Electrolux fridge problem.

Darosicam

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15
Been a busy week with all that is happening but hope to have a solution this weekend. I do like the idea of the off fridge solution. So intend to use a clevis pin of the correct 8 mm dia. inserted into a shallow container of polyfilla. This will give
me a former which I can use to make a short shaft from Polymorph granules. I can then file the resultant plastic shaft to the correct size, and use as an insert for the araldite fix. If it all goes wrong I can drill out my mistake and start again.
I haven't used Polymorph, although I am aware of it and how its used. If it works, great ... if it doesn't work, get back to me and I will print a shaft on the 3D printer, or turn one up on the lathe (FOC to friends here) and post it to you.
The info I would need is shaft diameter as accurately measured as you can ... the width of the flat ... again as accurate as possible. We can discuss the best sizes, or I could make several versions with slightly different dimension and you use the best fit. Perhaps if I make the flat narrower than it needs to be and you could file it to finished size.
Anyway, I love an interesting wee project, so have fun with it ... the satisfaction every time you use something you fixed, is a joy ! :)
 

Darosicam

Full Member

Messages
15
My Dometic (from about 2005) has a selector knob for Gas, 12vdc and 240 vac and you just set the knob to the energy source you want to use ... another knob controls the temperature. There is a switch on the van wall to feed power to the fridge. I know sure there is a thermocouple to confirm that a gas flame is present, when using gas. It ignites with what sounds like a piezoelectric spark device, when you set to gas and send power (I guess that must be 12 power) ... when the flame is established, the piezo device stops sparking.
the 12vdc and 240vac sides use resistive heaters instead of a gas flame. Easy to test for continuity with a cheap multimeter ... or even a light bulb of suitable voltage with a couple of connecting wires.
If this kind of fridge starts to be slow to ignite on gas, the problem is probably some dust or debris near the burner or the flue. you get at that by removing the vent panel on the outside of the van. The burner and flu are on your RHS and it is all fairly obvious from there on ... a small brush or vacuum cleaner will soon clear it out.
 
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Darosicam

Full Member

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15
Dump it and fit a 230v compressor unit. (y)
Compressor units use motors which use more energy. They have an engineering disadvantage of using mechanical components ... everything which moves, wears and eventually breaks. Also, repairing something you already have is extremely healthy for a persons bank balance, in comparison to replacing an expensive unit when not necessary.
The 'fit a replacement' (instead of repair) is part of the death of Planet Earth, so be kind to our planet. :)
 

marchie

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1,457
Compressor units use motors which use more energy. They have an engineering disadvantage of using mechanical components ... everything which moves, wears and eventually breaks. Also, repairing something you already have is extremely healthy for a persons bank balance, in comparison to replacing an expensive unit when not necessary.
The 'fit a replacement' (instead of repair) is part of the death of Planet Earth, so be kind to our planet. :)
Unfortunately, the original item may well have come out of a Chinese factory at a cost of pennies; and spares, if they are available, are more likely to have been made in Europe, making it more cost effective to buy a new Chinese replacement item

Steve
 

Darosicam

Full Member

Messages
15
Spares for many items in my household are made in my own workshop, so I am in control of the quality and availability.
Unfortunately, the original item may well have come out of a Chinese factory at a cost of pennies; and spares, if they are available, are more likely to have been made in Europe, making it more cost effective to buy a new Chinese replacement item

Steve

BTW, yesterday I sold my Autocruise Stargazer which I have enjoyed for years. Not yet decided if I will buy something else, or build one to my own design ... we'll see. :)

I have doubts that my 2005 fridge came from China, although perhaps it did. Sadly, one of the reasons the UK is almost broke, is because we no longer make anything and send our money out of the country to get almost everything. I always liked UK, USA and German engineering... China can do some good engineering, but instead in the main, it goes for a low price market and supplies junk in comparison to the afore mentioned countries. I should also mention Poland before someone shouts at me .... they also do decent engineering, as does Japan. :)
If we want a planet left to tour in our vans, we need to stop being a throw-away society and go back to making stuff with last for decades, instead of the built-in obsolescence we suffer from today. :)
Rant over LOL :)
 

wildebus

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Messages
4,416
Compressor units use motors which use more energy. They have an engineering disadvantage of using mechanical components ... everything which moves, wears and eventually breaks. Also, repairing something you already have is extremely healthy for a persons bank balance, in comparison to replacing an expensive unit when not necessary.
The 'fit a replacement' (instead of repair) is part of the death of Planet Earth, so be kind to our planet. :)
More energy than what, though?
On my own testing, an absorption fridge running on electricity uses 7 times the amount of electrical energy than a compressor fridge. There may be some energy used by the compressor but the advantages over an absorption fridge are massive. And not just energy efficiency but overall performance as well (works in hot environments, works without being level, needs no servicing).
Just the servicing cost of a gas fridge if done as recommended by the manufacturer would be more than the cost of a replacement fridge within a few years. The only - and I really do mean ONLY - benefit I can see of a 3-way Absorption fridge is the ability to use multiple energy sources. And as Lithium batteries become more affordable, allowing for bigger battery banks, electric-only compressor fridges are becoming more and more a standard fit in motorhomes.
How many threads do you see on Motorhome forums about Compressor Fridges not working compared to ones asking about why their 3-way Fridge is not working?


