How exactly do solar appliances work?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Glacier Digital, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Sorry for the stupid question, but why would something like this: Solar Appliances - Unique Off-Grid Appliances be called a solar appliance, if it's still powered by technically ANY power source?

    Is it because it requires very low wattage?
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    It really depends on how the energy is input into the device. " Solar Appliances" is a Marketing Ploy... Unless the Appliance actually only runs off Solar Energy. High Efficiency Appliances are just that High Efficiency, because they do their JOB, very efficiently. Typically, they cost more than regular Appliances, that do the same JOB.... So one must run the "Numbers" to see what is a better "Value" in any given situation. Does spending MORE on "High Efficiency" make sense, if the difference in costs, can be spent on BIGGER, Alternative Energy Sources, that can be used to power other local devices? Spending an extra $200US for a "High Efficiency" Item, when that same money can buy one 240 Watt Solar Panel, that can make up the difference in Efficiency, between the two items, and when NOT powering the Item could be used to power other Items, on the system?
  3. Ok, that's what I thought. It's basically just a term to help sell the devices. I understand that company is still catering to similar individuals (i.e. propane powered, off grid appliances) but it seemed rather strange to have a single device that was 'solar powered'.
  4. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  5. kg4jxt

    kg4jxt Monkey

    I have a SunDanzer refrigerator which might be billed as a solar appliance. It operates on 24V DC (such as a battery bank) and it has a couple of high-efficiency features - it is top-loading so the cold air does not spill out, and it is better insulated than conventional refrigerators. One can obtain about the same degree of insulation and the same orientation by purchasing a chest freezer and changing the thermostat, but then one still would need an inverter to operate from batteries. Since virtually everyone running a house off solar HAS an inverter, might as well run a 110V appliance that is as efficient as practical - I only have the 24V model because I got it for a real good price (not new).
    BTPost likes this.
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