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SunDanzer 12 VT Freezer

 
gardener
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Hi All;
The truck arrived today!  Our new 12 volt chest Freezer is here!  It wasn't supposed to arrive until Monday!

A SunDanzer DCF 390 10 -31 vt chest freezer!
Uses 800 watt hrs a day or 67 amp hrs at 12 vt!
Almost 4" of insulation. 14.7 cubic feet
Runs on a 275 watt array!
Not cheap @  $1650 delivered... worth every penny to us!

Currently the 600 watts of solar panels that are supposed to run this freezer, are snow bound and will not get up on the roof until late spring.
Meanwhile , for tonight I stole the battery from my work car. Hooked it up to the freezer and the compressor started running!
A small high frequency 4 amp battery charger that is hooked into my house power, will keep it charged.
We are heading out in just a bit to transfer the food over!!!   No more Power sucker freezer!

Tomorrow we head into Missoula . A pair of 220 amp hr 6 vt battery's will come home.
That same charger will keep them charged until the solar panels get installed.
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As it arrived off the semi
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looks bigger than the old one
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waiting to be filled
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waiting to be filled
 
pollinator
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Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
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Very nice!  Glad to hear more about how it does for you!
 
thomas rubino
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4 Hours after turning it on, temp was 8 F with an empty box.
Didn't take long to transfer food over from the old one to the new.  Helped that we just unloaded it after Christmas to move it home. All the questionable stuff went away.
This morning temps are 8-10 F and the battery's are fully charged! Hoo Ray!!!  
Using the high frequency trickle charger is working great!
Off to Missoula this morning to buy a pair of 6vt deep cycle battery's.  
And oh yeah  it's Valentines day ...Think I'll take my sweety out for dinner!
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Happy Happy !
Happy Happy !
 
thomas rubino
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Brought home the new 220 amp hr 6 vt battery,s last night.  
Got the old freezer out the door and the new freezer slid into place.
Temperature has been solid at 10 -12 F.
If I move my wireless sender lower in the freezer I get readings closer to zero, but the sender quits sending.
New battery's all hooked up.   4 Amp charger back in place.
My work car has its battery back!

It's so cool to NOT need to run the genset just to keep the freezer cold!!!


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The Sundanzer , In its new home
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Jury rigged car battery
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Real off grid battery's
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On the job
 
pollinator
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Man, you sound so HAPPY!   That freezer looks to be heading into a long and honorable life of hard freezing! <g>

Congrats.
Rufus
 
Phil Gardener
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Looking really good!  What temps can the freezer handle in the room?  Can you put it in an untempered space to reduce your energy demand in the winter?
 
thomas rubino
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Hey Phil;  Pretty much whatever temps we get, is OK.  Its in a barn.
Owners Manual said if room temp was colder than freezer, (why would it bother me ?)  I could turn the thermostat warmer...
And this summer when its 95 + I might need to turn it colder... Well geez who would have thought ? :)
It will hardly run much at all in winter.
In the summer , 600 watts of panels will keep it as frozen as in winter!

Rufus;  I can't begin to say how happy we are!!!
We have waited a long time to have our big freezer at home!
Running it with just a battery charger is working out better than expected.
This freezer is just Awesome!

For those of you on grid power. Imagine having one of these , innocently running on a  car battery.  
When the storm knocks out your power for 3 days... Might come in handy.

When I get time I will put it on the gear review page and give it ten out of ten!
 
Phil Gardener
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That sounds cool!  :>)

 
pollinator
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Thomas, this sounds so great. I think you'll love this freezer well into the future. We have had ours now for quite some time and are still totally happy with it.
 
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Don't put those PV panels on the roof if you live in snow country. Better to have them on a ground rack where you can keep the snow swept off them. You can use the power in winter to run other loads and put your food into a cooler in an outdoor shed or entryway. An advantage to living in a refrig for several months of the year ;>).
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Larisa;  
Thank you for your thoughts. There is a good reason for me to put those panels up high. All my panels are.
Called open range... cattle can stop by and visit any time they want. Moose, deer , elk , any of them could decide to scratch up against a panel rack.The results would be not good.

This 600 watt system is strictly to run the freezer, its in a barn.  The barn already has 110 power from my house system(hydro) that supplys the lighting.
It's not practical to run my 12 vt  house power all the way out there, too much line loss.  
Giving the freezer its own 12 volt supply is the answer.  If the panels are snow covered then it must be cold...  freezers are cold... they go hand in hand.  
Come summer, when I need the power , there will not be any snow left on the roof.

Power draw on this freezer is so low that the 220 amp hrs of battery's will run it for weeks without the sun.
If it got really bad I would simply hook up the high frequency charger i'm using now to refresh the charge.

For those that can, a pole mounted sun tracking system is the way to go.
 
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I have always wondered whether my chest freezer would work ok if it is out in an unheated barn.  It has always been my understanding that they are designed to operate at room temperature, or not below 55 deg.  I think a techie told me that when I bought my chest freezer.  Has anyone had a problem with a fridge or freezer being in an outbuilding that goes down to 20 below?
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Alden;
I believe I have heard that in the past as well.  
I suspect it has something to do with the A/C motor , or possibly the amount of insulation in the box and how the compressor sheds its heat.
Might  be as simple as they wanted you to put in a basement where it remains cool and power consumption would remain low.

This 12 Vt Sundanzer with danfrost compressor specifically stated no problem with cold external temps.
 
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that's very nice but expensive, just wondering is there an advantage of having 12v freezer rather than just using a 12v to 110 inverter and running a 110 v super efficient freezer that is 1/3 the cost.
 
thomas rubino
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Hi Bruce;  
Main reason for us, is we shut off the power at night. Not a good idea in the summer with a 110 freezer.
I did search out super insulated chest freezers.  95% do not say how much insulation they use, just that they are very energy efficient.
I found one, that clearly stated 4" insulation , full size 110 chest freezer... a piddling $2200 + hmmm makes $1650 seem down rite reasonable.

Do you know of a true super insulated 110 make & model?  
My on grid friends are jealous of my new freezer but don't want to bother with running one 12 vt. They would love a good 110 choice.  
 
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If function over fashion is the main concern and its sitting in your basement away from visual, then why couldn't a person just put rigid foam on the outside to super insulate it?
 
pollinator
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Gerry Parent wrote:If function over fashion is the main concern and its sitting in your basement away from visual, then why couldn't a person just put rigid foam on the outside to super insulate it?



Gerry, I wondered this as well. I did some research a while back and it turns out chest freezers "hot" coils are on the outside of the insulation against the typically metal skin in order to shed heat. You would need to dismantle the freezer, pull the hot coils away, add insulation, and then reassemble.

Something I have not entirely talked myself out of yet. I have this idea in the back of my head kicking around to try and get an older freezer and do just that, only swapping out the compressor for a DC one that is rated for the voltage of my solar setup. Then I would have it recharged and be good to go. Probably a lot more effort than it's worth in the long run.

 
Gerry Parent
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Now that you mention it, I do recall feeling heat on some parts of the exterior metal skin on my grandmas freezer a long time ago. Always a good idea to make sure an 'improvement' doesn't end up biting you in the rear without knowing the dynamics of how things work.
 
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