DC refrigerators are best suited for stand alone solar applications because they are much more energy efficient than AC refrigerators. They are smaller than conventional AC refrigerators. Most are 7 to 11 cubic feet, compared to the 15 to 30 cu ft AC fridges in use in most households today.
Before buying a solar powered DC refrigerator or freezer it's VERY IMPORTANT to determine if it will only be used during an extended power outage, or year round:
A) If a solar powered fridge is intended for full time use, then the logical choice would be to purchase a DC refrigerator with a freezer to replace an existing AC fridge.
B) If the intended use is only for back-up during a power outage then consider purchasing a DC cabinet freezer or a portable DC powerd COOLER refrigerator/freezer which can also be run of a vehicle adaptor. During an extended power outage a can make needed ice to replenish well insulated (non-electric) coolers.
DC refrigerators will run on stand-alone solar using one solar panel, a deep cycle battery, and a charge controller wired with the correct gauge DC rated cabling. Whether installation is going to be done by an electrician or as a DIY project, we recommend relying on the expertise of a reputable solar supply company for professional help in providing the proper size solar panel (measured in watts), and the appropriate capacity of the deep cycle battery (measured in amp-hours) based on regional climate (IE: mostly sunny or mostly cloudy) plus enough capacity for a few days without full sun due to extended cloudiness or forest fire smoke.
Lastly, consider getting the more advanced type of charge controller with MPPT + equalization. Having an energy independent refrigerator is excellent preparation to have done in advance of the next power outage. Read more...
- EcoSolarCool refrigerators are made in Europe. They are the 1st and only DC solar refrigerator in the world entirely UL250 & CSA approved to US and Canadian standards from top to bottom. Danfross DC compressor.
- Reviews of EcoSolarCool refrigerators are near 5 star. Sixteen customers are genuinely happy with this refrigerator. One customer had a problem with shipping. Read reviews for yourself on the Amazon listing.
- Uses one 46Ah 12v battery/ day. Operates on 12 or 24 DC volts. No converters required. It is reported to be the most efficient solar refrigerator when it was tested along side two of the other major brands also currently listed on Amazon. The comparison testing was conducted by a large solar supply distributor on the west coast.
- They are extremely energy efficient and will save you money on your power bill*. You will need a solar panel, battery and 15 amp solar charge controller to operate this refrigerator.
Super Efficient Refrigerators
There are three tiers of efficiency within Energy Star. The top tier appliances are designated as "Super Efficient" by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE). While Energy Star fridges use at least 10% less energy than Federal Minimum Efficiency Standard models, CEE Tier 3 (CT3) fridges use at least 20% less (source). That's great for those who need to use distributed energy but want to be as efficient as possible. Green Kitchens will posting listings for some of the more popular "Super Efficient Refrigerators". Check back soon.
Note: Older refrigerators use a lot more electric to run then newer models, so if your fridge is more than 20 or 30 years old it may be worth upgrading to a newer model. How much IS that old fridge costing you?