by Scott Rank March 12, 2019

A solar-powered refrigerator uses photovoltaic or solar thermal energy to keep food and supplies cooler. The solar-powered refrigerator has existed in primitive forms since the nineteenth century, but newer variants have been developed in the last century. This article will explore the three types of solar-powered refrigerators:

  • Lead battery solar-powered refrigerators
  • Thermal energy solar-powered refrigerators
  • Lithium batter solar-powered refrigerators (GoSun)

Lead battery solar powered refrigerators

The earliest modern solar-powered refrigerators and vaccine coolers (which were critical for disaster relief groups who worked far from any electrical grids) used a combination of solar panels and lead batteries, which stored energy for cloudy days and at night in the absence of sunlight to keep their contents cool. Such fridge required heavy lead-acid batteries, which could quickly deteriorate in hot climates. The batteries also wore out quickly and had to be replaced every three years, and contained hazardous materials. 

Thermal energy solar-powered refrigerators

Solar-powered refrigerators got an upgrade in the mid-1990s from lead batteries to phase change materials, which stored thermal energy rather than chemical energy. They did not require batteries, instead using thermal energy from solar power. 

Thermoelectric Refrigerators and Coolers


New Thermoelectric Refrigerators that ran or batteries were inexpensive, but the biggest disadvantage of most of these solar-powered refrigerators, is that they  utilized  thermoelectric chips.  These TE portable refrigerators  could only provide cooling of about 35 degrees from air temperature and cannot produce ice. 

Lithium batter solar-powered refrigerators (GoSun)

In contrast, a portable lithium battery pack powers the GoSun Solar Cooler. By combining the technology of brushless compressor technology, with the insulated air gap canopy due to the shading from the GoSun Solar Table,  the GoSun Cooler can be powered directly by the portable solar panel or the rechargeable lithium battery.  The GoSun Cooler is also completely portable, allowing the consumer to fold up the solar table easily and with its built-in wheels and pull out handle-- take it to the beach, while camping, fishing, sailing, or enjoy it in the backyard.

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