Off Grid Fridge Recommendation

CrystalCrystal Solar Expert Posts: 121 ✭✭✭
We are looking for the best fridge that will work on both DC and propane. We currently have a small 12 volt solar system that runs led lights, vent fan, and computers. This system has 420 watts pv, small 300 watt pure sine wave inverter, and 4 -6 volt batteries. Also, we recently installed a seperate 48 volt batteryless system to run our water pump. I realize that this is not the most efficient way, but works for us at the moment. In the future we are planning on upgrading the entire system to 48 volts. Right now we have a small propane rv fridge, but would like a new one that is more efficient. Curious to know if there is a fridge out there that has the option to run off propane and 12 volt DC, then could convert to 48 volt in the future? This may be wishful thinking. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Probably is wishful thinking , go 120VAC now and save a pot of money.. We now use a GE Model #: GTE18GMHES and run it 24/7 off 1500W 24v inverter by 8 x 140W panels and a bunch of small tools daily, probably will need 4 more PV for winter...
     
    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
  • lkruperlkruper Solar Expert Posts: 115 ✭✭
    I'm
    Crystal wrote: »
    We are looking for the best fridge that will work on both DC and propane. We currently have a small 12 volt solar system that runs led lights, vent fan, and computers. This system has 420 watts pv, small 300 watt pure sine wave inverter, and 4 -6 volt batteries. Also, we recently installed a seperate 48 volt batteryless system to run our water pump. I realize that this is not the most efficient way, but works for us at the moment. In the future we are planning on upgrading the entire system to 48 volts. Right now we have a small propane rv fridge, but would like a new one that is more efficient. Curious to know if there is a fridge out there that has the option to run off propane and 12 volt DC, then could convert to 48 volt in the future? This may be wishful thinking. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Propane fridges are not energy efficient when in electric mode. Westbranch makes a good point about the upfront premium for dc fridges. Some ac fridges are pretty efficient so if your reason is to save money you will need to contrast energy loss due to the inverter with any additional cost for more solar to compensate.
  • animattanimatt Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
    maybe a refrigerator with inverter compressor. LG, samsung and a few others have some good options, Depends where you are. I got mine in mexico(I live there) for about $500USD. (Medium sized refrigerator) It has runs off of a suresine 300 watt inverter. It has long run times but peak usage is around 140-150watts.But runs alot at about 40-45watts. No surge on startup.

  • Wheelman55Wheelman55 Registered Users Posts: 128 ✭✭✭
    animatt wrote: »
    maybe a refrigerator with inverter compressor. LG, samsung and a few others have some good options, Depends where you are. I got mine in mexico(I live there) for about $500USD. (Medium sized refrigerator) It has runs off of a suresine 300 watt inverter. It has long run times but peak usage is around 140-150watts.But runs alot at about 40-45watts. No surge on startup.

    Animat...which make and model did you get in Mexico?
    Building Off-Grid in Terlingua, TX
    14 CS 370 watt modules. HZLA horizontal tracker. Schneider: XW6048, Mini PDP, MPPT 80-600, SCP. 1 Discover AES 48 volt LiFePO4 battery 130 ah
  • animattanimatt Solar Expert Posts: 295 ✭✭✭
    Link to other thread. I started in early 2014.It has the make and model in that thread.

    Now searching forums gives a fair amount of threads about inverter refrigerators.
  • Hill_CountryHill_Country Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭
    For what it's worth, our off-grid place has 2 DC 12v/24v fridge/freezers: a Steca PF166 and a Steca PF240 chest style fridge/freezer. We've had them since April of this year and they have performed flawlessly and we are very happy with them.

    Did we pay a premium for them versus an AC fridge/freezer? Yes, a Steca PF 166 costs about $1,200 and a Steca PF 240 costs about $1,500
    Do we love them? Yes!

    For some context, we have a 48volt system, but we have a DC-to-DC converter that steps the voltage down from 48v (nominal) to 24v (nominal) so that we can run these two fridge/freezers, as well as three DC ceiling fans and a 24v DC water pressure booster pump. We went with these Steca fridge/freezers because they are very efficient and can handle 24v or 12v DC, and can be run as either a fridge OR a freezer out of the box (no adaptors/tweaks needed), which gives you some flexibility. Now one of the downsides is that they do not have any sort of defrost mechanism whatsoever, so depending on your humidity levels, you'll have to deal with condensation/frosting from time to time. However, you also don't have the energy expenditure of a defrost cycle, so it's a compromise. Another plus is that if our Inverter is down for whatever reason, our DC fridge/freezers will continue to function.

    There is no 100% correct answer here...it's whatever suits your setup best and what you can afford. I just wanted to give you one solution that worked for us. 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.
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    Fridges, like inverters, are kind of important to get right, and as others have said there isnt any easy answers. DC fridges are good where the inverter plays a low key role in your system, letting you save energy by running the inverter in sleep or off for long periods. However AC inverter fridges look very promising from a cost to performance angle, and should suit the average RE property for most people if you can find one locally.

    Since we upgraded from a 10W idle inverter to a 20W idle inverter we have noticed a reasonably big difference in average battery SOC. And thats with the inverter off 9hrs a day.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • Ethan BrushEthan Brush Solar Expert Posts: 231 ✭✭
    Crystal wrote: »
    We are looking for the best fridge that will work on both DC and propane. We currently have a small 12 volt solar system that runs led lights, vent fan, and computers. This system has 420 watts pv, small 300 watt pure sine wave inverter, and 4 -6 volt batteries. Also, we recently installed a seperate 48 volt batteryless system to run our water pump. I realize that this is not the most efficient way, but works for us at the moment. In the future we are planning on upgrading the entire system to 48 volts. Right now we have a small propane rv fridge, but would like a new one that is more efficient. Curious to know if there is a fridge out there that has the option to run off propane and 12 volt DC, then could convert to 48 volt in the future? This may be wishful thinking. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    I have had a novakool R-4500 for years. It is 12 or 24 V DC so you would need a dc dc converter when/if you change to 48v. It really sips power especially with the added insulation mod. ITs somewhat expensive, about $950.
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