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Old 05-03-2015, 07:44 PM   #1
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Residential Fridge Test - Ampere-Hours

Lots of discussion on how well the residential fridge works on battery and how long...

Ok well ran a full test on our Fridge now that we have the Trimetric meter installed and configured.

Equipment: Whirlpool Top Freezer Fridge on 2000W Inverter

Power: 4x6-Volt Batteries (226AH)

Conditions: Powered up and chilled fridge on AC for 12 hours. Switch power off and on to Inverter - Reset Trimetric Meter to 0 AH. ...

30 Hours on DC/Inverter - Total Draw was 182 AH.

Battery bank was drawn down to 88% (Based on Trimetric)
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:29 PM   #2
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Hi Walter,

Does the fridge maintain temperature as well on battery power? I installed the remote sensors on our unit and found that over the last month our freezer operated in a range from -3 degrees all the way up to 20 degrees. The refrigerator section maintained temps in the upper 30's. This was on shore power the entire time.

Don
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Old 05-03-2015, 08:31 PM   #3
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Yes fridge operates at normal temps in both Fridge and Freezer, with food in both... The Ice Maker was running as well. No problems at all.
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Old 05-04-2015, 04:06 PM   #4
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38FLCamper - thanks for posting that. I have the same fridge but no ice maker. That looks like about 6 amps per hour. I think I read the inverter takes a half amp for itself.

If you are not boondocking but just want to run the fridge while towing that would suggest that you need a
100 amp battery to supply 48 amps over 8 hours or
150 amp battery(s) to supply 75 amps for 12 hours or about the longest you would drive without hooking up. (not counting the trickle charge from the truck).

Or if you had a 150 amp battery you would need to recharge every 12 hours. I am basing that on the recommendation that your batteries last longer is you don't discharge down below 50%.

If you had enough solar to fully recharge during the day and run the fridge then you would need that 150 amp battery to run the fridge overnight (not counting everything else).

I am going to replace my dealer installed marine/rv battery with the biggest trojan that will fit in the battery compartment looks like it is the T1275 which is a 12 volt 150 amp golf cart battery. If that proves too little I'll add a second one to round it out at 300 amps.

I am also trying to figure out if pulling a dedicated 12 volt line off one of my upfitter switches would keep the battery up while towing. The F250 has 2 25amp and 2 10 amp upfitter switches/lines.
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:19 PM   #5
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38FLCamper,

Thank you for posting your test results.

I am very interested in the refrigerator power usage when running on the inverter/batteries. I am planning to soon buy a Cedar Creek 36CKTS with a residential refrigerator (18 cu ft or 20 cu ft) . We like to camp in National Park campgrounds occasionally and I am wondering how many hours per day the generator will need to be run to recharge the batteries. I will use 4 6V GC2 batteries, probably Trojan T-105 or T-145.

I wonder how much it would use with the ice maker turned off. I imagine the compressor runs a lot more to freeze the water.

Do you know the model number of your refrigerator? I want to compare your actual results to the yellow Energy Guide label specs for a point of reference.

Thanks

Chris
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Old 05-04-2015, 05:29 PM   #6
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Don't know how much the ice maker being off would help but will test next chance I get.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for the model number. I made a note of it and the power usage.

I am interested in power usage with the ice maker off. Thanks for offering to test it. If anybody else has experience with this, please chime in.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:38 PM   #8
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Just wondering why the compressor would run "more" to freeze the water? If it is maintaining proper temperature, it will freeze cubes automatically. The only extra power draws would be the solenoid sending water up to the icemaker and the motor that dumps the cubes, which should be minimal.

Since I never use the icemaker with water from the tank, it is not an issue for me. Just as easy to bring ice from home or use bottled water in ice cube trays.

Don
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:18 PM   #9
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dmdrj5,

My saying "I imagine the compressor runs a lot more to freeze the water" was a poor choice of words. I remember reading that using icemakers caused an increase in electric use. I did not know exactly why. Since Walter (38FLCamper) tested with the icemaker on, I wondered what a second test with the icemaker turned off would show.

Your post prompted me to search for info on icemaker power use.

I found this: "In tests of four different types of new refrigerators, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) researchers found that ice makers increased rated energy consumption by 12 to 20 percent. About three-fourths of that additional energy cost is due to the electric heaters used to release the ice bits from the molds."

The above quote can be found here:
The Heat Is On: NIST Zeroes In On Energy Consumption of Ice Makers
and more is here:
http://www.nist.gov/customcf/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=907664

I am looking for info to help decide if it is practical to use one of the residential refrigerators offered by Cedar Creek when there is no electric hookup available and a generator is used to recharge the batteries.

If turning off the icemaker actually avoids a 12-20% power increase in real use, that would make a difference when running from an inverter and batteries.

Chris
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:37 AM   #10
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Chris,

Thanks for the education on ice makers. It was not my intention to be a smart a**. As you can see by my original post, I forgot about the heating element.

I still have a problem drinking any water from my tank, even when filled from my home water source. I trust my home water, but who knows what is floating around in that tank. That goes for campground water as well.

My apologies,
Don
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