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Old 02-08-2016, 04:13   #16
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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I think the OP was talking about "on a boat"
So was I
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:56   #17
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

Well, this Hunter 27 (1978) came with an in-counter ice box, but I have not yet torn into that area to see how well (or poorly) insulated it is. It is fairly deep, and I am assuming it was designed to use a block or bags of ice to maintain a temp that won't rot things.

The PO added a regular AC dorm room fridge, with the nearly useless "freezer" compartment in the upper right corner, which is also the means of cooling the remainder, if I understand the system correctly. It is at best an average solution, and far too small to get a great deal of utility from. I am considering making substantial revisions, and doing some "surgery" to the salon to install a real unit, eliminating the berth on that side (which is not so useful anyway, since the "fridge" sits on it all the time anyway it has become a holding table that could be better utilized as a closet and real refer unit plus cabinetry).

I would love to be able to run some sort of larger unit, but am also wondering how one could install a generator on a boat of this size and current factory construction where the generator won't get doused with saltwater constantly and will not drown out reasonable conversation levels or poison us with exhaust fumes. That way I could at least effectively USE the refrigerator I have, and perhaps one day use a larger one!
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:23   #18
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

Might want to look up Sailor Chics solution, she has been running a Dorm fridge off of Solar for years thru an invertor of course.
Generator wise I kinda of think a Honda is going to be your best solution, and of course they are for intermittent use.
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:38   #19
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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Might want to look up Sailor Chics solution, she has been running a Dorm fridge off of Solar for years thru an invertor of course.
Generator wise I kinda of think a Honda is going to be your best solution, and of course they are for intermittent use.
Thanks, a64pilot! This sounds interesting! I have a couple panels that could charge ten interconnected 12V deep cycle batteries from near dead to full within about three hours or so. Maybe that will be enough to run a small fridge? Now to find her thread....
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:02   #20
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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Thanks, a64pilot! This sounds interesting! I have a couple panels that could charge ten interconnected 12V deep cycle batteries from near dead to full within about three hours or so. Maybe that will be enough to run a small fridge? Now to find her thread....
Two things first your panels must be massive to charge the batteries that fast.
Secondly here is the thread on sailorchic and fridges.
Sailorchic...Inverter size to run dorm fridge?
There are several others as well just do a custom search on here
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:08   #21
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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Thanks, a64pilot! This sounds interesting! I have a couple panels that could charge ten interconnected 12V deep cycle batteries from near dead to full within about three hours or so. Maybe that will be enough to run a small fridge? Now to find her thread....
I would respectfully suggest that you may have some learning to do about batteries. Even if you had infinite power, your not charging batteries in three hours, not lead acid anyway. Look up Maine Sails posts on that, Compass Marine, lot of good articles here


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Old 08-09-2016, 08:04   #22
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

All I know is that these panels did charge those batteries up to the point that the controller started reducing then shut off current until I used the batteries again and dropped it down some. The panels are about 40" wide and 5 feet long each. There are two of them. They cost about 800 bucks apiece when purchased, IIRC.

Thanks for the link, I am going to check it out right now.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:18   #23
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

10-12 v batteries, and 35 square feet of solar on a 27 foot boat. That takes up a lot of space and adds a lot of weight. Even going with cheaper batteries, puts you at $2500 just for panels and batteries. Now you need to add wire, controller, inverter, and refer. That's a lot of cash for a little bigger fridge.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:21   #24
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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10-12 v batteries, and 35 square feet of solar on a 27 foot boat. That takes up a lot of space and adds a lot of weight. Even going with cheaper batteries, puts you at $2500 just for panels and batteries. Now you need to add wire, controller, inverter, and refer. That's a lot of cash for a little bigger fridge.
Ya...that's what we call CRCT (Chat Room Crazy Talk).

A 130W solar panel should be able to run a adequate dorm size/type refrigerator on a 27ft boat.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:35   #25
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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10-12 v batteries, and 35 square feet of solar on a 27 foot boat. That takes up a lot of space and adds a lot of weight. Even going with cheaper batteries, puts you at $2500 just for panels and batteries. Now you need to add wire, controller, inverter, and refer. That's a lot of cash for a little bigger fridge.

