mind while using the unit. In case the generator gets damaged due to external factors such as moisture or dust, you have free-of-cost repairs or replacement

    Benefits of Using a Solar-Powered Generator

    Image Source: bluettipower.com

    Free Pure Energy From the Sun

    When you use solar generators, you essentially use free energy from the sun. By relying on this clean, renewable energy source, you don’t have to be concerned about a negative environmental impact caused by other dirty fossil fuels.

    Low Maintenance Costs

    Solar-powered generators are extremely easy to maintain, unlike conventional fuel or gas-powered generators. Since they do not have any moving parts and do not need liquid fuel, you will likely need to pay less for repairs.

    Quiet Operation and No Pollution

    As we have stated above, solar generators do not have any moving parts; this way, they run quietly. Solar generators also do not burn fuel to generate energy, meaning they do not release pollutants during operation.

    Offset Energy Consumption

    The other advantage of solar-powered generators is that they can be used anytime to help offset your energy consumption.

    A solar generator can be used anytime to offset your energy consumption at home or in the office.

    How Does a Solar Generator Work With a Refrigerator?

    Image Source: greencitizen.com

    Solar generators can offer off-grid energy consistently, over extended periods, without requiring anything other than the sun’s power. In addition, they provide a green solution for power generation, which is more efficient than propane or gas-powered generators.

    Solar-powered generators combine a solar panel, the best charge controller, a battery system, and an inverter into a compact system. This system then converts solar energy into a usable electrical current.

    best, solar, generator, refrigerator, other

    The solar panels absorb or take in the sun’s rays, and then The batteries store the energy collected for later usage. The inverter then converts the low DC from the batteries to AC, which can power your everyday household items like the refrigerator.

    Frequently Asked Questions on the Solar Generators for Refrigerators

    Does a Solar Generator Require Adapter Cables?

    You can use solar generators for different power devices. As a matter of fact, you can basically power anything that requires a standard AC wall outlet. The generators already dedicated AC and DC outlet ports to your electronic gadgets without needing any adapters. However, you will need the adapter cables if you charge multiple appliances.

    What Can I Power With the Solar Generator?

    A solar generator can power almost all types of electrical appliances. Basically, you can power small appliances such as lights and phone chargers and even larger devices like TVs and refrigerators.

    How Much Do Solar Generators Cost?

    The cost of solar generators varies mostly depending on the capacity of a specific generator. Most high-capacity generators usually cost anything between 1000 and 5000. Other generators will cost anything between 140 and 3,400. Additionally, larger generators cost more than portable devices.

    Image Source: bluettipower.com

    How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Power a Refrigerator?

    Thanks to recent advancements in solar technology, you now have numerous options to power high-wattage appliances off-grid — including refrigerators!

    But before you disconnect your fridge from the grid, you must calculate how many solar panels and other solar power system components you need.

    If you want to learn how to power your refrigerator with solar, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to know to determine the number of solar panels you need.

    There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but it’s not that complicated.

    Read on for everything you need to know about keeping things cool with the power of the sun.

    Calculating How Many Solar Panels You Need to Power Your Refrigerator

    Solar power has emerged as the best residential option for renewable energy, and homeowners nationwide have embraced sustainability to reap the numerous benefits.

    Switching to a green electricity solution helps the planet and your wallet at the same time. It’s a win-win!

    Photovoltaic (PV) systems come in varying sizes and capacities. The number of panels you’ll need to power a refrigerator — or any other high-wattage appliance — depends on several factors, Including:

    • Total electricity consumption (if you want to power more than just a refrigerator at the same time)
    • Solar (PV) panel power production
    • Starting and running wattage requirements of the fridge (and other appliances) you want to operate
    • Peak sunlight hours in your location

    If you’re just hoping to calculate the number of solar panels needed for a refrigerator, you can make a decent estimate in a few simple steps.

    Determine How Many Watts Your Solar Panels Produce

    First, you’ll need to estimate the power output of your solar panels. Rated power indicates the maximum output per panel under ideal conditions. But the real-world production will vary.

