Energy Efficient 120 VAC Fridges vs Sunfrost DC Fridge

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  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,136 ✭✭✭✭
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • DeveakDeveak Solar Expert Posts: 38 ✭✭
    Just want to add my 2 cents. I would not recommend a sunfrost from what i read. Very poor reviews and they really haven't improved the models in a long time and the quality control is bad, especially for that cost. We struggled for years just to run a chest style 5 cubic foot freezer. Don''t know the energy rating but....well the solar system was a mess back than. Not mine, it was put together by my grandfather and mother, very cobbled together. The one thing we ran into is you MUST scale your system to the baseline loads and the number one load is refrigeration. In my state we can have 6 hours of usable sun during the summer if not more, during winter its 1.8. We can have a solid week of overcast. You want to be able to keep even with the fridge on days where there is little sun. This makes a solar system a lot larger with standard fair. There are things you can do to improve it. You want to insulate it further, the best models to buy are energy star rated models although sometimes that can mean nothing. Look for something designed for a garage, extra thick insulation in those models. Manual defrost, no frills, no ice makers. Look for coils on the back, this makes it easier to insulate it. Add expansion foam above the compressor, dont choke it but the extra layer keeps the heat it produces out of the fridge. Next unscrew the condenser on the back, carefully pull it back a bit and add a layer of rigid house foam insulation, this will further reduce the power it uses. During winter put ice blocks in the fridge. My grandfather recently purchased a fridge that was 336 kw a year and it was 14 cubic ft. The weird part is i checked his current garage fridge from the 50's an old westinghouse. Over a 24 hour period at about 60 degrees it uses 650 watts. It has a small layer of cheap foam around the sides and top.

    oh an I have seen some of the "inverter" refrigerators and on paper it sounds nice but they tend to be high end models with a billion wasteful gizmos and huge. Typically north of 600 kw a year. From what i read its actually a stirling engine or a form off, a free piston stirling engine. It has a surge but its very minor.
  • Hill_CountryHill_Country Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    I wanted to report back on our Steca DC fridge and freezer experience thus far. We have a Steca PF240 and a Steca PF166 and both have been performing flawlessly. The Steca PF240 has been running for two months and is being used as a freezer, while the Steca PF166 has been running for a week (just got the wiring in for the PF166) and is being used as a refrigerator. So far we love them. Yes, we paid a premium for them, but we are very pleased so far and they fit our setup nicely.

    FYI, we are running 24v DC to the Steca's on separate DC circuits. They are definitely very efficient. I will post back with actual numbers once we get to our warmer months here in Texas!! We have them inside our off-grid house (which has no A/C...just ceiling fans and passive cooling from the prevailing wind).
    100% Off-grid with: 8 Solarworld 275 Watt Panels, 8 Concorde SunXtender 405aH 6v AGM Batteries, MS-4448PAE 48v Inverter, MidNite Solar Classic 200 Charge Controller, 10,000 gallon rainwater collection system, etc.
  • TonygreenTonygreen Registered Users Posts: 15

    Another thing you might consider is converting a freezer to a fridge. Works great for me. Have converted several over the last 10
    It's power consumption? Roughly 300 watt hours per 24 hour day. That's 0.3 kwh/day.

    300 w/h per 24 h/d?
    Fantastic!
    Please, tell me brand and model.

    [btw, how did you "convert" it?]
  • TonygreenTonygreen Registered Users Posts: 15
    I saw this fridge in a furniture store in PR:Westinghouse WRTG103MBLW (10 cu.ft)
    According to the label on its side, power consumption is: Defrost power:160 watts; Input power (total):120 watts; Current: 1.4A
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 28,994 admin
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,136 ✭✭✭✭
    something not fitting, that must be instantaneous draw, here is some more detail https://www.wattdoesituse.com/white-westinghouse-wrtg103mblw.html

    that unit uses a lot of power our full size GE uses ~ 319 kWh a yr
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • TonygreenTonygreen Registered Users Posts: 15
    Yes, I agree. My GE uses +/- 318kwh/year.
    But: The really interesting number is the 160 watts defrost consumption. My GE uses just around 110 watts when running, but it jumps to 6.5 amps when defrosting, for 20 minutes, twice a day. And when that happens at 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM, my batteries cry for mercy!
    So, in my ignorant opinion, though this little fridge draws, in a year, more than my 18 c/f GE, it is more forgiving for my batteries in the everyday use.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,136 ✭✭✭✭
    Can you unplug the fridge and restart at 1PM that should do one cycle when in Float... and low loads otherwise in the night
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,234 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tonygreen wrote: »
    ..... And when that happens at 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM, my batteries cry for mercy!.....

