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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking of buying some solar panels. Would like to generate enough to run a normal size deep freezer. Don't need to run the whole house, AC, lights, etc. Just want to keep my food frozen.
How much power would I need? What kind of cost am I looking at?
 

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Author of Hitwoman
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It doesn't work that way. First you need batteries. THAT is where your power from solar panels go, to be doled out slowly as needed for power. BUT, standard freezers use too much power to run on solar, at least, it would cost way too much money in components.

A better and much cheaper way would be to do like I did (I'm off the grid). I have a 24v SunDanzer chest freezer that I have hooked directly to my batteries. It uses 1/10 or less power of a standard freezer.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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Or just use other methods of food preservation. People have been preserving food for thousands of years before electricity came along. Canning and dehydrated are both simple and not terribly expensive to get involved with. I've always felt that the key to long term self sufficiency is to break our dependance on modern conveniences.
 

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Molon Labe, Psalm 109:8
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It doesn't work that way. First you need batteries. THAT is where your power from solar panels go, to be doled out slowly as needed for power. BUT, standard freezers use too much power to run on solar, at least, it would cost way too much money in components.

A better and much cheaper way would be to do like I did (I'm off the grid). I have a 24v EZ Freeze chest freezer that I have hooked directly to my batteries. It uses 1/10 or less power of a standard freezer.
Not Exactly.

You have eliminated an inverter by running your freezer DC. However, you do not use less power. AC is more efficient and given enough capacity will run almost an household appliance.

Storing the solar power in batteries(DC), converting it to AC, then powering your essentials is the way to go unless you have every necessity in DC.
 

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-------Look, I'm grey---^
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I've always felt that the key to long term self sufficiency is to break our dependance on modern conveniences.
Agreed 100%. We need to look at how they lived before power and modern conveniences and model our lives after theirs. That's the only way we will survive anything thrown at us. Not by try to reproduce life that we have now.
 

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Armchair Prepper
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44 Flattop is right. You're looking at the problem from the wrong end.

A normal 8 cubic foot household chest freezer costs about $400, and uses 1.5 kilowatt hours each day.

A chest freezer designed for off-grid costs ~1,200, but only uses 0.5 kilowatt hours each day.

It's not that much difference if you're on the grid, but a huge difference if you're using solar.

To provide 500 watt hours each day, assuming 5 hours of sun each day, requires 100 watts of solar panels. (rough estimate) To run through 5 cloudy days means you need a battery bank that can provide 2500 watt hours, or about 200 amp hours (rough estimate!)

So (roughly):
100 watts of solar panels - $400
charge controller - $200
batteries - $500
efficient freezer - $1,200
Total - $2,300

Compare this to using your existing freezer
400 watts of solar panels - $1,600 (inverter reduces efficiency)
charge controller - $200
inverter - $500
batteries - $2,000 (inverter reduces efficiency)
normal freezer - $400
Total - $4,600

This really is just a rough estimate, but I'd guess it's within 25%. ( adding 25% to the solar gives $2,875, subtracting 25% from the grid gives $3,450)
Do some searching online for numbers that fit your needs better. Some efficient freezers are made by Sundanzer, Sunlabob, and Sunfrost.

A good source of real world experience is Homepower.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Agreed 100%. We need to look at how they lived before power and modern conveniences and model our lives after theirs. That's the only way we will survive anything thrown at us. Not by try to reproduce life that we have now.
And though I do agree, and yes we have prepared many things by canning, etc. We have livestock. A deer may not be so hard to preserve but what about a huge cow. That's a lot of beef and I don't want to risk losing a good bit due to salt etc. A freezer would be nice. Not needing power for anything else but for major blocks of meat it will come in handy.
 

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-------Look, I'm grey---^
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And though I do agree, and yes we have prepared many things by canning, etc. We have livestock. A deer may not be so hard to preserve but what about a huge cow. That's a lot of beef and I don't want to risk losing a good bit due to salt etc. A freezer would be nice. Not needing power for anything else but for major blocks of meat it will come in handy.
I agree and I too have a freezer. But we do need to learn the old ways and live without.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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I agree and I too have a freezer. But we do need to learn the old ways and live without.
I have 2 freezers myself. I also have a diesel generator that I have absolutely no use for so it sits in it's crate until I decide to sell it or whatever. Sounds funny, I know. But my plans just don't require electricity other than for small things like flashlights and radios, which I have small solar battery chargers to take care of.
 
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