    The actual wattage your solar panels will produce depends on several factors, including:

    All of the above — and other factors — impact how much electricity your solar panel will produce. Also, note some of these conditions can vary considerably over the course of a day.

    Let’s use EcoFlow’s 400W Portable Solar Panel as an example.

    This portable PV panel is rated to produce 400W of electricity per hour under Standard Test Conditions, which include:

    • An optimal operating temperature of 25°C (77°F)
    • Full solar noon sunshine (irradiance) of 1000 W/m2 (1 kW/m2)(Basically, the irradiance used for testing is the equivalent of direct sunlight at the brightest time of day, completely free of obstructions like clouds or shade.)
    • Sea level air mass (AM) of 1.5 (1 sun)

    As you can imagine, these conditions rarely exist in the real world for more than a few hours daily.

    Understanding rated power is crucial to ensuring your solar panel array meets your electricity consumption needs.

    A 400W solar panel will never exceed /- 400W of electricity generation, but in cloudy conditions or under shade, it may generate as little as 40% of its rated power wattage.

    EcoFlow’s rigid and portable solar panels offer an industry-leading efficiency rating of 23%. For the purpose of making an estimate, it’s safe to assume that EcoFlow’s 400W solar panel will produce about 80% of its rated power on average during daylight hours under real-world conditions.

    So, on average, a 400W solar panel will produce 320W of electricity per hour.

    Assuming 4-5 hours of peak sunlight, one 400W portable solar panel will produce about 1.6 to 2.4 kWh of electricity daily.

    Remember this is an estimate, and the actual output may be more or less depending on peak sun hours and other factors.

    Determine How Many Watts Your Refrigerator Uses

    Refrigerators tend to be power-intensive appliances because they run 24/7. However, not all refrigerators have the same power consumption.

    If you have a newer model, it may be more energy efficient. If you have a full-size or larger refrigerator, it will require more power to run than a mini-fridge.

    Your fridge’s running and starting wattage is the most important thing to consider when determining how many PV panels you need to operate it reliably.

    Calculating how much electricity your fridge needs to run is easy, and you can use this method for any electrical appliance.

    • Determine the starting and running watts of your refrigerator. You can typically find this information on the manufacturer’s label affixed to the appliance. If not, refer to your product manual or the manufacturer’s website.
    • Pay the most attention to the running watts — it will always be the lower of the two wattages given. Most people operate fridges continuously, so the running watts give you the clearest picture of overall consumption. However, whatever off-grid power source you connect your fridge to — whether it’s solar or a gas generator — it must be able to deliver a short burst of the starting wattage to get the fridge up and running. Otherwise, it simply won’t start.

    It’s instructive to remember that watts/kilowatts (W/kW) indicate the amount of electricity an appliance or device requires to start and run. Electricity consumption over time is measured using watt-hours/kilowatt-hours (wH/kWh). You’ll probably recognize kWh from your electricity bills — that’s what your utility charges you for.

    Once you have the running watts for your fridge, the wH/kWh it will consume is easy to calculate:

    Running Watts (W/kW) x Hours of Daily Operation (H) = Total Daily Consumption (Wh/kWh)

    Let’s assume that your fridge consumes 300W of electricity hourly and you want it to run 24 hours a day:

    300W x 24H = 7200wh/7.2kWh per day

    To run this 300W fridge for 24 hours a day using solar power alone, your PV system needs to be able to generate a minimum of 7.2 kWh per day. It’s always best to purchase an array that exceeds your expected power requirements by at least 10%.

    And don’t forget to make sure your system can deliver sufficient starting wattage. For example, EcoFlow’s DELTA Pro portable power station 400W portable solar panel can provide 3.6 kW running wattage and starting watts of up to 7.2 kW using X-Boost.

    Divide the Number of Watts Required by the Watts Generated

    Now that you have your solar panels’ energy production and your refrigerator’s energy consumption, you can determine the number of PV panels required to keep your refrigerator running on solar around the clock.

