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Discussion Starter #1
As most of you know when it comes to solar set ups,,,,
I have no clue what I'm doing but I do know how to shut up and listen.
And that seems to work out nice some times. -Check out my post-
Two things that I have learned about messing with solar is that the two hardest things to have
is hot water or refrigeration if it comes from electricity made by a solar panel. The amount of juice needed is just to massive if your on a budget. But I may have found a small refrigerator that could be just what I need. Ok And as most of you know I come looking for wisdom and anwsers.
So lets get on with it. I found a small refrigerator 3.2 cubes specs are,,
yearly usage $35 260 kw hrs
what I have will be two batteries that are 114 @1a each that will be will fully charged every 24 hours. Do you guys think I can pull this off? And lets keep it simpel if you don't know I don't speak techaneaze

I have more power than that to spare but I want to play it safe here.
 

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There are lots of calculators online to help you with the kilowatt hours and such. I recall a 200 watt panel in California or a top tier location in the country producing about 300 kilowatt hours a year in total power but if you are in an area that doesn't get as much sun as CA then you'd need more. This would also require a azimuth of 186 degrees (if I recall that was the perfect direction) and the proper pitch in your roof line or wherever you mount the panel - no shade of course.

I recently saw a pallet of 240 watt panels for about $16k or almost exactly $200 each for a 240 watt panel - that was a good deal and a good brand as I recall. So clearly they have plummeted in prices recently - guess obama's rhetoric about dissing chinese panels was just that - rhetoric.
 

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Only important information you are missing is everything.

What is its surge power & run power?
What voltage does it run on?

If you have a 12VDC solar & battery system & refrigerator works on 120VAC you need an inverter that will invert that 12VDC to 120VAC. That means using 10X more power then you thought.

How many sunny days per year do you average?
What is the minimum amount of hours you will have in winter for solar charging?

If you only average 200 days of sunlight per year you are probably going to need twice the power then you calculated. If you only have three hours of useable sunlight in winter for charging the batteries then you have to have enough panels to charge those batteries for 24 hours of use. If you only average 200 days of sunlight that means sun basically everyother day so three hours to charge those batteries for 48 hours of use.

And here's another factor. Are you going to set up the solar panels that they are adjustable for latitude of the sun? Angle of the sun moves about 5 degrees per month & that easily means loss of 15% efficiency of the solar panels per month. Basically, whatever your latitude you have to be able to adjust + 15 degrees from that & -15 degrees from that.

With that all being said, you will find a small 5-7cuft chest freezer more efficient then a refrigerator. Have whatever size cooler you need for your food. Freeze & refreeze water jugs in the chest freezer for putting into the cooler. Means the chest freezer you only have to get into once per day so runs efficiently.
I've a 520watt solar system & three 125AH batteries plus a 2000watt inverter. Plenty of power to run the chest freezer plus enough left over to operate a 12VDC TV, 12VDC fan, & some 12VDC lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Only important information you are missing is everything.

What is its surge power & run power?
What voltage does it run on?

If you have a 12VDC solar & battery system & refrigerator works on 120VAC you need an inverter that will invert that 12VDC to 120VAC. That means using 10X more power then you thought.

How many sunny days per year do you average?
What is the minimum amount of hours you will have in winter for solar charging?

If you only average 200 days of sunlight per year you are probably going to need twice the power then you calculated. If you only have three hours of useable sunlight in winter for charging the batteries then you have to have enough panels to charge those batteries for 24 hours of use. If you only average 200 days of sunlight that means sun basically everyother day so three hours to charge those batteries for 48 hours of use.

And here's another factor. Are you going to set up the solar panels that they are adjustable for latitude of the sun? Angle of the sun moves about 5 degrees per month & that easily means loss of 15% efficiency of the solar panels per month. Basically, whatever your latitude you have to be able to adjust + 15 degrees from that & -15 degrees from that.

With that all being said, you will find a small 5-7 cu ft chest freezer more efficient then a refrigerator. Have whatever size cooler you need for your food. Freeze & refreeze water jugs in the chest freezer for putting into the cooler. Means the chest freezer you only have to get into once per day so runs efficiently.
I've a 520watt solar system & three 125AH batteries plus a 2000watt inverter. Plenty of power to run the chest freezer plus enough left over to operate a 12VDC TV, 12VDC fan, & some 12VDC lights.
The power to run this refrigerator will be two batteries that are 114 hr @ 1 amp that will be fully charged every morning I really don't see if they are charged by sunlight or nuclear flash matters or how many sunny days I have.
it runs on 110 volts but I will be using an inverter so I guess that means I need 1,100 volts at 70 amps
Oh, and maybe less than 200 sunny days so now I need 2,200 at 140 amps <-thats buy your math
really? 10 times more voltage due to an inverter? - I'm sorry but I just ain't buying it.
And this is a survivalist set up so in the winter I dought it will be needed much
and I just don't see how a 5 to 7 cubic freezer dizined to keep food frozen could be more effencent than a small 3.2 frieguator dizined to keep food chiled

Look I'm sorry but evertime I ask a question and it turns into techanize talk It can't be done
without a football field of panels and $150,000 invested
and that 15 degress thing i'm just going to let it slide

I guess the power surge is imporant but this is the question,,,,,
will two fully battries that are 114 hrs @1a run a small refrigerator that is rated at
260 kwhrs yearly $35 I just don't see how the juice got in the battries matters.
I would think that a fellow so smart he has that many extra numbers in his head should be able to estamate surge and divide 260 kwhrs for a year into a days use.
 

