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Thread: Battery and fridge

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    Legendary jay see's Avatar
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    Battery and fridge

    Hope this is in the right spot..

    My 55L (I think) weaco won't last 12 hours. I know that there is a cut out to prevent the battery draining completely, but shouldn't I be getting alot more out of it.

    Apparently this is the biggest battery that would fit into the battery box.

    The only other thing that is always on with the car is the radio. Charging is through a redarc solenoid type.

    Car is driven daily to work and back about 30-45 minutes.

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    Hardcore GQtdauto's Avatar
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    Is that a deep cycle battery ? Is your alternator ok ? Are the connections to the battery ok?
    Starting the fridge on 240 volt then swapping over to 12 volt before you go anywhere reduces drain on a battery so does putting cold things in , 12 hours would be about right if it wasn't getting a proper charge and you started it up on 12 volt only after putting hot stuff in it .
    Your fridge could be using excessive power .

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    Expert Patrol'n's Avatar
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    Hey mate, I run a 40lt engel from a 105 AH aux battery charged via a red arc SBI12 solenoid, from what I've seen my mates 50lt waeco uses similar power to my engel so in theory at least my set up at least in terms of basic concept should be similar.

    I find that if I drive 30-45 mins or more a day, my battery generally doesn't get below 12.2 / 12.3 volts at worst and then every now and then once a fortnight or so) if I haven't done a bigger drive I will charge it off the mains charger to keep it in good shape.

    To give it the best chance, I have had a recon alternator fitted, chucked in an additional earth strap, run dedicated 6mm wire, made sure my connections are good etc, so perhaps you have an issue somewhere?

    Few thoughts,
    1. Is your fridge wire proper 6mm?
    2. Are all connections good?
    3. If I run my aircon, it doesn't charge my aux battery as much, so that much driving isn't enough to keep the battery topped up, are you running your aircon?
    4. I run my fridge 24/7, if you are switching yours off and on, it uses more power to get cool.
    5. How old is the waeco? I understand the older ones are more power hungry than the newer units.

    One more thought, when we wired my mates prado with a second battery, we ran a dedicated fridge power wire and it worked great. Later we connected a radio (uhf) feed to that wire, and his fridge would cut out all the time when the compressor switched on and loaded the battery up, then it would rest a bit, switch back on and repeat the process... Fridge wasn't lasting a whole day...
    We ran a new clean power feed for his fridge to an Anderson connection from the pos and neg from the battery, no other connections. He hasn't had a problem since. Except when he went overseas for two weeks and left the fridge on...
    93 GQ wagon, RB30, extractors, 2 inch tough dog lift, 5 spd, A/T KO2 32's, steel winch bar, rated recovery points, red arc dual battery set up, rhino roof racks, UHF etc etc. Slow and steady might not win the race but it gets me there eventually...

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    I think this situation is not new, and for me I like to think about battery capacity like this.

    Imagine your battery is simply a bucket of water and the fridge sips from the battery everytime it turns on. If its hot, the fridge sipping continues for longer, bearing mind that the fridge draws the equal amount of power/time, being watts or Amp hour. So without replenishing the loss via charging such as solar or genrator or alternator, you will be losing capaciity.

    Next, as the level drops, the 'head or pressure' avail to feed the sipping action gets lower, hence the fridge draws harder and the amps go up.

    Also, if the level is low, known as depth of discharge 'DOD' then the time to recover to a higher level is more difficult as the battery has been fatigued by going outside its optimum level of Charge/discharge.

    Generally I hear these issues a lot and the solution is simple, have a system that replenishes the draw down as close to that depletion rate - I know, easier said than done and simplistic, but running batteries down to say 10V or even below 12.5V is going to have a direct impact on your battery performance.

    I like to maintain my DOD as shallow as possible by having solar panel charging plus running the vehicle on fast idle a couple of times a day during base camp. If you keep the DOD shallow you will get better overall life of the battery and it will recover faster - think of incremental hydration verses say dehydration to a critical level.

    Just another way to think about the limits of our 12v power draws.
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    Yeah worth checking the alternator i reckon, mine was similar, wouldn't get more that a day out of it. Was still charging but not very well. With new alternator muuuch better, however if it's running all day in a closed car would be working pretty hard i reckon. I always (try to) put solar on mine if it's not moving for the day just to keep it topped up.

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    I have a similar problem with my 80L Waeco but I think it's because I just leave the fridge plugged in all the time and don't drive far enough each day for the battery to get a proper charge. It's either that or I need a new auxiliary batt.
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    If it uses a Danfoss BD35/50F type compressor then you can trim the battery protection levels a little. This is normally 10.4V cut-out and 11.7V cut-in but can be lowered to 9.6V/10.9V by linking terminals C & P.
    This may not be a good idea depending on how you want to treat your battery.
    Another little trick is to connect a large capacitor at the fridge. The voltage sensing is always working and when the compressor starts there is a large current surge which can drop the voltage momentarily and cause the voltage sensing circuitry to see a problem. The starting surge current can be quite high and is the reason you need heavier conductors than you would expect based on the normal running current draw.
    But heavy wiring and good quality connectors will solve a lot of these power problems with fridge/freezers.

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    Have you checked the voltage on the secondary battery when the fridge turns off or before you take it for a drive to see what it is getting down to?

    Not knowing how you’ve set up your fridge connection, I’d be leaning towards insufficient gauge wiring and earth connection which has been highlighted with an alternator possibly on the way out.

    I ran 6 gauge positive and negative from the battery to the boot dedicated for the fridge, and that has always worked well. My battery is getting close to 4 years old now, so maybe due for replacement soon as well


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    Legendary jay see's Avatar
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    Thanks all.

    I've always said that electrical isn't my strong point and I keep proving (learning) it.

    After reading all the information (some times 2 or 3 times) it's now clear that I haven't wired up the plug (merit)for the fridge correctly.

    I think I ran 3mm from a junction box to the plug. Battery is in the back, positive runs to the junction with around 12mm wire.

    Pretty sure everything else is OK, as they're USB charging points or switches.

    So looks like 6mm wire is the correct way to go for the fridge. Thanks.

    Some of the other points that have been mentioned have played a part in this, but that is just me asking too much from a battery.

    Again thanks to you all for the info.

    Sent from my A1601 using Tapatalk
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    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jay see View Post
    Thanks all.

    So looks like 6mm wire is the correct way to go for the fridge. Thanks.


    Just be aware there is 6mm & 6mm wire!

    6mm auto wire incudes the thickness of it's insulation & only has about 4mm2 of copper.

    6mm2 is as it says .... has 6mm2 copper + insulation.

    You need 6mm2. (at least)

    eg. https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/6mm2-TWI...4AAOSwevdaCSQT
    Last edited by Cuppa; 16th November 2017 at 07:28 AM.

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