Need solar powered refrigerator advice!
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Need solar powered refrigerator advice!Posted by Xoche at September 14. 2005
I've been fruitlessly searching the web for consumer reviews on solar powered refrigerators and I'm hoping that some of you here have some experience you could share!
I'm torn between a super efficient fridge or going with propane. Do any of you with solar electricity have any thoughts? I've read that you can power a normal Energy Star fridge on solar if you spend the difference in price on extra panels but then someone else said that isn't really true because they suck up so much power each time they kick on that they drain the system. Anyone have real-life experience here? I just don't feel like the dealers are really giving completely reliable information.
Any brands you particularly like? Hate?
Thanks in advance for any insights
Re: Need solar powered refrigerator advice!Posted by Tim Johnsson at October 29. 2005
SunFrost used to manufacture some of the most efficient refrigerators available and I still think they do, however, government standards have kicked in during recent years forcing all refrigerator/freezer manufacturers to produce much more efficient compressors and cooling systems. The advantage of expensive off-grid refrigerators is not what it was 5 or 10 years ago. You can get a relatively efficient model from just about any manufacturer these days. The most efficient are top-bottom refrigerator/freezers with the freezer on the bottom. Generally, they work so the freezer is a slide out drawer and the top is a refrigerator with a standard single door. Make sure to read annual kWh rating for each refrigerator. I've seen some that consume less than 350 kWh/year which is about the equivalent of a 40 watt light bulb being on 24 hours a day. You might do a little better with a super-efficient SunFrost but they are much more expensive and probably not as stylish only because you are limited to just a few models. Spend the extra money on an additional solar panel. Oh, and I don't know who told you about the power sucking when the refrigerator kicks on because that's totally false. All compressors have a surge when they kick on, however, this is only temporary and will have a very small effect on overall kWh consumption, if any at all. The issue is how long the compressor stays on and how efficient it is when it's operating.