It is sad that all to often things get replaced rather than repaired, but that is down to plain economics and in truth the efficency of production techniques that make items disposable and not cost-effective to repair once the whole service chain is considered. In the last year I have reported 2 faulty items to Victron and in both cases, the items were not repaired but replaced and Victron tell the distributor to destroy the faulty part. I am waiting currently on a replacement on a 3rd item to be sent out to me and the original part will not be fixed either (although I have 99% for sure identified the fault and will take approximately 60 seconds to fix - but doing so would void the remaining warranty so not worth doing it).


PS ... "one of the reasons the UK is almost broke, is because we no longer make anything"... That is a load of tosh. What the UK doesn't do is make the disposable type of stuff that is made in Chinese sweat-shop factories which it would be impossible to compete with on a fair level.
Also, until recently, it was possible to buy something from AliExpress and have it shipped to the UK at a total cost of less than the cost of sending a small small parcel within the UK, due to China being a self-declared "Developing Economy" which meant the local National Carrier (i.e. Royal Mail in the UK, USPS in the US, etc) actually paid the cost of the delivery.
 
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Darosicam

Full Member

Messages
15
More energy than what, though?
On my own testing, an absorption fridge running on electricity uses 7 times the amount of electrical energy than a compressor fridge. There may be some energy used by the compressor but the advantages over an absorption fridge are massive. And not just energy efficiency but overall performance as well (works in hot environments, works without being level, needs no servicing).
Just the servicing cost of a gas fridge if done as recommended by the manufacturer would be more than the cost of a replacement fridge within a few years. The only - and I really do mean ONLY - benefit I can see of a 3-way Absorption fridge is the ability to use multiple energy sources. And as Lithium batteries become more affordable, allowing for bigger battery banks, electric-only compressor fridges are becoming more and more a standard fit in motorhomes.
How many threads do you see on Motorhome forums about Compressor Fridges not working compared to ones asking about why their 3-way Fridge is not working?


It is sad that all to often things get replaced rather than repaired, but that is down to plain economics and in truth the efficency of production techniques that make items disposable and not cost-effective to repair once the whole service chain is considered. In the last year I have reported 2 faulty items to Victron and in both cases, the items were not repaired but replaced and Victron tell the distributor to destroy the faulty part. I am waiting currently on a replacement on a 3rd item to be sent out to me and the original part will not be fixed either (although I have 99% for sure identified the fault and will take approximately 60 seconds to fix - but doing so would void the remaining warranty so not worth doing it).


PS ... "one of the reasons the UK is almost broke, is because we no longer make anything"... That is a load of tosh. What the UK doesn't do is make the disposable type of stuff that is made in Chinese sweat-shop factories which it would be impossible to compete with on a fair level.
Also, until recently, it was possible to buy something from AliExpress and have it shipped to the UK at a total cost of less than the cost of sending a small small parcel within the UK, due to China being a self-declared "Developing Economy" which meant the local National Carrier (i.e. Royal Mail in the UK, USPS in the US, etc) actually paid the cost of the delivery.
I think You actually make my point ... we like cheap and are happy to destroy pour planet. :)

We all have different opinions, which makes life interesting.

I don't use gas in my van (I should say DIDN'T because I sold it yesterday) instead I use solar electricity ... as much DC voltage as possible to avoid the high losses of converting up to 230/240 VAC ... inverters have typical losses of 10%, so a 5kW inverter is using 500watts just to operate ... not my kind of efficiency :)

For a while I was making hydrogen from solar and using that on a converted gas cooker ... very clean burn and very kind to the planet compared to LPG. I removed that system before selling the van, because without technical knowledge, it might be a little dangerous (I mean, to make it idiot proof, I would have needed to fit various automated additions, for aspects I was comfortable handling manually) Maybe hydrogen is a fuel for vans in the future as solar panels increase in efficiency.

I think we just need to agree to differ. BTW my absorption fridge ONLY has an issue about being (reasonably) level when running on gas ... running on electricity it does not care if it is level or not. I like my van level anyway, as I sleep better and water in my pans doesn't spill off one side ! LOL
 

wildebus

Full Member

Messages
4,416
I think You actually make my point ... we like cheap and are happy to destroy pour planet. :)

We all have different opinions, which makes life interesting.

