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


Some guys buy the solar panels to charge their car, some choose to supply charging for their home. Anyway, differant people, different needs. Here, in this post, i would like to introduce how many solar panels do we need to charge a refrigerator? Of course, if you have any other questions, please leave the messages below. 

The first thing you need to know is that the average domestic fridge uses 350kWh of electrical energy per year and would need 300 watts of solar panels to supply it. A 100Ah would also be needed as reservoir to supply compressor motor surge current and to run the fridge through the night when the solar panel generates no power.

How to Work Out What Size Solar Panel for a Refrigerator

Domestic fridge compressors draw power in cycles, as the motor stops and starts according to the temperature fluctuations inside.

For solar panel sizing it’s best to use the average energy used over a period of time, but sometimes the current draw will be low and sometimes high.

For this reason I recommend supporting correctly sized solar panels with a deep-cycle battery and an inverter. The battery acts as a power reservoir to supply high compressor starting currents.

How Much Power Does a Fridge Use?

Instantaneous power draw by any fridge is misleading, because the compressor motor only runs about 50% of the time.

Newer model compressors tend to run for longer but they are much more efficient and don’t draw as much power overall. I carried out current draw test on an old fridge compared to a new fridge in this post.

I founds that a 10 year-old fridge took twice as much power as a new one. This is important because it pushes up the amount of solar battery support needed to run an old fridge.

A solar battery is needed as compressor motors cycle on and off, and draw 3 times as much power at start-up. At other times it won’t run at all and draw zero amps.

The solar battery acts as a reservoir to supply the power peaks associated with compressor cycling. Because of this stopping and starting, it’s difficult to assess how much power a fridge takes at any point in time.

Another great option is that assess energy consumption is to use the manufacturer’s estimate from the appliance label. Most fridges use between 200 and 900kWh/year.

What Size Solar Panel Is Needed For A Fridge?

If average fridge energy consumption is 350kWh per year we will need:

350kWh / 146kWh = 2.4 solar panels each rated at 100 watt.

The soalr inverter will have losses and it’s always best to over-estimate solar power sources, so I would use 3 x 100 watt panels, with 500 watt inverter and a 100Ah deep-cycle battery.

Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator?

A 100 watt solar panel would be able to power a fridge for a limited time and would need solar batteries for energy storage. A 100 watt solar panel produces about 400 watt-hours of energy per day, assuming irradiance of 4 peak-sun-hours. Yes, Irradiance depends on location. So, different places can get different sunlight and power.

What Size Battery to Run Fridge?

This question is easy to know for anyone. The needs for the solar battery is not that high. The average refrigerator needs 40 watts of power each hour which equates to 960 watt-hours of battery capacity over 24 hours to run a fridge. 960 watt-hours equals a battery capacity of 80Ah, so, a 160Ah deep-cycle lead-acid battery with DoD of 50% would be needed. Anyway, any questions, please leave a message to us.