Best truly efficient off grid fridge/freezer?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,263 ✭✭✭✭

Our fridge is likely to be our largest consumer of power when off grid. So I searched for something "ground breaking" and found an "item of interest." The walls are 3"-5" thick. Runs on 12 or 24 volt DC. Chest configuration so the cold air doesn't fall out every time the door is opened. Only one review to date. States very low energy usage but gave it four stars. Perhaps they were a tad disappointed in the interior space? Insulation occupies a large percentage of the unit. Costs $1300. Weighs 154 pounds. Offers 8 1/2 cu. ft. of storage space.

I'd guess this a good value for a certain niche. Headquarted in Germany and claiming a year 2000 start up date. If I was our host, I'd take a closer look at offering this unit. Their American headquarters are in Tucson, AZ. https://www.phocos.com/na/blog/portfolio/fr240/

https://www.amazon.com/Phocos-FR240MP-DC-Refrigerator-Freezer/dp/B017BXQY2G/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=inverter+refrigerator&qid=1551979607&rnid=2941120011&s=appliances&sr=1-5

First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,960 ✭✭✭✭

    They currently sell a highly regarded(in solar circles) Sundanzer 8 cu Ft chest fridge/freezer(fridge or freezer dependent on the thermostat)If you look it up on Amazon, you will find 3 bad reviews I believe 2 out of the 3 are from people using them in a commercial environment. They have double seals and trying to open the doors rapidly stresses both the seals and the hinges, the things people complain about.

    https://www.solar-electric.com/sundanzer-dcr225-battery-powered-refrigerator.html

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,960 ✭✭✭✭

    Where are you located? I think Florida, I know where there is one of these in Missouri from someone who used it at their hunting cabin. Reasonably priced. I think I still have the Phone #.

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,263 ✭✭✭✭
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • terracoreterracore Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭
    edited May 20 #6
    A regular chest freezer (not a "frostless" model) converted into a refrigerator uses about 10% the power of an equivalent side-by-side upright fridge.  Modern "frostless" refrigerators use half their energy on the "frostless" feature and actually run a ~600 watt heater during the defrost cycles, which subsequently warm the cooled areas and require more refrigeration energy to keep the food cold. 

    So you can skip the expensive DC route and do what most off-griders do and buy a ~$200.00 chest freezer from Home Depot or Lowes or wherever and convert it into a refrigerator with a $30.00 product like this in less than 3 minutes:


    To answer the second part of your question about an "off grid freezer", we use a regular chest freezer from Home Depot.  It pulls about 89 watts and we set it at max cold which takes it down to about -8F.  It only runs during the day when the sun is out (we use a regular appliance timer).  It's never been warmer than about 12F when it kicks on again in the morning which is still 20 degrees below freezing.  As long as you keep it full it only has to run a few hours per day to keep everything frozen.  Occasionally if we kill a pig or something and dump a bunch of warm stuff into it, obviously we have to extend the run time if we're putting into the freezer in the evening etc.

    You can even get clever and put a jug of water to freeze into the chest freezer in the morning, and then put it into the converted "refrigerator chest freezer" in the evening, and store the sun's power thermally in the form of ice rather than trying to put the power into more expensive batteries.  The frozen jug will help keep the refrigerator cold without using electricity.  Then move the jug to the freezer in the morning when the sun is out, rinse and repeat, etc.

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