I don't use gas in my van (I should say DIDN'T because I sold it yesterday) instead I use solar electricity ... as much DC voltage as possible to avoid the high losses of converting up to 230/240 VAC ... inverters have typical losses of 10%, so a 5kW inverter is using 500watts just to operate ... not my kind of efficiency :)

For a while I was making hydrogen from solar and using that on a converted gas cooker ... very clean burn and very kind to the planet compared to LPG. I removed that system before selling the van, because without technical knowledge, it might be a little dangerous (I mean, to make it idiot proof, I would have needed to fit various automated additions, for aspects I was comfortable handling manually) Maybe hydrogen is a fuel for vans in the future as solar panels increase in efficiency.

I think we just need to agree to differ. BTW my absorption fridge ONLY has an issue about being (reasonably) level when running on gas ... running on electricity it does not care if it is level or not. I like my van level anyway, as I sleep better and water in my pans doesn't spill off one side ! LOL
I was not arguing ALL your points - just mainly the one about Compressor vs Absorption Fridges.

10% loss? more like 15% at least wasted of the power converted.
But a 5kW inverter does NOT use 500W just to operate. The bigger the inverter, the higher the basic overhead is true, but they do NOT have a 10% overhead of the total capacity regardless of the load - that is a common and incorrect fallacy and I would have thought a brilliant engineer like yourself would not have signed up to that nonsense.

You ran your Absorption fridge 100% off solar? I find that quite remarkable considering the amount of power they use on a daily basis. You must have had an incredibly large PV array on the roof to deliver the power that it would have used. How big was your array exactly?
 

Darosicam

Full Member

Messages
15
I was not arguing ALL your points - just mainly the one about Compressor vs Absorption Fridges.

10% loss? more like 15% at least wasted of the power converted.
But a 5kW inverter does NOT use 500W just to operate. The bigger the inverter, the higher the basic overhead is true, but they do NOT have a 10% overhead of the total capacity regardless of the load - that is a common and incorrect fallacy and I would have thought a brilliant engineer like yourself would not have signed up to that nonsense.

You ran your Absorption fridge 100% off solar? I find that quite remarkable considering the amount of power they use on a daily basis. You must have had an incredibly large PV array on the roof to deliver the power that it would have used. How big was your array exactly?
You are correct, I should have been more clear that the loss percentage on most inverters is relative to the load, I make my own inverters and I make them sized for the single appliance they are to power ... they do not run on standby, they start upon demand from the appliance. As for the fridge, I increased the power of the 12VDC heater (they tend to be powered only enough to maintain the fridge whilst powered from the engine when you are on the move and wired such that they don't run on 12VDC unless the engine is running). I simply rewired that system. I could argue that DC electrical supply is more efficient than AC electrical supply, but that's for over a pint some day ! LOL I added additional insulation to the fridge to improve efficiency and the power to it is intermittent, based mostly on how often you open the fridge, so not a continuous demand.

I had 1200 watts of panels ... two layers of six 100 watt panels. The top layer powered the batteries etc all the time (obviously not in the dark!). That layer was split down the middle and when parked up, it was moved out (motor powered), half to each side of the van, giving and uninterrupted 1200 watts of panel looking at the sky. It would have been more efficient to make it possible to angle the panels for the correct position relative to the sun at different times of year, but I decided that was too complex for the roof of a motorhome and the double-the-roof-area provided by doubling the number of panels was probably sufficient for my needs. All I can say about it is, I never ever ran out of power, although in the winter, I definitely limited the use of the microwave and electric kettle ! :)

EDIT: I forgot to mention (so edited to add) ... The solar array covered my roof vents and I overcame that problem using four lightweight hydraulic lifts, one on each corner ... the design was similar to scissors jacks, but hydraulically driven, keeping it all low profile, My solar chassis lifted about 10 inches above its ready to travel position, allowing enough height for my vents to open. The one in the shower room was replaced with a variable speed extractor fan, which cleared our all steam from the shower so nicely that there was almost no condensation after showering. :)
 
