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Can Small Solar Panels Operate a Refrigerator?

Nowadays, solar energy has become a significant source of renewable energy not only for homes but also for commercial uses. People do not need to rely on the regular government or private electricity supply.  You are free to use solar energy to run your domestic appliances. Depending on the number of solar panels, you can produce as much electricity as you require. However, one thing that people often wonder is whether they can operate their refrigerators by using small solar panels.

Is a 225-watt solar panel enough?

This blog will discuss whether a 225-watt solar panel is enough to operate a refrigerator. We need to understand a regular-sized refrigerator’s capacity and power requirements to find the answer. For regularly running a 325 to 375-litre capacity refrigerator, small solar panels appear insufficient. On the other hand, fridges with larger capacities of 500 liters or more will likely require at least two or three 225 W panels. 

If you have an RV refrigerator, the average power requirement will be around 50 to 60 watts, which a 225 watt solar panel can quickly meet. Some critical factors that affect the total power consumption are the wattage needed to operate the fridge, the duration for which it’s used, and how often the power supply is required.

Refrigerator Operating on Solar Power

The problem with a 225 watt Solar panel or any other type of panels is that they work only if there is a sun. Hence, solar panels are not enough for a constant power supply. Every electronic appliance needs a fixed amount of power to become operational. This is known as the running wattage of the equipment or device. The same is true for a domestic refrigerator.

Therefore, to find the answer whether a 225-watt solar panel is adequate to run a fridge or not, first, you need to find out the actual power requirement of the fridge. It’s not as easy as it seems, but detailed information is mentioned on the back of the refrigerator. Usually, there is 

A panel on the back contains information on energy use. You can find the running wattage required to operate it continuously for 24 hours.

You can also get this information from the user manual you got at the time of purchase. Additionally, every brand manufacturer maintains a dedicated website for their users where all product-related information is given. The power consumption of the refrigerator depends not only on the size and capacity of the refrigerator. It also depends on how often you open a fridge. A fridge opened several times will likely consume more power than those opened less frequently. 

Is a 225-watt Solar Panel enough for an RV Fridge?

Such refrigerators require around 50 to 60 watts of electricity with a consumption of approx. 2.5 amps every hour. A 225 watt solar panel will be enough to run the fridge because it can provide you with around 12  to 15 amps per hour. However, it’s always advisable to overestimate the power requirements of your appliance.

Final Word

A refrigerator running on solar power is an excellent investment. Although you must make an initial investment, it will give you safe, clean, and renewable energy once fully set up. In the end, we can conclude that small solar panels of 225 watt may be enough to run a RV refrigerator but not for a medium or big size fridge of 325 litres or more capacity. Therefore, for such refrigerators to run efficiently you need bigger solar panels that produce enough power to allow it run seamlessly.


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