Taking the initiative to live off-grid calls for an especially close look at the types of refrigeration and their respective costs and benefits. The initial cost of a power source (such as solar panels or windmills) is large, and usually every penny invested in a highly efficient refrigerator will come back manifold through reduced equipment capital.

Standard AC Refrigerators

There are a few different options for refrigerating food items off-grid. A common method is to use a standard AC refrigerator (such as most people have in their homes) in conjunction with an inverter, which converts electrical current from a solar or wind charged battery to a typical 120 V AC current. Houses that generate electricity on site usually have an inverter anyway, so a high efficiency AC refrigerator is a very good option for such conditions.

DC Refrigerators

Some refrigerators come in either an AC or DC design (powered by either alternating current or direct current). DC designs are hooked up directly to a 12 V or 24 V battery, using wire leads to hook the battery terminals to the compressor terminals. DC refrigerators are useful for mobile homes or RVs. Or, if you own a stationary house but it is not equipped with an inverter system, a DC refrigerator is a great way to utilize power from solar panels or wind turbines.

Propane Refrigerators

A third option is the usage of a propane refrigerator, which obtains energy solely from propane tanks. A propane fridge is less cost and energy efficient than electric refrigerator, but has certain benefits. If your home is powered entirely by an on-site energy source, a propane refrigerator can lessen the demand on that source which can free up enough electricity for other vital appliances at peak hours, not to mention ensure uninterrupted refrigeration. The fact that propane refrigerators require no external power source make them ideal for RVs and mobile homes.