The primary problem in keeping food and medicine cold is the large power draw of typical refrigerators. It takes a large solar array to operate a refrigerator, even the small "dorm fridges" found in most department stores. The same goes for the small ice chest type cooler that operates on a 12 volt cigarette lighter receptacle. We give you a few choices in ways that you can get your food or medicine cold and still use a small 12 volt solar power system. During power outages most people turn to gasoline generators to run their home refrigerator.
Refrigerators that run on Solar Power
These ultra high efficiency refrigerators and freezers have exceptionally low energy consumption requiring smaller, less expensive power systems and low operating expense. High quality construction provides excellent reliability and long life. Super-insulated cabinets have a powdered-coated galvanized steel exterior with an aluminum interior. A zero maintenance, brushless, thermostatically controlled DC compressor operates on 12 or 24 VDC. A patented low-frost system reduces frost and moisture build-up for low maintenance. These chest-style refrigerators and freezers are easy to clean using a drain hole at the bottom of the unit. Typical system would include one 75-100 watt solar panel and two six-volt golf cart batteries.
The WAECO line of 12 volt refrigerators come in a variety of energy saving convenient sizes. A typical back up system would include one 100+ watt solar panel with two 6 volt batteries.
Low energy consumption is the key that allows SunDanzer refrigerators and freezers to be cost effectively powered from solar, wind, fuel cells or batteries. This technology allows refrigeration in remote locations were it was previously unavailable or prohibitively expensive. For more information please visit the SunDanzer web site. Tell them you found them at SFE!
SunDanzer has recently added a 120 VAC option to their refrigerators and freezer units. This is a great option because if there is a power outage then the unit switches over to 12 volt back-up batteries. When power is restored the unit automatically transfers back. SunDanzer also has released a smaller 1.5 cf unit that costs a lot less than the larger models. If you come to Las Vegas these units are on display at Vegas Trailer Supply.
Commonly used on water craft, but exceptional for other vehicles and emergency use. Visit the Waeco by Dometic site here: WAECO
Read more about solar refrigeration in the "Heating, Cooling & Refrigeration" article.
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Sunfrost Refrigerators have been the mainstay of the solar industry. Reliable and efficient. Many models available.