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Old 10-02-2014, 08:37 AM   #41
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Just a quick update -- I'll be flying out to ETI next Thursday to finalize our build sheet and to discuss fridge issues/options. One may very well be a NovaKool. I'll keep the forum posted as to how this is resolved.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:41 PM   #42
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Got this today. Asked Nova Kool about energy consumption for RFU 6800 with ambient temperatures at 90-100 degrees F, the fridge fairly full, and quickly opened a few times per day:

The fridge is going to run full time at those high ambient.

It will draw around 5-5.5 amps on 12 volt so the consumption for 24 hrs could be as high as 132 amps
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Old 10-02-2014, 11:57 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie beers View Post
Got this today. Asked Nova Kool about energy consumption for RFU 6800 with ambient temperatures at 90-100 degrees F, the fridge fairly full, and quickly opened a few times per day:

The fridge is going to run full time at those high ambient.

It will draw around 5-5.5 amps on 12 volt so the consumption for 24 hrs could be as high as 132 amps
Yes, it is important to consider worst case situations. I believe the best candidates for DC refrigerators are those with a lot of solar and battery capacity. I have two 95 watt panels and space for a 100 in front of my Maxifan, a commercial solar charge controller squeezing every last bit of charge from the panels and 4 six volt Interstate batteries; 232 amps per battery so at 12 volts that would be 464 amps. When it is really hot the panels are charging well over 10 amps. With the DC refer I would be powering that unit and also putting about 5 amps of charge on the batteries while the sun is up. For about 13 hours when the sun is down with no charge, if the night was really hot and the refer was continuously drawing 5 amps the total draw that night would be about 65 amps. I surely have that and much more available. My worry would be when I travel North and experience several overcast days in a row. It would be cooler so the refer would probably be on a 50% or less duty cycle but I just don't know.

However, we can only speculate because we don't have any hard evidence with one of our trailers. Currently I have a 4.3 that does not cool well in hot temps. I've wanted a larger refer since I bought my trailer 2 years ago so if I go with the Novakool RFU 6800 I get a larger, much better cooling unit. Tonight I made some last measurements and the Novakool unit will go in with some minor woodwork and finishing..and will fit through the door.... Additionally I will highly insulate the venting area in back and the sides. These are made to order and lead time is 4 weeks. I may pull the trigger this month for a late November installation. Like I stated before I will start a new thread on this installation.

Steve
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:03 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie beers View Post
Got this today. Asked Nova Kool about energy consumption for RFU 6800 with ambient temperatures at 90-100 degrees F, the fridge fairly full, and quickly opened a few times per day:

The fridge is going to run full time at those high ambient.

It will draw around 5-5.5 amps on 12 volt so the consumption for 24 hrs could be as high as 132 amps
I'm looking at their R5810, which is plenty big for us at 5.8 cubic feet. Max amp draw is 4.4. Also, despite what NovaKool may have told you, even in high ambient temps, the compressor will not run constantly. In 70 degrees, compressor fridges of this size run about 30% of the time. At 90 degrees, that would increase to somewhere in the 60-70% range. We plan on a solar setup similar to the one used by hotfishtacos, with quad batteries and plenty of solar. Using these numbers as a rough estimate, during hot periods we'll use around 60 amps per day for the fridge, but we'll have about 460 amp hour capacity, and about 250-300 amp hours useable. Additionally, the batteries will not be depleted on a constant, because the solar panels will be charging them during daylight. Add all this up and we may be able to boondock with an ac/dc fridge for up to a week -- and more when its cooler. If it turns out to be less, (aka worst case scenario), we'll find a site with hookups, since we're not dedicated boondockers anyway. I think its totally doable and practical.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:09 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
I'm looking at their R5810, which is plenty big for us at 5.8 cubic feet. Max amp draw is 4.4. Also, despite what NovaKool may have told you, even in high ambient temps, the compressor will not run constantly. In 70 degrees, compressor fridges of this size run about 30% of the time. At 90 degrees, that would increase to somewhere in the 60-70% range. We plan on a solar setup similar to the one used by hotfishtacos, with quad batteries and plenty of solar. Using these numbers as a rough estimate, during hot periods we'll use around 60 amps per day for the fridge, but we'll have about 460 amp hour capacity, and about 250-300 amp hours useable. Additionally, the batteries will not be depleted on a constant, because the solar panels will be charging them during daylight. Add all this up and we may be able to boondock with an ac/dc fridge for up to a week -- and more when its cooler. If it turns out to be less, (aka worst case scenario), we'll find a site with hookups, since we're not dedicated boondockers anyway. I think its totally doable and practical.
The R5810 is 23 1/4" wide and my doorway is 22" so it would not be an option for me. I chose mine because it fits, is larger and has a big freezer. Make sure your door is wide enough to remove it for service later if needed.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:18 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotfishtacos View Post
Yes, it is important to consider worst case situations. I believe the best candidates for DC refrigerators are those with a lot of solar and battery capacity. I have two 95 watt panels and space for a 100 in front of my Maxifan, a commercial solar charge controller squeezing every last bit of charge from the panels and 4 six volt Interstate batteries; 232 amps per battery so at 12 volts that would be 464 amps. When it is really hot the panels are charging well over 10 amps. With the DC refer I would be powering that unit and also putting about 5 amps of charge on the batteries while the sun is up. For about 13 hours when the sun is down with no charge, if the night was really hot and the refer was continuously drawing 5 amps the total draw that night would be about 65 amps. I surely have that and much more available. My worry would be when I travel North and experience several overcast days in a row. It would be cooler so the refer would probably be on a 50% or less duty cycle but I just don't know.

