will my solar panels run the Dometic fridge?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Dogeared, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Dogeared

    Dogeared Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    252
    Location:
    Blackburn
    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.
     
  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    14,298
    Likes Received:
    15,296
    Location:
    Leeds the one up North
    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
     
  3. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    6,125
    Likes Received:
    6,238
    Location:
    Guisborough
    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.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  4. JJ

    JJ Funster

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    15,256
    Likes Received:
    27,622
    Location:
    Quinta Majay, Pinheiro Bordalo, Portugal
    To keep things straight forward.

    The answer to the OP's question is

    No.



    JJ :cool:
     
    • Like it Like it x 3
    • Funny Funny x 1
  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    6,125
    Likes Received:
    6,238
    Location:
    Guisborough
    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.
     
  6. voyagerstan

    voyagerstan Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Messages:
    323
    Likes Received:
    211
    Location:
    torquay sometimes
    i'd go for no too.(n)(n)(n)STAN
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  7. Wissel

    Wissel Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    323
    Location:
    Cornwall
    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.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  8. Dazzlin

    Dazzlin Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2012
    Messages:
    931
    Likes Received:
    1,865
    Location:
    on the road
    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!)
     
  9. DBK

    DBK Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,415
    Likes Received:
    13,236
    Location:
    Plympton, Devon
    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.
     
    • Like it Like it x 1
  10. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    6,125
    Likes Received:
    6,238
    Location:
    Guisborough

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

    Martin
     
  11. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2010
    Messages:
    1,351
    Likes Received:
    748
    Location:
    Darlington
    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.
     
  12. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    3,385
    Likes Received:
    3,811
    Location:
    walthamstow east london
    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
     
  13. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    3,231
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    I suppose my question is: Why would you want to?
     
  14. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    6,125
    Likes Received:
    6,238
    Location:
    Guisborough

    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.
     
  15. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,138
    Likes Received:
    3,547
    Location:
    Eastbourne East Sussex
    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.
     
  16. arpitkakkar1

    arpitkakkar1 Deleted User

    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.
     
  17. GeriatricWanderer

    GeriatricWanderer Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    4,305
    Location:
    Back in the UK plotting my next escape.
    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
    • Like it Like it x 1
  18. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    4,068
    Likes Received:
    12,645
    Location:
    Taunton Somerset
    Well actually it would run it


    It just wouldn't get cold, but the internal light would work (y):LOL:
     
    • Funny Funny x 4
    • Like it Like it x 1
  19. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    6,125
    Likes Received:
    6,238
    Location:
    Guisborough
    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
     
  20. tonyidle

    tonyidle Funster

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,474
    Likes Received:
    3,231
    Location:
    Kendal, Cumbria
    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.
     
Loading...

Share This Page