Solar Generators That Can Power My Refrigerator

Last Updated on October 6, 2020 by Scott

Solar generators are often used in camping and hiking situations where you will have limited access to electricity.

solar generator for refrigerator

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, review the wattage demands and specs of your solar generator.

Today, we are going to take a look at five solar generators that can power a refrigerator.

Solar Generator for a Fridge Update: October 2020

In the real-world testing of my own fridge/freezer with solar generators, you’ll want at least a 1,000W output rating from your portable battery pack. My fridge would often surge to 700-800W when really working hard, and while my Jackery 500 could handle those surges, I wouldn’t trust it for more than an hour or so. The Jackery 1000 and the EcoFlow Delta easily handled these surges, and with a much higher capacity, could run my fridge for an extended power outage.

1. The Best Solar Generator to Power a Fridge: EF EcoFlow EFDelta

The EF EcoFlow Solar Generator is a beast. The charging speed is insane. I clocked it taking in over 1,000W per hour when charging from my home AC. This thing can pump out power, and take it in like I take in carbs when I’m cranky. It handled my fridge test without blinking. The only downsides so far are that it can be pretty loud when it’s fans kick into high gear, and it’s a little unwieldy with its weight and strange placement of ports on nearly all 4 sides of the generator.

Watch the EcoFlow Delta 1300 power my fridge with ease:

Fridge Test: EcoFlow Delta 1300. Will it power a household refrigerator & freezer?

If I had to pick one solar generator to feel 100% confident it would power my fridge, it would be the EF EcoFlow EFDelta.

EF ECOFLOW Portable Power Station EFDELTA, UPS Power Supply 1260Wh Battery Pack with 6 1800W (3300W Surge) AC Outlets, Solar Battery Generator for Outdoor Camping RV
  • 【6x 1800W AC OUTLETS & 1260Wh CAPACITY】Equipped with large invertor load, which can power most home appliances and heavy duty DIY tools under 1800W (3300W Surge, PURE SINE WAVE) : like TV, Fridge, Coffee Machine, Microwave Oven, CPAP, Drill and Saw. With 1260Wh capacity, EFDELTA can be truly a backup generator that keeps the lights, fridges running for hours.
  • 【RECHARGE FROM 0% TO 80% WITHIN 1 HOUR】EFDELTA can be recharged from 0% to 80% in 1 hour and to 100% in 1.6 hours. X-STREAM TECHNOLOGY: ECOFLOW patented X-Stream Technology empowers EFDELTA recharged at 10 times the speed of most portable power stations in the market with just a standard AC cable. (NO HEAVY, BULKY ADAPTOR or BRICK).
  • 【FASTEST RECHARGE BY SOLAR AND CAR】EFDELTA MPPT Controller guarantees faster recharge rate of solar and the wider compatibility with EcoFlow solar panel: Open Circuit voltage(OCV): 10-65V/ 10A max, 400W Max Input. (MC4 to XT60 Solar Cable Included). SOLAR RECHARGE TIME: EFDELTA can be fully recharged by solar panel in about 4 Hours . CAR RECHARGE TIME: it can be fully charged through a 12/24V car port in 10-12 HOURS.

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2. Quietest Solar Generator That can Power a Refrigerator: Jackery Explorer 1000

I took this solar generator on a two-week boondocking camping trip, and it powered my portable freezer the entire time (I had to charge it here and there of course). It’s quiet, light for its capacity, and easy to throw around without feeling like it is going to break.

Here’s my real-world “will it power my fridge?” test with the Jackery 1000:

Fridge Test: Jackery Explorer 1000. Will it power my household fridge & freezer?

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 1000, 1002Wh Solar Generator (Solar Panel Optional) with 3x110V/1000W AC Outlets, Solar Mobile Lithium Battery Pack for Outdoor RV/Van Camping, Emergency
  • Founded in California in 2012, Jackery specializes in providing outdoor green power solutions for explorers. Jackery portable power station, power outdoors.
  • With a higher 1000W wattage and larger 1002Wh capacity, the Jackery Explorer 1000 features 3 standard PURE SINE WAVE AC outlets, which provide extra capacity to power more AC appliances simultaneously. Note that the total rated wattage should be under 1000w (surge 2000w). 2*USB-C and 1*Quick Charge 3.0 port can charge all your small digital devices like tablets and phones effectively.
  • Power your outdoor recreation time from this instant solar generator. Designed for: (1) RV-ers: With no extra setup, powers your mini space heaters, cooling fans, mini-fridges, portable ovens and coffee makers, etc. (2) Outdoor parties: Power blenders, pellet smokers, small household ice shavers, and TVs to extend your grilling and game time. (3) Home backup power: Support emergency appliances such as refrigerators, CPAP/Bi-PAP, computers, radios, and phones to help keep your life as normal.

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Older Solar Generators for Fridges Recommendations

The following picks have not had much availability lately, so I would recommend looking at the EcoFlow or the Jackery 1000. Goal Zero has new 1500x, 3000x, and 6000x models coming out in 2020, but so far they have been very difficult to source. They are also very expensive compared to the Jackery and EcoFlow.

3. Goal Zero Yeti 1250

If you are looking for reliable solar power that can 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 sizes 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, but Goal Zero includes a handle and a cart 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.

