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How Much Solar Power to Run a Refrigerator (What to Consider)

Mike Powers
Written by Mike Powers Last Updated: September 18, 2022

Refrigerators one of the higher energy guzzlers are a much necessary member of any household appliances.

The main concern is usually whether or not solar can provide enough power for large appliances like refrigerators.

In this article, we will check how much solar power is needed to run a refrigerator and all that you should know to run electrical appliances either at home or in your office.

Table of Contents

How Much Solar Power is Needed to Run a Refrigerator?

Appliances like refrigerators are energy-intensive and can account for a significant portion of your power bill. Solar panel output is typically measured in watts (W), and the refrigerator uses about 700-800 watts of power consumption. So, in this case, you would need about 5-6 solar panels to run it.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you can determine exactly how many panels you’ll need.

The first is that solar panels don’t always produce their rated output. For example, a solar panel with a rating of 250 watts may only produce 220 watts in real-world conditions.

Another thing to consider is that solar panels produce power only when the sun is shining.

This means that you’ll need to have a backup source of power for times when the sun isn’t out, like at night or on cloudy days.

Solar energy system also has a maximum power output, which is the point at which they stop producing more electricity.

This is usually around 60-80% of their rated output.

So, even if you have enough solar panels to produce the 700-800 watts that your fridge needs, they may only be able to produce 500-600 watts of actual power.

This is why it’s important to have a backup power source for times when the sun isn’t shining and your solar panels will not provide power enough for your fridge.

A backup power source could be a generator, batteries, or even the grid if you have net metering.

How to Calculate Your Solar Panel Requirements

It’s advised to start with the calculation of how much power a refrigerator needs. This information can usually be found on the label on the back or side of the fridge.

Then you need to determine how much solar power your panels will produce. As we mentioned before, solar panels don’t always produce their rated output.

solar charge controller

To find out how much power your solar panels will produce, you can use a tool like the PV Watts calculator.

This calculator takes into account things like the angle of your roof, the type of solar panels you’re using, and the average amount of sunlight in your area.

Once you have this information, you can plug it into the calculator to find out how many watts of power your solar panels will produce.

For example, let’s say you have a fridge that uses 700 watts of power and you’re using 250-watt solar panels.

The PV Watts calculator says that your panels will produce an average of 467 watts of power per day.

This means that you would need about 2 panels to run your fridge. However, keep in mind that this is just an estimate and your actual power needs may be different.

What to Look For in a Fridge to Run with Solar Panels?

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a fridge to run with solar panels.


You will want an energy-efficient fridge. This means that it uses less power to run and will put less of a strain on your solar system.

You can find out how much power usage the fridge uses by looking for the Energy Guide label. This label will give you an estimate of how much annual energy consumption it needs.

average freezer

It also depends on how much food you keep in your refrigerator, its age and how long you leave it open.

The lower the annual kWh energy consumption, the fewer power requirements and the cheaper it will be to run with solar.


The size of the fridge will also be a factor. A larger fridge will use more power than a smaller one. So if you’re trying to run your fridge with solar panels, you might want to choose a smaller model.

Type of fridge

There are different types of fridges, and some use more energy supply power than others.

For example, a chest freezer uses less power than an upright freezer.

This is because chest freezers have less surface area and therefore don’t need to work as hard to keep the food cold. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient fridge, you might want to choose a chest freezer.

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Another thing to keep in mind is that some fridges have an automatic defrost cycle. This cycle uses a lot of power and can strain your solar system.

If you’re looking for an energy-saving fridge, be sure to choose one without an automatic defrost cycle.


A fridge with an ice maker or water dispenser will use more power than one without these features.

If you’re looking for an energy-saving fridge, be sure to choose one without these types of features.


The cost of the fridge is also a factor.

Environmentally-friendly fridges tend to be more expensive than less energy-efficient models.

However, they will save money in the long run because they use less power. So, if you’re looking for an energy-efficient refrigerator, be sure to compare the initial cost with the long-term savings.

Just make sure to do your research and choose an energy-efficient model that’s the right size for your needs.

Why Do You Need Battery Power for Solar Power System?

You can use solar panels for your fridge, but only for as long as there is a peak output from the sun.

The battery bank can store the energy from the sun throughout the day, and in the evening this saved energy can feed the appliances.

You may as well use the saved energy from the battery bank when the weather goes bad.

If you want a 100-watt solar panel usable capacity, then consider a lead acid battery with 200 amps hours.

Lithium batteries on the other hand have a 75% discharge rate so you can produce more amps before recharging.

Can You Run a Refrigerator on DC Power?

You can run a refrigerator on DC power. However, you will need to have an inverter to convert the DC power into AC power.

solar charge controllers

If you have an inverter it will need to handle about twice as much as the maximum load, so a 2,200w inverter should work for this example (because the max starting watts is 1073 watts).

Your battery is also going to have to be able to handle the load without being depleted. For this example, you would need a battery bank of at least 300ah.

For example, if your refrigerator required 1kWh per day, you should look for a 2,000W power inverter.

