Dealing with Unreliable Power at the Farmer's Market

In my experience, small farmer's markets tend to have power issues, so I decided to bring my own.

Dealing with Unreliable Power at the Farmer's Market

Having attended three different farmer's markets in my area last year, a common issue I encountered was having reliable power to keep my produce refrigerated. All of the markets had electricity available, but there would be times when certain outlets didn't work, none of the outlets worked, or they would die at some point during market.

This becomes an issue when you're dealing with items that need to be refrigerated and kept at certain temperatures. For my greens, the temperature needs to be below 41 degrees, and having unreliable power means that I can't necessarily maintain that level throughout market.

One obvious solution to this is to run your equipment with a generator. I've seen people do this and there's nothing wrong with it, but that means I need to keep extra gas around as well as having loud, consistent noise inside the booth.

An alternative that I've been pleased with is a Bluetti solar generator kit. The specific model I'm using is the AC200P, which has a 2kW capacity and allows up to 700W solar input. The kit also included two PV200D solar panels, for a total of 400W.

Each week, I plug my refrigerator into the Bluetti, put them in my trailer, and drive them to market. The refrigerator only requires ~285W and the markets I attend last for 3 hours - 4 if you count travel and setup. Overall, I would need about 1.2 kW if the refrigerator runs the entire time.

Having used the power station for the last couple months, I usually make it back from the market with about 78 - 82% charge, not too bad considering it's sitting outside in 80-90 degree heat. This is also without having the solar panels hooked up, which would help replenish some of the power used.

I wouldn't consider this solution cheap, as the power station alone is $1000, but it does make you more self-sufficient, and reduces power issues to zero. It's also nice to have the option of plugging in other devices such as a laptop, tablet, or some sort of electronic POS system without having power cables running all over.