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Darosicam

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Messages
15
I would have thought a brilliant engineer like yourself would not have signed up to that nonsense.
You are over-describing me, I'm less than brilliant, but I thank you for the compliment. My engineering qualifications, eventually gaining me a Fellowship were so long ago that I consider them to be more or less invalid now, as I approach 80. I still think like and engineer and design like an engineer (although perhaps not using the latest methods or thinking). I have a very well equipped workshop for wood, metal, plastics, electronics, etc., which keeps me well entertained on a daily basis. My latest additions are a CNC machine, and now a 3D printer. Obviously I use CAD software, although I still have a large drawing board and all the tools to use on it ! LOL Life is meant to be fun, so I always find a way of turning every little problem job into a fun project ! :)
I get a huge amount of pleasure when I see something I designed working as expected and doing something useful. :)
 

wildebus

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4,416
You are correct, I should have been more clear that the loss percentage on most inverters is relative to the load, I make my own inverters and I make them sized for the single appliance they are to power ... they do not run on standby, they start upon demand from the appliance.
The primary purpose of the Inverter in my Motorhome is the 240V Fridge/Freezer. I have it set to what is called "AES Search Mode", so goes into a standby mode and if it detects a load over a certain wattage will turn on.
I don't actually have the appliance activate the inverter, but use a separate temp probe to monitor the freezer. When the temp goes up to a set temp, a routine will enable an SSR to connect the Fridge AC to the General AC circuitry and cause the Inverter to start. Then when the temp has dropped down to a set temp, the routine will turn the SSR off. I find this more reliable then using the Fridges own thermostat to go on and off.
Interestingly, even though the fridge is on for around 20 minutes every 2 hours or so, the difference in the On and Off temps in the routine is just 1 Celcius.

Your comment made me think ... Instead of having the Inverter (actually a Victron Multiplus) go into AES mode (this is nothing to do with a Fridge AES, note, just the same initials) when not needed, I could have it switch off in fact, and instead of the routine activating an SSR, I could actually have it just turn on the Inverter instead when the Fridge requires power, and then off again when the Fridge does not need it any more.
That would be a more efficient power use and I think I would do that if all I used the Inverter for was the Fridge. But two things makes that maybe impractical or unecessary....
1) I use other 240V Appliances on occasion, such as a Microwave, Induction Hob, Toaster, eBike Battery Charger, etc, and I would need another 'enabler' to activate the Inverter. Could be as simple as a switch, but I like the automated aspect of just plugging something in and having it work. But certainly possible if there as a need - and this is where #2 comes in....
2) In AES Search mode (i.e. all the time the inverter has no load and is in Standby), the Inverter overhead is just 2W. 2 Watts overhead is low enough to ignore as far as I am concerned and not really worth trying to save if it compromises ease of use.


As for the fridge, I increased the power of the 12VDC heater (they tend to be powered only enough to maintain the fridge whilst powered from the engine when you are on the move and wired such that they don't run on 12VDC unless the engine is running). I simply rewired that system. I could argue that DC electrical supply is more efficient than AC electrical supply, but that's for over a pint some day ! LOL I added additional insulation to the fridge to improve efficiency and the power to it is intermittent, based mostly on how often you open the fridge, so not a continuous demand.



I had 1200 watts of panels ... two layers of six 100 watt panels. The top layer powered the batteries etc all the time (obviously not in the dark!). That layer was split down the middle and when parked up, it was moved out (motor powered), half to each side of the van, giving and uninterrupted 1200 watts of panel looking at the sky. It would have been more efficient to make it possible to angle the panels for the correct position relative to the sun at different times of year, but I decided that was too complex for the roof of a motorhome and the double-the-roof-area provided by doubling the number of panels was probably sufficient for my needs. All I can say about it is, I never ever ran out of power, although in the winter, I definitely limited the use of the microwave and electric kettle ! :)
The method of a Double-stacked PV system is I think something that tends to be overlooked, which is a shame as can be very effective. I have seen a couple of those systems on videos - one was motorised with an actuator and another was manually deployed (with a boathook pole to avoid needing a ladder) - and is something which I was very tempted to do on mine but not got round to it (something on the long list of 'give it a go') although the actuator was bought in readiness :rolleyes:
 

Darosicam

Full Member

Messages
15
The method of a Double-stacked PV system is I think something that tends to be overlooked, which is a shame as can be very effective. I have seen a couple of those systems on videos - one was motorised with an actuator and another was manually deployed (with a boathook pole to avoid needing a ladder) - and is something which I was very tempted to do on mine but not got round to it (something on the long list of 'give it a go') although the actuator was bought in readiness :rolleyes:
If you get round to fitting a double stack set of panels, may I suggest that you motorise them for sure and wire them the aame as electrically operated steps ... if you forget to close them and go to drive away, they close automatically. Just a safety feature which is simple enough to engineer. :)
 

forthpilot

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Messages
59
Thanks to all who advised. 8 mm wooden dowel sanded a flat until good fit, wrapped dowel in cling film, good fit. Small amount of epoxy and inserted the dowel. Good release as I had sprayed the cling film with silicone lubricant, very pleased with the result.
 
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