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Old 06-11-2014, 10:16 AM   #1
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SUN #1591
GKLarson is an unknown quantity at this point
another fridge question

We're snowbids & spend 6 months/yr in our T-1950
2 winters ago in the SW we bought 260 watts of portable solar It worked great out there & also this past winter in FL although there's lots more trees to contend with. As this amount of solar won't operate our AC nor the micro, we find we have way more power than we need to run remaining items.
So, I'm wondering about the possibilities of running our fridge off the solar ??? Fridge is a Dometic model RM 2652. Label apparently says on 120V & 60HZ it draws 2.7 amps. I've installed a 1500w peak, 750w continuous inverter.
I'm farthest thing from an electrician, not @ all handy & haven't tried experimenting yet so am seeking pro advice.....
Might fridge run if I plugged it into a HD ext cord coming from my inverter ?
Obviously I'd only attemt to do so w/ full sun during daylight hrs & would need to convert back to propane for night operation. Would this daily/frequent switching back & forth put undo stress on fridge circuitry ? (When we formerly ran our Honda 2000 90 min /day I was advised to set fridge on gas rather than auto to avoid constant switching back & forth
Thanx for your help & advice
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:24 PM   #2
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Theorhetically.....

Amperage x Voltage = Watts

2.7 amps x 120 vac = 324 watts

so if you've got 1500 watts peak/750 watts continuous available on your Inverter, you should have plenty as long as you don't try to anything heavy
(hot water heater, a/c, microwave, coffee pot, etc.)

We don't boondock hardly at all, so ours runs on AUTO all the time, primarily on vAC, but will switch to Propane if we lose electric.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Mack
Thanx for the reply
If, per your calculation, my fridge would draw 324 watts & my solar only puts out 260 watts (under ideal conditions) how is it that it would be sufficient to run fridge. Perhaps my pair of type 27 12V batteries can build up & store the extra power the fridge would seem to need ?
Sorry to be so dense re tech issues
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:12 PM   #4
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Whoops, I was only looking at your invertor, but your fridge isn't going to run continuously. Your solar will be recharging batteries constantly. There are a lot of variables, but it would probably hold it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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I doubt that the solar cell would keep up the electric heaters run a lot they are no where near as efficient as the gas. You should be able to run the fridge for a month or more with a 20# cylinder of gas. A solar panel will only be at it's peak at high noon laying flat on it's back and another thing they don't tell you is the watt rating is at high noon at the equator so when you go south and north the output goes down.
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Old 06-12-2014, 06:09 AM   #6
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Thanx to you both for the replies.

I was aware that any elec device that makes heat requires lotsa power & guess what the condensors do when fridge runs on AC ?
One of many advantages of portable solar is abilty to both move & tilt them as sun moves across the sky during the day & seasons but can surely believe ratings are for max ouput under max conditions.
We find a 20lb propane tank lasts us 2 wks. Fridge is likely largest user of propane as we only turn on hot water heater for showers. Do use range for cooking & heating dishwater
I can surely live w/ the price of running fridge on propane but was curious if I could put unused solar to use

As an aside last winter we found quality portable solar panels (not HF)for as low as $.83/watt (56 inch 140 watt panel for $117)

Thanx again for the replies
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Old 06-12-2014, 05:57 PM   #7
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Just making hot water is most likely the main source of your propane use it’s basically a blow torch. It actually might be better to leave the water heater on. The pilot light on mine will keep the water hot overnight. The flame for the fridge is about as much as a candle. Solar is defiantly an asset and lowering the power demand is even more of an asset I can go about 5 days on two batteries running a vent fan water pump a little TV all my lights and my ham radio with my solar I can go all most indefinitely. I have switched all my lights to LED (a savings of 321 watts) put an accumulator on the water system and replaced the vent fan with a very efficient one. I go all summer with 40# of propane and usually take the last one off to run the outdoor grill in the winter. I start the water heater have a shower and the next time I need it the water is already hot from just the pilot light. I do cook but don’t have an oven. The power usage for the fridge on 120 volts is not as bad as it is on 12 volts but neither of them do as well as the gas does. My biggest hurdle is water not power. I do boondock a lot for a week or more several times a year.
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