will my solar panels run the Dometic fridge?

Dogeared

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We have recently added a second battery plus 100w solar panel to the motorhome.

Will the fridge (once cold) be able to maintain the temperature via the solar panel system.
 

Techno

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Not really
To be in with a chance you need enough solar to match the fridge consumption
My fridge can draw 14 amps my solar can/has produce'd over 21
 

funflair

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Yes you can BUT certainly not all day, which is essentially the same answer as Tecnhno's not really. You won't have the power to run it all day even if the sun is out so what you need is some way of controlling when the batteries will run the fridge and when to go back to gas, our solar controller (Votronic) does this for us as it has a AES output which switches the AES fridge as long as it is connected to the S+ or D+ with additional diode.

Is it worth messing about doing it with a relatively small solar array of say less than 200watts? Most likely not, I only did it because the controller I fitted had the feature and I just wanted to see if it worked ours might spend 50% of a sunny day on solar so some gas saving I guess but not a lot in the great scheme of things.
 

funflair

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To keep things straight forward.

The answer to the OP's question is

No.



JJ :cool:
That's one answer, or YES but not for long is another, I prefer to supply the facts as I see them from personal experience.
 
Sep 16, 2013
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No, your solar panels will not keep up with your fridge.

If you have 200Ah of batteries and abide by the 50% rule you have about 100Ah of usable power, but this depends on your charging system.

If you have a good smart charger then you can fully charge your batteries. If you have the usual split charge system this will only charge your batteries to 80-85%, so say 170Ah or 70Ah usable.

If, like in the post above, your fridge uses 14Ah your batteries will be dead in around five hours, maybe a couple more with the solar panel.
 

Dazzlin

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I'd go for yes, like funflair but only for a limited time during a sunny day.
I run ours but only on manual.
Need to sort out summat like wot techno's got. (Only had battery alarm go off once!)
 

DBK

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If the wiring in the OP's MH is anything like ours you can't run it from the leisure battery/solar panel even if you wanted to as the fridge is wired only to run on 12v when the engine is running. Of course if you re-jig the wiring you could but why would you want to unless you were trying to flatten the leisure battery in the shortest possible time. This assumes the 'fridge in question is a 3 way one. If it is a compressor 'fridge then yes, you should be able to run it off the leisure battery/solar panel combination for possibly several days especially if the sun is big round and shiny all day.
 

funflair

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If the wiring in the OP's MH is anything like ours you can't run it from the leisure battery/solar panel even if you wanted to as the fridge is wired only to run on 12v when the engine is running. Of course if you re-jig the wiring you could but why would you want to unless you were trying to flatten the leisure battery in the shortest possible time. This assumes the 'fridge in question is a 3 way one. If it is a compressor 'fridge then yes, you should be able to run it off the leisure battery/solar panel combination for possibly several days especially if the sun is big round and shiny all day.

Good point made here, your fridge needs to be wired to run off the leisure batts in the first place.

Martin
 

John & Joan

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VWAlan runs his home fridges from his parked unit in the UK in summer. He has 800w of solar on the roof and very large battery banks. He runs the fridges on an inverter. He also has a domestic fridge freezer in his unit, which is run on solar during the winter touring Spain etc.

So yes it is possible but not with 100w solar and 200Ah battery.
 
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i dont think dometic make a compressor fridge so im assuming this is a three way absorbtion fridge which should only run on 12v whilst driving
also the 12v side has no thermostat so if you did run it from the leisure battery it wouldnt regulate temperature and therefore be permanently on
 

funflair

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I suppose my question is: Why would you want to?

Why not, if there is sunshine to spare why not run the fridge on it instead of gas, and I would imagine but don't know for sure that the back of the fridge runs cooler one 12 volts than on gas as there is not the heat in the exhaust gas to get away from the condenser 12 volt fans etc, important in hot climate when the sun is at its best. You know it makes sense.
 
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Simplest, though not the most efficient, is to run it on mains via an inverter, however you really need more than 100w solar, and a cunning way to switch back to gas automatically as otherwise you will forget and flatten your battery.
 
A

arpitkakkar1

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I think you can convert your fridge in to solar fridge by using solar panel. you can connect solar panel with your fridge and create setup for this.
 

GeriatricWanderer

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There's a little trick that many Wilders use to make that battery charge last longer. Explained in more detail in an earlier thread but basically, keep a couple of ice blocks in the freezer and when you've used the fridge for the last time each day move the blocks into the fridge compartment and turn the fridge off - and don't open it again 'til morning. That will save you around 7 or 8 ish hours power in every 24.
The only downside is that you can't keep frozen food in the freezer.
It needs a little practice but it works well for me.
Works on all fridges.
 
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funflair

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Well actually it would run it


It just wouldn't get cold, but the internal light would work (y):LOL:
But it does work properly just like its driving in 12volts mode, but might not be for long depending on your batteries and solar capacity, all controlled via the Votronic AES out.

Why would it not work, if its got 12volts to it?

Martin
 
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But it does work properly just like its driving in 12volts mode, but might not be for long depending on your batteries and solar capacity, all controlled via the Votronic AES out.

Why would it not work, if its got 12volts to it?

Martin
The bottom line is that it's totally impractical. The size of solar array possible on a MH roof might keep up but only for a few hours and only on a clear sunny day in Southern Europe. It involves needless complexity and expenditure on the solar system and TBH gas really isn't that expensive.
 

funflair

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The bottom line is that it's totally impractical. The size of solar array possible on a MH roof might keep up but only for a few hours and only on a clear sunny day in Southern Europe. It involves needless complexity and expenditure on the solar system and TBH gas really isn't that expensive.
I only needs a length of lightweight signal wire to the fridge S+ terminal and the correct solar controller.

Martin
 
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Hi Dogeared
Was there a particular reason you want it to run on the solar rather than on gas?

Kev
 

funflair

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Hi Dogeared
Was there a particular reason you want it to run on the solar rather than on gas?

Kev
Well the question was asked back in 2014 and I tried to answer it from my experience, "was there a reason I wanted to do it"? quite simple answer "the solar controller that I fitted has the function AES switching and I couldn't resist trying it(y)"

Martin
 

eddievanbitz

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But it does work properly just like its driving in 12volts mode, but might not be for long depending on your batteries and solar capacity, all controlled via the Votronic AES out.

Why would it not work, if its got 12volts to it?

Martin
Lol it was a joke ;)

But as it happens there are two 12VDC supplies to most fridges, one, to make it work, control panel, lights etc needed even when running on gas, and the other, heavier supply to run the cooling on 12VDC when D+ 'See's' 12 VDC

So, without 12VDC the fridge wouldn't even run on gas, so, technically a solar panel would work

But it was a joke :LOL:
 

funflair

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Lol it was a joke ;)

But as it happens there are two 12VDC supplies to most fridges, one, to make it work, control panel, lights etc needed even when running on gas, and the other, heavier supply to run the cooling on 12VDC when D+ 'See's' 12 VDC

So, without 12VDC the fridge wouldn't even run on gas, so, technically a solar panel would work

But it was a joke :LOL:
:LOL::LOL::LOL:;)
 
OP
Dogeared

Dogeared

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The original question related to a motorhome that we sold. It had a compressor fridge that only ran on electric. The dealer, Marquis couldn't get their head round that most motorhomers don't use sites with electric. Thanks anyway. Just seems stupid that they still manufacture motorhomes without three way fridges
 
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