Will soon find out how many kWh a 7 ft chest freezer conversion consumes.

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
So my 18 cu ft fridge did not work. Quite a disappointment. Seriously looked at very small fridges. They are energy hogs considering their tiny size. Plus little to no room for gallons of milk. I drink 2 gallons/week so that by itself is a big problem. 

Going to try the 7 cu ft chest freezer conversion. The freezer is a Midea with a 225 kWh rating. So I expect less that 100 kWh used as a fridge. 

Then again - winter cometh which is kind to the full sized fridge. Plus I have an elk tag this year. So don't necessarily hold your breath. 

Saving over 1 kWh/day should be hyuge. Plus I'll sleep better not listening to what may be the 500 watt defroster working. Again. Sure does keep the food pretty though. FWIW the 18 cu ft commercial freezer uses 600 watts in defrost mode. Still waking up to around 50 volts due to the seasons. Planning on 50.4ish with luck - pretty soon. Big job though. This place got pretty crowded. 
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

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020 #2
    So the 565 kWh 18 cu. ft. Samsung Energy Star fridge has been de-commissioned and replaced with a 225 kWh 7 cu. ft. Midea Energy Star freezer. The freezer is set up as a fridge however. So far it is slightly better than expected - mostly because I had three sliding bins available due to getting two freezers.

     I expect this to use about 90 kWh/year. Basically going from 1.5 kWh/day to 1/4 kWh/day. Or 1/6th as much energy. 

    I think two people could get by with a chest freezer conversion. More than that would be uncomfortable in my estimation. Might try a small upright freezer conversion then. For example - Sams Club has a 325 kWh 6.5 cu. ft. freezer for $225. Why a freezer? You get 2" of insulation instead of 1". 



    The 18 cu. ft. commercial freezer has also been de-commissioned and replaced with another of the 7 cu. ft. Midea chest freezers. That commercial freezer also consumed about 1.5 kWh/day - as did the Samsung fridge. The replacement chest freezer is rated at slightly more than .5 kWh/day. So I should be saving over 2 kWh/day. Sounds exciting - that is why I did it. But maybe that represents a savings of just about a buck/day - depends on your battery expenses of course. 

    Conclusion to date? I'm pushing the envelope on energy conservation these days. Got a smaller TV as well. I think the typical energy conscious off grid solar customer may be best served by an Energy Star fridge in the 7 - 10 cu. ft. range. There can be no doubt that chest freezers are far more energy efficient than upright freezers. They also hold more food - a lot more really. But good luck accessing what is at the bottom of a full chest freezer. 



    **The 18 cu. ft  upright commercial freezer will be placed into service as a fridge when the external controller arrives next week. That will consume about 1/2 kWh/day. Much less when the weather turns cold - it is in the garage. 

    ***Figuring I can go almost 10 years if the SHTF and FWIW. Except for the batteries and quite possibly the CC and inverter . Should I look for a deal on lithium batteries? Knowing how well they store? But I do expect 2-3 more years out of my current batteries - perhaps 3-5. So I am studying lithium batteries and hoping something pops one day. 

    Batteries are a giant achilles heel of long term prepping. Even food stores much better than batteries - if you keep the right foods cool and dry of course. Gave some 12 year old tv dinners to my dog. But I suspect they would have been safe to eat. I may try one, a 2008, pretty soon. 

    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    A watt counter is attached to the chest freezer conversion. Will have solid numbers in a few days. 
    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
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 215 ✭✭✭
    And condensation. Maybe they should be called swamp coolers.  I have mine elevated so a water collection pan can be placed underneath drain hole. A triangle piece of tape insures water drips to the pan.  No need to leave plug out as it will seep out.  MY newer 7cf had cooling coils on the bottom creating a lot of stratification. Older on had coils on the top.  Have a small computer fan to circulate the air so it isn't so stratified.  Still a big temp difference.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    Used .17 kWh in the past 22 hours, that is almost hard to believe.  Weird thing though - I couldn't fall back asleep without the hum of the fridge for quite awhile.  

