Of all the appliances in a typical home, the refrigerator and freezer rank the highest in terms of electricity requirements. But what if you could replace the conventional fridge with one that fulfills the same functions for free? That’s exactly what a solar powered refrigerator can do for you.
At present, most fridges that work on solar power are relatively small and not necessarily suitable to replace their more traditional counterparts in an average-sized home. However, they make perfect additions to any off-grid boat, RV, cabin, and more.
What Are the Best Solar Powered Refrigerators in 2020?
The hallmarks of a good solar powered refrigerator include durability, efficiency, and the ability to double as a freezer in order to save space. All items on the following list meet these requirements and have additional useful features to boot. If you find yourself considering buying one of these refrigerators, take a look at these solar coffee-makers as well!
WHYNTER FM-45G 45 Qt Portable Refrigerator/Freezer
This solar powered refrigerator by Whynter has a capacity of 45 Quarts (60 cans) and weighs just under 45lb. Its high portability make it perfect for camping and fishing trips, but also for weekends spent in an off-grid cabin or RV. In addition, the fridge can double as a freezer and is built with a “fast freeze” option to rapidly cool contents to -8ºF.
The solar powered freezer/fridge is ETL approved and can be connected to either a 110V outlet or a 12V power source. To charge this refrigerator using solar panels, you need a PV input of no more than 200W and a decent-sized battery for nighttime functions. In case of bad weather or poor lighting conditions, you can also connect it to a car’s battery or a conventional power source.
- Reliable solar powered refrigerator that doubles as a freezer
- Can be charged in multiple ways to ensure it always stays cool, regardless of the weather
- Adjustable temperature and LED temperature display
- Includes an 8ft AC power cord and a 5ft DC power cord
- Requires regular cleaning in order to function at peak efficiency. May break down after only one year of use otherwise
ENGEL AC/DC Portable Dual Voltage Fridge/Freezer, 84 Qt
Engel’s solar powered freezer/fridge is definitely more expensive than most other options presented here, but it is also worth the difference. It has a generous capacity of 84 Quarts (115 cans) and weighs just under 100lb, while its extraordinarily efficient compressor make it the ideal candidate for solar electricity. To keep this fridge working throughout the entire day, a solar panel with as little as 80W in terms of PV input is sufficient.
The fridge can be connected to both an AC and a DC power source at the same time. When this is the case, it prioritizes AC power, but can automatically switch to DC if necessary. The compressor is quiet and vibration resistant, so you can take this unit on most RV and boat trips without worrying about its condition. The outer case is coated in steel for additional durability and the heavy-duty removable handles can be used to transport it with ease.
- Reliable and durable solar powered freezer/fridge
- The compressor is highly efficient, which means that, given the right battery, the fridge does not require an extensive solar panel to function
- Can be connected to both AC and DC power sources at the same time
- Steel-coated case, removable handles, cables, and interior compartment baskets are included
- Significantly more expensive than other options
ACOPOWER P40A Portable Solar Fridge Freezer, 42 Q
Unlike other manufacturers mentioned here, Acopower focuses predominantly on solar-friendly products, which presents a number of advantages when it comes to this portable fridge/freezer. With a capacity of 42 Quarts (or 60 cans) and a weight of 33.4lb, the fridge can be easily moved from one location to another and is therefore perfect for off-grid excursions.
In addition, this solar powered refrigerator comes with an in-built 173Wh Lithium battery already included in the initial cost. To charge it, you can connect it to a 120W solar panel, as well as to a 120 AC port such as the car battery or a conventional wall outlet.
- Solar powered refrigerator that doubles as a freezer
- Lighter than most other portable fridges and easily transported thanks to its integrated trolley and wheels
- Includes a battery that can be recharged with solar panels or conventional AC electricity
- Adjustable temperature and digital control panel
- Fairly expensive compared to other options
SUNDANZER Solar-Powered Refrigerator
This solar powered refrigerator by Sundanzer is much more spacious than other products presented here. With a capacity of 8 cubic feet (or just under 240 Quarts), it’s also significantly heavier, but can still be moved given the right equipment. Overall, it is the perfect option for an off-grid cabin or even a boat, if enough space is available.
The minimum setup required to run this fridge includes an 80W solar panel, a 110Ah battery, and a 15A charge controller for battery protection. The motor is highly efficient, which means the fridge is not likely to run out of electricity overnight when properly charged. Otherwise, during days when the solar panel is not exposed to enough sunlight, the fridge can be connected to a car or boat port.
- Considerably more spacious than other solar powered refrigerators
- Efficient motor that requires no more than 80W PV input from solar panels
- Can be charged in multiple ways
- Built with environmentally-friendly CFC-free refrigerant
- Significantly more expensive than other options
- No freezer function
COLEMAN 40-Qt Portable Cooler
Although this model by Coleman is technically a cooler, rather than a refrigerator, it can nevertheless keep beverages and perishables at a low temperature when used properly. At the same time, it is much more affordable than other products on our list, so if you’re on a tight budget, it might just be the best option for you.
With a capacity of 40 Quarts, this cooler weighs no more than 17.4lb, so it is quite easy to transport during road trips, as well as camping and fishing trips. When used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it can keep its contents up to 40ºF cooler than the surrounding environment. The door of this unit opens from either side to allow for more flexibility in terms of placement, while the 8ft power cord is long enough to facilitate a good connection to a remote solar panel.
- Much more affordable than other options
- Much lighter than other options
- Can keep contents cool if placed in an environment with average to low temperatures
- Flexible in terms of placement
- Cannot cool/freeze contents as well as a refrigerator