The Best Solar Powered Refrigerator in 2020

Like other solar appliances, a solar powered refrigerator uses solar panels to keep food and drinks cool, making it a convenient and eco-friendly option. Solar refrigerators, however, cost a lot of money, making it essential to find the best options on the market. To help you out, we have created this list of the 4 best solar powered refrigerators on the market. In this article, we offer ideas for finding the best model for your needs, as well as provide reviews of the top 4 options. Let’s get started.

Ratings

Image

Product Name

Price

Best Overall
Option

Sundanzer Solar Powered Refrigerator

Best Upgrade Option

Whynter FM-65G 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator

Best Value
Option

 EdgeStar CRF321SS Energy Star Compact Fridge

Best Camping Option

Nature Power Amorphous Solar Panel Trickle Charger

Before looking through the top 4 solar powered refrigerators, let’s discuss some important features of these products. These features will help you pick the best model, as well as know when and how to use a solar powered refrigerator. Read on to find out more.

How Does A Solar Powered Refrigerator Work?

As the name suggests, a solar powered refrigerator is a refrigerator that is powered by solar energy. That solar energy is captured and turned into usable electricity due to solar panels. Other than the solar panels, solar powered refrigerators work in the same way as regular refrigerators.

Solar refrigerators are for anyone who needs a convenient and natural energy option – such as campers – or those who care about the environment – which should be everyone.

Those who live off the grid will especially find solar powered refrigerators helpful. The reason for this is that these refrigerators will not require a connection to the grid. Similarly, these refrigerators will be helpful for those who live in rural areas or areas prone to blackouts.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly
  • Lowers energy bill
  • Runs on low voltage
  • Ideal for remote areas
  • Runs even during blackouts
  • Portable
  • Versatile
  • Does not require connection to the grid

Cons

  • Not reliable in low sunlight exposure, nighttime, stormy weather, etc.
  • High initial costs

Factors To Consider When Buying A Solar Powered Refrigerator

Whenever you are buying a solar powered refrigerator, there are a few factors you should consider. These factors ensure that you get the best product for your money and needs. Here are the top factors to consider when buying a solar powered refrigerator:

Solar Type

The first factor you should consider when buying a solar powered refrigerator is the solar type. The refrigerator type will determine how exactly the refrigerator uses solar energy for AC power. Currently, there are three main refrigerator model types:  

  • PV Models: PV models convert solar energy into AC power, which is usable energy. The AC power is used to power the refrigerator and keep your food and drinks cold.
  • Solar Mechanical Models: Solar mechanical models use the solar energy to heat the refrigerant, which cools the refrigerator.
  • Solar Absorption Models: Solar absorption models use solar energy to heat the generator. The energy, or heat, produced by the generator then creates the cooling effect within the model.

Of the three refrigerator types, PV models are the most popular because they are the easiest to use and manufacture, as well as the most efficient.

Charge And Operating Time

Charge and operating time are other highly important factors to consider when buying a solar refrigerator. The charge and operating time will tell you exactly how long it takes to fully charge the model, as well as how long the model will remain cool.

Generally speaking, it is best to look for models that have a short charging time but a long operating time. This will allow you to charge the model quickly but use it for an extended amount of time.

Some models will come with batteries or other forms of energy. This feature is helpful since sunlight is not constant. The batteries or outlet plug ensures that your refrigerator stays cold even when the sunlight has been restricted or the operating time runs out.

Size And Storage Capacity

The next factor to consider when buying a solar refrigerator is the size and storage capacity. The last thing you want is to purchase a refrigerator that is either too small to host all your items or too large to transport and cool properly.

The ideal size and storage capacity will depend solely on your intended use. If you plan to use your model inside the home for regular use, consider a larger model, but make sure that the dimensions fit into the designated spot.

If you intend to use your solar powered refrigerator on the go or while camping, then look for smaller, more portable models. Some models will even have portable features such as a handlebar or wheels.

Durability

Since solar powered refrigerators cost more upfront, you should ensure that the model is durable, which will let you get your money’s worth for the product. Check the materials, logos, and certifications to ensure that you are purchasing a highly durable model.

Refrigerator Style And Organization

Finally, the last factor to consider when buying a solar refrigerator is the style and organization. Solar refrigerators come in many styles, including mini, French-door, and top- or bottom-freezer designs. Simply look for whatever style matches your preferences and space.

In addition to style, consider the organization, which includes features such as shelves, cabinets, space, etc. The more organized the model is, the easier it will be to store and find your food and drink items.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a solar powered refrigerator work?

