Appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators consume the largest amount of electricity in a household. Thus, running them on solar power can be considered the right decision for one to make. However, not all appliances, especially refrigerators, have power requirements.
With distinctive requirements, you have to be aware of the number and power generation of the solar panel. Not only does this require a solar panel to run the refrigerator, but you would also need a battery bank and an inverter. So rather than making a hasty decision to buy any panel, here’s what you must know.
How Many Solar Panels Are Required To Run A Refrigerator Using Solar Energy?
Unfortunately, answering the question accurately in numbers may not be possible. The power of consumption of the refrigerator at your home will depend on various factors. For example, it is no secret that an efficient model will consume much less energy than an inefficient one.
The requirement is generally three to four panels to properly run the appliance. This may sound like a lot, and in fact, it is. But seeing that the appliance will be running for a very long period, it is justified. Still calculating the energy requirement through the complete method will help you know exactly what your refrigerator demands.
Steps To Help You Determine The Power Needs Of Your Refrigerator
Determining the needs of your refrigerator requires calculation. From the power rating of the electrical device to the running watts, everything needs you to do a little math.
- Find The Power Rating
Firstly, find out the refrigerator’s energy rating. It is basically the watts your electrical appliance requires to run perfectly. It is undeniable that a full-size refrigerator will need a huge amount of power to run. There are ways for you to search for the information.
- The best way to do this is to choose the manufacturer’s website. On the manufacturer’s website, you will find the information left by the people who constructed the appliance.
If you cannot find it on that website, which is extremely rare, search it on the web. You would easily find the information on various selling websites. Just search the technical information about the product, and you will be presented with what you need.
- The second way to do this is by looking for the information on the rating label on the refrigerator. All the refrigerators manufactured after the 1980s come with their energy label guide. On the label, you will find amps, volts, and the wattage required by the ice maker or the defrost heater.
The power rating should be in annual KWh energy consumption. The efficient models require 350KWh in the whole year, whereas the less efficient refrigerators need 600KWh.
- Calculation Of Watts
Now since you have the information of wattage consumption of the whole year, it is time to calculate for a single day. Here are the steps you can follow.
- First, divide the annual consumption by the total number of days. In a simpler form, the value KWh is divided by 365.
- Since you have received the number of watts for a single day, convert it to the data of a single hour. It can be done by dividing the previous result by 24. As the number of hours in a day is 24, you will be left the watt consumption of your refrigerator for a single hour.
- The data received is in KWH. It is kilowatt-hour. However, we only need the number of watts. Thus, you must multiply it by 1000 to convert the result into simple watts.
600 ÷ 365 = 1.64 (calculation for a single day)
1.64 ÷ 24 = 0.068 (calculation for a single hour)
0.068 x 1000 = 68 Watt per hour
Thus, if you have a less efficient refrigerator, it will consume 68 watts for running for one hour. For a complete day, the value becomes 1632 watts. Hence, you require a solar panel to provide such watts to your appliance.
When You Are Not Provided With The Wattage
If the manufacturer has not given the wattage, there is another way for you to do it. First, you need to take amperage and voltage. Then, you simply have to multiply both the values to get the watts.
Watts = Volts x Amps
Since you got the wattage now, multiply it with the running hours. This way, you will have the value you need.
- Get The Right Solar System
Since you know the power requirement of the refrigerator in your home, now you need to set up the solar panel. For purchasing the panel, just look at the energy production by a single panel in watts. Almost all the panels of today are sold based on energy production. If the number of panels fulfills the energy requirements, you can purchase them.
How Much Solar Power Do The Following Appliances Require To Run Perfectly?
Since you are installing solar panels in your home, you will not use them just for a single purpose. Instead, you can run a plethora of devices on these. However, it is crucial for you to know the consumption of energy by each appliance to run perfectly. Here is the general value of power required by these appliances.
While talking about the appliances that consume the highest energy, the refrigerator is always on the list. Various studies have proven that a refrigerator is the major consumer of all the power in many houses. So if you are planning on installing a solar panel, you need to consider this appliance before any other.
As stated earlier, the average count of solar panels for running a refrigerator is 3 to 4. However, there are a lot of factors that may vary the consumption of power. The quantity of food inside is the significant one. If the food put inside is a lot, more power will be required to cool all of it down.
Another factor is opening and closing the refrigerator. Once the door is opened, some amount of cold escapes. To replenish this, the power is consumed.
Television is one appliance that has the most varying power consumption. The more hours it is used for, the more power is consumed. Other than the television, there comes other gadgets attached to it and the cable box that takes in a considerable amount of energy as well.
For an average household, the value is estimated to be 29 KWh, and other devices take 23KWh additionally. Hence, for more than 50 KWh, two solar panels can do the job. Still, you can calculate the precise value by following the same method mentioned before.
- Air Conditioners
For the people living in warm areas, living without ACD is a big no. an average air condition will consume about 3.5 KWh per hour, which can cause a lot of energy consumption regularly. However, a single panel may be able to provide you with 8.5 hours of cooling.
- Solar Power Regulators
As you plan to spend a good amount on the panels, you need to spare some amount on the solar power regulators. These are crucial to ensure that your appliances are in perfect condition and no damage is caused due to the power.
The power generated through the sunlight is not constant d the sun is moving. In the afternoon, the energy produced is the highest, and in the nighttime, there is none. With such variation, if the appliances get direct voltage without any regulation, they can be seriously harmed.
Hence, to not let such a thing happen, you must have solar power regulators to regulate the flow. Batteries are used to store all the power that your solar panel generates. A regulator will prevent the batteries from getting over-charged. Over-charging causes harm to the batteries, and as a result, the damage reaches the appliances connected.
Some Additional Benefits Of Having A Solar Power Regulator
- It can be used with any battery size as long as it is a lead-acid one.
- There is no issue of reverse flowing of the electric current.
- The life of the battery is extended.
- The appliances will never be overheated due to excessive flow of voltage.
- In a low battery state, the regulator disconnects the loads itself. Then, when the battery is charged again, it reconnects the loads automatically.
Solar Power Bank
Another usage of solar power can be seen in the solar power banks. These make things easier as you need not make a run for plugging your device into the switch. Nevertheless, the principle still remains the same, using solar energy to convert into voltage. The voltage can be used to charge or power numerous electrical devices, like phones, laptops, televisions, bulbs, and so on.
Using solar energy to power appliances like a refrigerator can reduce the electricity cost in the long run. However, before that, one needs to understand the power need of appliances well. Then, with the right calculations, you will get a solar system that can run more than one appliance at once.