Solar Refrigerators and Freezers for Off Grid Living
By: Ben Campbell
A solar refrigerator and a solar freezer can be a great addition to living off the grid. You have probably seen examples of these in motor homes and trailers, working off of three way power supplies. However, there are many different newer models that use 12 and 24 volt power, which are employed by people living off the grid, with either solar panels, wind turbines, or other alternative power grids. Rather than the power drain from conventional refrigerators and freezer units, these products are not only energy efficient, but some of them are completely portable. You can buy products that look a lot like those typically found in recreational vehicles and there are those that look similar to ice chests.
A solar refrigeratorand solar freezerwork the same way as a regular refrigerator does, except instead of using an alternating current or propane to power them, they use direct current or DC power to run them. Most off the grid power systems use batteries for backup power, and you simply connect these appliances to the existing system before it is connected into your inverter. This way, these units don't draw any extra resources after the inverter and it will work all the time. Most people hook these up between the battery backup and the inverters so that even on cloudy days or days when there is little to no wind, you still have cold food. Some products that are portable can be powered directly by a solar panel, either bought with the unit, or sold separately.
Now there are an abundance of products for both a solar refrigerator as well as a solar freezer. Some of these units have the capability for both at one time, and others are used either for refrigerating or freezing in one unit. Unlike what you would normally think about these products, depending on the unit, there are really not as expensive as you would expect. Granted, you are still going to be spending hundreds of dollars, but considering off grid living, they are well worth the money you spend.
Here are a few examples of these products. You have to take into consideration that many portable models of a solar refrigerator or a solar freezer have lighter plugs on the end, which you can plug into any 12 or 24 volt power source. None of these mentioned products include the solar panel or wind turbine power sources. One of them is the Summit AccuCold SPRF26Portable 12V/24V Refrigerator or freezer. This unit is ideal for taking along with you on outdoor adventures, and can be plugged into a 12 or 24v socket. It has an electronic temperature control with an LED display, and has a 26 liter capacity. Its measurements are 17" x 21.25" x 14" and has convenient carrying handles. This unit sells for just under $450.
Engeloffers a variety of different products for solar refrigerator and solar freezer units. One of them is the front opening Engel SB70FRefrigerator Freezer in 12 Volt only. This model is small and compact, has a built in freezer, and is ideal for small off grid cabins. It is fully solar or other green power grid system compatible, and consumes just 2.5 amps of energy. This unit will even make ice cubes. It has a 60 quart interior, energy efficient swing compressor, and comes with a two year warranty. This unit sells for just under $650.
There are other house models for a solar refrigerator and solar freezer from Sun Frost and Sundanzer. These models range from $800 - 3 thousand dollars or more, depending on the size you need. There are different manufactures for refrigerators and freezer units with Sundanzer, Summit, Engel, Sun Frost being among the top brands. Any of these are going to suit your needs, and it really depends on your personal preferences. There are websites that compare brands, and if you aren't sure which one is right for you, these can be very helpful.
By now you are probably thinking that you have finally found the answer to your solar refrigerator or solar freezer needs, and are wondering where you can purchase these products. While you may find them at various websites, if you are serious about living off the grid, and want a site that not only carries these but other fine products for living completely self sustained, go to http://www.bensdiscountsupply.com/ first.
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