However, we can only speculate because we don't have any hard evidence with one of our trailers. Currently I have a 4.3 that does not cool well in hot temps. I've wanted a larger refer since I bought my trailer 2 years ago so if I go with the Novakool RFU 6800 I get a larger, much better cooling unit. Tonight I made some last measurements and the Novakool unit will go in with some minor woodwork and finishing..and will fit through the door.... Additionally I will highly insulate the venting area in back and the sides. These are made to order and lead time is 4 weeks. I may pull the trigger this month for a late November installation. Like I stated before I will start a new thread on this installation.

Steve
Thank you for this analysis Steve, and I think you're spot on. I'll be in Chilliwack next Friday, but I have a little side trip scheduled at NovaKool while I'm in the area. Depending on what I find out at ETI, I may very well return having placed an order for a NovaKool, and will supply it to ETI if it comes to that. Would I prefer a 3-way fridge if it worked well? Of course. It gives us more flexibility. But anyone who's been following these fridge threads knows the 4.3 and 6.7 DON'T work well in high temps, and are only marginal in cooler climates. Unless ETI changes the fridge models they offer, going AC/DC for us is a no-brainer.

Oh, and thanks for the tip about size.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:19 AM   #47
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I think that sounds like an exciting project. I look forward to following your installation. With 2 160 watt panels and 2 six volt batteries I could do it in summer sun. I'd probably prefer the wiggle room you have with 4 six volt batteries for other unknown times, as you mention.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:22 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Also, despite what NovaKool may have told you, even in high ambient temps, the compressor will not run constantly. In 70 degrees, compressor fridges of this size run about 30% of the time. At 90 degrees, that would increase to somewhere in the 60-70% range.
Without any personal experience with the mechanics involved, I am most comfortable following the information provided by the manufacturer.
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:25 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Thank you for this analysis Steve, and I think you're spot on. I'll be in Chilliwack next Friday, but I have a little side trip scheduled at NovaKool while I'm in the area. Depending on what I find out at ETI, I may very well return having placed an order for a NovaKool, and will supply it to ETI if it comes to that. Would I prefer a 3-way fridge if it worked well? Of course. It gives us more flexibility. But anyone who's been following these fridge threads knows the 4.3 and 6.7 DON'T work well in high temps, and are only marginal in cooler climates. Unless ETI changes the fridge models they offer, going AC/DC for us is a no-brainer.

Oh, and thanks for the tip about size.
Bryan, I don't think you need the AC/DC option. It cost a few hundred dollars more to get AC. DC should work fine because you will always be on the charging system when plugged into AC. Just always run off the batteries... Have a good trip and of course we want a trip report!

Steve
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Old 10-03-2014, 12:28 AM   #50
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Bryan, I don't think you need the AC/DC option. It cost a few hundred dollars more to get AC. DC should work fine because you will always be on the charging system when plugged into AC. Just always run off the batteries... Have a good trip and of course we want a trip report!

Steve
Good point. Cost difference in adding the ac converter is steep.
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