    I suspect condensation is a far bigger issue in the higher humidity levels generally found east of the Mississippi. Most of this board lives in the dry west for some reason. Seems that way to me anyway. 

    Added bonus - one can very leisurely get their items without worrying about rapidly dumping the cold air out. Pretty big bonus after learning to very quickly get in and out of a fridge. 

    Interesting that Midea apparently found a warehouse full of chest freezers - these were made in 2007. The kWh rating of less than $.10/kWh bears this out. Remember when grid energy was cheap? 

    For some this would change everything. They may be fine with a 24 volt system and four normal sized deep cycle batteries. It may not take too much solar if one dedicates their lifestyle to energy frugality. It isn't that hard to do.

    It seems like one could employ a small chest freezer for each home dweller. Up to a point anyway. That could solve some issues. 


    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020 #6
    FWIW - here is a very small upright freezer that is adjustable from 32F to well below 0. But why not make models that can run as a fridge (32-44F) or freezer (-12-8F)? That would mean a range from -12F to 44F. 

    https://www.amazon.com/Koolatron-KTUF88-Upright-Freezer-White/dp/B01NBI9JKR/ref=sr_1_8?crid=16YO3KJNMC32Z&dchild=1&keywords=upright+freezer+7+cu+ft&qid=1596722256&s=appliances&sprefix=upright+%2Cappliances%2C235&sr=1-8


    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
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 215 ✭✭✭
    I store cold in mine for night with large volume of liquids and the chest fridge only runs in the day with sun.  Won't even start unless the battery is at 13.8V.  And I only have a car battery. You can be frugal and still have the good life. My wife wouldn't live at the camp without a dishwasher with heated dry.  We have a large LG clothes washer that runs off panel voltage, no battery and all the hot water from PV. Of course the fridge.  Battery has to have a full charge at evening because it has to keep me alive. Never failed me.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭
    I store cold in mine for night with large volume of liquids and the chest fridge only runs in the day with sun.  Won't even start unless the battery is at 13.8V.  And I only have a car battery. You can be frugal and still have the good life. My wife wouldn't live at the camp without a dishwasher with heated dry.  We have a large LG clothes washer that runs off panel voltage, no battery and all the hot water from PV. Of course the fridge.  Battery has to have a full charge at evening because it has to keep me alive. Never failed me.

    You produce all of your hot water with PV, run your dishwasher with heated dry and run a large cloths washer and refrigerator with just a car battery? I do understand how it could be done, but I have never seen it! Impressive indeed.
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • NANOcontrolNANOcontrol Registered Users Posts: 215 ✭✭✭
    And I am still wasting energy.  The clothes now are washed with cold tap water and the primary house small tank shuts off about 10am.  I've had a tank sitting in the garage waiting to be used.  Now that I have installed two new panels facing directly east it is time to hook up that tank.  I should be able to get that water to 80F in the mornings when we do laundry.  It's just one big science experiment.Most don't realize just how much energy is wasted in most PV systems.  I tap directly to the array voltage and send whatever power is extra into heating water, 5W to 500W. It all adds up over the day.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,609 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020 #10
    There is an even cheaper way to run a freezer to fridge conversions though the temp will vary more. Besides costing less (timer vs temp controller) it uses only free power - during daylight hours. Having good luck, so far, running the upright freezer as a fridge with a timer that gives it power for about 1.5 hours/day - "morning,  noon, late noon and late afternoon".  

    Not highly recommended for everything due to risk of freezing glass bottles and aluminum cans and eggs etc. It would likely have to tweaked regularly since many locations suffer varying temperatures. But cheap? Sure thing!

    Why a freezer to fridge anyway? Freezers have twice the insulation - 2" vs 1". 

    EDIT: Unsure about time period required and that will vary considerably for each location. Luckily found my beer bottles at 33F with the unit colder than that. Going to try 1 hour/day "ON" and see how that goes.  
    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
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