How-to Guide on Residential Solar Fridge

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EscapePod

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Joined
Jul 18, 2019
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2
Hello,
I have spent a few hours researching, but I am having a hard time figuring out what to do step by step. I removed a broken 2-way fridge and want to install a residential fridge (most likely one of the 3.2 Retro ones). Mostly, I'm ok with using it as a cooler during road travel. However, I'd like to consider buying a solar kit but then do I need an inverter? (which brings the cost back up to a 2 way fridge) or just a solar kit and which one? Also do I need another battery, will I need it to be near the fridge? Basically if anyone can tell me step by step what to do and what to buy to install this little fridge and get it going solar as inexpensively as possible, that would be so helpful! Otherwise I will just unplug during travel. Thank you!
Linda
 

EscapePod

New member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Posts
2
Hi thanks for your response! I'm not sure how to find the current draw, do you mean of my old fridge or the new one I intend to buy? I don't have batteries besides the one on the front of the trailer next to the propane tanks and I dont know what you mean by charging circuit. I guess you can see why I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do. Thanks for your patience!
 

darsben

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Joined
May 30, 2018
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2,597
Location
Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
The current draw of the new fridge should be on a plate on the new fridge.
Is the battery on the front of the trailer a 12 volt deep cycle type (marine)
Do you have a 12 volt power line running from your tow vehicle to the trailer to keep the battery charged while traveling?


 

Rene T

Site Team
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May 20, 2011
Posts
19,487
Location
Farmington NH
While traveling down the road there is no 110 Volt AC power in the RV so you would need a invertor to change 12 Volt DC power to 110 Volt AC power for the fridge.
 

schwyl

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Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Posts
46
Sorry Im a little late to this thread. But you could look at https://uniqueoffgrid.com/ they have 12vdc full size fridge and freezers
 

garyb1st

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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Posts
4,121
Location
Southern California
Residential and Solar Fridges are not the same thing.  A true solar refrigerator can be run directly from a 12V battery.  We have one and it is wired directly to the battery.  No Inverter needed.  A Residential will require a source of 120V while you are traveling.  You will need an Inverter for that.   
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
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2,448
Location
Albuquerque, NM
EscapePod said:
tell me step by step what to do and what to buy to install this little fridge and get it going solar as inexpensively as possible,
There is nothing simple or inexpensive when running residential refrigerators on solar/battery.  You sure you still want to go down that road?

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

ClassyC

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Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Posts
63
Location
Western NY
I bookmarked this site awhile ago with good prices on 12v fridges.  They have a number of warehouses around the country if you want to save shipping.  The 12v fridges don?t have quite the cooling power of a residential but no inverter and they use about 1/2 the power of a residential so less solar or charging needed.
https://bensdiscountsupply.com/solar-refrigerator/
 

Drifterrider

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Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Posts
155
What you are really looking for is a 12V refrigerator.  Solar doesn't power equipment, it charges batteries.
How often will you use it?  Weekends or?  How much amperage (amp hours) does it draw?  Can you recharge your batteries at home and then plug in when you are ready to go?
Is this for a camper?  If so, can you add a solenoid to your tow vehicle so it will also charge the coach battery (house battery) while driving?

What prices are you seeing for the refrigerator you want?  Dometic 12V compressor refrigerators seem to have a good reputation.  So do Wynter (sounds like winter, not sure on the spelling).

If you are only using it some time, you might look into a good 12V battery, inverter and college dorm room refrigerator from a big box or DIY store.

There are lots of solutions. 

 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
11,791
If you're happy with the condition and size of your current fridge, http://jc-refrigeration.com/ makes a 12 volt compressor driven conversion kit.  It's similar to installing a new absorption cooling unit except you install a 12 volt compressor based cooling unit.
 

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