Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-04-2015, 01:40 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
LenS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,181
Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

Found a 3.2 cubic foot Igloo refrig at Costco for $100 that has an Energy Star rating of 219 Kw per year. That is ~100 less than what has been on the market the last several years. Thought that was within range of being made workable for a van refrig. Thought I might be able to reduce that rating by 20-30% and then with a relatively efficient small inverter get something that would run off of my 12 volt batteries for a couple of days.

I over achieved . Got a 60% reduction in power consumption. My modified refrig. uses 87Kw per year (on 110 volts AC) and that translates into 20 Ah per 24 hours of use at 73F ambient.

I have two inverters in the van, a 1000 watt Tripp Lite and 100 watt rebuilt no name. Both modified sine wave. Discovered that the 100 watt one that cost me $20 doesn't work. So have on order a 150 watt AIMS sine inverter with only 0.4 amp idle draw. Should work fine with the refrig. The max start up wattage I have seen on the refrig. was 130 watts that dropped to 55 watts in less than a second.

I estimate that the refrig [20Ah]w the AIMS 150w inverter [11Ah] should use about 31Ah per day at 73F ambient.

Just ran the refrig for 24 hours in the van using the 1000 watt modified sine wave Tripp Lite and it worked fine. Freezer section 22F and refrig section 43F.

Now have $113 into the project. $100 for the refrig and $13 for a 4'x8' sheet of 1/2" insulation. Not counting the $60 new AIMS inverter.
__________________

__________________
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
LenS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 01:58 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
rockbender's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 799
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

That is astonishing and goes against what everyone was always preaching about the 12v vs 120v fridges! Thanks for sharing that result - it may change the way many go about this. Please keep us posted on the performance as you put it though the paces this summer.

You must have a battery monitor in the van I assume?
__________________

__________________
Josh
2009 Express AWD, CCV Top & 50-ish home build. Daily driver/camper/kid hauler
rockbender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 02:02 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
rallypanam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: San Francisco/Nevada City
Posts: 3,678
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

So how did you reduce consumption by 60%?
rallypanam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 02:16 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
LenS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,181
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator










Never have found that the freezer is very effective at really freezing something
So one thing was to modify it so that it is a real freezer





Installation plan...to preserve 5" side wall clearance.

Installation started.
__________________
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
LenS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 04:45 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
1der's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 2,001
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

Hey LenS, awesome eval and write up. Always wondered about these "dorm" fridges and their use in an RV application.

One thing to look at is the mounting of the "guts" to make sure they are vibration and rough road tolerant. There is probably some way of beefing up what is there.

Cool!

Ray
__________________
Ray
Beastie 3: 2002 7.3 EB Cargo: Agile TTB, CCV Mid Top, Custom Walk Through, Lots of stuff added. BlingMyRig.com
1der is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 05:58 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Oregon Ciry Oregon
Posts: 2,455
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

Looks great. An efficient mod. Are you going to put a wood facing on the door to cover the insulation? The pink looks out of place in your rig.
__________________
"A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points but it is by no means the most interesting". Jon Pertwee as Dr. Who, The Time Warrior.
larrie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2015, 07:16 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
LenS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,181
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

Will do something, not sure what yet. I might add another 1/2" of insulation to the top and then cover with wood for more counter space. Could also do the same thing with the door. My impression was that the door was the least insulated part of the refrigerator.

I really wanted to strip the skin of the refrig and move the cooling coils out and put another 1/2" of insulation between them and refrig. My impression is the OEM insulation was expanded in place and is VERY tenacious. I would probably destroy the refrig trying to get the skin off. So, plan 'B' was to insulate everywhere I could but where heat exchange coils were buried under the skin.
__________________
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
LenS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2015, 06:48 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 533
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

That is astonishing. If it holds up you may have started a small revolution. The cheapest 12 v fridge is 100's of dollars! Thanks for doing the work.

Hell, at that price might be worth buying something like that for the compressor only and building a super-insulated box.
witoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2015, 07:55 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
LenS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,181
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

The same thought crossed my mind. Energy Star rated refrigerators have had a 3 fold power reduction over the last 30 years so they are getting quite good. 2014 there was another required power reduction required to be badged as an Energy Star refrigerator and I think the 2015 models coming out reflect that.

I have two 115Ah 6 year old batteries in my van. I did a 24 hour use test using my 12 year old 1000 watt modified sine wave Tripp Lite (model PV1000HF). The average ambient temp was about 73F and inside the refrig was: 22F freezer, ~43F refrig. section. My house batteries were at 12.38 volts after resting 5 hours at the end of the 24 hour test. Looks like I could have run for two days. Will do that test next.

On the down side my AIMS 150w sine inverter came in the mail today and it IS NOT big enough to handle the refrigerator start up. Goes crazy. Will for now stick withe 1000w Tripp Lite even though its idle (no load) current drain is ~1.5 amps. If I could find an inverter that matches the refrig. I might only have a 0.2-0.4 amp idle drain and that would get me about 3+ days of running the refrig. off the batteries. Another day. Project now is to finish the refrig off and build it in to the van.

Some of my test data....
__________________
Len & Joanne

The Green TARDIS
LenS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2015, 05:23 AM   #10
JWA
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Posts: 2,304
Send a message via Yahoo to JWA
Re: Modified Energy Star 3.2 cu Refrigerator

Not to throw cold water on such a promising 'fridge install but I'd be concerned with vibrations from driving it around installed in a vehicle.

These were built for stationary locations and the refrigeration plumbing shows this. The "dangling" capillary tubing etc just won't hold up over time in a vehicle.

Were this my install I'd look at ways to better secure and support all lines leading to and away from the compressor.

Otherwise this is a very interesting approach---would be nice if it can become a workable new trick for keeping things cold!
__________________

JWA is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×