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Home Forums General Discussion MBA/Engineering Off-Grid Refrigerator Project Reply To: MBA/Engineering Off-Grid Refrigerator Project


Hi, I just filled out your questionnaire, I live off grid and use a chest freezer conversion, I use an external thermostat, you set the temp you wish on that, plug the freezer into the box, then plug that up to power, when it hits the temp you set it cuts off the power to the freezer.

It works well for several reasons, being a freezer, it is much more insulated, and being a chest freezer, it opens from the top, the cold air stays inside the box. Regular refrigerators have doors that open on the side of the box, when you open the door, all the cold air falls out to the floor, now the motor has to work harder to chill the air inside the box again, this uses up precious energy.

You might want to consider a design that opens from the top. Another option you can try is something my hubby did when we were living in town and had a regular refrigerator, we had teenage boys who would open the refrigerator doors and just stare into the box, so hubby installed clear plexiglass interior doors that opened separately from the main doors, that way we could open the refrigerator and look inside (through the clear plexiglass) without losing all the cold air, once we discovered what we wanted, we would open the interior clear doors and grab the food. You could even make sectional interior doors that could be operated individually so that you could only open the section you wanted and not lose the cold air from the rest of the box.

I understand that with marine applications, they would make cooler drawers, you opened the drawer and the cold air stayed inside the drawer/box… you should consider the mechanics of cold air, it sinks, so anything you can do to keep that cold air from escaping, from falling out onto the floor, means less power consumption.