There’s nothing worse than a warm soda on a hot day.
It makes cool boxes such useful pieces of equipment.
Fill it up with cold cans and know you’ve always got a refreshing sip at the ready.
In fact, you might even go one step further with an electric cool box which you can run from a 12V source like a car or even a solar panel.
If you’re heading to the beach or off camping, a solar panel to run your cool box is super handy.
You can easily use the midday sun to provide electricity for your portable appliances for added luxury.
Just be aware, not all solar panels are created equally so it’s important to know what size solar panel will run a cool box.
Together, we’ll look at the power requirements, how much electricity you can expect, and the best products to suit your cool box.
What Size Solar Panel Can Power a Cool Box?
You will need at least a 100 watt solar panel to run a cool box.
The average cool box uses between 40 and 60 watts, so your solar panel will need to deliver enough continuous power to manage these power levels.
A 100 watt solar panel should be able to keep your cool box running in strong direct sunlight.
Although you should be aware that it won’t always be able to deliver 100 watts of power. This is because it is reliant on the sun conditions so you will experience a drop in power during cloud cover or outside peak sunshine hours. For example, the early morning sun is less powerful compared to the midday sun.
To help with inconsistent power levels you will need a solar panel that is much more powerful than your cool box.
That’s why I recommended at least a 100 watt solar panel or even 200 watts if your budget allows.
Best Solar Panels to Run a Cool Box
Now you understand the power requirements, let’s look at the best solar panel for your electric cold box.
As it is likely you will be transporting or moving your cool box around, it will be better to pick a portable or foldable solar panel. This will make your life much easier and it will be more compatible with a 12V cool box.
Here’s a shortlist of the top options available. It includes portable solar panels with at least 100 watts of power. Plus a solar generator!
|DOKIO 220w 18v Foldable Solar Panel Kit||Powerful and Versatile||Check Price|
|Goal Zero Boulder 200 Watt Portable Solar Panel||Durable and high performance||Check Price|
|Topsolar SolarFairy 100W Portable Foldable Solar Panel||Foldable||Check Price|
|Jackery Solar Generator 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery||Includes Power Station||Check Price|
Final words on Solar Panels for Cool Boxes
If you’re wondering if you can run a 12V cooler from a solar panel, then the answer is yes!
There are two reasons why it works so well. Firstly, portable solar panels usually output 12V so you don’t need a controller or converter.
Secondly, cool boxes are low-powered devices needing around 50 watts to run.
This means you could use a portable solar panel like the Bluetti 200W to power your cool box.
And that means refreshing cold soda in the midday sun whether you’re at the beach or off-grid camping.
Hi, I’m Michael, the editor here at Watt A Lot.
After years of experience with off-grid power like solar panels, inverters, and batteries I decided I should share my hands-on knowledge with you. In my professional and personal life, I’ve needed to find electrical solutions for remote situations from owning a food truck, to running events at the top of mountains, to my converted campervan. So whether you’re looking for the best products or fixing an electrical problem, you can rest assured my advice comes from real hands-on experience.