With solar generators becoming one of the most popular forms of alternative energy sources, it’s no surprise that more and more people are shopping around for these generators.
Solar generators are often used in camping and hiking situations where you will have limited access to electricity.
However, with solar generators becoming larger and more powerful, many are starting to use them to power home appliances during blackouts and power outages.
To ensure that you have a large enough generator to support your appliances, you need to review the wattage demands and specs of your solar generator.
Today, we are going to take a look at three solar generators that can power a refrigerator.
Goal Zero Yeti 1250
If you are looking for reliable solar power that has enough strength to power even your larger household refrigerators, the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 (click to read reviews on Amazon) is one of my top contenders.
Goal Zero is a leader in the solar generator industry offering many different size generators for all types of applications. The Yeti 1250 is one of their larger generators that is ready to help you power your large refrigerator through your next power outage.
Weighing in at 103lbs, it’s not the lightest on the market, however, Goal Zero includes a handle and a cart with this generator to make transporting the Yeti 1250 a breeze.
Alternatively, you can set it on a shelf permanently and run your wires for your solar panel and extension cords for your refrigerator when needed.
- Fridge Charge Time: 20+ Hours
- Cell Type: AGM Lead Acid
- Pack Capacity: 1200Wh (12V, 100Ah)
- Generator Weight: 103 lbs
- Comes With Roll Cart, Handle, And Wheels
- Power Pack Dimensions – 11 x 16 x 14.5 in (27.9 x 40.6 x 36.8 cm)
- USB port (output): 5V, up to 2.1A (10.5W max), regulated
- 6mm port (output): 12V, up to 6A (72W max)
- 12V car port (output): 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
- 12V power pole port (output): 12V, up to 33A (400W max)
- AC inverter (output, pure sine wave): 110VAC 60Hz, 10A (1200W continuous, 1500W surge max)
- Charging port (input, 8mm): 16-48V, up to 10A (160W max)
- Power pole charging port (input): 16-48V, up to 20A (320W max)
- Power pole chaining port: 12V, up to 180A (2100W max)
- Wall Charger (72W): 18 Hours
- Car Charger (30W): 44 Hours
- Boulder 50 Solar Panel: 36-96 Hours
- Boulder 100 Solar Panel: 18-48 Hours
- Boulder 200 Solar Panel: 9-24 Hours
Goal Zero Yeti 1400
Goal Zero takes another spot on my list with their Yeti 1400 solar generator (click to read reviews on Amazon).
Just like the 1250, the 1400 offers many different usable features that Goal Zero is known for.
The biggest difference here is going to be the added power and a huge weight savings.
The 1400 weighs in at only 43.7lbs, an almost 60lb difference from the 1250.
This makes it much easier to transport and can be easily moved by one or two people thanks to the integrated handles on the top of the generator.
- Fridge Charge Time: 23+ Hours
- Cell Type: Li-ion NMC
- Pack Capacity: 1425Wh (10.8V, 132Ah)
- Generator Weight: 43.7 lbs
- Power Pack Dimensions – 10.1 x 15.3 x 10.4 in (25.7 x 28.9 x 26.4 cm)
- USB-A port (output): 5V, up to 2.4A (12W max), regulated
- USB-C port (output): 5V, up to 3.0A (15W max), regulated
- USB PD port (output): 5V, 12V, 20V up to 3.0A (60W max)
- 6mm Port (output): 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
- 12V car port (output): 12V, up to 10A (120W max)
- 12V Power Pole Port (output): 12V, up to 20A (240W max)
- 120V AC inverter (output, pure sine wave): 120VAC, 60hZ, 12.5A (1500W, 3000W surge)
- Charging Port (input, 8mm): 14-22V, up to 10A (120W max)
- Power Pole Charging Port (input): 14-22V, up to 30A (360W max)
- Expansion Module Port: Covered port under the lid. To be used with Goal Zero expansion modules only.
- Wall Charger (5A): 25 Hours
- Maximum Input (360W solar panels): 4.5 Hours
- Boulder 50 Solar Panel: 56 – 112 Hours
- Boulder 100 Solar Panel: 28 – 56 Hours
- Boulder 200 Solar Panel: 14 – 28 Hours
A replacement for the popular Inergy Kodiak, the Apex has definitely made a name for itself. Inergy is a popular solar generator provider ever since the late Kodiak became most people’s go-to higher power solar generator.
When it was discontinued, it was replaced by the Apex which carries on the high quality reputation quite nicely.
Weighing in at a lightweight 25lbs, you can easily take the Apex just about anywhere you would like to go.
