Yes. If you have the backup battery packs to store the generated electricity. Technically running a refrigerator on the solar panel is possible with the help of batteries. However, that doesn’t mean the 100 watts could power the fridge with the direct current.
A refrigerator requires more voltage than what 100 watts solar panels can generate.
Why do 100-watt solar panels not run refrigerators?
It would help if you had an inverter to provide sufficient wattage to run the fridge. A small fridge that draws around 130 watts would need a 1500-watt inverter.
Connecting 100-watt solar panels would not be able to produce the required energy to power the refrigerator.
Also, somehow, you may kick the refrigerator off with the inverter’s stored power, but it would be challenging to keep your fridge running overnight as the battery would get drained as time passed.
With no new voltage supply to the inverter, soon the electricity will be consumed by your refrigerator, and no voltage will be left to power your equipment.
A small-sized fridge with 12 volts or 24 volts DC power could work with the 100-watt solar panel. You can even skip the inverter and directly power the fridge to the solar panel and get it running.
Use the thermostat at the moderated level to keep it running for long hours. Your fridge will retain the cold air longer.
Will a 100-watt solar panel charge a 12-volt battery?
Yes. You can use a 100-watt solar panel to charge a 12-volt battery. Ensure that the panel supports the 12V with the 10-watt specification. Every 10W solar panel will have a peak voltage of 13.8V. The power support would make the 12-volt battery charge in a few hours.
How long to charge a 12v battery with a 100-watt solar panel?
It would take roughly 10 hours to charge the 12V battery with the help of the 100-watt solar panel, supporting the probability of direct sunlight throughout the day.
Solar panel charges are considered with the peak hours charging capacity.
However, counting the solar power supply based on the peak hours is not practiced, as the sun’s direction changes frequently, and there will be times when the sunlight will be partially available due to clouds.
When calculating the voltage, you should always consider the 50% capacity. It will give you a rough estimation of the time the 100-watt solar panel would take charge 12V battery.
Assuming the 12V battery is powered at 50% capacity.
70ah battery becomes 35ah at 50%.
= charge time removed * 1.15 / charge rate
Charge time= 40.26 ah / 8.33amps
Remember that several other aspects directly affect electricity production, such as the solar panel quality, the transparent glass quality, temperature control device, the cables used to transfer the electricity, distance from the solar panel and the inverter, availability of direct sunlight, etc.
How long will a 100AH/12v battery take to charge?
Roughly the 100 ah battery with the 12V DC from the solar panel would take ten hours to charge fully. Considering your battery is empty, and the solar panel is under direct sunlight moderated to capture the maximum sunlight on the solar panel.
How long does to charge a deep cycle battery with a 100-watt solar panel?
It would be difficult to say how long it will take to charge a deep cycle battery with the 100-watt solar panel. Every solar panel runs at a different capacity. The voltage generated by the solar panel depends on the type of the solar panel, the material quality, and the distance and availability of direct sunlight in your region.
The 100w solar panel watt calculation is based on 80 to 85 percent of max capacity in many cases.
Some solar panels may generate less than assumed, but considering the 85% capacity, the right calculator would give an estimated time.
You want to charge the deep cycle batteries with the 100-watt solar panel with DC connectivity.
You need to ensure that the solar panel is kept in direct sunlight to produce maximum energy.
As the sun shifts its position, the sunlight decreases, so you may have to rearrange the solar panel again in that direction.
Let’s assume that the solar panel would charge the 12V batteries with an average production capacity of 85%.
It takes us to calculate the average output 85W/12V = 7.083A. Charging 100A-hr battery could take (100A-hr)/7.083A.
The data shows the battery would take around 14 hours to fully charge at the max capacity of 85%.
Solar panels are impossible in many regions to reach 85% energy production capacity due to changing weather and cloudy days.
In some regions, it would take more than 14 hours. Also, considering the battery drain rate for every passing hour in the night, you may require full 3 days to get the 12V battery fully charged.
What are the reasons that cause the 100-watt solar panel loses its energy production capacity?
Improving energy production using solar panels is possible. Some inputs would help you upgrade the solar panel to its maximum capacity and generate power with ease. However, several other factors cause the problem with the solar panel.
Understanding the reasons could help you generate more energy and charge your batteries when using them outdoors to campaign.
Here are some of the reasons why your 100-watt solar panel loses energy.
1) Low-quality panels:
There are several types of solar panels available in the market. Each of them is made with different materials.
The procedure used in the making could also affect the solar panel capacity.
For example, the coating to resist dust and water, light absorption paint, and many other aspects could decide how your solar panel would perform.
You should purchase solar panels from reputed brands that develop high-quality solar panels.
The vital ingredient for the solar panel is direct sunlight. The sunlight is reaching the solar panel changes over time as the sun moves.
Solar panels need direct sunlight to run at the maximum capacity and produce the required energy.
You may also have to arrange for the solar panel to capture the maximum sunlight during the day to use it at night to power your equipment.
Direct sunlight would not be possible in many regions, especially in tropical areas.
Hence, you may experience less power generation from the equivalent watt solar panel used in the region where the days are mostly cloudy. Find the place where you can capture maximum sunlight.
Sometimes the distance from the solar panel to the inverter would also matter when calculating the electricity watt. The long-distance capable would emit more energy in terms of heat.
When transferring the energy from one place to another, it gets consumed in the transition, and you will experience less energy supply to the inverter. Keep the solar panel near the inverter.
Use the copper cable to transfer the energy, as copper is an efficient source of energy transfer. Making the proper arrangement would help you save a good amount of energy.
Always check the solar panel specifications to understand how much maximum voltage the solar panel could produce. The voltage defines the maximum power supply of your batteries.
The high voltage solar panel could power the batteries with high efficiency. You can comfortably charge the large-size batteries and get your exiting grid with the renewable energy supplier.
To answer the question, “Can a 100-watt solar panel run a refrigerator?” The power supply through the solar panel would need to be matched with the equipment’s minimum requirement.
If the power generation capacity is less than required, the refrigerator will not work. Follow the given guideline and improve the efficiency of the solar panel.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as a Solar Electrical Engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.