bob day wrote:
Easy stopped being a descriptor for this process as soon as I saw the brazing torch on one of the videos. I'll settle for "possible" with someone to install the compressor for a reasonable rate
bob day wrote:I finally gave up on finding a used refrigerator to convert. I know there are likely a million of them somewhere, and I had asked to be notified when an installer/sales guy might find one with a bad compressor, but otherwise in good shape, but after a year of waiting nothing. Anyway, long story short I bought 8 -100 AH batteries, a 6000 watt inverter and a regular ac refrigerator relatively small-14 cu ft-. with the plan of running it mostly during the day while the solar panels were producing and turning it off or down overnight without opening doors so it used as little battery power as possible. One thing and another and a stupid mistake blew a protection circuit in the brand new fridge and I have yet to repair it. New fridges don't just have a reset button, rather a complicated relay with computer chips so the supplemental system and operation has yet to be fully vetted. My 3000 watt inverter on my 12v house system could run it (before the stupid mistake), but the batteries dropped to 10v while it was on, so whether this will work is still a big question (I think this one is about 600w also) . and the conversion idea is still in my mind if this system fails.
When I was contacting dealers for the alternate refrigerant compressors I was told they needed to know the details/ model of the refrigerator I was converting and got the idea that it wasn't so much limited by size or wattage, just a question of matching them up.
I found the original dc -isopropene compressors on ebay, but likely there are many other sources
hmm .. sounds like the defrost cycle is kicking in. It generally lasts for about 2 minutes at start up then shuts down and you just have compressor draw which is lower. I have seen where the sleep mode on the inverter can do weird things to the fridge circuit board. Modern fridges have a small transformer on them which powers up, brings the inverter out of sleep mode, then the transformer cycles down causing a loop with the inverter, eventually the board or the inverter fry If your inverter has the option turn off the sleep mode function.
bob day wrote:I never did the conversion--yet-- At this point I don't feel like tearing apart a brand new refrigerator. Yes, it was energy star rated, which is why the tremendous energy draw surprised me so much. The salesman had talked about it drawing 300 watts and I didn't double check him so I'm still trying to figure the whole thing out-the label says 6.5 amps at full load- more like7- 800 watts, about three times what I was told it would be.
I'm hoping the new batteries will carry the full load better and the actual running load will drop after the box cools down, but i have to get it running first so I can try this new electrical system. If everything works ok then I won't fix what isn't broken. if not, the conversion may still be on the table. but likely not for a while.
This is really a project for the winter, so I will run my tests with this refrigerator through the summer and any alterations will have to wait.
bob day wrote:Wow David, sounds like you know your way around these complicated modern appliances.
That tragic mistake I spoke of that caused this beautiful refrigerator (whirlpool) to stop working was plugging it into a 220 volt inverter- yes, it's a 110 volt -I'll skip the song and dance that led to this tragic error, but I believe it fried the start relay So I have been focusing on replacing that and the capacitor associated with it. That's all I really know to do, so if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them
bob day wrote:Quick update. The new regular electric fridge is doing fine, looks like it will be viable with the batteries and solar panels dedicated to it.
The batteries are reading at 26 plus all day with occasional ventures into the 27 range, and most of the day it was running, bringing the box down to temperature.
I'm not going to disable the propane fridge right away, but I have started to transfer some of the stuff. Most important will be how well the freezer holds temperature overnight with the fridge switched off. I expect partial sunlight days will also give me vital information about battery status,
These details may not be as relevant to this conversion thread, but since I broached that topic earlier explaining my lack of work on the conversion I though it good to keep everything up to date. Assuming the tests on this "normal" 110 v ac fridge continue to be good it will be a long time -hopefully- before I have to deal with this again--unless a used fridge falls into my lap, then I might not be able to resist the temptation.
By the way, even though the maximum load spelled out 6.5 amps, it looks like most of the run time was working at about 1.6 amps @ 120 v, closer to 200 watts, which was what I expected.
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