Are you looking to know what size solar panel is needed for a fridge?
How many solar panels you need depends on a lot of things.
To calculate how many solar panels you need you first have to know more about how solar panels work.
To get enough power, you might need many solar panels depending on the number of appliances you want to run.
To calculate the number and size of a solar panel you would need for your home, you can use a solar panel calculator.
A solar panel calculator such as this will help you determine the size of a solar panel system for your actual energy use.
Nonetheless, this article will help you calculate how many solar panels you need to run a refrigerator.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
A solar panel has photovoltaic cells which convert solar energy into electricity.
Photovoltaic cells are sandwiched between layers of semiconductor materials, such as silicon.
Each layer of a solar panel has different electronic properties.
When they are hit by photons of sunlight, they become energized, creating an electric field.
This is known as the photoelectric effect.
This is what generates the electricity in a solar panel.
In this way, the solar panels generate direct electricity, which is then transmitted through the inverter.
This then becomes converted into AC power.
The AC can then be engineered into the National Grid or used by households or private companies.
Therefore, if you want to get enough power to run a refrigerator on solar power, you need to know how many solar panels you need.
Nonetheless, let’s see what are the advantages of solar power systems.
What Are Some of the Advantages of Solar Power?
When the sun is shining, a solar panel guarantees power while providing a stable and consistent form of daylight generation.
Compared to other renewable technologies, solar panels do not need as much space.
So there is a possibility for solar panels to be installed in a range of places.
An example of a large area that can house many solar panels is a solar farm system in the countryside.
This can support local biodiversity by providing a seamless habitat for bees, butterflies, and bird nests.
An example of a limited area is the rooftop in city centers.
Nonetheless, how many solar panels you need to power all your appliances depends on your electricity spending/ energy consumption.
Except for occasional cleaning and sweeping of debris, many solar panels do not need a lot of care and maintenance.
Solar panel installations are not intrusive.
If you put a solar panel system in crowded urban locations or quiet rural areas, it won’t create noise pollution when generating electricity.
Many solar panels are made of silicone sheets.
These sheets prevent leaking of photovoltaic cells or releasing toxins or exhausts, making them very safe.
What Are the Opportunities And Challenges Facing Solar Energy?
The amount of power coming into the national grid should be balanced with the amount of electricity used because the network is structured around powering many large fossil fuel power plants, not smaller ones.
Split generators such as solar farms lower the needed power.
If supply is achieved, they produce excess power.
Excess electricity storage is an exciting area of technology development.
It opens up projects on how to keep surplus electricity.
This is something that people can already do if they have solar panels at home by installing a battery storage system.
How Do Solar Panels React on Cloudy Days?
A solar panel reacts to the visible spectrum of light.
In other words, with enough visible sunlight, solar panels can start generating electricity.
But the stronger the sunlight, the better is the reaction of a solar panel to temperature.
During summer, many solar panels produce more electricity, indicating a need for warmer working times.
However, that’s not always the case.
Remember that stronger sunlight and warmer temperatures often go hand in hand, so powering your appliances via solar panel installations is not a big challenge during that time of the year.
If the temperature gets too hot or too cold, a solar panel can become less efficient.
But how many solar panels you need to run a refrigerator depends on how much power a solar panel can generate.
What Is The Average Weight and Size of a Solar Panel?
Many solar panel power systems are on the roofs.
It is complicated to understand their size and weight unless you have a roof.
So, in this part of our article, we will try to clarify the size of a solar panel, its weight, and whether your roof can support solar power systems.
There are two standard configurations of solar panels: 60-cells and 72-cells.
The default dimensions for the first option are: 60-cell solar panels: 39″ x 66″ (3.25 feet x 5.5 feet)
On the other hand, the default dimensions for the second option are: 72-cell solar panels: 39″ x 77″ (3.25 feet x 6.42 feet)
Roof-mounted solar panel power systems have an average size of about 65 inches by 39 inches or 5.4 feet by 3.25 feet.
However, there are some brand-to-brand variations.
If you need to install a large-scale solar power system (such as in a warehouse or municipal building), the solar panels will be 6 meters long.
