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Old 11-23-2017, 07:22 AM   #1
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What kind of appliances do you have?

Was wondering what people decided on as far as refrigerators; dorm room size or full size.. microwave or convection oven.. propane or electric/induction stove top etc.

I wanna get a induction stove top but am concerned about power usage. Any one go this route with a solar setup? Also interested in AC/heat setups
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:45 AM   #2
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I have my kitchen, have not installed yet. I have 10K diesel genny, so I went large.


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I got the induction hob- 220V. Dying to use it, never had one before. I will add a single propane burner just for fuel flexibility.
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:35 AM   #3
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I have a small two door Westinghouse refrigerator 120VAC, I guess you would call it apartment size. My microwave is also Westinghouse combination microwave/convection. I have two Burton 6200 cook tops.
I also have two Klimair 12,000 Btu mini split AC units.
My heat is in floor hydronic using an Espar boiler.

All of the 120VAC units run on my Xantrex 3000 sine inverter. The microwave is kind of a power hog draws 15A when running. The refrigerator is pretty efficient. The AC units are very efficient, the heat is complicated.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:14 PM   #4
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For the fridge I went with the Magic Chef 9.9 cu. ft. The water heater is the Excel low start up tankless water heater. Microwave is 700W (1000W) draw. For the oven and cook top it's the Camp Chief. Washer is Magic Chef 1.6 cu. ft. and then also the matching dryer.

Heat is a blue flame 30K BTU wall unit and cooling is four 5K BTU window units.
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Old 11-23-2017, 12:49 PM   #5
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We have a full size Maytag W/D, full size Frigidaire, an alcohol fired two burner stove, NO microwave - cancer causing agent, three small gensets - easy and cheap to replace, power beds to lift torso and feet - hey, we're getting older, two full size computers with printers, two A/C units - one 5K BTU and one 15K BTU, two 55 gallon fresh water tanks, one 55 gallon grey water tank, a dry toilet, full size shower, and an enclosed car carrier to second as my portable workshop on the road.

The A/C units I have - one is for a window, the other 15K BTU is a permanent installation in the lower cargo bay for driving down the road. I have a 6K watt inverter to power that A/C unit. I just need a 250 or 300 amp alternator to provide the power to the inverter. More on that later......

Hope this helps......

M
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Old 11-23-2017, 08:31 PM   #6
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I plan on using a 7 cu.ft. chest freezer as a fridge (a fridger) with an external digital thermostat. Its power consumption will be much less than even the most efficient upright fridge, and all the cold air won't fall out every time you open the door! Australians off the grid have embraced the concept of fridgers*, and my bus has plenty of solar power (just like many Australian bus conversions), so it should work well. At about $250 in total it's also MUCH cheaper than fancy 12VDC high-efficiency fridges. I'll run it from its own dedicated inverter, the smallest one that will start it, to avoid needing the big Magnum inverter on standby all the time.

Another incidental benefit of having a chest fridger is that I can have a single countertop (hinged to its lid) above it and the front-loading washer/dryer next to it, greatly extending the usable workspace in the kitchen area. Also, not having a tall upright fridge will make the kitchen appear less cluttered and more spacious.

With about 2kW of solar I really shouldn't be too concerned about power consumption, but why use more power than necessary? I want to be OK even if the sun doesn't shine for three days, so everything I can do to save power is worthwhile.

John

* http://www.mtbest.net/chest_fridge.html
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Old 11-23-2017, 09:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
I plan on using a 7 cu.ft. chest freezer as a fridge (a fridger) with an external digital thermostat. Its power consumption will be much less than even the most efficient upright fridge, and all the cold air won't fall out every time you open the door! Australians off the grid have embraced the concept of fridgers*, and my bus has plenty of solar power (just like many Australian bus conversions), so it should work well. At about $250 in total it's also MUCH cheaper than fancy 12VDC high-efficiency fridges. I'll run it from its own dedicated inverter, the smallest one that will start it, to avoid needing the big Magnum inverter on standby all the time.

Another incidental benefit of having a chest fridger is that I can have a single countertop (hinged to its lid) above it and the front-loading washer/dryer next to it, greatly extending the usable workspace in the kitchen area. Also, not having a tall upright fridge will make the kitchen appear less cluttered and more spacious.

With about 2kW of solar I really shouldn't be too concerned about power consumption, but why use more power than necessary? I want to be OK even if the sun doesn't shine for three days, so everything I can do to save power is worthwhile.

John

* Chest fridge
So, a decent plan, but there is a caveat.