    Unless you have a Smart Device like EcoFlow’s Glacier Portable Refrigerator, you can’t operate a fridge using solar panels directly.

    You’ll need a portable power station or other balance of system to convert and store the DC electricity that PV panels gather from the sun as usable AC (household electricity).

    on that later in the article.

    For now, let’s stick with solar panels.

    To estimate how many solar panels you’ll need to run a 300W fridge continuously, divide the appliance’s daily electricity consumption (kWh) by the estimated daily electricity generation capacity of your solar panel array.

    Using EcoFlow’s 400W portable solar panel, as in the example above, let’s assume it can produce around 2 kWh of electricity daily. And our example fridge needs 7.2 kWh per day to operate 24/7.

    Simply divide the energy required by the energy produced. The result indicates how many solar panels you’d need.

    2 kWh (PV Panel Daily Production) / 7.2 kWh (Refrigerator Daily Electricity Consumption = 3.6 (400W Solar Panels Required)

    In this example, you would require 4 x 400W portable solar panels to reliably generate enough electricity to power your fridge using solar power alone.

    If that seems like a lot, remember that the power generation capacity of a solar panel we’re assuming is just a rough estimate. For a more accurate appraisal, you must consider the average number of peak sun hours in your location and the other factors mentioned above.

    Do I Need a Battery To Run a Refrigerator With Solar?

    If you’re considering off-grid solar power, a battery is not optional.

    Grid-tied solar power systems can tap into existing electrical infrastructure to make up any shortfall in generation capacity — unless there’s a power outage.

    Off-grid solar power systems require a battery to operate effectively.

    It’s simple when you think about it. Solar panels only generate electricity during daylight hours. Without a solar battery, you wouldn’t be able to store the electricity your PV panels generate during the day to use at night — or at other times when generation capacity is insufficient, such as on overcast or rainy days.

    As mentioned above, you don’t need just a solar battery to operate a fridge off-grid.

    You also need a portable power station with solar charging or another balance of system (BOS).

    Essential components for off-grid solar systems include:

    • Inverter (for converting solar power into AC electricity)
    • Solar battery (for storage)
    • MPPT or PWM Solar Charge Controller
    • Battery Management System (BMS)

    If you’re building a DIY solar generator, you’ll need to ensure all of the components above (and others) are compatible with each other — and with your solar panels.

    Luckily, there’s an easier solution.

    EcoFlow offers portable power stations, solar generators, and power kits with all the BOS components — including the solar battery — built-in. Simply plug and play with portable, rigid, and/or flexible solar panels.

    Ensure that the portable power station you choose has sufficient AC power output (starting and running watts) and solar input capacity to run your fridge. For standard household refrigerators, the DELTA Series with 400W solar panel(s) is your best bet.

    The Glacier is a 38L compact refrigerator/freezer — it even makes ice!

    It can run for 24 hours on a single charge and up to 40 hours with the optional plug-in battery. And you can continuously recharge during operation by plugging in 2 x 110W or 1 x 220W solar panels.

    If you’re looking for a portable refrigerator to take off-grid, there’s no better option on the market.

    But don’t take our word for it — Check out the reviews!

    Do I Need a Portable Power Station to Run a Refrigerator With Solar?

    If your goal is to run a standard electric household or portable refrigerator using off-grid solar, a portable power station or other balance of system that includes a solar battery is not optional.

    As outlined above, solar panels cannot directly power a standard fridge. They require a battery and other BOS components to operate.

    The Glacier Portable Refrigerator is an exception to the rule. It’s one of the only portable fridges on the market that supports direct solar charging with up to 220W of solar input capacity.

    If you’re not interested in buying a new fridge, your existing fridge will require a portable power station in addition to solar panels to operate with off-grid solar power.

    Even if you DO purchase a Glacier, plugging it into a DELTA 2 Portable Power Station w/220W solar panel will give you extended run times, and it can support other appliances simultaneously.

