What people are saying:

about Solara solar panels:

"Greetings from Tahiti. The solar panels are fabulous. They give us so much power"
   - John W., Lagoon 440 on passage from BVI to Australia, with 6x 120w Solara PowerM panels and Genasun GV-10 solar controllers

 "We're currently in Guadeloupe. Boat is doing well, I wish everything else was as maintenance free as our Solar panels."
    - Leopard 46 with 6x 120w Solara PowerM panels and Genasun GV-10 solar controllers

about Solbian solar panels:

I purchased a 100 watt Solbian flexible solar panel and voltage regular from your company at the Annapolis Sailboat show a few years ago. Worked like a charm and was extremely happy with the system. I sold my boat recently and bought another one so I want to install the same panel on the new boat.
- M.Doran, Canada

about Frigoboat refrigeration:

Thanks tons Rob for going the extra mile, I can not tell you how pleasant it is dealing with your company.  I have recommended and installed about 6 of these [Frigoboat] units in friend’s boats...all because of the product and of course your great service.  Keep it up!
 - Lynn & Ian s/v Windward

While we were on the hard in Astoria, Oregon we installed two independent Frigoboat keel-cooled systems - one for the fridge (7 cubic feet), one for the freezer (5 cubic feet.) Yes, 12 cubic feet in total. Both of our Frigoboat systems are the same size and use the same components except for the thermostats, which are different. They are "plug and play" and didn't require any additional Freon charging. The lines supplied were plenty long enough to reach from icebox to compressors. The compressors are really small and don't add hardly any heat to the lazarette.

I am amazed how well they keep food cold/frozen and how little power they use. Our boat has four 110 watt Kyocera solar panels. We are able to be completely off the grid for days and still make 4 large trays of cocktail ice daily and keep the freezer full, which makes provisioning meat, produce, and dairy less stressful between long legs of the journey.
 - Cruisers Forum: Sailor647, Norseman 400

about Vitrifrigo refrigeration:

I also installed the Vitrifrigo (undercounter refrigerator). Easily made it down through the cabin door and nice fit, with flange kit. Fridge is awesome; good quality fit and finish. Outside dimensions are smaller than original ref., but interior room is more. It is super quiet and has nice LED interior light.
- Potis, Sea Ray 340 DA

Refrigeration and Solar Panels: Can solar panels supply all the necessary current?

Solbian solar panels on Bimini

An increasingly popular question we hear at Boat Shows is "What size solar panel do I need to run the refrigeration on my boat?" Of course, this begs the question "What is your refrigeration's current draw?" which in itself may not have a set answer.

The current consumption of any refrigeration system is meaningless unless all the conditions are specified; i.e. box temperature, ambient temperature, water temperature, compressor speed, voltage, etc. The manufacturer's figures are simply average numbers; some, like Frigoboat, attempt at a true average figure, while others are more a marketing tool. Making use of variable compressor speed, as Frigoboat does with the Merlin and Guardian speed controls, and others do with the Danfoss/Secop AEO control module, brings even higher efficiency and lower overall power consumption in air- and keel-cooled systems, but is counter-productive in a pumped-water system. This is because the pump adds 25% to 35% extra current draw, and so it is best to run the compressor at full speed and get the job done as quickly as possible. The most efficient system is one using the Keel Cooler; no pump, no fan, and variable compressor speed can be used to gain even higher efficiency.

Daily consumption is measured in amp/hours per day, and you can get an idea of what to expect by using a watts meter, like Watts Up, on your refrigerator leads. These meters can tell you how many amp/hours per day a device is using, and it's best to use it over several days to get a daily average. The running consumption will vary dependent on conditions, as will the on/off cycle time, so you will need to be able to come up with an average daily amp/hr draw.

As a general rule of thumb, a solar panel with SunPower® cells will give approximately 1/3 of its rated wattage as a daily yield in amp/hrs. A panel with regular monocrystalline cells will produce about ¼ of its wattage as daily amp/hrs, and a polycrystalline panel produces around 1/5 of its wattage rating in amp/hrs per day.

Let's take an example:

Read more: Refrigeration and Solar Panels: Can solar panels supply all the necessary current?
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