Goal Zero Yeti 1250 Portable Power Station with Roll Cart, 1200Wh Chainable Home Battery Backup Generator Alternative with 12V, AC, USB and Anderson Power Pole Outputs
  • 1250Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 10 devices at once (100Ah @ 12V)
  • Continuous 1200W, 1500W surge pure-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
  • Charge phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, and more. Provides backup emergency power for appliances, lights, and most household devices.
Yeti 1250 from goal zero powering up a refregirator
The Goal Zero 1250 Can power most residential refrigerators

Specs

  • Fridge charge time: 20+ hours
  • Cell type: AGM lead acid
  • Pack capacity: 1200Wh (12V, 100Ah)
  • Chainable
  • 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)

Charge Times

  • 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

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4. 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 useful 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.

Goal Zero Yeti 1400 Lithium Portable Power Station 1425Wh Silent Gas Free Generator Alternative with 1500 Watt (3000 Watt Surge) AC inverter, USB, 12V Outputs
  • 1425Wh lithium portable power station can power up to 10 devices at once (Single Cell Equivalent Capacity: 396Ah @3.6V)
  • AC inverter (output, pure sine wave): 120VAC 60Hz, 10A (1500W, 3000W surge)
  • Charges phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, drones, and more. Powers your refrigerator, blender, TV, lights, power tools, and medical devices

Specs

  • Fridge charge time: 23+ hours
  • Cell type: Li-ion NMC
  • Pack capacity: 1425Wh (10.8V, 132Ah)
  • Chainable
  • 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.

Charge Times

  • 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

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5. Inergy Apex

A replacement for the popular Inergy Kodiak, the Apex has definitely made a name for itself. Inergy has been a popular solar generator provider 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 quality reputation.

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 blackout, you will never lack the right generator for your specific application.

inergy Apex Lithium Portable Solar Power Station, 1100Wh Expandable Battery and Silent Alternative to Gas Generator 1500W Inverter (3000W Surge), 12V, USB-C, USB Quick Charge, 6 110-120 AC Outputs
  • 4 TIMES LONGER LIFESPAN THAN ANY OTHER SYSTEM. The Apex is rated up to 2,000 charge cycles or 10 years with up to 80% total capacity remaining. Other comparable systems rate to only 500 cycles.
  • FASTEST-CHARGING SYSTEM in the world. The Apex comes out of the box with roughly twice the charging rate of most well-known competitors. Other manufacturers require you to spend several hundred dollars on accessories to reach the Apex's native charge rate.
  • POWERED BY THE SUN, YOUR AUTOMOBILE, OR WITH THE GRID. Upgrade to Solar Storm or Linx kits for solar charging. Full recharge times as follows: Gold = abt 3 hours | Silver = abt 6 hours | Bronze = abt 11 hours

Specs

  • Fridge charge time: 33+ hours
  • Cell type: lithium-ion (NMC) battery
  • Peak capacity: 1,100W continuous for 1 hour, 3,000W 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 1,000W continuous per outlet (10 Amp max) 1500W 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

Charge Times

  • Wall charger: 12 hours
  • Quick wall charger: 11 hours
  • 12V car socket: 10-11 hours
  • Solar panels: 3-13 hours

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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, 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 later in this article.

Second, you need to verify that your solar generator can provide the wattage needs of your refrigerator. As a rule of thumb, you will want to make sure that you have a bit of wiggle room.

For example, if your refrigerator demands 800 watts, pick a generator capable of powering 1,000 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, consider how long you will want 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 require.

But yes, current generation solar generators can absolutely power a household refrigerator. See my videos above of the tests I did powering my own fridge and freezer combo with solar generators!

How Much Wattage Does a Refrigerator Require?

Refrigerators 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 more 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 and keep your food cooler for longer. If you are unable to use a smaller fridge, limit the number 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 / battery powered 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 comes with drawbacks.

Gas generators can 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 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 than 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 them each time you need to recharge.

While there are many pros and cons to each, it comes down to how much power you need and what you need it for.

Last update on 2020-10-19 Affiliate links & images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2 comments

  1. First of all the above article is full of good information but I’ll add this because with things happening in this world like large grid issues like what happend in puerto rico, some people reading this site might be also looking for slightly longer term refridgeration then a short power outage or a camping trip.

    If you need a long term solar powered fridges, consider converting a chest freezer into a fridge, you can either change the thermostat if your upto the task, or you can get a pre-made inline thermostats you just plug into, a 26 cubic foot chest freezer at 1 deg above freezing will run on a good quality 300 watt inverter like a morningstar suresine and 2 -100 amp hour GC-6 lead acid batteries and 1-100 watt solar panel and charge controller, it will only consume 100 watt hours per day, so you only need one hour of sun / day, this means you can go a week of rain and still have the fridge running flawlessly, while keeping a few hundred cans of soda or beer ice cold.

    For referance annual power useage doing this is ~36.5 kWh so about 10% of those fridges listed above, and even more cubic feet of space then the largest one listed above sucking down only 5% of the power of that model.

    And a few words about inverters, because while the rule of thumb above is good, if you get a good inverter like a morningstar 300 watt suresine, it might seem small but it is able to run double that wattage for 10 minutes, most big box store inverters can only do this for fraction of a second, they also take saltspray, rain fog, sub zero temps, have no fans so they are quite and have no moving parts to fail, and more importantly they will sense a load and turn on and off automatically so they don’t waste power running in standby like most other inverters do, this is the type of equiptment telecom companies will use because they work. But keep in mind these are not an all in one unit like a Yeti or Inergy which are nice for the weekend warriors tailgating or a house owner that need a fridge in pinch, but if your stuck and need long term fridge storage and willing to pick up some tools and aware of the dangers of electricty and items like lead acid batteries a chest freezer conversion is the way to go. ( keep in mind if you have a new chest freezer doing this will more then likely invalidate your warrenty, but mine has run over a decade and it was used when I got it so if I figure the fuel savings I can buy a new one when it fails, if it fails )

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