Frdige mods

halfcrazyhalfcrazy Solar Expert Posts: 720 ✭✭✭
Ok just a couple thoughts off the top of my head while i set by the woodstove and watch it snow.
I have a kenmore fridge and had a couple ideas. first one was to disable the fridges onboard controls and install a thermostat to run the compressor and just do a manual defrost every so many days? any idea how hard this would be?

the second idea was to just flat out gut everything out of the fridge and install a compressor outside this idea would require me to hire a refrigeration tech but it would make it quite in the house that darn fan is real loud?


  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Frdige mods

    I think getting the service manual, and see if there are any programming options for the defrost heater. Maybe as simple as a switch on the heater power wire. What happens if you forget to defrost? will fridge clog, run 24/7 trying to cool ???
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  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,080 admin
    Re: Frdige mods

    Yes, your evaporator coils will freeze up (probably pretty quickly--depending on lots of variables, uncovered food, room humidity, number of times the door is opened, etc.). Part of the reason the newer fridges are so efficient is the circulation of air past the evaporator--plugged up with ice--they will become less efficient... Plus, the drain line intended to catch the defrosted water may freeze up--so the next time you run a manual defrost, the inside of the fridge may flood. Going with a manual defrost fridge or a chest freezer to fridge conversion (even better) would probably be a better choice... Wonder how much work the new integrated electronics fridges would require/if possible. -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Frdige mods

    If you are going to get the hvac guys involved, how about building a complete, built in fridge. I'm not sure it make much sense, but just like we built walk in coolers and fridges using commercially available parts.

    You could build a specially insulated box to your specs, with the evaporator in the box, and the compressor and condenser outside, or at least not right next to the fridge. The waste heat from the condenser could be used for space heat or even water heat.

    On the other hand I not sure you could replace the efficiency and practicality of a commercial available fridge. In a commercial venture, like a food store it seems that there is a lot of ways to increase the efficiency of fridge and freezers.

  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,479 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Frdige mods

    You can find a wiring diagram and rig a switch on the defrost heater.

    I did this to prevent excessive loading while on battery power.

    I only did it for hurricane power outage but quickly discovered that coils ice over in the high humidity of Florida in one day.

    Refrig usually run their defroster on a timer. Mine cycled every 16 hours and defrost cycle lasted about 20 minutes. The defroster heater drew 1 kw (compared to compressor at 200 watts). The saving grace was the heater cycles on and off during the 20 minute defrost cycle and the total heater 1kw active on time was only about 5 minutes net total during the 20 minute defrost cycle.
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