Again, how many solar panels you need, depends on your electricity spending.
Every solar panel has individual solar photovoltaic (PV) cells.
The standard photovoltaic cell size is 156 mm by 156 mm, or approximately 6 inches in length and 6 inches wide.
A solar panel used for roof installation mostly consists of 60 solar cells, and those used for commercial solar installations have a standard of 72 cells (and can go up to 98 cells or more).
Residential solar panels have 60 solar cells, an average length of 65 inches, an average width of 39 inches, and an average depth of 1.5 – 2 inches.
Commercial panels have 72 solar cells, an average length of 78 inches, an average width of 39 inches, and an average depth of 1.5 – 2 inches.
The number of solar cells on a solar panel and the length of a solar panel is directly related.
The 72-cell solar panels intended for commercial use are approximately 13 inches longer than the 60-cell solar panels designed for living.
Let’s see how an average solar panel measuring 65 inches by 39 inches turns into a solar power system on the roof.
In the US, the average system has 6 kW (kW).
If you install a 6 kW system with an average of 20 kV, your system will probably be about 27 meters wide by 13 meters – a total of 352 square meters.
(This assumes that your solar panels can be positioned close and that there are no obstacles on your roof.)
Understanding the Weight of Solar Power Systems
If you planning to install a solar system on the roof, then it is vital to understand the weight of a solar panel.
Knowing the weight of a solar panel is the best way to make sure your roof can support the full installation of a solar system.
Although there are some brand-to-brand differences, most panels weigh about 40 pounds.
Of the comparisons made between the most famous brands, the easiest is the SunPower, with some panels weighing up to 33 pounds.
The toughest is Canadian Solar, which manufactures solar panels weighing up to 50 pounds.
Refrigerators should have access to a continuous power supply to keep food safe and continuously cold.
Therefore, it may seem that solar energy is not a viable option.
But, you can run a solar-powered refrigerator if you just make the correct solar power configuration and power consumption calculations beforehand.
What is the Size of the Solar Panel Needed to Run a Refrigerator?
So, what is the needed size of a solar panel for a fridge?
How many solar panels do you need?
In addition to solar panels, we need several devices to set up a solar power system suitable for use on the fridge.
To conserve the power that the refrigerator will use at night or when the clouds block the sun, we need batteries.
A device called a charging controller will allow the power to flow from solar panels to the battery.
The charge controller protects the battery from drastic fluctuations in power and ensures it always receives adequate voltage and current.
Lastly, the inverter will convert the direct current (DC) of your battery into AC power used by the refrigerator.
Before deciding on designing your solar power configuration, you should consider the average power that your refrigerator consumes.
What is the Average Power a Refrigerator Consumes?
The ratings on the nameplate indicate the voltage and current requirements.
Take the example of a fridge with 115 volts and 4.5 amps. To calculate its power demand, we need to multiply these two values by the following: 115 x 4.5 = 517.5 watts of power.
Depending on the operating conditions of the refrigerator, it uses power in different ways.
If the room temperature is cold and if there are more cold things in the fridge, it will remain cold for a long time.
Hence, you will not need to get involved often.
When the air compressor works in the refrigerator, we need a power surge that can use up to three times the average drive current.
This increase occurs only per second.
After startup, the fridge will use some power according to the voltage and flow of the nameplate.
Usually, a solar battery provides 12 volts of electricity for a certain amount of amps.
The way to describe battery capacity is an hour amplifier that indicates how many amperes it has to take from the battery and for how long.
Usually, the battery has a 20-hour cycle.
For example, a 160 amp battery would theoretically give eight amps for 20 hours.
Many solar panels will provide enough power for both the refrigerator and other appliances.
The inverters needed to convert DC battery power to AC power used by most devices are never 100 percent efficient.
Many solar panels can lose up to 50% of their power.
You should always look for an inverter with a high-efficiency rating and check the inverter’s inefficiency calculation when calculating the power requirements of your refrigerator.
It makes sense that a larger solar panel will absorb more energy in less time, but let’s see what kind of solar panel you should choose.