In short, solar refrigerators work by using hot sunlight energy to cool the cooling agent within the fridge, but the exact way they work depends on the solar type within the model. As previously discussed, there are three solar types:

  • PV Models: PV models convert solar energy into DC power, which is usable energy. These models require an inverter to convert the AC current into DC current. The DC power is used to power the refrigerator and keep your food and drinks cold.
  • Solar Mechanical Models: Solar mechanical models use solar energy to heat the refrigerant, which cools the refrigerator. Water and ammonia and water and lithium bromide are the most popular refrigerants for solar and non-solar fridges alike. When these materials are combined together, they create a vapor and are turned into a liquid for the cooling effect.
  • Solar Absorption Models: Solar absorption models use solar energy to heat the generator. The energy, or heat, produced by the generator then creates the cooling effect within the model.

How many solar panels does it take to run a refrigerator?

If you plan to use appliances that utilize solar energy, then you need to know how many solar panels you need. Unfortunately, this number depends wholly on your needs and abilities, making it difficult to estimate how many you need. Here is how to estimate the number of panels you may need for your solar refrigerator:

  • Determine how much energy you need.Use this calculator to determine approximately how much energy you need to supply power to all your appliances.
  • Determine how much space you have for the solar panel system. Assess your outside property to see how many solar panels you can install.
  • Select a solar panel system that best matches your needed energy production and space.

If you only plan to use your solar panels for your fridge, then here is how much energy a typical refrigerator requires based on the wattage:

  • Check the nameplate ratings
  • Multiply the volts and amps of the nameplate rating together
  • The final number is a fridge’s energy demands

For example, assume a solar fridge has a nameplate rating of 100V and 4.5amps of current. This fridge would have an energy demand of 450 watts of power.

How do solar panels work?

Solar panels are typically made from silicon that is surrounded by a glass case. The glass case allows for sunlight to hit the thin layer of silicon. Whenever the sunlight hits the silicon, electrons, or negatively charged atoms, are knocked from the silicon and sent to one side of the silicon. Here, the DC current is created.

To use this DC current, solar panels are equipped with inverters. These inverters can be in the form of strings, microinverters, or more. Whenever the DC current passes through the inverter, the current becomes AC current, which is usable. The AC current is then used to power appliances, such as your fridge, throughout your home. With that being said, some fridge options work with DC current.

Reviews

1.Sundanzer Solar Powered Refrigerator – Best Overall Option

The first solar refrigerator on our list is the SundanzerSolar Powered Refrigerator. We have made this model our Best Overall pick because it saves energy, is suitable for DC energy, and is highly durable, ensuring that you get both functionality and efficiency from this model. If you want to go off the grid, this system is for you.

Notably, the Sundanzer Solar Powered Refrigerator as two voltage options, DC 12V or 24V. It uses on average 114watt-hrs/day at 32 degrees Celsius, or 9.6 amp-hrs/per day at 12V. This usage rating makes it one of the most efficient models on this list.

Part of the reason that the Sundanzer Solar Powered Refrigerator is so efficient is that it is made from thick insulation and heavy-duty materials. The insulation is about 11 cm thick. The exterior is made from scratch-resistant steel, and the interior is made from an easy-to-clean aluminum. These materials also make this model long-lasting.

More so, this model is easy to clean. On top of the aluminum interior that is easy to clean, it also comes with a drain at the bottom, which makes draining and cleaning even more convenient.

The main downside of this model is that it is smaller than the typical kitchen fridge, meaning that you will need to find an additional fridge if you have a large family. Additionally, this fridge does not come with a freezer. So, you will need to get a separate freezer regardless of the number of people in your home.

Pros

  • 12 volt fridge or 24 volt fridge
  • Good insulation
  • Made from heavy-duty materials
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Smaller than the average kitchen fridge
  • Does not include a freezer

2.Whynter FM-65G 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator – Best Upgrade Option

The next solar refrigerator on our list is the Whynter FM-65 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator. We have selected this solar power refrigerator as our Best Upgrade pick because it is extra-large, uses AC power and DC power, and is highly efficient.

The Whynter FM-65 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator is a high performing solar refrigerator because it uses both 110V AC power and 12V DC power. By using both power sources, this model is guaranteed to keep all food and drinks cold, regardless of the solar power system. The model includes an 8-foot power cord for DC outlets.

Additionally, the Whynter FM-65 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator has good insulation and organization. Notably, the solar power using the refrigerator is made from a powder-coated steel housing, which is guaranteed to keep products within cold and fresh. The fridge also comes with organization racks that help keep everything organized and easy to find.