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And the chest freezer I have draws 12amps surge & 1.69amps run at 120VAC. Needs 1440watt surge inverter so the 2000watt run inverter I have is more then enough. Takes about three minutes from the initial surge of 12amps to drop down to 2amp power draw. 2 amps from the inverter but the inverter is drawing 20amps from the batteries & that isn't figuring any losses with the inverter.
 

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With electricity conversions you gain something you will loose something. To convert 12VDC to 120VAC takes 10X amperage. 12VDC 10amps drawn threw an inverter will give a 120VAC 1amp output. Cheap converter it may be less then 1amp output. If you don't believe that then noone is going to be able to help you figure out a system.
 

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A chest freezer is more efficient then a refrigerator because with a chest freezer you open the top & most of the cold stays in the bottom. When you open a refrigerator door the cold goes out the bottom so takes more power to rechill.

If you freeze plastic jugs & put them into a cooler it will keep everything in there chilled. You loose very little cold opening the top lid of the cooler. So just getting into a chest freezer once or twice a day to add water jugs to be frozen & take frozen jugs out for the cooler is very effective.
 

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I don't know if this will help but . . .

The AMC, Appalachian Mountain Club, maintains a series of huts in the White Mountains that are completely off grid. Everything comes in on foot or on an annual helicopter drop. The have a very sophicated electrical system that includes, solar, wind and propane powered generators. They used some sort of high tech refregerators specifically designed to be efficient and run off grid. You might want to take a look at some of the stuff they use.
 

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A chest freezer is more efficient then a refrigerator because with a chest freezer you open the top & most of the cold stays in the bottom. When you open a refrigerator door the cold goes out the bottom so takes more power to rechill.

If you freeze plastic jugs & put them into a cooler it will keep everything in there chilled. You loose very little cold opening the top lid of the cooler. So just getting into a chest freezer once or twice a day to add water jugs to be frozen & take frozen jugs out for the cooler is very effective.
I too recommend a freezer over a fridge. That is what we will be doing in our new off grid place.. We will have a solar setup that we will run a freezer off of. We also have an OLD "ice box" we will be using as a fridge.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
is there any reason that a small fridge can't be laid on it's back and used?
 

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is there any reason that a small fridge can't be laid on it's back and used?
Is there a certain reason you are set on a fridge and not a freezer?

Most fridges are not supposed to be turned on their back or side. They need to stay in an upright position.
 

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If I was looking for a refrigerator for off the grid use I would look into one of the kerosene or propane type. Several of the can also use electricity when available. Lehmans is a good place to start they have a non-electric catalog.
https://www.lehmans.com/
absorption refrigerators have been around a long time. Basically anything that produces heat can run a refrigerator. A large full size refrigerator uses 1.5 to 1.75 gal/week of kerosene or about 11 lbs of propane per week.
 

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Propane/electric refrigerator/freezera like those in RV's are an option. They will run on a regular propane tank for a long time
They are not cheap, however.
 

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If you must lay a refrigerator on the side or back, stand it up for several hours (at least 4) before restarting.
The oil runs out of the compressor and needs time to settle back
 

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Propane/electric refrigerator/freezera like those in RV's are an option. They will run on a regular propane tank for a long time
They are not cheap, however.
The best way to aquire one of these is to buy an amller 80's model RV. In one swipe you aquire an airconditioner and a fridge that run on either propane or 120, usually a generator, and whole host of items that will run off of 12 volts such as an on demand water pump that comes with it's own potable water tank.

RV supply stores and interwebz sites have a ton of 12 volt appliances as well.
 

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And the chest freezer I have draws 12amps surge & 1.69amps run at 120VAC. Needs 1440watt surge inverter so the 2000watt run inverter I have is more then enough. Takes about three minutes from the initial surge of 12amps to drop down to 2amp power draw. 2 amps from the inverter but the inverter is drawing 20amps from the batteries & that isn't figuring any losses with the inverter.
A super insulated freezer is best run in spurts from a generator. During the winter you may not have to run it but once a week, but during the summer you may have to run it for a couple of hours every day. It's all dependent on how well the freezer is insulated and what part of the country you live in. And, it's a catch 22. If you live in a part of the country where it is freezing a few months out of the year, you'll not be living in a part of the country where you could run solar panels at the same time ... you'd probably be better off with wind generators.

Producing, and storing, off the grid energy is a balancing act that is very dependent upon your means as well as your geographical location. Someone who lives in the mountains near a small waterfall could, conceivably, produce all the power they would ever need using water turbines ... provided the water didn't freeze.
 

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Sorry for just picking up this thread, here is what I suggest, get one of these

Refrigeration

( scroll down a bit to the item called external,thermostat)

Then get something like this chest freezer, 8.8 cubic foot and uses less than 300kw per year.

GE 8.8 cu. ft. Chest Freezer in White-FCM9DTWH at The Home Depot

EXTERNAL THERMOSTAT

External thermostat turns a 120v AC freezer into a refrigerator. No modification needed. Energy consumed as a refrigerator is roughly 1/3rd less then that consumed by the freezer. Your freezer's plug simply plugs into this thermostat's corded outlet and the thermostat's corded plug inserts into your 120v AC wall outlet. Temperature range: -30 to 100 degrees F.

This gives you a 8.8 cf refrigerator with the advantages of the top opening, and all that for about 200 kw hours a year. You will lose the auto defrost feature that is built in to most modern refers.
 
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