Chris, the 10 batteries were not on this vessel, they were in the underbay of a 35 ft fifth wheel RV I once had, but I still have the panels from that installation. The boat has only one battery at the moment, but I will be adding another (or perhaps a couple more) soon. The panels will be PLENTY to recharge this small 2-3 battery bank, I would imagine. The engine (Yanmar SB8) has a +/- 35 amp alternator, and I also have an 8 HP outboard with charging capability as well, though not as high as the Yanmar does, I would assume.

My comment was that the panels will handle these few batteries fine, as they seemed to handle the higher number fine. Still, I have no doubt that the inverter I am using will be enough (2000 watt, 3000 peak, and already in my possession), and I have a generator as well, but it is too large to put on the boat (5500 watt, 6500 peak, and weighs a great deal more than I can carry - it is on 2 wheels!) so I am looking for a way to handle the load effectively of fridge, occasional small microwave use, and a laptop. I don't need the large genny, as mine is just too big and I have no place to put it, I cannot install the massive bank I had on the RV because again, no place to put it (and far too heavy), so I am searching for inexpensive options, preferably using equipment I already have or can obtain inexpensively.

I even have considered converting the icebox in the galley counter-top into a fridge or freezer through addition of multiple inches of foam insulation and salvaging the internal workings of my current dorm fridge to make it work. At least the parts will be inexpensive and already on hand, it will convert the current front opening unit into a top loader, and I can free up space on the port settee, while making better use of the otherwise less than useful in-counter solution that came from the factory.

Essentially, I am still debating and investigating, but I don't want to spend more than I did on the boat just to get a refrigerator/freezer, some minor electric use, and a simple propane canister cooking appliance installation handled. If I can make use of the icebox space, so much the better. The boat is just not that large. I am going to have to turn the panels into an overhead roof above the stern as it is...
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:38   #26
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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Ya...that's what we call CRCT (Chat Room Crazy Talk).

A 130W solar panel should be able to run a adequate dorm size/type refrigerator on a 27ft boat.

I am not crazy, he just misunderstood my situation. I should have been more specific about this, I have been posting around with various issues on this vessel, and forgot that I had not gone into depth on THIS thread. I remedied that (I hope) with my reply after his post. Apologies to all.
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Old 08-09-2016, 10:04   #27
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

I did misunderstand, and i agree it is good to use items that you already have.
But it seems like you are looking for a big boat solution to a small boat problem. What I mean is it is easy to lose focus on the restrictions a small boat gives you. I went through the same issue with mine(26 foot). weight and space vs convenience.
Ultimately you have to decide which you will sacrifice.
I ended up just getting a 12 v camping fridge. It works as a cooler, and I can plug it in if I need to drop the temp. Plus I can move it so never takes up too much space. However I only weekend sail, not liveaboard.
Good luck with whatever you do
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Old 08-09-2016, 15:57   #28
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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Two things first your panels must be massive to charge the batteries that fast.
Secondly here is the thread on sailorchic and fridges.
Sailorchic...Inverter size to run dorm fridge?
There are several others as well just do a custom search on here
And those batteries can't be LA.
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Old 08-09-2016, 16:08   #29
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

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All I know is that these panels did charge those batteries up to the point that the controller started reducing then shut off current until I used the batteries again and dropped it down some. The panels are about 40" wide and 5 feet long each. There are two of them. They cost about 800 bucks apiece when purchased, IIRC.

Thanks for the link, I am going to check it out right now.

That's a total area of 3 square meters. Total solar irradiance to them optimally sited would be 3kW. Assume a very good 20% efficiency and you get about 600W nominal. That's the maximum you would get for the system described. So you would get a maximum of around 150Ah in 3 hours around midday.

Your claim to fully charge about 10 x 12V deep cycle batteries is physically impossible, even if your batteries were made of some exotic materials and were able to accept all of that charge.
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Old 08-09-2016, 16:37   #30
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Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

Re: How Big is Your Refrigerator?

Mine: 0H x 0W X 0L. I do have a refrigerated icebox, but I do not consider that a refrigerator...merely a keep things cool for awhile box when not using batteries for more important things.


Depends on how you prioritize.
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