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Author Topic: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?  (Read 1954 times)

WILDEBILL308

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Re: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2017, 06:44:30 PM »
Good point Bill.  Make me wonder if the reports I have seen of the fridge "cooling" AC power" going through the inverter are because the cords are switched between the ice maker AC plug and the fridge cooling AC plug.
I bet they are complaining that it doesn't make ice on gas. ;)
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

ziplock

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Re: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2017, 11:27:21 AM »
as overwhelming as some of this stuff seems at times it is kinda fun.. and we are really looking forward to rv'ing..

I agree with that statement from @mauleman
2018 Chateau 22r New  to  This! May 2017
Wish we were retired!

Trivet

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Re: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2017, 05:38:28 PM »
Quote
I have a four-door Norcold refrigerator and it uses 1/2 gallon of propane a day, which is more than I expected.  Since the OP's refrigerator looks to be about half the size of mine, I'd make a wild guess that it uses about 1/4 gallon/day.
That does seem excessive. Are you sure it isn't a 1/2 lb rather than  a 1/2 gallon? The flame isn't much bigger than an oven pilot light.

Of course, temperature in the RV and door-open frequency can have a big effect on consumption rates.

I have an onboard propane tank on my motorhome, and it's always measured in gallons, so yes, it's 1/2 gallon and not 1/2 pound.  And I'm not sure why we're comparing the propane used by a water heater to an oven pilot light.

I gathered the data two different times and the results were the same both times.  And it matches less carefully observed times. 

I'm not a maniac about keeping the door shut, but we don't naturally stand there and stare inside with the doors open.  And the usages were measured when we were boondocking without air conditioning or heat, so moderate temperatures, but with relatively high humidity, over several weeks.

AStravelers

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Re: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?
« Reply #33 on: December 24, 2017, 09:16:30 AM »
That does seem excessive. Are you sure it isn't a 1/2 lb rather than  a 1/2 gallon? The flame isn't much bigger than an oven pilot light.

Of course, temperature in the RV and door-open frequency can have a big effect on consumption rates.


I have an onboard propane tank on my motorhome, and it's always measured in gallons, so yes, it's 1/2 gallon and not 1/2 pound.  And I'm not sure why we're comparing the propane used by a water heater to an oven pilot light.

I gathered the data two different times and the results were the same both times.  And it matches less carefully observed times. 

I'm not a maniac about keeping the door shut, but we don't naturally stand there and stare inside with the doors open.  And the usages were measured when we were boondocking without air conditioning or heat, so moderate temperatures, but with relatively high humidity, over several weeks.
Thought you were taking about a refrigerator, not a water heater???   

A water heater may use 1/2 gallon an hour while the burner is on, although it seldom takes more than about 20 minutes to take the water from 60 degrees to 140 degrees.  Most people don't leave their water heater on propane 24/7.  Usually just turn it on shortly before needing hot water. 

A gas/elect fridge will not empty a 14 gallon propane tank in 2 weeks if that is the only thing using propane. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

Possum

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Re: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?
« Reply #34 on: December 24, 2017, 12:41:03 PM »
Okay!  The refrigerator is a Norcold. I took a picture of the fridge and the details on the inside. But maybe everyone's familiar with this one.

My hope is to start using the fridge soon. My RV is now pretty level after driving my right 2 tires up on blocks, so I just need to turn the propane on and the fridge will work? My propane tank says it's 3/4 full.
We have the same fridge in our Winnebago. We could use our tank for months on end just running the refrigerator. BTW that label reads 1500 BTU's per hour. 1 gallon of propane = 91,333 Btu. So a BBQ tank depending on size would contain 5, 10 20 0r 30X as many BTUs.
Denise and Dennis Dalla-Vicenza also Mizzi the Wonder Mutt
Traveling in a 1994 30 foot Winnebago Adventurer.
Towing a White Suzuki Grand Vitara
Home base somewhere on Vancouver Island BC

Trivet

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Re: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2017, 12:41:16 AM »
Thought you were taking about a refrigerator, not a water heater???   

Oops--you're right.  I meant refrigerator, not water heater.


A gas/elect fridge will not empty a 14 gallon propane tank in 2 weeks if that is the only thing using propane. 

Since my refrigerator uses 1/2 gallon per day, it will presumably empty a 14-gallon propane tank in 28 days, or 4 weeks.  That's for a four-door Norcold.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: How does a fridge work while I'm off-the-grid?
« Reply #36 on: December 25, 2017, 07:45:05 AM »
The Norcold 1200 uses 2400 btus/hr of flame time, and most of them run pretty much non-stop during the warmer daytime hours. However, they generally cycle on/off once the sun goes down, so the burner hours per day are likely to be in the range of 15-20. A gallon of pure propane has about 91,000 btus, so 2400/hr yields about 38 hours of burner run time. Using a half gallon per day implies the burner is on for 19 hours/day, which is on the high end but not out of the question.  LP with a high butane content has a higher btu/gallon so should last longer than LP that is 100% propane.

One major reason for poor fridge performance (and thus longer burner time) is poor sealing around the rear of the fridge, allowing hot air to surround the sides or top of the box.  Sadly, that installation flaw is all too common.  Another is leaky door seals which allow warm and moist air to enter the interior all day long.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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