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Old 04-26-2017, 05:26 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 40
Norcold Fridge Amp Draw?


I have an 120VAC/12VDC norcold refrigerator in my 1997 EB Sportsmobile. I don't have any paperwork on the refrigerator but I was hoping you guys might be able to help identify it. It is a larger norcold fridge (4CU FT i think). It uses the refrigerator handle as the door latch. Theres 2 or 3 shelfs inside and a decent sized freezer. Looks like the one in this picture:

Thats about all the information I have on it. Does anybody recognize this norcold fridge and know what model it is? Does anyone know the amp draw on this fridge on 12V?

I want to add solar panels to the van to keep the fridge running, but I need to figure out the power usage for this fridge first.

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Old 04-26-2017, 07:03 AM   #2
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Location: Beaverton, OR
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A 1998 manual says 4 amps, the harder part to figure out will be the cycle time. The hotter it is in the van, the higher the on time compared to the off time. If you started out with a 50/50 cycle you would be at 48 amps per day, which would be a good starting point. I think I would target around 75% for the added safety factor.

You can improve the cycle with better insulation, improvements to the airflow around compressor, fans, vents, etc.


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Old 04-26-2017, 09:28 AM   #3
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Location: San Francisco, CA
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Greg is right in the ballpark. We have a TruckFridge 4 cu.ft. One of things we have noticed with our set up - hot temps outside equal lower solar power generation from the panel than when it is cold.

Based on a year and half of heavy usage, we are really happy with the system we setup. Our 400 Ah plus AGM battery bank can carry us through three plus days of zero power generation from the 300 watt panel. With even a cloudy day the 300 watt panel keeps the 4 cu ft fridge and a 50 Qt. Chest fridge, we use as a freezer, going with no need to plug in or run the engine to charge. The system on normal days reaches float usually by 11 am.

I think 240 to 300 watts is a sweet spot for our rigs. Leaves space on the roof for other stuff and provides enough cushion in power generation for even overcast days. Conservatively, figure 60 to 80 amps of power per day from 300 watts of solar.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:14 PM   #4
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I think it is a Norcold DE-541.
1995 E250 2x SMB White Contempo Top Custom SMB Interior 5.8L (351) 69K miles
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:03 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rnj View Post
I think it is a Norcold DE-541.
If so the owner's manual (along with many other models) can be found here:
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12v fridge, ac dc, norcold, refrigerator

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