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Solar Fridges

Solar Fridges

Sustainable.co.za currently stocks a range of energy efficient fridges from the well known brand - Minus 40 and Bosch domestic fridges. Solar ready fridges are ideal for homes and businesses that operate in rural areas that do not have a steady flow of electricity. The initial investment is high, but payback periods for this investment are relatively short due to their low energy consumption.    Read more below...

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Solar Fridge Types

There are two types of solar fridges: ones that use batteries and ones that don’t.

  1. A solar fridge that uses batteries actually uses a combination of solar panels and lead batteries, the batteries serve as back up overnight and on sunless days. While they can be effective, this type of solar fridge has many disadvantages. For instance, they are expensive to buy, the batteries are heavy and deteriorate quickly in hot climates, are maintenance intensive and only last about three years. The batteries also need to be disposed of properly otherwise they leak and cause lead pollution.
     
  2. Solar powered fridges that don’t require batteries are more modern and better suited to developing countries, as they can be made from basic household materials. Although these fridges are technically solar powered, they don’t use solar panels for power but rely instead on conduction, convection and evaporation and operates at an even 6°Celsius.


Energy Efficient Fridges

With a steady supply of electricity, most households in developed countries have no use for solar fridges but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be run off solar power. Houses that rely on sustainable energy produced by solar panels or other renewable energy devices are fully capable of operating any number of appliances. But as refrigerators tend to be among the largest power consumers in the home, care should be taken to ensure that the most energy efficient fridges are used.

You can determine the energy efficiency of a fridge simply by looking at the energy efficiency label, which ranks efficiency on a scale of ‘A’ to ‘G’. ‘A’ and ‘A+’ are the most energy efficient, while ‘G’ is the least energy efficient. Fridges bought or produced before or during the early 1990s are far less efficient than fridges manufactured today. If you’re still using the fridge that you bought when you got married 20 years ago, it’s time to stop bragging about its longevity and start looking around for a new model.

A new fridge might seem like an unnecessary extravagance while the old one still works, but you’ll save in the long run as your electricity bill will be significantly reduced, not to mention your carbon footprint. Buying an energy efficient fridge Whether or not you use solar power, there are number of things that you should consider before you buy a new energy efficient fridge:

  • Assess your refrigeration needs and then buy a fridge that meets those needs rather than one that is too big or too small and that then requires supplementing with an additional small fridge. A large fridge is more expensive to run than a small fridge and causes more damage to the environment, but two smaller fridges cost even more.
     
  • A fridge/freezer combination with the freezer section at the top is more efficient than a side by side combination or one with the freezer at the bottom.
     
  • Choose a fridge with a thermostat that allows you to control the temperature. Freezers should remain between -15 and -18°C, while your fridge should be between 3 and 4°C. A one degree change can affect energy consumption by 5%.


Energy efficient and solar ready fridges from Sustainable.co.za

Sustainable.co.za stocks a range of energy efficient fridges from well known brands such as AEG, Kelvinator and Minus 40. Minus 40 is particularly well-known among the renewable energy crowd for its solar fridge range that operate from photovoltaic systems.

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