Can a Solar Generator Run a Refrigerator?

Can a Solar Generator Run a Refrigerator?

The answer is yes, it can. However, the size of the refrigerator and the wattage of the solar generator will both play a role in how well it works. Solar generators come in all different sizes, so there is no one definitive answer to this question.

But if you’re looking for a solar generator to run your fridge, keep reading!

What Size Solar Generator Do I Need To Run a Refrigerator?

What you really need to do is figure out how many watts your fridge needs to run properly. Look at its manual or do a quick search online for how many watts that specific fridge uses. Then, you want to look at the wattage of your solar generator. You want to make sure the solar generator’s wattage exceeds the fridge’s watts.

For example, if you have a small refrigerator that consumes around 200 watts or less of power, then you need a solar generator that has a wattage of 200 or more. (I like to double the wattage because it’s always safer to overestimate. So I would go with a solar generator with at least a wattage of 400 watts.)

Example: Ecoflow Delta vs Refrigerator

Please Note: For the purpose of this example, I’m picking the Ecoflow Delta (Amazon) solar generator. However, there are other solar generators out there that will work as well.

Let’s say you have an Ecoflow Delta (Amazon) and the power goes out. You could just plug in the fridge to the back of the Ecoflow Delta and the refrigerator will work just fine (unless you have a big restaurant-style fridge or something).

The Ecoflow Delta has a wattage of 1800 watts so you’re good to go with any normal, full-sized fridge, even if it uses 600 or more watts to run! (Plus you can run other things during a power outage, like lights, Internet, and TV.)

How Long Can a Solar Generator Power a Refrigerator?

In most cases, the question really should be: How long can a fully-charged solar generator run a refrigerator?

Let’s say you take the same solar generator from our example above, the Ecoflow Delta (Amazon). This solar generator has 1260Wh (watt-hours) of battery. Let’s say you have a small 100-watt fridge.

All you have to do is some simple math to find out how long the fully charged Ecoflow Delta can run your fridge.

1260Wh ÷ 100 watts = 12.6 hours

So, a fully charged Ecoflow Delta that’s not being charged by the sun or another energy source at the same time will be able to run your fridge for roughly 12.6 hours. I say “roughly” because the solar generator will require a small amount of power to run itself (inverter, fan, etc).

If you also want to run 7 LED lights in the house, and the lights use 10 watts each plus the fridge uses 100 watts (170 watts combined), then the math would be as follows:

1260Wh ÷ 170 watts = 7.4 hours

As long as your devices and appliances don’t exceed 1800 watts, you can run whatever you want. But the more appliances you plug in, the less time your solar generator will run.

Can You Run a Refrigerator on Solar Power While Charging Your Solar Generator?

Keep in mind that you can charge most solar generators with the sun and still use them to charge devices or run appliances at the same time. This is called pass-through charging. If your generator isn’t able to do this, then don’t buy it!

So, if you have your Ecoflow Delta, and you’re charging with the sun while running your refrigerator (you can have 400 watts of solar panels), then it could run for a much longer time (maybe indefinitely, depending on where you live and how many watts your refrigerator needs).

And, if you think you need more power, Ecoflow has more powerful solar generators called the Delta Max (Amazon) where you can plug in 800-watt solar panels, and Delta Pro (Amazon) where you can plug in 1600-watt solar panels.

What’s neat about a lot of the newer, popular solar generators like Ecoflow (Amazon), Jackery (Amazon), and Bluetti (Amazon), is that they have LCD display screens so you can see how much energy you have left, the temperature, the charge/discharge rate, and so much more! It’s a great way to learn how many watts the devices and appliances in your house use.

What I Use 24/7: Fridge & Solar Generator for Off-Grid Living

I live off-grid full-time and I power my refrigerator (a 58-quart Alpicool CF55 Portable Refrigerator/Freezer that I bought on Amazon) with an Ecoflow River Max (Amazon) and a 200 watt solar panel from Renogy.

This setup is more than enough fridge space for 2 people (there’s always room for more food) and if ever we get more than 4 or 5 days of super cloudy, rainy, or snowstorm days, I either plug the fridge into one of our small backup solar generators, the Ecoflow River Pro (Amazon), or I recharge the Ecoflow River Max with a gas generator (which I almost never have to use except for winters).

Tip: What you want is a fridge with a compressor (Amazon). My Alpicool fridge only uses about 9-12 watts per hour and it’s been running on a solar generator for over 2 years.

Conclusion: Can a Solar Generator Power a Refrigerator?

In a nutshell, yes. Many solar generators can power a refrigerator. But some refrigerators use a lot of energy, so it is important to choose the right solar generator for your needs.

If you don’t know what size generator you need, you can always start with an Ecoflow solar generator. All their Delta models can run full-sized, domestic fridges. Plus, you can attach extra batteries to their Delta Max (Amazon) and Delta Pro (Amazon) models, if you want to get even more power in the future.

Solar generators have the potential to power a refrigerator, though the amount of energy they produce varies depending on the specific model. In order to determine whether or not a solar generator can power a refrigerator, it is important to consider three factors: the size of the refrigerator, the wattage of the solar generator, and the number of hours of sunlight available each day.

Yame Smith, OffGridPower101.com