For your battery, you want to make sure that it can store more than enough electricity to power your refrigerator for 24 hours, as there will be cloudy days when your solar panels.

Without an inverter, the fridge will not be able to function properly. So, if you’re planning on running your fridge with solar panels, be sure to get an inverter as well.

What is an Off-Grid Refrigerator?

An off-grid refrigerator is a fridge that is not connected to the power grid. These refrigerators typically use solar panels or batteries to power them.

need to power

Off-grid refrigerators are ideal for people who live in remote areas or who want to be independent of the power grid.

If you’re looking for an energy-saving fridge, an off-grid model might be a good option for you.

What Type of LED Lights Should My Fridge Have?

The type of LED light you choose to run a refrigerator will depend on the type of fridge you have.

For example, chest freezers typically use less power than upright freezers.

Therefore, you might want to choose an LED light that uses less power for a chest freezer.

fewer solar panels

On the other hand, if you have an upright freezer, you might want to choose an LED light that uses more solar power.

Be sure to do your research and choose an LED light that’s the right size for your needs.

Energy-efficient refrigerators tend to be more expensive than less energy-efficient models. However, they will save money in the long run because they use less solar power.

Do Living Habits Have Any Impact on the Number of Solar Panels?

There are a lot of factors to consider.

Two homes with the same number and type of appliances may use power in a completely different way, just given by the living habits of the people living in them.

energy needs

The average refrigerator takes around three to four average solar panels to feed with electrical energy.

If you have an eco-friendly fridge it will use less power, and if you have an older model it will use more.

Will MPPT Charge Controllers Save the Excess Energy?

The maximum power point tracking (MPPT)of solar charge controllers is one of the most efficient ways to get solar energy from your panels to store energy in the battery bank.

With an MPPT charge controller, you can set it to save any excess energy that your system produces.

This is a great way to ensure that you’re making the most out of your solar power system.

What Kind of Solar Kits Power Do I Need for Energy Production?

The size of the solar panel kit you need will depend on a few factors, such as the amount of power you want to generate and the location of your home.

If the area where you live results in having many peak sun hours all the year around, the wattage rating will be quite high so your solar panel system will produce a good amount of power.

Also, if you want to power more appliances, you’ll need a bigger kit.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need to Run A Refrigerator in an Office?

The number of solar panels you need to run a refrigerator in an office will depend on how big or small your fridge is and based on the power it uses.

A small fridge might use one or two solar panels, while a big fridge might use four or five solar panels.

A solar array that produces this much energy would consist of three to six 100-watt solar panels.

However, if you want to find out the exact number of panels you need to run a refrigerator, keep in mind two important pieces of information, the energy consumption of the fridge and the amount of sunlight during peak sun hours your solar panel gets.

How Can You Reduce Your Solar Need?

There are some ways to reduce your solar need.

Eco-friendly appliances

One way is to use eco-efficient appliances. Here are some examples:

  • Refrigerators: Look for the yellow EnergyGuide label to find the most efficient models
  • Air conditioners: Central air conditioner is more efficient than a window unit
  • Lighting: Incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are more efficient
  • Water heaters: Tankless water heaters only heat the water you need. Solar water heaters use the sun’s energy to heat your water

Solar powered devices

Another way to reduce your solar needs is by using solar-powered devices.

Solar-powered devices are becoming more and more popular as technology advances. Below we will go through some everyday habits that may have a positive impact on reducing your solar needs.

Living habits

By changing your living habits, you can also reduce your solar needs.

For example, during the day, open your curtains to let the sun’s natural light in. This will reduce the need for artificial lighting.

In the winter, dress in layers so you can keep your home’s temperature lower and save on energy costs.

You can unplug appliances when they’re not in use, or you can wash clothes in cold water.

Of course, you may save energy when all the appliances such as the freezer, the solar charge controller, the refrigerator, the solar panels and batteries function altogether.

How Much Energy Does a Solar Panel for Central Air Conditioners?

Another electrical appliance, besides the fridge, is the air conditioning which requires considerable running watts, an appropriate solar array, and a good size solar panel with a battery capacity that will give you the backup power you need on days when there isn’t enough sunlight to provide for your power needs.

To find out how many solar panels you need to run the conditioner, simply divide the running wattage of the appliance by the watts that the solar panel produces during the day.

With this method, you will learn the correct starting wattage you will need to power your conditioner.

You can also use this method to determine how many batteries you’ll need to store the solar power. Simply divide the total wattage of your solar panels by the number of watts your batteries can store.

For example, if you have five 100-watt solar panels and your batteries can store 1000 watts, you would need 5 batteries to store all of the solar power from your panels.

Final Thoughts

Remember, the size of your fridge, the amount of power it uses, and the location of your home will all affect the number of solar panels you need.

Keep in mind that you can reduce your solar needs by using eco-friendly appliances, and solar-powered devices, and by changing your living habits.



Mike Powers
Mike Powers

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Last update on 2022-10-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API