How's your Fridges doing?

wildebus

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Today was the hottest day in Scotland for 116 years - measured around 13 miles from me as well and it did feel a little warm today.

This is a screenshot of the Weather Station in the garden (Temp in Fahrenheit) ....
1631131940703.png

I'm finding instead of the usual on/off cycle of around 25-33% on/ 75-66% off, the fridge compressor is staying on a lot longer, which I am not that surprised about.
1631132454502.png

But .... from what I understand it is a small price to pay, and a 3-way Absorption Fridge will just not be able to keep anything cold at the sort of temperatures we have got in the last couple of days? Is that correct? Or a bit of an exaggeration?
 

2cv

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I have an absorption fridge and it’s always coped fine. Recently it was taking longer to cool on gas, but a new burner unit and clean and it’s certainly able to cope even in hot weather. For small vans with little room for batteries it’s really the only viable choice if spending several days off grid in the winter.
 

Lefty107

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Today was the hottest day in Scotland for 116 years - measured around 13 miles from me as well and it did feel a little warm today.

This is a screenshot of the Weather Station in the garden (Temp in Fahrenheit) ....
View attachment 60978

I'm finding instead of the usual on/off cycle of around 25-33% on/ 75-66% off, the fridge compressor is staying on a lot longer, which I am not that surprised about.
View attachment 60979

But .... from what I understand it is a small price to pay, and a 3-way Absorption Fridge will just not be able to keep anything cold at the sort of temperatures we have got in the last couple of days? Is that correct? Or a bit of an exaggeration?
While I am having problems on gas on mains today it was regeristering 36 in the van and 14 in the fridge on mains. Due to problems I have a portable thermostat in the fridge with an internal and external reading. When I checked the fridge the ice was still frozen in the freezer compartment so must have gone up quite quickly. I opened the roof vents to cool the interior and the temperature dropped to 25 reasonably quickly with the fridge following down to 5 within an hour. This an absorbtion fridge.
 

Markd

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1,063
@wildebus
At least with these very sunny days you get plenty of solar harvest to drive the fridge.
I take it that you didn't drop battery charge during the day?
It's still 80⁰ F in my dining room now and we've had some rain this evening.
It would be interesting to hear whether hot overnight dents your batteries.
 

wildebus

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@wildebus
At least with these very sunny days you get plenty of solar harvest to drive the fridge.
I take it that you didn't drop battery charge during the day?
It's still 80⁰ F in my dining room now and we've had some rain this evening.
It would be interesting to hear whether hot overnight dents your batteries.
You would think so, but according to the weather station, solar irradiation maxed at 800W/m2 (a PV Panels Wattage is based on 1000W/m2).
I've been plugged in so can't be sure what solar would have done but yes, I would expect it would have kept up if not shaded (parked north of tall house and big fit tree to the west so I don't actually get good solar at home hence why I plug in)

I have a fan in my electrics locker that comes on at 28C. with the current weather it has been on most of the day just moving air.
 

Wully

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You canny beat a gas fridge nae worries about hook ups solar or batteries plenty off cheap lpg about run on gas and sleep at night and worry about something else like is my beer gonna be too cold. I always find my fridge works best on gas and that goes back 30 years of experience with caravans and motorhomes.
 

xsilvergs

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Our Thetford 3-way Fridge freezer has so far survived the hot (OAT 30*C) spell. The freezer has maintained -14*C and the fridge about +10*C (the fridge could possibly do better but somebody keeps opening the door to admire the contents).

With 750 watts of solar I run it on AC and over the last few days the heating element has been powered for this number of minutes, the best day being 507 minutes. That is a saving on gas!
1631173713304.png

Comparing my power consumption with that of wildebus at the start of this post gives some idea to the inefficiencies of a 3-way unit!

I was pleased to see that even though the inverter requires ~20 Amps DC to power the fridge, the solar could still capture enough to be putting ~10 Amps into the batteries at the same time. I find it a little disappointing that the 750 Watts of solar peaked at 439 Watts.
1631174141692.png

As an aside, after watching last nights news, has anyone here tried to heat their water from the heat exchanger on the fridge? A brewery were doing it.
 

wildebus

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Ref admiring the contents ... I've been stockng up the fridge and freezer ready for a long trip and working out where to put stuff (new unit so new gaps in shelves to work out how best to place things, etc) and it is remarkable how much "cold" is lost even for short door openings :(
Obviously exaggerated due to high difference in temps in and ambient, but makes you think how you use a fridge.
 

xsilvergs

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210
Ref admiring the contents ... I've been stockng up the fridge and freezer ready for a long trip and working out where to put stuff (new unit so new gaps in shelves, etc) and it is remarkable how much "cold" is lost even for short door openings :(
Obviously exaggerated due to high difference in temps in and ambient, but makes you think how you use a fridge.
I did consider making a couple of transparent flaps and hanging them from the the shelves as an attempt to reduce heat loss when the door is opened. Some form of lock may be a simpler idea.
 

