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Old 10-09-2019, 06:09 AM   #1
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Running residential refrigerator off battery

I had a second battery added to my trailer when I purchased it, the purpose for it was the desire to be able to leave my refrigerator on for 6 days without actual power.

Every year in October - November, we camp for 9 weekends at the Texas Renaissance Festival. I leave on Sunday around noon and return Friday evening around 5 or 5:30. My wife loves to cook and always takes too much food with us. We end up having to bring food back with us every Sunday in an ice chest. I had hoped by adding a second battery in parallel it would add enough capacity to run the refrigerator that long. The residential refrigerator obviously pulls more power than our old rv fridge and the first week I tried it I came back to 2 dead batteries and a hot refrigerator, I was at least smart enough to NOT leave food inside.

So, my question is would adding a solar panel, or 2, be enough to keep the battery charged for that length of time?

Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:20 AM   #2
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You would have to do the math. Those residential fridges are power hogs, especially when they go into defrost mode. Depending on the brand I have seen a hack, where they prevented the fridge from going into defrost until 120 volts AC was present. But with a big enough battery bank and enough solar it is possible.
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by houstonstroker View Post
You would have to do the math. Those residential fridges are power hogs, especially when they go into defrost mode. Depending on the brand I have seen a hack, where they prevented the fridge from going into defrost until 120 volts AC was present. But with a big enough battery bank and enough solar it is possible.
It's a whirlpool refrigerator. Any idea where to find that info?
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Old 10-09-2019, 07:46 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by mbell5263 View Post
It's a whirlpool refrigerator. Any idea where to find that info?
Look up the model # specs on line. I know our SAMSUNG only used 3.4 amps. The newer units are much more energy efficient. This is from the SAMSUNG info.

Check heater circuit amperage at the Main PCB or A/C line;
look for ~1.2 amps for the Fridge and ~2.2 amps for the freezer or
3.4 amps total.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:46 AM   #5
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Based on my research, you'd need at least 6 good batteries (I'd go AGM to avoid water issues with all of that charging and discharging) and 600 watts of solar power. Of course, that would be impacted by temperature and sun light. The AGM batteries alone would run you at least $1,800. I haven't priced solar power in a while, but I would guess at least $600.

Might be cheaper just to give the food away!
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:40 PM   #6
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It's a whirlpool refrigerator. Any idea where to find that info?
Take a look at this thread.

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f...mod-47511.html
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:52 PM   #7
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But as Klassic stated that if for a FRIGIDAIRE
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Old 10-09-2019, 03:34 PM   #8
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I mostly boondock and would never consider anything other than a propane fridge. I have 200 watts of solar which helps but will not keep my 2 batteries fully charged when I use my Direct TV for any length of time off the inverter.

I highly recommend you get a little portable inverter generator. I use a Ryobi 2200 watt unit which I absolutely love. It will run my converter to charge my batteries without any effort at all. It will run all day on a gallon of gas.

I just arrived home from a 3 day trip where I used that generator every day. I set my propane fridge to run off propane rather than 120 volts which allows the generator to throttle way down because it is basically just running the converter. Generator is then fairly quiet and very fuel efficient. So much better than my big 4k generator. I couldn't be happier.

I have a voltage/current meter that I constantly watch to know the status of my batteries. When I turn the inverter on to watch TV at night I see it pulling almost 10 amps from the batteries. Last night the batteries started at 12.7 volts when I had shut down the little generator. I watched it slowly creep down and after a few hours the batteries were down to 12.4 volts. Not a big deal as I would let it go down to 12.1 volts before I get concerned and would shut things down. This drop was from 2 brand new Costco deep cycle batteries.

Inverters suck battery power, period. A quick rule of thumb is that the 120 volt current that is required will equate to about 10 times the amount of 12 volt current required. You can't pull power from thin air. Output power for 3 amps at 120 volts would equal 360 watts. Input 12 volt power for 360 watts would be 12 volts times 30 amps = 360 watts. Pulling 30 amps continuously from batteries will drain them in no time.

In my opinion as an electronic technician, you will never be happy with a couple of batteries and some solar for a residential fridge. Remember, moon light and hazy days will not produce any solar power. Once the batteries are dead, so is your food.
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Old 10-09-2019, 04:04 PM   #9
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I mostly boondock and would never consider anything other than a propane fridge. I have 200 watts of solar which helps but will not keep my 2 batteries fully charged when I use my Direct TV for any length of time off the inverter.

I highly recommend you get a little portable inverter generator. I use a Ryobi 2200 watt unit which I absolutely love. It will run my converter to charge my batteries without any effort at all. It will run all day on a gallon of gas.

I just arrived home from a 3 day trip where I used that generator every day. I set my propane fridge to run off propane rather than 120 volts which allows the generator to throttle way down because it is basically just running the converter. Generator is then fairly quiet and very fuel efficient. So much better than my big 4k generator. I couldn't be happier.

I have a voltage/current meter that I constantly watch to know the status of my batteries. When I turn the inverter on to watch TV at night I see it pulling almost 10 amps from the batteries. Last night the batteries started at 12.7 volts when I had shut down the little generator. I watched it slowly creep down and after a few hours the batteries were down to 12.4 volts. Not a big deal as I would let it go down to 12.1 volts before I get concerned and would shut things down. This drop was from 2 brand new Costco deep cycle batteries.

Inverters suck battery power, period. A quick rule of thumb is that the 120 volt current that is required will equate to about 10 times the amount of 12 volt current required. You can't pull power from thin air. Output power for 3 amps at 120 volts would equal 360 watts. Input 12 volt power for 360 watts would be 12 volts times 30 amps = 360 watts. Pulling 30 amps continuously from batteries will drain them in no time.

In my opinion as an electronic technician, you will never be happy with a couple of batteries and some solar for a residential fridge. Remember, moon light and hazy days will not produce any solar power. Once the batteries are dead, so is your food.
This is a different issue than what I have. When I am dry camping, I have a 7500W inverter generator to power everything and I use it. My goal was simply to be able to power just the residential refer for a few days off the batteries so that I didn't have to empty the fridge out every weekend before I leave, and then restock it when I return on Friday.

I have some idea's on how I can make that happen by using the generator until Monday and then starting it again on Thursday mid day, but it's probably not worth the additional gas just to keep it cold and leave things in the refer.

Thanks for all the input!
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