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December 3, 2011 at 12:47 am #36953
Mr. Gumby wrote in another thread:
The DC fridge vs propane is a question thus far unanswered. Up front costs are more for the panels and batts to go the solar route and I have not sharpened a pencil to see if the lack of a propane bill would offset this investment yet.
This is a topic worthy of a seperate thread. Unfortunately none of the manufacturers provide real useful information to the consumer.
The fridge needs heat to operate. The Propane burner is sized for approximately 5000 BTU of heat and the 120V provides roughtly the same. What is not often explained is that the 12V DC is only intended to provided holding chill when neither propane or 120V is available. When I worked for the charter company we got plenty of complaints that the 12V did not work. People would cram the fridge full of warm (ambient temp) food then expect it to be chilled an hour or so later. The design intent was to cool down the fridge first using propane or 120V then you can keep it cold using 12V
There are 12V only using Danfoss compressors that are quite good.
An other option is to retrofit an older dual voltage plus propane with a Danfoss only. One of my customers did that for only $300 probably cost $400 in todays market. It ran absolutely quiet and gave great service.
Adding insulation to an existing model is one way to improve eficiency.
Boaters often build their own chest freezers then add a modular refrigeration system to it. IUt doesn’t have to cost $1500December 3, 2011 at 2:56 am #42020
caverdudeParticipantDecember 3, 2011 at 6:14 am #42021
Somehow I doubt it. Note the product is an infrared reflectant. Its intended to keep high heat inside a container not exclude it. Its intended as a refrectory material not primarily as an insulation material.
Note also asbestos has been banned as a know carcinogenic material in much of the western consumer world.
Much better results will be obtained by using Aerogel or Glacier Bay vacuum ball panels. however these are pricey. Why this insistence on going expensive high tech?
Realistically a DIY off- grid person would get a very cost effective cold box / refrigerator using styrofoam or better, the blue foam used in the construction industry. The box shell can be plywood or heavily waxed cardboard even.
Or do like we did in the old days. cut ice from the lake in winter store it in saw dust lined barns until summer. I have encountered foot deep ice drifts in july because they weere covered under 12″ of saw dust down by the saw mill.December 3, 2011 at 5:04 pm #42023
asbestos has two types, one has straight needles an done has crooked or spiral needles. The one that is straight has been proven to not be harmful or get stuck in the lungs. Yet our government keeps the ban on all asbestos.December 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm #42026
Be that as it may. The asbestos product is manufactured. Involves mining and cost a lot more than other solutions. The high tech solutions are not always the best.December 12, 2011 at 5:27 am #42060
The best off grid home bang for the buck is a propane Servel/Dometic 8 cu. ft. refer/freezer. It is a sacrifice in the summer to have the limited space, but sacrifice is part of green off grid living. No asbestos, relatively easy maintenance with the manual. Most reliable and long lasting with only 1.1 lb. of propane per day used.December 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm #42061
Best on the market is a very subjective declaration. It depends entirely on where the buyer is located and how they intend to use the product.
The limited interior capacity does beg the question of what do you put in a fridge or freezer. I think we have had this discussion before. From a technical perspective a top loading chest box is better than a front door opening style.
In terms of efficiency and total energy consumption you may find a Danfoss electric DC compressor fed by solar panels to be more energy conserving that the ammonia vapor cycledtypes. BUT that also depends on what insulation is used.December 13, 2011 at 10:11 pm #42062
I didn’t say best on the market, but best bang for the buck. Sunfrost and others have great stuff, and thermal mass types you build yourself with the guts of a Sunfrost are also great in certain colder locales. I ran into this place, the Natural Home, when I thought I needed to buy another. I was able to download the manual I never had, and fix the problems!! See what they say;
My cousin has one from the early 1960s, still runs!
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