Minisorella

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My 3-way fridge has always been truly amazing on gas, to the point where I normally have to turn it down to at least halfway to prevent it freezing everything in the fridge compartment! During that relentlessly hot week - July I think - I saw plenty of campers worried about their fridges struggling to cope. My over-enthusiastic little old fridge just needed turning up a notch or 2. Unintentionally frozen breakfast fruit, milk, lettuce and tomatoes notwithstanding, I know I'm really lucky with mine :giggle:
 

nabsim

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You canny beat a gas fridge nae worries about hook ups solar or batteries plenty off cheap lpg about run on gas and sleep at night and worry about something else like is my beer gonna be too cold. I always find my fridge works best on gas and that goes back 30 years of experience with caravans and motorhomes.
You can beat a three way by using a compressor fridge Wully however all your other comments are valid, you do need to be able to power them
 

El radge

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You can beat a three way by using a compressor fridge Wully however all your other comments are valid, you do need to be able to power them
Persuaded by arguments for compressor fridge , technically . As you say power source all important .
I'm sure , like many , I will stick with what I've got . Purely because it works for me
 

GreggBear

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I run a small domestic fridge off solar. 200w of panels charging 220ah of batteries but batteries seem to run down quickly, even after a long sunny day. Just put 2 more panels on roof & hoping to fit 2 more batteries soon.
 

nabsim

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Persuaded by arguments for compressor fridge , technically . As you say power source all important .
I'm sure , like many , I will stick with what I've got . Purely because it works for me
I always stick with what I got unless it gets to a point it doesn’t do what I need it to. Not one for changing something that works okay 👍
 

Steveandjulie

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We've recently fitted a 12 volt compressor fridge and have a 200ah lithium battery with a 80watt folding solar panel and have had no problems with the recent hot weather obviously the compressor kicked in more with the heat we noticed also that if we put stuff on the shelf above were the fridge is installed the fridge ran longer and items were warm so we keep the shelf clear on warm days and it's definitely increased efficiency
 

El radge

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We've recently fitted a 12 volt compressor fridge and have a 200ah lithium battery with a 80watt folding solar panel and have had no problems with the recent hot weather obviously the compressor kicked in more with the heat we noticed also that if we put stuff on the shelf above were the fridge is installed the fridge ran longer and items were warm so we keep the shelf clear on warm days and it's definitely increased efficiency
What is your normal travelling pattern ? Wilding mostly or campsites [EHU] ?
 
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wildebus

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Persuaded by arguments for compressor fridge , technically . As you say power source all important .
I'm sure , like many , I will stick with what I've got . Purely because it works for me
I would say it makes sense to stick with what you have if it works. A new 3-way fridge or a new 12V compressor fridge is not cheap and anywhere upto £2,000, so it is a pricey swap for the sake of it.

However ... If your fridge has failed and your are faced with having to get a replacement, then evaluating the options becomes worthwhile.

In my own case, the motorhome I bought 12 months came with a very nice Thetford 3-way fridge which worked fine. I had no intention of automatically replacing it, but at the same time I knew I would not spend significant money on any repairs to it should they be required.

It started playing up a few months ago and I got it working again but it was an annoyance and I decided to replace with a 240V Compressor Fridge/Freezer (after a few years experience of a 240V fridge in a Camper, I am perfectly happy with the idea and have the infrastructure to run it off-grid anyway).
it would have cost around £1,100 to fit a new 3-way or 12V Thetford fridge. It cost around £150 to replace the old (13 year old) fridge with a Brand-New 240V Fridge and for that cost, the improved piece of mind of running a Compressor Fridge, which are pretty well "plug in and forget" units, was worth it :)
 

Markd

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And I guess the sale of the old 3 way paid for everything with a bit leftover for beer to make sure the new one was working well 😀😀
 

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