    Unplug it for 10 minutes just before solar noon, if it has an electronic timer, that may shift defrost times to 12 noon, 12 midnight, only nailing your batteries 1x

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • TonygreenTonygreen Registered Users Posts: 15
    westbranch wrote: »
    Can you unplug the fridge and restart at 1PM that should do one cycle when in Float... and low loads otherwise in the night

    I will try that.
    Thanks.
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    For some reason, I just today received notification of this topic. Probably too late for the OP, but maybe I'm the only responder using Sunfrost stuff. We've had a fridge of theirs since the late 80s, which we ran 12 v. until last year when I upgraded our system to 24 v. We also have a Sunfrost freezer, bought maybe four years back, and both are running great on 24 v. The only problem I've had with either appliance is the latch on the fridge. Sunfrost sent me a couple of new ones [one for repair and one extra] for free, then I went ahead and upgraded to the magnetic latch kit after seeing how nice the one on the freezer is.

    They do cost more than other brands, true. However, they work and keep working, over 25 yr. on the fridge now. They are very, very quiet, are quite efficient, electrically, and I could not be happier. I am someone who pinches every penny, or almost every, and I do not regret for a second buying these appliances. Customer service, the little I've needed, is great.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,234 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I've heard that when running an  inverter in SEARCH mode, the fridge electronics reset and triggers a defrost cycle when power is restored.
      I've got 2 fridges and 1 upright freezer, and leave the inverter running 24/7
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • larcallarcal Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭
    edited June 2016 #45
    I wanted to report back on our Steca DC fridge and freezer experience thus far. We have a Steca PF240 and a Steca PF166 and both have been performing flawlessly. The Steca PF240 has been running for two months and is being used as a freezer, while the Steca PF166 has been running for a week (just got the wiring in for the PF166) and is being used as a refrigerator. So far we love them. Yes, we paid a premium for them, but we are very pleased so far and they fit our setup nicely.

    FYI, we are running 24v DC to the Steca's on separate DC circuits. They are definitely very efficient. I will post back with actual numbers once we get to our warmer months here in Texas!! We have them inside our off-grid house (which has no A/C...just ceiling fans and passive cooling from the prevailing wind).

    Hi Hill Country,
    So how's it going on the Stecas? Just had a Sundanzer fail after 8 years from pipes corroding, which I gather happens cause floor not sealed on seams and pipes are steel. Steca uses aluminum tubes and if stats can be believed is more efficient. Lot more expensive though and tech support if you need it could be a nightmare. A dealer with first hand experience seems non existent, and comments online apart from yours very few for some reason. Guess very few people have bought one. Still tempted though. Sure would appreciate any comments you have on any and all aspects
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    larcal said:
    Hi Hill_Country,
    So how's it going on the Stecas? Just had a Sundanzer fail after 8 years from pipes corroding
    Hi @Hill_Country

    I am also interested in your Steca's performance.  I understand that they can be used as fridge or freezer...  Regarding the one you use as a fridge,  How does it deal with condensation?

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,415 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Ours gets a defrost every year but can go longer. We do it in summer and it takes about an hour. Pretty painless for having the ability to run on a solar panel and car battery if the big lightning bolt hits.

    I have a client who has an hour drive to costco and he moves the stecca into his truck and runs of the 12V and goes back to 24V at his home.