The power consumption of the devices is usually determined in Watts.
If you want to calculate the energy you will use over time, you need to multiply the energy consumption by hours of use.
Let’s take an example where the 10-watt device used for over 3 hours equals:
10 x 3 = 30 Watts
Watts power equals electric charge in amplifiers more than voltages in volts:
Watts = amplifiers × Volts
For example, if your device does not have a Watts tag on it, then it should at least have the Input Volts, i.e., 240 V and Amps AF.
It will draw 240V – 1.5A.
You can then use the Watts x Amplifier equation, then 240v x 1.5amps = 360 watts.
The electrical charge in the amplifier equals the energy in Watts divided by the voltage in volts (V):
Amplifiers = Volts / Volts
For example, find the electrical charge in amplifiers when the power consumption is 300 watts, and the voltage is 240 volts.
300 Watts / 240 volts = 1.25 Amps
What Are the Variables Affecting Power Consumption?
We know that it takes a lot of energy to run a refrigerator, but if you install a solar power system in your home, you can easily see where all the power goes.
So, how many solar panels do you need to run a refrigerator?
An average refrigerator needs about three or four ordinary solar panels to run, but that number could be only one or slightly higher.
Different lifestyle habits determine how much energy a family needs to function without problems.
For instance, if one takes two households with identical appliances, one can see that two households can use energy differently.
Also, those who go to work early and return home late or those who spend weekends traveling will need less power than people who are at home all the time.
When it comes to your fridge, power consumption depends on how much food you store in it, how old or new your machine is, and for how long you keep it open.
These variables have a significant impact on the energy needed to run a refrigerator without issues.
You should also know more about your environmental conditions and how much solar power you can gather.
This also affects the number of solar panels you need to run your appliances.
Depending on where you will install the solar panel, it can produce much more or less power.
This should come as no surprise.
A solar power system generates electricity at different levels during the day.
However, as a vast average, a highly efficient solar panel produces about 265 watts.
A bit of quick math and conversion into kWh will tell us that each solar panel produces about 30 kWh per month.
Now an average refrigerator uses about 57 kWh per month.
An average freezer uses 58 kWh, for a combined total of 115 kWh.
If we divide it by 30 kWh per solar panel, we will get 3.8 solar panels.
Solar and Rainwater Systems
To understand electricity better, one would have to compare a solar panel system with a rainwater system.
Imagine a roof that houses a solar panel as a water tank that collects water.
The bigger the roof, the more water it will collect.
In the same way, the more watts the solar panel has, the more electricity it can capture.
The water tank connects to the roof through a pipe.
As the water goes down the roof into the gutters to the water storage, there will be increased pressure as there will be more water in a smaller area.
Think of it as a funnel.
The water pressure that’s coming from the roof represents the voltage, and the water flow in the pipe attached to the tank represents the amplifiers.
Following the same example of a tap at the bottom of the tank to draw water, we will see that the more water there is in the tank, the higher the tap water pressure will be.
The amount of energy a solar panel produces (with the total power of the solar panel achieved in perfect conditions) is a watt.
Similarly, how much power there is flowing from the battery is in watts.
The pressure of electricity a solar panel produces is similar to the amount of water stored in the water tank (the volts).
The fuller the water tank is, the more water pressure you’ll have.
The real amount of electricity flowing through the solar panel and cables is the amplifier.
We call this flowing current, which is comparable to the amount of water flowing in and out of the water tank.
The flow of electricity will vary depending on the following:
- Amount of sunlight a solar panel captures or
- If the battery is full or empty, small or large
Amp-Hour (Ah) is a constant current of 1 Amp for one hour, 5 Amp-Hour (5 Ah) is five amps or 1 amp for 5 hours current.
Volt x amplifiers = Watt – Om’s law
The following Watts / Volts = amplifiers or Watts/amplifiers = Volts we can derive from this formula.
Knowing that our system is 12.8 volts full-charge, we have constant. But when it comes to solar panels, the unregulated voltage will be between 19 and 21 volts. You will hear this called V O C or voltage open circuit.
How To Choose the Right Battery?
