Solar-powered refrigerators. In Issue #99, I discussed the importance of using the most energy-efficient appliances you can buy for any remote cabin or off-grid solar application.
I also mentioned there are several refrigerators and freezers now available that can be powered directly from a 12-volt DC battery. In this issue, I will review several different brands and models of refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerator-freezers that will make any rural retreat more like home. Yes, you can drag an ice chest back and forth on your weekend visits, which is still the most economical way to have ice and refrigerated fresh foods. But for extended or long-term stays, a portable cooler cannot keep ice much longer than a three-day weekend. If your retreat already includes a large propane storage tank to power a cook stove and water heater, then by all means shop for a propane-powered freezer or refrigerator. Sizes available Refrigeration system Model comparisons Solar requirements. Refrigerators, AC or DC. The super insulated SunDanzer chest units have 4.3 inches thick polyurethane insulation.
Outside cabinet is powdered coated galvanized steel, inside is easy to clean aluminum with drain hole, dual voltage compressor uses brushless motor. Includes baskets to help organize food storage. Baskets can be located on bottom or hung from top edge. Interior dimensions: 5.8 and 8 cu ft models are 16" wide front to back, 25" deep and both have a shallow space above the compressor on the right side of 14" deep and 8" long. The overall length is 28" for 5.8 cu.ft. and 38" for 8 cu.ft. model. Exterior dimensions: 1.8 cu ft. models are 26.5" wide, 23" deep, 30.5" high.
Solar Appliances. Electrical - DIY Camper. The best battery in the World is no good without an efficient management/charging system.
Ideally, you need three components to ensure your battery stays charged and in top condition: A 240v charger: To provide charging when you have access to 240v power, such as powered sites and when the trailer is parked at home. A DC-DC charger: This receives power from the tow vehicle and charges the trailer battery when you're on the move. A DC-DC charger is a far better solution than simply running cable from the vehicle battery/alternator down to the trailer.
It eliminates the voltage drop issue, which is particularly important on modern vehicles equipped with so-called 'smart' alternators, which reduce voltage when they detect the starting battery is charged. A solar charger/regulator: Unregulated output from solar panels can damage batteries, so it's best to connect them via a proper charger/regulator rather than direct to the battery. Diy 12volt trailer wiring. The 12 volt The first step in this 2 day project was to solder a Anderson Plug to one end of the 6B&S cable and then run the wiring through protective split conduit, up through the draw bar to the floor of the trailer adjacent to the battery.
The wiring came up through the floor and was connected, through a 60 amp maxi fuse, (since upgraded to 100 amp) to the 120AH AGM Battery. Note that both positive and negative wires ran the full length, from the Anderson Plug to the camper battery. Same as the vehicle . . . full length from starter battery (through REDARK battery isolator) to rear Anderson plug. A guide to cable size can be found at The 120AH Alco AGM Battery was too high to fit in the large battery box. From there we ran 6B&S wiring, through a maxi fuse, across the top bar at the back of the swing out kitchen (shown just above CTEK charger), to the other side as shown in the photo below. American Wire Gauge table and AWG Electrical Current Load Limits with skin depth frequencies and wire breaking strength. AWG Wire Sizes (see table below) AWG: In the American Wire Gauge (AWG), diameters can be calculated by applying the formula D(AWG)=.005·92((36-AWG)/39) inch.
For the 00, 000, 0000 etc. gauges you use -1, -2, -3, which makes more sense mathematically than "double nought. " This means that in American wire gage every 6 gauge decrease gives a doubling of the wire diameter, and every 3 gauge decrease doubles the wire cross sectional area. Similar to dB in signal and power levels. How to Install Dual RV Batteries. Installing dual RV batteries is fairly simple, but the results could be disastrous if done wrong.
Step 1 - Decide Which Batteries to Buy You will first need to decide what kind of batteries to buy. If your energy use is limited to a 12-volt lighting system, water pump, refrigerator, CO alarm, 12-volt stereo system, heater, then two group 27 or group 29 deep cycle batteries will probably be enough. If you use a microwave or home theater system, you will probably need a battery bank of 540 Amp hours. The batteries your RV came with are probably “RV Marine” batteries. Do not use regular car batteries, as they are used for smaller engines and wont last long in an RV. Step 2 - Disconnect the Old Batteries. First Off-Grid Solar Freezer (for Dummies)
Solar advice for a complete newbie (solar forum at permies) If your fridge runs AC - start off with a kill-a-watt meter.
It is an inexpensive meter. Just plug it into the wall socket, and then plug in your appliance and let it run for a few days and then calculate out how many watts (and/or amps) on average you use per day. You'll need to know this information. And it will help you identify where the most electricity load actually is. (Hint - it isn't the lightbulbs... it's the fridge, a/c and computer.) 120 Volt AC RV Appliances And Their Estimated Current Draw. AC to DC Amperage Calclator Through An Inverter.