Can a Solar Generator Power a Freezer?

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If you search for “can a solar generator power a freezer”, you will not find a lot of useful answers. Most guides assume that you are referring to a refrigerator with a freezer, so naturally the watt usage is high. But what if you use a standalone freezer? That’s what this guide is for, to tell you what solar generator size you need to run any type of freezer.

A modern, standalone freezer requires 35-100W per hour to run, while a 15 cu ft chest freezer needs 300-400W of solar generator power. An Energy Star refrigerator with freezer needs 1200 starting watts and 130-150W running watts. The size, capacity and temperature will affect the power consumption of any freezer.

Freezer Watt Usage Chart

There are many types of freezers, but this table will give you an idea of what the power consumption will be. These are general guidelines only though. You should check the watt /amps usage on the freezer itself or in the operating instructions.

Freezer TypeWattsSuggested Solar Generator Power
Portable Freezer35W50W
15 cu ft. Frost Free Freezer335W400W
20 cu ft. Chest Freezer350-400W500W
16-18 cu ft. Frost Free Refrigerator / Freezer400W500W
10-15 cu ft. Non-Frost Free Refrigerator / Freezer300W400W
Energy Star Freezer30-100W150W
Energy Star Fridge / Freezer1200 starting / 130-150 running200W

What Solar Generator Size is Right For a Freezer?

The table gives you an idea of what the freezer watt consumption is like. Solar generators are available in different sizes as well, ranging from the portable units like the 2000W Bluetti AC200P solar generator to large systems designed to power up a house. You need to match up the generator and freezer to get the most value out of your money.

To figure out the right size, decide what type of freezer you will need. Use the table above as a guide, or check the watt usage on your freezer. Multiply the wattage by the number of hours you will run the freezer. The result is how much power your solar generator must produce.

If you have a 15 cu. ft. Energy Star fridge with freezer, it requires 1200W and 150W running. Refrigerators for home are on 24/7, but they cycle on and off so it usually runs 8 hours per day.

150W x 8 – 1200W

That is also the starting watt total required. To be on the safe side, get a 1300-1500W solar generator for a 1200W starting / 150W running fridge freezer.

You can use the same calculation for any freezer size. Just remember that you should always leave some extra cushion for your generator. This is not a waste of money. It simply means you’re being careful. After all you can never tell how intense the sun will be today, tomorrow or the next day.

The good thing about solar generators is they come in different sizes and with numerous power output options. You can always connect the a solar power station to an AC wall outlet if solar production is limited.

Types of Freezers You Can Run on Solar Power

The following are the five basic types. There are several variants for each though, i.e. refrigerator freezers come in different styles, capacities and design. All these have an impact on how much power it will need from a solar generator.

Refrigerator Freezer

These freezers are attached to a fridge. They come in different styles, top, bottom, side to side. These are large, powerful appliances designed for home use. You can store a lot of food here but they also use up a lot of power.

A 1200-1500W solar generator is needed to run an average refrigerator with freezer. As explained earlier, refrigerators have starting and running watt requirements. The starting watt uses more power, but it lasts only a few seconds. Then the running watts is what the fridge / freezer consumes as it runs throughout the day.

Portable Freezer

Portable freezers is a catch all term used for any freezer designed for picnics, camping etc.. Any freezer small enough to be used outdoors can be labeled portable. They’re small enough to be powered by portable generator or solar panels.

Most portable freezers can run on AC, DC or car lighters as they’re designed with versatility in mind. Majority of portable freezers need around 35W or so of power. Larger units may need 50W or more, but it won’t pose any problems for something like the Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer.. You’ll be carrying one of these during a picnic or backpacking, i.e. sunny skies, so a battery may not even be required.

Drawer Freezers

As you might have guessed, these freezers have drawers for easier food organization. They come in different sizes and are often installed in kitchens. Their power consumption is comparable to refrigerator freezers, especially the large ones.

Chest Freezer

Also known as deep freezers, these are usually square shaped boxes with a lid on top, which resembles a chest. Sizes vary greatly, from 2.1 cu ft. models to giant 30 cu. ft. and larger units for large scale use. The different sizes make it a great choice for different types of users.

For 2 cu. ft. freezers, any portable solar generator can run it for a few hours. These are often used in camping, so it isn’t as large or power hungry as large deep freezers. You’ll have no problems running these. For the larger chest freezers you’re going to need more solar power or you can daisy chain solar generators for more power.

The most popular chest freezers require 35-100W. They are used to store food and other items that can’t fit in a regular fridge freezer. Chest freezers are usually installed in the garage, basement, any room really that can accommodate its size.

Upright Freezer

Upright freezers are similar to chest freezers in many ways, but there are also notable differences. Both are called deep freezer which adds to the confusion. Which to buy depends on personal preference, but here are some things you should know.

Chest Freezers vs. Upright Freezers Comparison

Chest FreezerUpright Freezer
Up to 20% more space availableHas shelves for easy arrangement
More energy efficientOccupies less space
No defrost mechanism, temperature is consistentMore affordable
Limited air circulation prevents food burnAvailable in different styles
Keeps food colder if power runs outShelve temperature warmer than interior
Limited shelves for food organizationLouder than chest freezers

These are general characteristics of upright and chest freezers. There are many, many models that may have improved features. Overall though, chest freezers offer more value for your money. The key benefit here is a chest freezer is more energy efficient, so it will consume less power from a solar generator.

How to Reduce Freezer Power Consumption

Even if you have a powerful solar generator, that doesn’t mean you should let your freezer use too much power. Knowing how to save and be an efficient energy user comes with using solar power And fortunately there are ways to reduce the power consumption of your fridge and freezer.

Pack the Freezer

Freezers work best when they are filled. If you can’t fill it with food, just put some ice around the nooks and crannies. It’s the opposite with a fridge. You should only keep it about 2/3 full at most. Filling it to the brim will force the fridge to work harder and air circulation will not be uniform.

Proper Food Storage

The coldest spot in the freezer should be for poultry, meats, condiments and proteins. The rest can be stored in the cooler, not necessarily the coldest, part of the interior. This is where an upright freezer has the advantage over a chest freezer as there are shelves for organization.

Do Not Put Hot Food in the Freezer

Here’s a simple rule: wait for hot food to cool down before putting it in the freezer. The hotter food is, the more solar power a freezer will consume. The cooler food is, the less power it will need. Allow food to drop down to room temperature before packing it in.

Keep the Freezer Lid Shut

If you have to open the lid, do it quickly and close immediately. The longer the freezer door is open, the more power it needs to bring the temperature back down again. This applies to refrigerators also.

Defrost Regularly

If your freezer needs defrosting, do it on a regular basis. The more ice is left in the freezer, the more power it will consume. The general rule: if the ice is a centimeter thick, it’s time to defrost. Check your freezer manual for more details.

Store the Freezer Properly

Keep it away from sunlight or any heat source. Make certain there is plenty of ventilation. Do not put items on top or at either side of the freezer. They will produce hot air and the freezer will have to draw more power from your generator to keep the interior cool. This will help especially if you run a freezer on solar panels.


Not only are solar generators becoming more powerful, but freezer power requirements are going down as well. That is what makes them such an ideal combination. Whether you need a powerful fridge and freezer combo or a portable unit to take camping, there is a solar generator that can handle it.