How to run a refrigerator on an inverter
Most household refrigerators are operated over alternating current and require a constant power source to run. Nowadays most refrigerator comes with advanced inverter technology that helps to save power with high efficiency. This helps the refrigerator to minimize the usage of electricity by consuming more power only when needed and running on the lowest power consumption possible when not in need.
If you live in an area where the power outages are more frequent and it is affecting your food in the refrigerator then you might have considered buying an inverter for your refrigerator. Inverters generally are electrical devices that run on batteries and provide power in AC format to electrical appliances.
They convert DC power stored in batteries into usable AC power that can be directly supplied to electrical appliances in your home.
If you are considering to buy an inverter just for your refrigerator then you might need to consider a few aspects before choosing the best inverter possible for you. Here we have listed some points that will help you to decide the best inverter for you
Power consumption or power draw is the amount of power that is required by a refrigerator for its normal functioning. Before you go out and buy an inverter for your refrigerator you need to know the power draw of your refrigerator. The power draw information can be found inside the manual provided with your refrigerator by the manufacturer where it will be described as amps or watts. If the information is provided in watts then you don’t need to worry about anything but if the information is provided in amps then you need to convert it to watts first, by multiplying it with the voltage required by your refrigerator.
For example, if your refrigerator consumes 5 amps per hour then you need to multiply 5 with the standard voltage of your electrical supply that generally is 120 volts. This will give you a result of 600 watts which is your running wattage. While buying an inverter you need to consider that your fridge inverter wattage should not be below 600.
More importantly, you also need to consider that a refrigerator motor requires three times the running wattage at the time of start-up. So you should be buying an inverter that can handle 600 wattage on an average and at maximum 1800 wattage for surge periods such as this.
Battery capacity is yet another important aspect to consider before buying an inverter. It will determine the period of time that your inverter will be able to provide enough power for the refrigerator while the main power line is out. To calculate the required battery capacity we need to find the running DC wattage of your refrigerator. To find the required DC wattage we need to convert your refrigerator’s AC wattage into DC. To calculate it just divide your AC running watts by 12 and then multiplies the result by 1.1. This should give you the final DC ampere rating that you need to consider before buying an inverter.
Since we have calculated the battery capacity we now need to calculate the battery rating. Generally, in inverters, lead-acid batteries are used which are rechargeable. These batteries are rated in ampere per hour and atypical battery say of 100 amperes hours can deliver hundred DC amperes for 1 hour. But the problem with lead-acid batteries is that if you run below 50% of power capacity then you have the risk of damaging the lead-acid battery.
So it is safe to assume that you can draw a hundred amperes from a 100-ampere battery for only 30 minutes instead of 1 hour. So considering all this data we can say that a refrigerator requiring 50 DC amps can run for about 60 minutes on a hundred-ampere battery.
But since refrigerators run in a periodic cycle where they consume the designated amount of power only for a certain amount of time that is about 20 to 30 minutes for 1 hour of power requirement, we can say that the refrigerator can operate continuously for 3 hours on a hundred-ampere battery just like the best refrigerator in india today
The inverter rating label of any inverter specifies two capacity values of the inverter provided by the manufacturer. The first value is the continuous wattage and second is peak surge wattage. Continuous wattage value determines the amount of AC power that the inverter can supply 24/7 as long as the input DC power from the battery lasts. Peak surge wattage value determines the output AC power that the inverter can supply for a split second in the case of a power surge. These two values should be considered carefully before buying any inverter for your refrigerator.