    The DELTA Pro w/400W solar panel(s) will give you even longer operating times for a Glacier or standard fridge. Its expandable capacity even gives you the option to customize a whole home generator that can run your fridge (and virtually anything else), even during extended power outages.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can a 200-Watt Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator?

    Whether a 200-watt solar panel is enough to run a refrigerator depends on how much power your solar panel produces and how much energy your refrigerator consumes. Use the calculations outlined above to determine your refrigerator’s power requirements and solar panel’s energy production.

    Can a 300-Watt Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator?

    The answer depends on your solar panel’s power production and your energy requirements. Factors like overcast skies can prevent the solar panel from achieving its rated power output. You can decide if a 300W PV panel is sufficient by determining the energy requirements and estimating the electricity production.

    What Size Solar Panel Do I Need to Power a Refrigerator?

    Using the information in this article, you can determine how much power your refrigerator needs to run and how much electricity your panels can produce under ideal and real-world conditions. If you want to power your refrigerator off-grid, ensure that your solar panel array and portable power station (or other balance of system) can provide sufficient running and starting wattage in AC output AND store enough electricity to operate your fridge for the amount of time that you require.

    Final Thoughts

    Determining how many solar panels it takes to operate a refrigerator requires some homework.

    Once you’ve run the numbers according to the calculations above, you can purchase an off-grid solar power system to meet your fridge’s electricity needs.

    If you’re looking for a simple solution — particularly if your goal is to have a powerful off-grid refrigerator/freezer you can take anywhere — consider the EcoFlow Glacier Portable Refrigerator.

    With direct solar charging, an optional extra plug-in battery, and the ability to charge using a portable power station, the Glacier can run up to 40 hours off-grid — or more! The Glacier’s affordable price point might just make it the ultimate off-grid refrigeration solution for you!

    EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.

    Yes, Solar Generators Can Power a Refrigerator

    As an Amazon Associate, this site earns commissions from qualifying purchases. For more details, click here.

    Solar generators have become more powerful and affordable, but the question remains, can a solar generator power a refrigerator? Our title says yes, and we will show you the numbers why this is possible. As with everything solar though, several factors come into play.

    A 2000W solar generator is the minimum required to run a typical 800-1200 watt refrigerator. An energy efficient refrigerator is the best option as they consume less power.

    Refrigerator Wattage Use Chart

    Let us begin by looking at the most widely used refrigerator types and how many watts they use. This will give you an idea of what solar generator size is suitable. Keep in mind these are based on typical usage. Your mileage may vary depending on the refrigerator make and model.

    So using the table below, you can tell that a solar power station like the BLUETTI AC200P can run a 17 cu. ft. frost free refrigerator, as it has a 2000 watt capacity.

    Refrigerator Size (Energy Star Compliant)Power Consumption
    14 cu. ft. 34 kwh / month 1.13 kwh / day
    17 cu. ft. frost free 35 kwh / month1.16 kwh / day
    19 cu. ft. frost free 45 kwh / month1.5 kwh / day
    21 cu. ft. side by side 50 kwh / month1.6 kwh / day
    24 cu. ft. frost free 55 kwh / month1.8 kwh / day
    25 cu. ft. side by side 60 kwh / month2 kwh / day
    Mini fridge 1-2 cu. ft. 700 W / day 50-65 W / hour

    Here’s how older refrigerators compare to Energy Star models.

    Refrigerator Type (Non Energy Star Compliant)Wattage Consumption
    15 cu. ft. frost free 150 kwh / month5 kwh / day
    15 cu. ft. Freezer manual defrosting 90 kwh / month3 kwh / day

    The key takeaways from these tables are:

    • The mini fridge is the most energy efficient. It won’t take up up a lot room in an RV either. For camping and weekend adventures, it is the ideal solution.
    • Energy Star refrigerators are more efficient than older models.
    • If you’ve got an older fridge, consider replacing it with an Energy Star compliant product. You’ll end up saving more money down the line. They also put less stress on solar generators.

