Hello, welcome to the world of the solar freezer, and all that fun stuff!
So, let’s get down to business. What would you need to look out for when buying a solar freezer or 12 volt freezer? The answer is simple, quality! But hey disembodied voice of reason, how can I know the quality of the product without knowing anything about it? Ahhh… yes, let me explain.
You follow the golden rule. Well, the retail golden rule. If it sounds too good to be true… it is! There’s a price range associated with these kinds of products. They tend to be very similar and I’ll explain the particular why in a bit. However, anything outrageously discounted should be met with a wary eye.
The usual cost of a solar freezer is well over the $1000 marker. Why though? What makes a 12 volt freezer so expensive? It all comes down to the fact that DC appliances are wired differently. Solar generates power in 12v/24v in a DC current as a standard whereas your standard freezers take an 110v AC current. DC energy requires a thicker gauge of cable for optimal use. So let’s say if you take a normal freezer and just swap the compressor for a DC compressor, you would save a whole boatload of money, right? Wrong! The wiring inside your standard freezer is thinner and swapping parts to operate on 12v/24v would cause the unit to fail over time. After prolonged use, the wiring would burn through, effectively turning your modified solar freezer into a over-sized ice box.
Though, it’s not wrong. All you would need is a DC compressor and module (which is fairly expensive). That and maybe some technical know-how to swap out the parts and some Freon gas for the unit to function temporarily on DC. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a few years out of it before ultimately having it burn out. Smaller companies will do that. They’ll buy a standard shell from an AC freezer and then swap out the compressor. Due to the prevalence of AC freezers, it is easier to and cheaper to get AC shells in large quantities and modify them.
The better way of doing this is of course making it from scratch. That way every component is meant to work together in cohesion. The wires are meant to take DC power, the insulation matches the device, and every part is essentially speaking the same language. It makes the entire freezer more efficient and gives every part a functional purpose. So of course, making a product from the ground up is an expensive endeavor. However, when we make a true DC appliance, we make sure they’re designed for actual people and their lifestyles.