I have AC fridge compressor
and I learned to love it.
It is a power hog (close to 40A), but only need to run for short time to cool the cold plates. It uses dedicated inverter
and additional alternator
Running it from batteries would kill them very fast, so I ran it from solar
. (or when the engine
was running of course).
I have spent cruising Caribbean
for two years and was newer hooked on shore power
I have rather large solar
array (almost 500W peak).
I waited until sun was high enough before I run my fridge. By that time my batteries were fully charged anyway.
I ran it for couple of hours while solar was providing all the energy needed, usually between 10am and 3pm, depending on clouds condition.
Fridge had to compete for sunny hours with water-maker. I never ran both at the same time unless I was using the engine
On a nice sunny day I could have both fridges cold (two fridges, two cold plates, single
compressor) and was able to produce water
and I had energy to spare. On less sunny days I did not make water
. On very cloudy days my fridge was a little less cold. In two years I only need to run the engine couple of times (99% of all days provided enough energy).
So, if you go solar then AC can be a good fridge. I have a small battery
bank (300Ah) as I do not need to store electric
energy for the fridge. I cool when I have energy and store cold in cool plates.
In areas with colder water (fridge is water cooled) 1 hour per days is enough or the beer
The system was designed for charter
use (Sunsail) where people normally motor
every days for at least one hour anyway, so it keeps the beer
cold even if you are not hooked up on shore power
during the night. If you are in marina it automatically bypasses inverter and run from AC from shore. That worked great as 500W compressor
was able to cool a lot of beverage in short period of time in a marina.