    To find out what generator size you need for a fridge:

    • Note how many hours or days you will use the refrigerator.
    • Use the chart above to calculate how many watts your fridge will need based on your usage.
    • Buy a solar generator that matches or exceeds the refrigerator wattage consumption.
    • Use solar panels or other power sources to keep the generator charged. This is necessary to run the fridge for several days.

    How Long Do You Need to Use the Refrigerator?

    You need to plan carefully before deciding to use solar power to run a refrigerator. Here are some common scenarios and how you may approach it.

    As noted earlier, a typical refrigerator uses 100-150WW per hour or 1000W-1500W (1-1.5kwh) a day. A fully charged 1500W generator can run it for a entire day. But what if you need to run the fridge again tomorrow? The generator is empty and needs to recharge. Unless you’ve got another power source you can’t use the fridge.

    There is a workaround here though. Get a bigger solar generator. If your fridge needs 1500W daily, get a 3000W generator. When the generator energy level drops, recharge it with solar panels or electric power.

    If you don’t have access to electrical power, connect solar panels to the generator. Charging with solar panels usually can’t match the generator’s energy loss, but with a large capacity (in this case, 3000W), it should be enough. With sufficient solar panels you can keep the fridge running infinitely on solar power.

    Let’s look at a real life scenario. You have a 14 cu. ft. refrigerator and want to run it on solar power. The fridge uses 100Wh or 1000W a day. You buy a 3000W solar generator and run the fridge. Without charging the generator, its capacity drops to 50% at the end of day.

    But if you have solar panels attached to the generator, you can keep it charged. The charge rate won’t be as fast as the depletion rate (refrigerators, like air conditioners), use a lot of energy), but it will still be enough to keep the fridge running.

    Do I Need Additional Power Sources to run a Fridge?

    As long as the sun is out you can keep the system perpetually charged. With the capacity double that of the fridge’s requirements, it should be enough during cloudy days. Note that this generator is only for the refrigerator. You need a separate power source for other appliances.

    This is why solar power users always have additional energy sources. You don’t want to overcharge the batteries, so a backup (electrical power, gas generator etc.) is essential. it is possible to run a refrigerator on solar power for days even, but it’s not practical for many. You need a powerful generator, solar panels and batteries. And all for one appliance.

    This shouldn’t stop you from running a fridge entirely on solar. If you have the means and can set up the system go for it. For most though, they will use solar generator to power a fridge for a few hours or days at most. That’s what we’ll look at next.

    if you’re camping for a few days in your RV, a 1000W portable solar generator is enough. Your best options are the Jackery 1000 and the1800W (3300W surge) EF ECOFLOW. These generators can handle 800W surges without breaking down.

    An 1800W-3000W can run a good sized refrigerator for hours. it’s probably overkill for a mini fridge. But you can run a few other appliances alongside it. An average refrigerator uses so much energy it uses up the entire generator. With a mini fridge there’s energy for other deices you need to use.

    Solar Powered Refrigerators

    These are similar to the mini fridge but run on solar power. Most are 1-2 cu. ft. but larger models in the 5-7 cu. ft. range are available. They are ideal for campers and RVs because of the compact size. However the creative design allows you to store a generous amount of food and drinks.

    You don’t really need a solar generator to run these. They have solar panels built in so just leave it out in the sun and it will start charging. The specifics vary depending on the product, but generally they work like any other solar powered product. For more info on how solar powered refrigerators work, go here.

    Solar powered refrigerators have batteries to store solar energy. This allows you to use the fridge during night time or cloudy days. Some also have electric outlets so you can use AC power. The biggest advantage though is the portability. The size makes them attractive to campers, RVers and outdoor enthusiasts who want to store food without bringing a full sized fridge along.

    best, solar, generator, refrigerator, other

    Conclusion

    For the longest time, the idea of running a refrigerator with solar power was considered a myth. With a 1000W or more generator, you can run a fridge. With solar powered refrigerators becoming more commonplace, you have even more options. It’s just a matter of going out there and buying what you need.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *