Refrigerators for Home and Property Solar

by | Sep 2, 2018 | Articles, Household Solar, SS

Refrigerators for Home and Property Solar

Here’s how to know the best refrigerators for home and property solar. All pump heat from inside them to where it does not matter. Some do it better than others.

Refrigerators circulate a gas (that becomes liquid when compressed) through finned tubes inside them. This gas ‘captures’ the heat. The (now liquified) gas is pumped out and the heat is dispersed via external finned tubes. Some refrigerators radiate the heat from their metal sides and top.

Refrigerators for home and property solar - refrigerators for solar


Refrigerators for home and property solar – improved efficiency

Refrigerators for home and property solar have improved in efficiency in recent years. You can make huge savings (by needing less solar/battery capacity) by replacing any made prior to about 2014. Further, big fridges use far less energy pro-rata their volume than small ones. This is because their major energy loss is via their outer skin. That skin’s surface area decreases as a percentage of the refrigerator’s volume. Two 300-litre fridges thus use at least three times the energy as one of 600 litres. This is particularly important with large properties. If essential have a few large ones – not multiple small ones.

Much of the refrigerator’s energy draw is used for cooling the content initially. The energy required thereafter compensates for outside heat finding its way back in. This may be through too thin heat insulation, leaking door seals or the refrigerator being locating next to the oven!

It is vital that a refrigerator is installed correctly. Few are. That most important is to ensure that no sunlight can fall on it. It must also be located well away from any source of heat. Ideally, it should be in a location where cool air can be directed to its base and warm air escape to outside the home.

Refrigerators for home and property solar – free air flow is essential

All fridges rely on cool air being able to flow through cooling fins that are low down and at the rear of the fridge. That (then) warmed air must have some form of venting above refrigerator level and such that it can flow to the outside. If it cannot flow to the outside that heat needs to be directed such that it cannot heat up the refrigerator.

A few fridges for home and property solar have no fins. They rely on the heat being radiated from their metal sides and top. All such fridges must be installed such that they have a 50 mm (two inches) gap at the sides and rear. That essential is that space above the fridge top is adequately ventilated. (Remember that heat always rises.)

The choice and installation of refrigerators for homes and properties are covered in depth in Solar Success. Solar That Really Works! does likewise for boats, cabins and RVs. These books are in both digital and print format. You can download either or both (many readers buy both) right now. Do so by clicking on one or other of book titles (in blue) above. Print copies are stocked by all Jaycar stores in Australia and New Zealand. They can be ordered through any bookshop in Australia and New Zealand. They can also be bought directly (and worldwide) by email from

Collyn Rivers is a semi-retired automobile research engineer.  He is the author of seven books, five of which are about making RVs and solar work optimally.

Solar Success

Whether you’re building a new home or adding solar to an existing structure, this is the one book you can’t afford to be without.

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Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Solar Success.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6487945-4-7