Contents: Can a Solar Generator Run a Refrigerator?
- Can a Solar Generator Power a Refrigerator?
- What Size Generator Do I Need To Run a Refrigerator/Freezer?
- How Long Can a Solar Generator Power a Refrigerator?
- Can You Run a Refrigerator on Solar Power While Charging Your Solar Generator?
- Conclusion: What Is the Smallest Generator That Can Run a Refrigerator?
Can a Solar Generator Power a Refrigerator?
The short answer is yes, a solar generator can power a refrigerator.
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 (also called portable power stations) come in all different sizes, so there isn’t one definitive answer to this question.
But if you’re looking for a solar generator to run your fridge, keep reading!
What Size Generator Do I Need To Run a Refrigerator/Freezer?
First, 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 + 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 just 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 super large 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?
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 Ecoflow Delta can run your fridge when starting at full capacity (the battery is fully charged).
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!
LCD display screens are a great way to learn how many watts the devices and appliances in your home use.
Conclusion: What Is the Smallest Generator That Can Run a Refrigerator?
Backup Power: Full-Sized Fridge & Solar Generator Setup
If you want a solar generator to run a full-sized fridge in case of a power outage, and you don’t know the exact size of the generator you need, you can always start with an EcoFlow solar generator.
All EcoFlow Delta models can run full-sized, domestic fridges.
Plus, you can attach extra batteries to the Delta Max (Amazon), and Delta Pro (Amazon) models. So you can start small with the option of adding more power to your setup later on.
What I Run 24/7: My Off-Grid Fridge & Solar Generator Setup
I think I’ve got the smallest fridge & solar generator setup possible.
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 Pro (Amazon) + extra battery during all seasons of the year. Plus I use this same solar generator for a few lights, charging laptops and phones, etc.
And if ever we get more than 3 or 4 days of super cloudy, rainy, or snowstorm days, I’ll recharge all of my solar generators (I have 5) with my Craftsman 2500-watt gasoline portable inverter gas generator (Amazon).
This setup is more than enough fridge space for 2 people (there’s always room for more food, so it might be fine for a family of 4). This setup would also be great if you’re on the grid and you just need a small fridge and generator in case there’s a power outage.
Tip #1: 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.
Tip #2: It’s rare to get 3 to 4 days of bad weather, depending on where you live. But it’s always handy to have a gas or diesel generator (Amazon) for emergency backup power.