With more than enough outlets to satisfy any tailgate, camping trip, or black out, you will never have to worry about not having the right generator for your specific application.
- Fridge Charge Time: 33+ Hours
- Cell Type: Lithium-Ion (NMC) Battery.
- Peak Capacity: 1,100 W continuous for 1 hour, 3,000 W peak 12.6V DC, 90 AH.
- Ultra-lightweight 25 lbs
- 1100 Watt (1.1kWh) Power Bank Solar Generator
- Generator Weight: 25 lbs
- Dimensions: 7 x 14 x 8 in.
- (6) 110V AC Plugs: Up to 1,000 W continuous per outlet (10 Amp max) 1500 W max for combined AC output. 3,000W combined starting surge, pure sine wave.
- (1) 30 amp RV Plug, 110 Volt, NEMA TT-30R
- (2) 12V DC universal car sockets, 15amps maximum per socket.
- (2) USB Qualcomm Quick charge 3.0 Ports
- (2) 5V 3A USB-C Ports
- (2) Light Port, 12V DC 5.5 x 2.5mm connector standard 50W max output per port, up to 10-5W Inergy LED lights, daisy chained together.
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Wall Charger: 12 Hours
- Quick Wall Charger: 11 Hours
- 12V Car Socket: 10-11 Hours
- Solar Panels: 3-13 Hours
Can A Solar Generator Power A Refrigerator?
When it comes to powering a fridge with a solar generator, there are a few different things you need to take into consideration.
First, you need to determine how much wattage your refrigerator requires. This is going to be dependent on the size of your refrigerator, and we will discuss average wattage requirements a little further into this article.
Second, you need to verify that your solar generator is going to be able to provide the wattage needs of your refrigerator.
As a rule of thumb, you will want to make sure that you have a little bit of wiggle room.
For example, if your refrigerator demands 800 watts, pick a generator capable of powering 1000 watts so that you are not running your generator at full capacity at all times.
This can put a great strain on your generator and cause it to fail prematurely.
Lastly, you will want to consider how long you will be wanting to run your refrigerator.
Most generator companies supply you with average charge times for common appliances.
This will help you better understand how long you can expect your refrigerator to run while using your solar generator.
Depending on what you will be using it for emergency use, tailgating, camping, etc, find a generator that will run your refrigerator for the time period you are needing.
How Much Wattage Does A Refrigerator Require?
Refrigerators can come in all shapes and sizes from the small mini-fridge you would put in a dorm room to a large fridge capable of holding enough food for a large family.
Of course, with a larger fridge, comes a larger wattage demand. When it comes to using a solar generator to power a fridge, you are going to get a longer use out of powering a smaller fridge than a much larger fridge.
If you plan on using a solar generator to power a fridge during a power outage, I suggest moving your most perishable foods to a smaller fridge (if you have one) and powering it with your solar generator.
You will get more charge time this way and keep your food cooler for longer. If you are unable to use a smaller fridge, limit the amount of times your refrigerator is opened to keep as much cool air in the fridge as possible.
This will maximize your solar generator usage and help you get the most time out of a single charge.
As a point of reference, you can use the following averages to estimate wattage usage on popular refrigerators:
- 1.7 CuFt Mini Fridge: 228 kWh
- 4.4 CuFt Mini Fridge: 228 kWh
- 25.5 CuFt Side By Side Fridge: 709 kWh
These numbers are based on an average refrigerator and should be used as a guide only. Always consult your specific refrigerator manual to determine your exact wattage needs.
Solar Generators Vs Gas Generator
When searching for a generator, you may notice that you can choose from solar and gas generators.
If you compare them side by side, you will immediately notice a few key differences.
The gas generator will always outperform the solar generator in each class but it also comes with drawbacks.
Gas generators are able to produce a lot more power as they are equipped with a gasoline powered engine.
This has its drawbacks as gasoline engines produce a lot of noise and a poisonous exhaust gas.
Gasoline generators must be used outdoors in a well ventilated area and depending on how loud they are, you will want to use them away from any occupants of your home.
Due to the gasoline engine, these generators are very heavy and much larger when comparing them to solar generators.
The solar generator is not going to produce the same amount of power as a gasoline generator, but you will be able to enjoy clean, quiet energy just about anywhere.
Since the solar generator does not produce any exhaust gases, you can use them indoors, in a tent, or even in a car without worry.
Although some solar generators get very large and heavy, you can set them in a permanent place and run your solar panel wires to exterior mounted panels to avoid moving it each time you need to recharge it.
While there are many different pros and cons to each, it’s going to come down to how much power you need and what you will be needing it for.