Experimental results powering a freezer with batteries
Register

Welcome to the Prepper Forum / Survivalist Forum.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.

Experimental results powering a freezer with batteries

This is a discussion on Experimental results powering a freezer with batteries within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; I’ve seen the question repeatedly on the internet: “Can you run a freezer on batteries if the grid power goes down for a few days?” ...

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 34
Like Tree22Likes

Thread: Experimental results powering a freezer with batteries

  1. #1
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,322

    Experimental results powering a freezer with batteries

    I’ve seen the question repeatedly on the internet: “Can you run a freezer on batteries if the grid power goes down for a few days?” The articles I’ve read predict 17 to 24 hours of run time for a 100 amp hour battery. They recommend using a gasoline generator. I decided to try a real world experiment using battery power.

    Well, my results were measured in DAYS, not hours!

    My chest freezer is nothing special, it’s a small 4.8 cubic foot Kenmore from Sears. The door gasket leaks a little, but it keeps food at 0 degrees F – an adequate machine. My 2 batteries are Duracell Marines from Batteries Plus, 79 amp hour each wired in parallel, and powering a Xantrex 1000 watt pure sine inverter. It’s a plain vanilla battery backup system if there ever was one, right?

    I ran the freezer for 130 hours, more than 5 days, on that setup. The batteries showed an open circuit voltage of 12.0 at the end of the test, which is a healthy 50% state of charge for an AGM battery. The dozen 1-liter water bottles inside were still frozen solid. In a real emergency, I’d have no problem running the batteries down to exhaustion, and many more days of food preservation would be possible.

    It’s the METHOD that yields the unexpected results. By powering the inverter only when the inside temperature of the freezer rose to 30 degrees F, and then cooling it back down to zero, battery power was conserved in a big way. The inverter needed to run for only 1 hour every 8 to maintain below freezing temps. In between power-ups I covered the unit with some doormats and an old down jacket for extra insulation.

    Next blackout, when everyone is opening the canned spam, I’ll be inviting the neighbors over for steaks and burgers and some very cold brewski’s. Just call me Mayor SideKahr.
    Respect everything, fear nothing.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator


    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    South Eastern Arizona
    Posts
    675
    I have scoured the internet for answers to the 40 deg F, and 0 deg F temperatures for refrigerators, and freezers, and except that the FDA "says so", scientific proof is not readily available, except that some foods do not freeze at 32 deg F, like salt water at 28.4. OK I did not scour the internet, I spent 4 minutes, and 37 seconds looking up this answer... I think if SHTF or a Hurricane, or a power outage, that if you had a thermostat controlled freezer that was battery powered you would want the temperature to fluctuate between 22 and 28 degrees F, why because I think the 0 degrees/40 degrees is the school book answer from the FDA to cover food brought home from the store and needed to be quickly frozen, hence 0 degrees was a good answer, but once it's frozen you just want to keep it from thawing, refreezing, vacuum packing will reduce the frost from the food moisture out gassing. @sideKahr what did you use for a thermostat control?

    Rancher
    sideKahr likes this.

  3. #3
    Member


    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    84
    I also have a small, inexpensive chest freezer set up to run off solar. I cut, fit, and glued 1 inch thick styrofoam sheet insulation on all 4 sides. I also fashioned an easily removable lid to cover the top and gasket area. I have no concrete data to share but I know I increased the insulation value of the freezer. Cheap too.
    sideKahr likes this.

  4. Remove Advertisements
    PrepperForums.net
    Advertisements
     

  5. #4
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,322
    Quote Originally Posted by azrancher View Post
    ... @sideKahr what did you use for a thermostat control?Rancher
    I did it manually. The first few cycles I'd peek in every hour to read the temperature, and after a while I could predict when I needed to turn on the system.

    I didn't want to overcomplicate the report, but when I said I cycled the temp from 0 to 30, that isn't the whole story. Those are temps up near the lid. At the bottom of the freezer, the temp never exceeded 24 degrees F, and cycled from -5 to 24.
    Respect everything, fear nothing.

  6. #5
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    North Mississippi
    Posts
    565
    I addressed this issue of having a freezer during extended power outage, after the generator dies, by having an ARB 50 qt refrigerator/freezer. It only pulls 1.35 amps/hour so my solar generator can run it, as my latest has a 100 amp hour battery. Not a full blown chest freezer, but works with what I have.

