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Old 05-22-2024, 09:55 PM   #1
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Need more juice!

Well, I was hoping that my fancy, overpriced Isotherm fridge would have been more efficient...
The ARB Elements that I've been using in the back of my Landcruiser for the last five years will run for nearly five days before throwing a low voltage warning. That's off of a single Odyssey 2150!
This new fridge in the van won't run over night on a fully charged 210ah Lifeline 4D.
I was hoping the 180 watts of Zamp panels on the roof would be enough to keep her charged during the day, and it seems to be doing ok, but the draw is just too much overnight.
Watching the volt meter, it's close.
So...
More power!!
Seems that the under floor storage in the back is just about the perfect spot to mount another Lifeline 4D.
I'm just going to run them in series, so it'll be an easy wiring job.
I hate burning up this much storage, but for what I keep in there, I think we'll be fine.
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Old 05-23-2024, 06:17 AM   #2
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Ok, do not run your new battery in series with the older battery. Running it in series will turn your system into a 24 volt system (series - doubles voltage) 24 volt 210 Ah, (parallel doubles current), 12 volt 420 Ah. How old is the original battery?



The first thing I would look at is available airflow for the fridge, these things are notoriously lacking good ventilation. What setting to you have the fridge set at?

Next, invest in a battery monitor. It will allow you to actual see current usage for the fridge, and monitor SOC more accurately. This is even more important if you double the battery bank, much easier to get behind the charge curve. Remember AGM batteries like to be brought back to 100% as soon as possible.
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Old 05-23-2024, 06:28 AM   #3
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Something is wrong if you can't run a fridge (average 4a/hr pull usually?) for a night with a 210ah battery.

"Watching the volt meter, it's close."

If you are watching a volt meter only is it possible you are seeing that low voltage only when the fridge compressor is cycling (as in on)? If so this is not an accurate measure of your battery's state of charge.
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Old 05-23-2024, 07:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
Something is wrong if you can't run a fridge (average 4a/hr pull usually?) for a night with a 210ah battery.
Agreed, I would focus on discovering how much power the fridge is using and why. The uprights will never come close to a chest type, but should not be that bad. What model fridge do you have? the 130's are pretty bad for airflow. The actual current should will be determined by the speed resister value in the thermostat circuit. The cycle will be determined by thermostat settings. I believe stock is usually set for 3000 RPM which ends up being around 4 amps as 86scotty said.
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Old 05-23-2024, 08:11 AM   #5
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Also wondering what "fully charged" means? What is condition of the 4D?

Full charge on a proper charger for 24 hrs, then let it rest with no loads or charge for 6 to 12 hrs. Then take a voltage reading - 12.7vdc or better is a full battery. . Better yet, get a battery monitor (Victron Smart Shunt w bluetooth, is good) and get some realtime/real use current readings.
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Old 05-23-2024, 12:03 PM   #6
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The fridge is an Isotherm DR130.
It has exceptional ventilation out the back of the cabinet and has a substantial fan onboard.
I'm monitoring voltage with a Victron battery monitor mounted at the house battery.
The existing house battery is less than a year old, has been tested and is at 100%

I miss typed when I said "wiring in series and not parallel"
My bad
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Old 05-23-2024, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXDave View Post
The fridge is an Isotherm DR130.
It has exceptional ventilation out the back of the cabinet and has a substantial fan onboard.
I'm monitoring voltage with a Victron battery monitor mounted at the house battery.
The existing house battery is less than a year old, has been tested and is at 100%

I miss typed when I said "wiring in series and not parallel"
My bad
Something is wrong. I have an ancient Norcold and it will run for 1.5 to 2 days on 100 Ah, depending on the ambient temperature. It pulls 3.5 amps while running. Either your battery capacity isn't what you think it is, or your fridge is pulling an entirely unreasonable amount of power. To drain 210 Ah in a day you'd have to be pulling nearly 10 amps continuously.
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Old 05-23-2024, 09:45 PM   #8
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I looked up your fridge at the West Marine site. They show the power draw as an average of 1.5 Amp/h at 12 v DC. This is close to what other modern 12 volt fridges use. Your Victron meter should be able to show you the amp draw.
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Old 05-24-2024, 11:11 PM   #9
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measure the voltage at the battery terminals while charging. You need to see 14.4 volts, if your battery isnt reaching 14.4 volts its not being fully charged.

Most solar controllers are always reading too high (due to voltage drop) , what theis does is undercharge the battery.
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Old 05-30-2024, 10:06 AM   #10
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I've been super happy with my Engel fridge. My 45 liter fridge uses about 0.7Amps and reviews talk about them lasting 20 years or more. I've had mine for 4 years and it is one of the best things I've put in my van.
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