Okay, last summer I saw an old Norcold unit (looks identical to the Engel) sitting discarded in the marina, I left it not wanting to inadvertently thieve. weeks later it was moved to sitting next to the dumpster. This would not do. I felt like whatever was wrong I could fix it and like the idea of doing refer work while cruising.
Anyway, I took it home and plugged it in and froze a cup of water solid. I found the DC circuit didnt work after buying
a new DC cable for it. The Engel instructions said to never hook it to an inverter
but it was free so what the heck. Recently we moved aboard in the yard and since my electrical rebuild
is now functional I plugged the Norcold in and it worked on the inverted AC just fine.
The past couple days I have been testing it's consumption
in this manner. So far it looks like an average of 3amps of draw in ambient temps of between 60 and 75 degrees. It kicks on every 15 or 20 minutes for 120 seconds or so on the 2nd lowest setting. I assume on freeze it would consume more.
anyway I tried to take it apart to fix the DC circuit but it seemed impossible to take it apart without damaging the steel
box. The insulation is not so impressive but I havent built a box yet. I like the idea of ripping the guts out and making a well insulated box for them to decrease cycling. This thing is ancient and still runs like a champ. The DC circuit seems like it should be easy to repair and even if it isnt I doubt I am losing much efficiency since 3A is pretty good consumption
. We had planned on going without frefrigeration and probably still will but as an available luxury for when we are running the engine
or just feel like wasting some power for cold beers it could be a good solution for us.
So far the thing has cost us $45 for a replacement DC cable ;-)
I'll post elsewhere about my impending power woes ;-)