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Thread: How much solar do I need to run my fridge

  1. #11
    The 747 Winnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rossco View Post
    What about a 1960's Engel with a seal that is hard as a rock . . .

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    Going by this sheet, still less than a waeco probably lol

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  4. #12
    The master farter
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    Hmm. I run the 75L Engel fridge freezer, six led strip lights and one of those coke can inverters into a power board for charging devices, all on 2 x 100AH batts and a 100W and a 180W panel ( not always both getting sun) and never had the capacity below 85%.
    FWIW, I find running two separate panels good because you can have them out in separate areas so if one panel gets shade the other might be getting sun.

    Oh and a water pump for the kitchen sink....
    Last edited by mudski; 22nd February 2018 at 10:03 PM.

  5. #13
    ......... MB's Avatar
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    Too many weather variables up here to comment between our Waeco’s/Engels & a missing TrailBlaza ripper @AB :-)


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    Patrol God Avo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MB View Post
    Too many weather variables up here to comment between our Waeco’s/Engels & a missing TrailBlaza ripper @AB :-)


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  8. #15
    Patrol Freak Mc4by's Avatar
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    I have a 160w solar panel and can run an Engel 40 indefinitely as well as charge phones.
    5 days max tested so far and battery never drops below 95%.
    As I lay there looking up, taking in the spectacular view that was the night sky and the multitude of stars I asked myself, where did my tent go?

  9. #16
    I am he, fear me the evil twin's Avatar
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    FWIW... Perth WA so good solar hours compared top many areas but anyway...
    Engel 38 fridge,
    50AH AGM 2nd hand Battery,
    2 x 30 year old 40 Watt panels so rated at 80 but degraded to 50-60 ish due to age leaning on my fence facing NW
    Rat chewed old PWM reg I saved from the bin

    Works great over a weekend as a beer fridge no probs, haven't tried it as a Freezer
    Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

  10. #17
    Dribble Master Clunk's Avatar
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    So a 57lt Engel only requires 65W in perfect conditions, while an older Waeco Cf50 also out performs the Waeco CFX50 at 170W compared to 190W.........

    What utter fuckin bollox.........

    Odd how my 120W panel can keep a 100ah battery going running the cfx50 for 7 days during a not too sunny September.


  11. #18
    Legendary GQtdauto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clunk View Post
    So a 57lt Engel only requires 65W in perfect conditions, while an older Waeco Cf50 also out performs the Waeco CFX50 at 170W compared to 190W.........

    What utter fuckin bollox.........

    Odd how my 120W panel can keep a 100ah battery going running the cfx50 for 7 days during a not too sunny September.
    That's quite an amazing feat Clunk .

  12. #19
    Travelling Podologist Cuppa's Avatar
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    Far too many variables for any claims made in this thread to be useful to others. If what someone has works for them that is all that matters. Extrapolating that to other's use without including ALL variables is pretty meaningless.

    The chart itself is nonsense as it only refers 'ideal conditions' & 'allowing for 3 days of poor conditions'. Neither are defined, no ambient temps, no info as to what settings the fridges are set on etc etc. No average sun hours (which vary enormously from north to south & winter to summer) etc etc. What gets someone through for 3 days is totally different to what might be required for a week plus. ie. after 3 days re-charge on mains/gennie? or solar only indefinitely.

    I don't believe those Engel figures, but suspect that the waeco figures are probably close to the mark if based upon an average of say 5 sun hours per day (but who would know - it is not specified). In Vic, it can often be 3 or less.

    Likewise, folk reporting what works for them only quoting solar capacity/battery capacity is similarly misleading, albeit well meaning.

    The real problem is that often folk who want to set up with solar, but know little to nothing about it just want someone else to tell them what they need, without understanding that what they need is very individualised. What works perfectly for one person can prove quite inadequate for another. Patterns of usage are everything! Just copying someone else's set up *may* work, but just as likely *may* not. Any good seller will help the buyer to undertake a a usage & consumption audit looking at all the variables before recommending anything. Anything else is just a shot in the dark.

    Working out what your pattern of usage might be BEFORE setting up can be quite daunting, but it is neccessary to ensure you get what YOU want. Anyone can add up the consumption figures of their various appliances, but working out the usage pattern is the hard part. To be covered you need to have a sense of worst case scenario. How long, where, & when. Far better IMO to over rather than under estimate. Having a bit too much solar or battery capacity costs you in space & weight, Not having enough results in frustration & disappointment.

    I doubt that everyone will share my view. Some may see trying to wing it on a minimalist set up as manageable, but like with many things setting up solar is one of those things where I believe it makes sense to 'do it once & do it right'. A well set up solar system (one that is 'balanced - ie. can bring the batteries back to float every 24 hours) is something which once achieved can bring a little satisfied smile to your face every day. Nothing beats just knowing that you have all the power you need from the sun with virtually no ongoing costs. It's just getting through the first stage which can seem a tad overwhelming ......... but it is worth it........ & whilst there is cost involved the initial outlay can be a lot less that the greater cost of upgrading to what you really needed.

    When tables as posted are produced they can be helpful to give folk an idea ......... but they are a shot in the dark & can mislead. No skin of a sellers nose, as if they have sold you an inadequate system, they've made their sale & can always sell you more to make up an initial shortfall. In the meantime you might've had a lovely 3 weeks away marred by warm beer & a grumpy wife & a battery you've wrecked.

    I'm generally happy to try to help others work out what they need, but doing so involves me asking just as many questions as I get asked. An alternative, which I reckon it is hard to beat is to suggest that folk outlay around $40 on one of Collyn Rivers books on Solar. They are easy to read for the non technically minded but cover all that is required. Even if paying someone else to set up a system for you rather than doing it yourself, getting the understanding that these books gives you would be *very* helpful.

    2006 4.2TDi ex-Telstra Remote area Camper. 425w roof mounted solar, 360Ah Aux batts, BCDC1240, Onboard hot & cold pressurised & filtered water, (25 litre hot water calorifier), ARB fridge, ARB freezer, Built in kitchen, heaps of easy access storage, 240v, 3” Genie exhaust + dynotune, 2” lift, 3900kg GVM upgrade, second glovebox, ROH Blaktrak steel wheels, Bridgestone D697's (now Toyo RT's), Redarc gauges/pillarpod, Hema HX-1, Icom 450 CB, dual rear view cameras, Onboard 30amp Victron mains charger, second glovebox, dual seat conversion, Tyredog TPMS, Boss PX7 onboard air with 9 litre tank, 350w inverter, Steel bullbar, Harrop Eaton diff lock (front), Warn winch, Snorkel, Dual spares , 160 litre water tank, 180 litre fuel in two tanks (approx 1200km range) 2010 Tvan Tanami. (incl another 70 litre water tank) with matching wheels/tyres (& 3rd spare)
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    AB (23rd February 2018), Clunk (23rd February 2018), GQtdauto (23rd February 2018)

  14. #20
    Patrol Guru TimE's Avatar
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    ..............how long is a piece of string?

    I have 465w of solar to run 410ah of AGMs/Gels running 3 fridges (2 in the Patrol 1 in the camper 170l capacity in total) ..................... if I drive a long distance during the day I'm fine, if I have full sun on parked up days I'm fine .................. but I do carry a 1kva Yamaha generator for the times when the sun don't shine too bright.

    As Cuppa says too many variables to give definitive answers to "vague" questions. As for the chart basically a waste of electrons having it on the www
    Last edited by TimE; 23rd February 2018 at 11:12 AM. Reason: typo
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