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Solar Powered Refrigerator

Using the Sun to Keep Things Cool

If you have a remote cabin or rural dwelling that you only visit periodically, a solar powered refrigerator may be just the thing for you. Solar powered refrigerators or solar powered fridges operate on 12 volts DC which is the same as a car battery. Your home refrigerator operates on 120 volts AC. Visit our other blog post for a good description of DC vs. AC.
Click here to visit our Solar Powered Refrigerator Store.

Solar Powered Refrigerator Capacity

It comes as no surprise that these solar powered fridge is smaller than what you’re normally used to . A typical residential refrigerator is 18 cubic feet. These solar powered refrigerators range from 1.8 cubic feet to 8.0 cubic feet.

These solar powered refrigerators are better insulated than a typical residential home refrigerator. The sizes shown below are typical.
Click here to visit our Solar Powered Refrigerator Store and see the entire selection at once.

1.8 Cubic Foot – Solar Powered Refrigerator (24.5″ x 27.5″ x 36.5″)

This is the size of the smaller dorm type of refrigerator. The larger dorm refrigerators like you see in hotels are typically 3 cubic feet. There is typically room for a gallon of milk, eggs, and other items that you may want to refrigerate for a short time.

Click here to see the 1.8 Cubic Foot Solar Powered Fridge

5.8 Cubic Foot – Solar Powered Refrigerator (30″ x 40″ x 37″)

This is the midsized refrigerator and is about 2 times the size of the larger dorm refrigerators like you see in hotels which are typically 3 cubic feet. This would be a good choice if you’re staying in your cabin for a week or more.

Click here to see the 5.8 Cubic Foot Solar Powered Fridge

8.0 Cubic Foot – Solar Powered Refrigerator (30″ x 50″ x 37″)

This is a slightly larger midsized refrigerator and is about 2 times the size of the larger dorm refrigerators like you see in hotels which are typically 3 cubic feet. This would be a good choice if you’re staying in your cabin for a week or more.

Click here to see the 8.0 Cubic Foot Solar Powered Fridge

Click here to visit our Solar Powered Refrigerator Store.

Assembling a Solar Powered Refrigerator

All these solar powered refrigerators listed above require some additional parts. You will need a solar panel, a battery and a charge controller. These parts can be found at the following links:
The solar panel and charge controller can be purchased together as an 85W kit here – 85W Solar Panel & Charge Controller Kit
or they can be purchased separately

I’m partial to the Universal Power Group batteries. Here is a link to their 110W battery (about $240).
Click here to visit our Solar Powered Refrigerator Store.

A Cheaper Solar Powered Refrigerator

Another option is to use an existing refrigerator. You’ll need to supply power to the standard refrigerator using 120V AC. To do this, you’ll need an inverter to convert the DC power (battery) to AC power (outlet). Remember that you’ll loose some power during the conversion and these refrigerators may not be as efficient so you’ll probably need a larger battery, solar panel, and controller.

Hopefully, this has been an informative article for you. If you have any suggestions, please let me know so I can include it. Now you should be set to get a solar powered refrigerator.
 
 

Best Solar Backpack Reviews

Solar Backpacks Reviews – Back To School

The Back To School rush has started again. In looking around the internet, I noticed that now some solar backpacks are being offered. Basically, these backpacks have a flexible solar panel on the outside of the backpack which charges a battery. This battery/solar panel can then recharge portable devices.
Big Disclaimer here – These are SMALL solar panels and battery packs on these solar panel backpacks. You won’t be able to recharge your laptop. These are designed to recharge your iPod, iPhone, mp3 player, cell phone, or other small portable electronics. You’ll typically plug your device into the USB port on the battery pack to recharge. Read on for reviews of the solar backpacks we looked at.

Blue Solar Backpack and Cell Phone Charger

This solar backpack and cell phone charger is rated for 3W which means that with full sun, these solar panels are pumping about 1/2A which about what a typical USB port gives. Any excess power is stored in the battery pack which can hold 3000mA. Adapters are included

  • Pros: Large capacity battery. Decent power output can charge devices directly.
  • Cons: Requires an adapter. The power output is 6V but USB is 5V. Using a USB plug would allow people to use their own USB to device cable.

Here’s the link on Amazon.

Samsonite Solar Backpack

This is advertised as a business solar backpack. This solar backpack and cell phone charger is rated for 4.5W. This one has a 12V adapter which would be nice for powering those adapters making use of the car charger. Even at 4.5W, the current output is less than 1/2A. Most of the energy is probably lost to heat in the conversion process. This one doesn’t seem to have a battery.

  • Pros: Has a 12V adapter so you can use your existing car charger.
  • Cons: No energy storage in a battery. Rather low current.

Here’s the link on Amazon.

Other Solar Charging Options

Another option is to buy the solar charger separately and just keep it in your backpack. I like this idea the best because in most cases, the excess energy can be stored in a battery or the battery can be charged from a USB port so you’ll have it when you need it most.

ReVive Solar Battery Pack

This battery pack can be re-charged from the sun or through a USB port. Once the battery pack is charged, use it to charge your other portable devices – without being in the sun. I like the fact that you can use your existing USB cable instead of having to carry around a bunch of special adapters for that solar panel charger. Unfortunately, the solar panel will only charge the battery to about 50% of capacity. On the plus side, it includes an LED flashlight and LED power indicator. This is my favorite of the bunch.

  • Pros: Has a USB adapter so you can use your existing USB charging cables. Energy storage in battery. About 1/4 the cost of a solar backpack.
  • Cons: Only charges battery to 50% with solar.

Click here for the Amazon link.

Solar Battery Charger

This is strictly a battery charger – no storage. It will allow you to charge your portable device from the sun . Use your existing USB cable. It can charge AA or AAA rechargeable batteries.

  • Pros: Has a USB adapter so you can use your existing USB charging cables. Charges AA or AAA batteries
  • Cons: No energy storage – must be in sun to charge.

Click here for the Amazon link.

ReVive Solar Battery Pack

This battery pack can be re-charged from the sun or through a USB port. Once the battery pack is charged, use it to charge your other portable devices – without being in the sun. I like the fact that you can use your existing USB cable instead of having to carry around a bunch of special adapters for that solar panel charger. Unfortunately, the solar panel will only charge the battery to about 50% of capacity. On the plus side, it includes an LED flashlight and LED power indicator. This is my favorite of the bunch.

  • Pros: Has a USB adapter so you can use your existing USB charging cables. Energy storage in battery. About 1/4 the cost of a solar backpack.
  • Cons: Only charges battery to 50% with solar.

Click here for the Amazon link.