The controllers are good (I have one), but they are really only good for one temperature, and that either has to be fridge or freezer. You can't do both easily. You will either freeze your milk or not get your frozen food cold enough to keep.

When they test appliances for Energy Star ratings, they find very little difference in overall power consumption between a vertical and horizontal fridge. I know this is counter-intuitive, right?

However, the thermal mass in a fridge is not held in the small amount of cold air that escapes, but in the chilled contents and the cabinet. Cooling down that small amount of air takes very little energy.

Energy saving is not a reason to do this. If you want "efficient", you would be better served by a modern standard domestic fridge/freezer, which also takes less floor space. This is pretty much what all RV makers are fitting these days. The 12/120V RV fridges are power hogs, and the efficient marine versions cost an arm and a leg.

That said, not everyone wants the same thing, and using a chest freezer, and enjoying the counter space is a good reason to use one.

But it's not about power saving.
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Old 12-25-2017, 06:33 AM   #8
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Been busy checkin out your builds. Very inspiring! Hope to here from more people...
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:24 AM   #9
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John is still in the win here because freezers have much more insulation that will save energy. Although you are right that not much energy is used to cool the fresh air it still amounts to something. A last good reason to keep the air inside is that the new air can have more moisture in it. To condense and freeze the moisture will take considerable energy and that in turn will reduce the efficiency of your cold plate.

Very fancy fridge / freezers boxes can be had from the restore at apex,nc do a search for envirocooler. $100 +shipp


merry Christmas

later J
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Old 12-25-2017, 01:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
John is still in the win here because freezers have much more insulation that will save energy. Although you are right that not much energy is used to cool the fresh air it still amounts to something. A last good reason to keep the air inside is that the new air can have more moisture in it. To condense and freeze the moisture will take considerable energy and that in turn will reduce the efficiency of your cold plate.

Very fancy fridge / freezers boxes can be had from the restore at apex,nc do a search for envirocooler. $100 +shipp


merry Christmas

later J
A typical upright fridge runs about 15 minutes per hour (or maybe more in hot weather if you keep opening the door frequently). A converted chest freezer used as a fridge runs about 2 to 3 minutes per hour. Twigg, how can this not be a saving?

John
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Old 12-25-2017, 01:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
A typical upright fridge runs about 15 minutes per hour (or maybe more in hot weather if you keep opening the door frequently). A converted chest freezer used as a fridge runs about 2 to 3 minutes per hour. Twigg, how can this not be a saving?

John
All I can tell you is that the Energy Star tests showed the savings to be marginal. Most fridges run a 25 to 30% duty cycle, so figure 30% for upright and 25% for chest.

There is a saving, it's not enough to spend time on.
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Old 12-25-2017, 03:04 PM   #12
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I am intrigued with this fridger idea.
Can it freeze and refrigerate ,or just refrigerate?
We currently use a 10 cu ft 110 volt fridge, it works well but I think it could be made more energy efficient.
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Old 12-25-2017, 04:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
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All I can tell you is that the Energy Star tests showed the savings to be marginal. Most fridges run a 25 to 30% duty cycle, so figure 30% for upright and 25% for chest.

There is a saving, it's not enough to spend time on.
Does Energy Star test chest freezers used as refrigerators? Unless they do, I don't see how a valid Energy Star comparison can be made.

Any upright fridge is an inherently illogical design. The only function of a fridge is to create cold air in an enclosed space, nothing more. If its door then allows all that cold air to fall out every time it's opened, I would question the logic of its design. Upright fridges are evidently designed for consumer appeal, not functional efficiency. I prefer machines that are designed more rationally. Le Courbusier said that a house is simply a machine for living in (and ergo a bus conversion is merely a mobile machine for living in), so by that same precept any appliance in such a house should also be designed first and foremost as a functional machine, not merely something to look pretty on a sales floor. It's the perennial argument of style versus substance, form versus function - I know which choice I will always prefer. My bus's interior aesthetic is strictly Bauhaus and entirely functional, and I expect everything in it to work accordingly. Energy consumed versus work produced is always the final arbiter, and especially for anything powered from my PV panels.

John
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Old 12-25-2017, 04:55 PM   #14
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I guess that depends on the components inside. Some compressors can run with as low as 40 watts, some 400+......

I got a heck of a deal from Suburban so I went with them.
Furnace: Suburban NT19-seq LP 19k btu
Water heater: Suburban SW6DE 6 gallon LP and electric
Stove: Suburban 2938 drop in cooktop

Fridge/ freezer: Whynter FM-62dz , 120ac and 12vdc. Not so much for the low wattage use, and chest style, but for the 12v dc feature. That way no inverter running unless on shore power. And if so, it will kick over to the 120 ac input.