    It uses so little energy you  really do not have to account for it in normal systems. Ours is 9 years old now. Really good german engineering! I wish they made an AC version......
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • larcallarcal Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭

    Ours gets a defrost every year but can go longer. We do it in summer and it takes about an hour. Pretty painless for having the ability to run on a solar panel and car battery if the big lightning bolt hits.

    I have a client who has an hour drive to costco and he moves the stecca into his truck and runs of the 12V and goes back to 24V at his home.

    It uses so little energy you  really do not have to account for it in normal systems. Ours is 9 years old now. Really good german engineering! I wish they made an AC version......
      Hi Dave. Please spill the beans. Which size Steca do you have and have you run it 24/7 for 9 years without issues?
      What thermostat does it use and where is it located? If you don't know perhaps it says Danfoss on it?, in which case is same thermostat Sundanzer uses which would be nice.


  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,415 ✭✭✭✭✭
    That is the thing about german engineering for me, I have no idea and don't need to, it just works.
     I would guess it is a Danfoss. I once put a vacuum cleaner hose near the opening where the compressor vents. I think it is the 7 cubic foot model.

    I have ours downstairs in the garage and I can get a warm beer down to 35F in an hour, that I do know!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • larcallarcal Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭
    edited June 2016 #50
    :) Ha ha. guess you're not dependent on it to eat or you'd have an extra 3 thermostats around, and know where they locate it. As one will see if follow links below I found a reference to it being in handle! Which makes no sense. 

    What about my query about amount of use? You speak of a client. Are you in the solar biz there in California?
  • larcallarcal Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭
    edited June 2016 #51
    By the way, I perhaps screwed up by not making a separate thread on Stecas. Started out just querying Hill and then ran into him on another younger thread also mentioning his Steca and then addressed him there also about his newer comments. Left some links there to Steca stuff I've found.  http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/350120/chest-freezer-kwh-in-full-day
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,415 ✭✭✭✭✭
    larcal said:
    :) Ha ha. guess you're not dependent on it to eat or you'd have an extra 3 thermostats around, and know where they locate it. As one will see if follow links below I found a reference to it being in handle! Which makes no sense. 

    What about my query about amount of use? You speak of a client. Are you in the solar biz there in California?
    I do have a 22 cubic foot whirlpool AC refrigerator freezer and I have been doing this offgrid for 24 years so I do have a few  things that might make me not worry about eating as much as you do.

    My offgrid business is world wide but I do live in California. You can click the link to my web page below.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • larcallarcal Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭
    edited June 2016 #53
    Gotcha Dave. Even though you are in a unique position to help here in at least a small way you  merely say "my fridge is bigger then yours" Your sole reason for going on forums it seems. Most impressive.
  • Hill_CountryHill_Country Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    Hi @vtmaps and @larcal,

    Hopefully I addressed your questions in http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/comment/358835/#Comment_358835.  So far we've had nothing but rock-solid performance from our Steca PF166 (5.8 cu. ft) being used as a refrigerator and our Steca PF240 (8.5 cu. ft.) being used as a freezer.  The Stecas have no built-in ways of dealing with condensation besides the single drain plug located on the bottom of the fridge/freezer.  For our fridge, we've found that using a super-absorbent dish towel works great to keep the moisture down to a minimum on the bottom.  The only reason for keeping condensation at bay in our case is to prevent any items we may put on the bottom from getting soaked and/or dripping with water when removing them.  It has worked well thus far.  Hope this helps!

    100% Off-grid with: 8 Solarworld 275 Watt Panels, 8 Concorde SunXtender 405aH 6v AGM Batteries, MS-4448PAE 48v Inverter, MidNite Solar Classic 200 Charge Controller, 10,000 gallon rainwater collection system, etc.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,415 ✭✭✭✭✭
    larcal said:
    Gotcha Dave. Even though you are in a unique position to help here in at least a small way you  merely say "my fridge is bigger then yours" Your sole reason for going on forums it seems. Most impressive.
    I am sorry you feel that way, it certainly was not how I meant you to take my point that I do not worry about having spare thermostats.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • larcallarcal Registered Users Posts: 43 ✭✭
    Hill_Country

    Great. Replied on other thread. Maybe best to keep all there now as more recent but whatever.
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