    Box of frogs and sideKahr like this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,322
    Quote Originally Posted by Chiefster23 View Post
    I also have a small, inexpensive chest freezer set up to run off solar. I cut, fit, and glued 1 inch thick styrofoam sheet insulation on all 4 sides. I also fashioned an easily removable lid to cover the top and gasket area. I have no concrete data to share but I know I increased the insulation value of the freezer. Cheap too.
    There's a guy on YouTube, he's actually pretty smart, who took your method to extremes by insulating the motor/compressor compartment from the interior with foam:

    Respect everything, fear nothing.

  8. #7
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,322
    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck View Post
    I addressed this issue of having a freezer during extended power outage, after the generator dies, by having an ARB 50 qt refrigerator/freezer. It only pulls 1.35 amps/hour so my solar generator can run it, as my latest has a 100 amp hour battery. Not a full blown chest freezer, but works with what I have.

    That's a pretty cool unit, Redneck (pun intended)! Steven Harris, who's been on Jack Spirko's Survival Podcast many times, recommends foregoing the chest freezers entirely and just using a low amp tabletop icemaker and coolers.

    I guess that's okay for beer and butter, but I'm looking to keep my freezer working to save some high value meats during a blackout.
    Respect everything, fear nothing.

  9. #8
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    North Mississippi
    Posts
    565
    Quote Originally Posted by sideKahr View Post
    That's a pretty cool unit, Redneck (pun intended)! Steven Harris, who's been on Jack Spirko's Survival Podcast many times, recommends foregoing the chest freezers entirely and just using a low amp tabletop icemaker and coolers.

    I guess that's okay for beer and butter, but I'm looking to keep my freezer working to save some high value meats during a blackout.
    My whole house natural gas generator & my smaller portable gas generators should help me for the short term, but I prep for the long term. But even if I needed this for short term, my thought was using this to make 50 (probably less) quarts of ice at a batch could keep keep meat in the freezer from going bad so quick & buy time to either use that meat or to can it. For extended SHTF, my goal is mainly to extend the storage time of fresh meats, to give us time to process them for long term storage. I have some really nice, high end, very efficient ice chests to work hand in hand with this freezer. That is how I plan on using this unit. But love what you have done.
    codemansam and sideKahr like this.

  10. #9
    Member


    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Hills of Dixie.
    Posts
    55
    .

    - Did you just happen to have a pure sine inverter, or did you get it just for the purpose? I haven't noticed any problems running freezers from a modified sine inverter.

    .
    sideKahr likes this.
    .

    I may be gettin' older,
    But I've been fightin' dirtier, longer.

  11. #10
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    5,322
    Quote Originally Posted by OldHorseman View Post
    .

    - Did you just happen to have a pure sine inverter, or did you get it just for the purpose? I haven't noticed any problems running freezers from a modified sine inverter.

    .
    I'm planning on installing a photovoltaic powered system. I bought the pure sine wave inverter because I don't know how far I'm going to take this project, and I didn't want to have buyers remorse with a modified SW unit. That's also why I overengineered the system with 2/0 and 1/0 AWG cables; I might need more batteries.

    P.S. FYI, a modified sine inverter will NOT charge my wife's Tracfone. It just continually restarts itself.
    Last edited by sideKahr; 04-17-2017 at 01:26 PM.
    Respect everything, fear nothing.

 

 
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. Cosmic Light Flashes Be Powering Alien Spacecraft?
    By RedLion in forum UFO's, Zombies, 2012, Aliens, Mayan, End of the World, Apocalypse
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-25-2017, 08:41 PM
  2. Powering Security Cameras
    By indie in forum Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc)
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 11-09-2016, 07:09 PM
  3. PF's Own Experimental Retraining Program
    By A Watchman in forum General Talk
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 01-25-2016, 06:50 AM
  4. New (Used) Freezer
    By Maine-Marine in forum General Talk
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-01-2015, 11:34 AM
  5. Deep freezer
    By jmh033089 in forum General Talk
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 10-28-2012, 09:59 PM

Tags for this Thread

Back to Top