Second heat: CubicMini Grizzly wood stove
Emergency heat: Buddy portable LP
Heat and AC on shore: Hitachi 12k mini split heat and ac unit
AC off grid: 6kbtu Hier window unit

Power
Predator 3500w inverter generator
4-300w solar panels (1.2kwatt)
8 duracell gc2 batteries 215ah each(860ah total)
AIMS 3kwatt/ 6kwatt inverter/ charger
Progressive Dynamics PD5000 power center.

To me its about choice. I want to be able to run things multiple ways and have backups for others. Once I finish this will be my home full time. I dont want to be forced to use one way only to meet my needs.

Doug
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:13 PM   #15
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I'm going with a Whynter chest style combo unit as well. Spoke with several blue water sailor types who have them and they were all absolutely impressed. A couple after three years. Good enough for me.
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:08 PM   #16
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I'm going with a Whynter chest style combo unit as well. Spoke with several blue water sailor types who have them and they were all absolutely impressed. A couple after three years. Good enough for me.
I looked at the Wynter range. They offer some very nice units, which they are proud of.

They have a 65 Qt chest fridge/freezer which is 2.17 cu ft. It consumes 75W and costs around $550.

They also have a 13 cu ft upright fridge at around $700. It's Energy Star label puts it right in the ballpark of other fridges of a similar size. That would be a wattage of around 100W on a duty-cycle. They all do that Sir.

I used a chest fridge for many years. They are small and expensive, but in some situations they work very well. They are not as efficient as I would like.

Most domestic fridges in the 10 to 13 cu ft range come in at between 41 and 50 dollars per year on the Energy Star label. The Wynter is right in the middle, but top side for volume which is good. It costs quite a bit though.

The chest style offered by Wynter are all much smaller and, volume for volume, much less efficient.
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:53 PM   #17
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The real savings is when you buy a small chest freezer at Bi-Mart or some Mart, then get the controller from just about any brewing website or store. No $500 coolers or $700 efficient fridges. Part of being efficient is not spending a lot of money in the first place.

Home brewers have been using chest freezers modified as fridges for many years. This setup is supposed to be more efficient when you maintain a large mass in the chest. i.e. 10 gallons of homebrew helps maintain steady temps in the chest freezer.

Something else that's also nice about the chest freezer setup is you can change it back and freeze a bunch of meat or fish, should the opportunity arise.
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Old 12-25-2017, 11:16 PM   #18
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The real savings is when you buy a small chest freezer at Bi-Mart or some Mart, then get the controller from just about any brewing website or store. No $500 coolers or $700 efficient fridges. Part of being efficient is not spending a lot of money in the first place.

Home brewers have been using chest freezers modified as fridges for many years. This setup is supposed to be more efficient when you maintain a large mass in the chest. i.e. 10 gallons of homebrew helps maintain steady temps in the chest freezer.

Something else that's also nice about the chest freezer setup is you can change it back and freeze a bunch of meat or fish, should the opportunity arise.
That's how I use mine

My only point in this thread is simply to ensure that others looking for advice have as much info as possible to make an informed decision.

Tango is a smart guy, he knows what he is doing
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Old 12-26-2017, 12:22 AM   #19
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The wynther does not seem all that great. A post in the thread below claims 30Ah used as a fridge.

https://www.solarpaneltalk.com/forum...ge-replacement

Their website surprisingly does not show energy use relative to outside temperature. It does mention that it needs ventilation all the way around. If that means that the condensor coil is part of the exterior skin and so the insulation can not be further improved then it is pretty worthless for off grid application.

As John and Robin mentioned you are better off with a chest freezer with a rebuilt thermostat.

below a website with some numbers and tests
https://johnlvs2run.wordpress.com/20...ge-conversion/

8 watt /h equal 196 watthour a day/
the wynther calculated out at 30 ah at 12 volt= 360watthour a day.

later J
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
Was wondering what people decided on as far as refrigerators; dorm room size or full size.. microwave or convection oven.. propane or electric/induction stove top etc.
I'd suggest that you define your mission and then select the best component to accomplish that mission. Some folks have shore power all the time, others never have it. Some have to stock food for 4-5 people, some just one person. Every conversion is different and the goal is building one that is ideal for you and your use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adic27 View Post
I wanna get a induction stove top but am concerned about power usage. Any one go this route with a solar setup? Also interested in AC/heat setups
I'm using a NuWave induction cooktop. It runs off my 3000 watt pure sine wave inverter and battery. It would not function with the previous modified sine wave inverter that I had. Like a microwave, it does suck a good bit of power.
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