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Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator?

By SSK Admin December 16, 2021

Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator

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Solar energy is a green, sustainable form of power. Deriving pure and clean energy from the sun is a sustainable practice that could benefit the environment and create hope for the future.

By taking advantage of the sun by using 100-watt solar panels, you are doing the environment a favor. These solar panels are also portable, convenient, and will not break your bank.

We are here to tell you whether 100-watt solar panels can power a fridge. You will find out how many watts are needed to power a fridge, and some additional pieces of equipment needed to do so. 

You will also find answers to other frequently asked questions about 100-watt solar panels.

100-watt solar panels are great pieces of equipment for RVs, camping, and powering smaller appliances. 100-watt solar panels are smaller than the solar panels used in residences and homes. They are typically between 47 x 21.3 x 1.4 inches in size.

Can a 100-watt solar panel power a fridge? 

Can a 100 Watt Solar Panel Run a Refrigerator

Running a fridge with a 100w solar panel may be a challenge. Fridges require a continuous supply of power to keep your food safe and cool.

The good news is that you should be able to run your fridge with solar power if you have the right power requirement calculations and some additional equipment.

How much power can a 100-watt solar panel produce?

Figuring out the power output of solar panels can be a tricky business. As a general rule of thumb, a 100-watt solar panel produces 400 watt-hours per day.

You may also be wondering: a 100-watt solar panel equals how many amps?

100-watts of solar power provides around 5 amps of power per hour. But, this is only in direct sunlight. 

What is the output of a 100-watt solar panel on a cloudy day?

Solar panels still work on a cloudy day. A 100-watt solar panel output on a cloudy day is estimated to be around 10 – 25% of the normal power output of the solar panel.

If you want to keep your fridge running with 100-watt solar panels, you need to have your batteries charged on a cloudy day. 

How many Watts are needed to power a fridge? 

An average modern fridge may need between 80 to 300 watts, while some small domestic fridges have power ratings as low as 65 watts. Of course, this depends on the capacity of each fridge.  

A 100-watt solar panel generates around 400 watt-hours per day. A refrigerator with a freezer may need up to 2000 watt-hours per day.

Will a 100-watt solar panel power a refrigerator?

Will a 100 watt solar panel run a 12v refrigerator,

You now know that a 100-watt solar panel generates an average of 400 watt-hours of energy per day. A normal refrigerator with a freezer needs 2000 watt-hours per day to function.

A 100-watt solar panel may be able to run a fridge for a short period, but it will need a battery. In general, a 100-watt solar panel alone will not be able to generate enough daily power to keep your food consistently cold.

You might need up to three or four 100-watt solar panels to do the job. Four 100-watt solar panels will probably be the safest option for the fridge to operate optimally.

On sunny days and in the summer, two solar panels would be enough. In the winter you might need four.

Will a 100-watt solar panel power a 12v refrigerator? 

12v camping fridges are a great addition to any solar-powered home or RV.  This is a very handy piece of equipment, and it is very common to power a 12v compressor fridge with solar power.

Do note, however, that 12v fridges would take up to 60% of your power draw.

You can run a 12v compressor fridge with a 100-watt solar panel but it is essential to hook it up to a battery. Usually, a 110Ah battery will do the job, but your compressor fridge would need to be designed specifically for this to be suitable.

Let us suppose your 100-watt solar panel has two batteries that it attempts to charge above 50%. This would amount to an average of 600 – 700 watts per day.

If this is the case, the fridge would be able to run for an entire day. But you will need two days to recharge the battery.


What do you need to power a fridge with a 100-watt solar panel? 

To effectively run a fridge with 100-watt solar panels, you may need some additional equipment. Just make sure that they are suitable to use with your model of refrigerator.

Some additional devices for your solar-power installation include batteries, inverters, and solar charging controllers.

Batteries 

Batteries are an essential addition to your solar setup, and your fridge probably won’t run consistently without them.

The power produced by your solar panels may vary according to the amount of sunlight it receives. Batteries come in handy when you want to power your fridge at night or on a cloudy day.

Inverter 

An inverter is an electronic power device that converts electricity from batteries from direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC).

This is because AC power is supplied to homes and industries through the main, public power grid. However, batteries only store DC power. This needs to be converted to AC.

The inverter you use should be 10 times more powerful than the true number of watts needed to run your fridge.

Other smaller home appliances and 12v compressor fridges do not need inverters.

Will a 100w solar panel run a fridge

What can be powered by a 100-watt inverter?

100-watt power inverters are great for running low-power AC electricals like cell phones and laptop chargers, and GPS units.

Will a 100-watt inverter run a TV? Yes, it can even run a small TV set.

Solar charge controller 

A solar charge controller is solar-powered and regulates voltage and current. They regulate power input in your solar power installation to deliver optimal power output, charge batteries and run electrical loads.

A solar charge controller tracks the movement of power from your solar panels to the battery. These devices are usually portable.

What can you power with 100-watt solar panels? 

Can 100-watt solar panels run an air conditioner?

While 100-watt solar panels can be used to keep your food cold, you might have found yourself sweating on a warm day and wondering: can a 100-watt solar panel run an air conditioner

Well, unfortunately, a single 100-watt solar panel will not be able to run most air conditioners.

Can 100-watt solar panels power an RV?

A 100-watt solar panel that receives 4 hours of peak sunshine can generate 400 watt-hours per day. For this, you would need up to three 100-watt solar panels to power the RV.

There is a catch, unfortunately. Keep in mind that RVs draw additional power that needs to be supplied at the same time. You would probably need twice the amount of 100-watt solar panels, which is six.

Is a 100-watt solar panel enough for an RV? Well, not really. 

Unfortunately, most RVs cannot manage 600 watts of solar energy. You may need to look into alternatives like increasing your battery capacity.

The bottom line

100-watt solar panels are the perfect way to introduce yourself to the beauty of using solar power. They are portable, making them a good choice for powering small appliances in your home, or while camping.

Unfortunately, a 100-watt solar panel would not be enough to power a fridge. Your fridge may be rated to run at 100 watts, but there are many times where fridges draw a lot more power than 100 watts.

100-watt solar panels may be a great addition to your RV or camping setup, but they would be too small to be cost-effective for a roof-top installation in your home.

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