Many people use a solar panel to charge a battery.
There are several reasons for batteries.
Solar panels can generate more battery power, but they may not make enough wattage to power the device directly.
The cell can also regulate the energy that goes into the camera at a constant speed.
When solar panels charge the battery, it is usually at different rates which can damage the camera, if it is not regulated.
Battery capacity is in hours of the amplifier (eg, 120 Ah).
To convert this to Watt-hours: multiply the figure by the battery voltage Ah (ex. 12 V) – see calculations above.
AC refers to hours of amplifiers.
This rating is usually on deep cycle batteries.
If the battery is at 100 amps, it should deliver five amps for 20 hours or 20 amps for 5 hours.
We should give consideration when choosing equipment that works on the battery and the time in which they run.
Theoretically, a 100 Ah battery can deliver five amps for 20 hours (and so on).
For the average small camper, the usage is the following:
- a short 45 W cooler-running 6 hours
- 3 hours of 15 W lighting
- 20 W of other electronics
The expected minimum power consumption is 335 W.
Take this wattage and divide it by voltage, 12 V, it will result in 28 Ah.
To leave 50% in the battery, the need is up to 56 Ah per day.
It would be wise to use the lithium I TECH 120 battery.
This new type of cell is part of the weight of the old A M G battery.
And GG batteries usually weigh 35 kg, but the I TECH 120 also weighs just 13 kg.
You can use more than the battery capacity of I TECH 120 – 80%, which means the usable amp rating is similar to 200 Amp Hour.
What Solar Panel System Size Do I Need?
Now, let’s find a way to infer what system size do we need.
This can most easily be done by determining how much power your devices draw from the system over 24 hours.
We can fix this in watts or amplifier hours.
When we talk about 12-volt systems, we use the amps for hours, but they are interchangeable.
The easiest way to do this is to buy using a “K I C K A S S” Wattmeter on the load side of the system.
This will give us either a what or amplifier hours for what you have drawn.
Remember that you will need to do this for a 24 hour- period.
One of the most common and the most energy-consuming in your system will be a 12-volt compressor refrigerator.
This can draw up to 60% of all of the traction power since they regularly work when you are away.
While devices such as power inverters and air compressors can consume a lot of power, mostly, they work only for minimal amounts of time.
We should prefer LED lighting because it has a minimal power draw.
Fridge Draw Reference
You first need to estimate how much energy you usually consume in a given month.
Once you know that, you will be able to calculate how large a solar-powered housing system is needed to be installed.
Know that your energy consumption will change depending on the time of year and where you live.
You’ll use a lot more energy during the hot summer months during the cold winters when your air conditioning unit and your heater are running non-stop.
You can compare this against fall and spring when the outside temperatures are mild and don’t need enough electricity to run your heating and cooling units.
For example, if we have 70 hours of an amplifier or 896-watt hours, we can calculate what we need to balance this power standby with power generation.
Here enter our trusted solar panels.
To calculate how big our solar panel should be, we need to calculate how much sunlight we can catch.
If we get on the average 7 hours a day of full sun, we divide our 70 amps used during 24 hours of full sun.
Now, we know that we will need to generate at least 10 amperes per hour during the day for our system to work consistently.
For our 21 volt V O C panels, we need ten amps,
The equation will be 21 volts x 10 amps = 210 watts.
From this, we can conclude that in perfect conditions and an ideal world, we will need 210 Watt solar panels.
But, since we know that there is no perfect world and perfect conditions, it is best to give ourselves some space.
When we have cloudy days and extreme heat, it will affect how much energy a solar panel can generate.
So, it is always a great idea to install a system slightly more extensive than you need.
If we put a 300-watt panel on this system and experience a couple of bad days, you’ll have some buffer.
Solar power is power!
You don’t have to rely on conventional means of energy. You can use it anytime and anywhere.
Many gadgets on the market will make your life easier with solar cells.
However, if you plan to install solar power systems to run a refrigerator, planning and calculating your energy consumption before buying your solar panel is always a wise move.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article on the size and numbers of solar panels needed to run a refrigerator.
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