Another notable feature of the Whynter FM-65 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator is that it is an extra-large model. It has a storage capacity of 65 quarts, which is much larger than the other options on this list. The large storage capacity on this 12 volt fridge ensures that it will store all products .

The main downside of this model is that it is more difficult to clean than our Best Overall pick. The reason for this is that it is much larger, making it more difficult to reach the bottom of the fridge. Additionally, this model is more expensive than the other products on this list, which is why it is our Upgrade pick.

Pros

  • Large storage capacity
  • Good insulation
  • 12V fridge (DC) or 110V fridge (AC)
  • Made from heavy-duty materials

Cons

  • Hard to clean
  • Expensive

3.EdgeStar CRF321SS Energy Star Compact Fridge/Freezer – Best Budget Option

If you are looking for a solar refrigerator but don’t have a lot of extra money on hand, you should check out the EdgeStar CRF321SS Energy Star Compact Fridge/Freezer. We have named this option our Best Budget option because it is affordable, yet it is still suitable for solar power and solar panel integration.

Notably, the EdgeStar CRF321SS Energy Star Compact Fridge/Freezer has solar panel capabilities and uses 12v AC power. The average yearly energy usage of this solar fridge is only 270kW/yr., which is highly efficient and high performing.

Another key feature of the EdgeStar CRF321SS Energy Star Compact Fridge/Freezer is that it is one of the most user-friendly products on this list. It includes a control knob, which ensures high control over the power and temperature inside. It also includes an auto-defrost option for the fridge.

The EdgeStar CRF321SS Energy Star Compact Fridge/Freezer is made from heavy-duty materials as well. The doors are made from stainless steel, which ensures both durability and attractiveness. More so, this system is highly organized because it includes shelves and cabinets, making it easy to find your products within this solar fridge.

The main downside of this model is that it is not as suitable to go off the grid. Since it uses AC current only for power, it needs an outlet or inverter to convert the energy captured by the solar panels into usable electricity. So, this model is more ideal for people who want to use solar power while still staying connected to the grid.

Pros

  • 12v fridge
  • Highly efficient
  • Durable
  • Includes a control knob and auto-defrost
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Not suitable for off the grid
  • No wheels

4.ACOPOWER LiONCooler X50A Rechargeable Solar Fridge Freezer – Best Camping Option

Finally, the last of the refrigerators that use solar panels is the ACOPPOWER LiONCooler X50A Rechargeable Solar Fridge Freezer. We have named this model as the Best Camping Solar Fridge because it is highly portable, includes a snap-in battery, and is great for going off the grid, all of which are ideal qualities in a solar fridge for camping.

The ACOPPOWER LiONCooler X50A Rechargeable Solar Fridge Freezer is a 12v fridge that integrates both solar panels and batteries, allowing a system that works in a variety of settings. At the same time, the model can hook up to a carport, using DC energy as well.

The ACOPPOWER LiONCooler X50A Rechargeable Solar Fridge Freezer can charge completely in 4 to 5 hours, and it lasts up to 10 to 15 hours through the battery operation. This charge and use time are much more efficient than other options on the market, making it one of the best solar refrigerator products.

Additionally, the ACOPPOWER LiONCooler X50A Rechargeable Solar Fridge Freezer is highly portable. It comes with a handle and wheels, which allows you to easily transport or store the model. This will be extremely helpful for those who need a solar panel fridge system while camping.

However, there are some downsides to the ACOPPOWER LiONCooler X50A Rechargeable Solar Fridge Freezer as well. Notably, it is highly expensive, especially considering its small size and need for separate solar panels. More so, this system needs open space to feed the compressor.

Pros

  • Uses solar panels and batteries
  • Suitable for AC and DC
  • Suitable for off the grid
  • Highly portable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires open space

Conclusion

After reviewing the 4 best refrigerators using solar energy, we have concluded that the best option is the Sundanzer Solar Powered Refrigerator. This system is highly durable, is suitable for off the grid, and is easy to clean. If you want more from your appliances, however, then we recommend the Whynter FM-65 65 Quart Portable Refrigerator since it is extra-large and uses both AC and DC energy. Just keep in mind that this model is much more expensive.

In contrast, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, then we recommend the EdgeStar CRF321SS Energy Star Compact Fridge/Freezer because it offers more space, comes with a fridge and freezer, and costs the least of these four options. Finally, we recommend the ACOPPOWER LiONCooler X50A Rechargeable Solar Fridge Freezer for campers. This system can operate with battery power or solar power, and it is highly portable.

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