used 12V sunfrost R19

ScottSScottS Posts: 8Registered Users
I may have the opportunity to purchase a used 12V Sunfrost R19 for a good price. Essentially, if it still works, it's probably a good deal, as the price is quite low. What should I watch out for? What can be fixed easily? What warning signs would tell me to walk away from this even if it was free?

In addition, is there an economical way to run a 12V sunfrost (or two?) on standard 120V AC current? What converters are available that would support this? How much power is lost in the conversion due to inefficiency?

My intention here is for an inexpensive, low energy use second refrigerator for the basement. My primary refrigerator is a newer energystar appliance, but I'd like more space available without using a bunch of electricity -- but at the same time I want something inexpensive.

Thanks,
Scott

Comments

  • BB.BB. Posts: 28,083Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: used 12V sunfrost R19

    Scott,

    From what I remember before--Check out the door gaskets as they do fail.

    Otherwise if you are looking for 120 VAC service and not using it off-grid, have you considered using a converted chest freezer as a refrigerator?

    Not very expensive and probably much more energy efficient.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ScottSScottS Posts: 8Registered Users
    Re: used 12V sunfrost R19
    BB. wrote: »
    Scott,

    From what I remember before--Check out the door gaskets as they do fail.

    Otherwise if you are looking for 120 VAC service and not using it off-grid, have you considered using a converted chest freezer as a refrigerator?

    Not very expensive and probably much more energy efficient.

    -Bill

    Yeah I was following those threads too, and I'm still considering that route. The main argument against the sunfrost is it's too expensive for what you get if you're buying a new unit. The R-19 is about $3000 new -- for a 16 cu ft. freezerless refrigerator. This used one is very cheap, eliminating that concern. The biggest issue would be condition -- I haven't seen it yet, so it may need to much work to be worthwhile. The other issue is whether there's a reasonably inexpensive (and efficient) AC-to-DC 12V converter/power supply that can supply sufficient current. Most of the AC-DC converters I've seen are designed more for electronics and other small loads, but I'm sure there's something out there like this,

    The Sunfrost R-19 (16 cu ft) uses .56 KWh/day. From that thread, it seems people were getting around .24-.27 KWh/day out of 5-7 cu ft. chest freezers. This is about the same energy used as hthe sunfrost R-12 which is 9 cu ft. Depending on the accuracy of those specs, it seems that the sunfrost is still marginally more efficient than the chest fridge -- but more than three times the price (if purchased new). My main reason for considering the sunfrost is a potentially good price on a used unit.
  • BB.BB. Posts: 28,083Super Moderators, Administrators admin
    Re: used 12V sunfrost R19

    From NAWS' sunfrost statement--there are some comments from customers (you have probably already found this one):
    And we are not alone - below are some quotes from Sunfrost owners from our own email and discussion groups:
    • I have a Sunfrost RF-19, and it has always had water condensing in the fridge section. It's especially bad in the Summer. I purchased it 5 years ago, and would never buy another one. Recently the latch broke and we held it shut with a bungie cord. I don't think this condensation is an inevitable trade off for efficiency. I attribute it to poor design, with the ineffective door seals.
    • Do you ever have any problems with water collecting in the bottom of the fridge? Mine has done it from day one. I have an RF-16. I just didn't know if this is a trade off for the efficiency!
    • They specifically state in their literature that they are quiet. From my conversation with them and your additional input I really don't expect any service from them. The two year warrantee is garbage. Their recommendation on the phone to stack acoustical ceiling tiles around the compressor was the first clue I was talking to a Bozo. I would recommend any body considering purchasing a DC fridge to seriously consider the new alternatives that are cropping up. The (Sunfrost) has been the only real game in town until the last couple of years and I think they have developed a "Were the only game in town" attitude. I wish I had known this before. I was seriously considering another manufacturer and bought Sunfrost because I thought I'd be getting the best and would have trouble free operation and great service. Fool me once.... Never again.
    • I'm thoroughly DISAPPOINTED with our SunFrosts. I've replace the gaskets 2 (some 3) times. And still we don't get a good seal. One of the Freezers runs incessantly. There is always a build up of frost. (Indicative of air leakage). Half of the catches have broken. I've used the things less than 2 years. I quit replacing the gaskets with what SunFrost provides. They are just not temperature stable. SunFrost's gaskets shrink too much in cold, and then leak @ the corners.
    --- Obviously not everyone will agree with the comments above, but we felt they should be included.

    An AC to DC converter will probably be around 80% efficient or so (like the Iota series). Further reducing energy efficiency.

    After years of frost free refrigerators and freezers--We purchased a very simple (and efficient) manual defrost freezer--Probably will never purchase another one again. Forgotten how much of a pain it it is to manually defrost several times a year (an mine is in a backyard shed--just roll it out the door and turn a hose on it connected to the hot water heater).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Posts: 4,746Solar Expert ✭✭✭✭
    Re: used 12V sunfrost R19

    Another option is to play middle man, if the deal is good enough, and your in an area with some off grid things going on, buy it and advertise it on craigs list...

    Gosh I miss the IP addresses....

    You wouldn't haqppen to be in Missouri....
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • ScottSScottS Posts: 8Registered Users
    Re: used 12V sunfrost R19
    Photowhit wrote: »
    Another option is to play middle man, if the deal is good enough, and your in an area with some off grid things going on, buy it and advertise it on craigs list...

    Gosh I miss the IP addresses....

    You wouldn't haqppen to be in Missouri....

    These are listed for sale in NH on craigslist. There are two listed for sale in the ad -- one is in current working condition, and the other needs some work (compressor?). I've decided to pass on them -- not worth it for on-grid use w/ the AC/DC conversion losses -- but it could be a good deal if you're in New England and need a DC fridge.
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