Freezers up and running

SUBHEAD: Our two new freezers (one converted to fridge) are running off solar and working as expected.

By Juan Wilson on 1 September 2018 for Island Breath -

Image above: Top opening 10.6cuft General Electric chest freezer model number FCM11PHBWW with three movable bins and built in light costing about $449 on our lanai.

We are off the electric grid (KIUC) and run our homestead entirely on photovoltaic power spread across seven dedicated systems. One is dedicated to just our freezer and refrigerator. For quite some time we have suffered with inadequate energy to run our 16cuft refrigerator.

The small chest 4.5cuft freezer has been no trouble, but the refrigerator has been a real hassle - especially in the darker winter months.  Add to that our eight 405 amp-hour 6volt batteries dedicated to cooling food are going into their fifth year.

We realized that the chest design of the freezer was a great advantage over the front loading fridge. Every time the fridge door is opened all the cold air slides out. If you are making a complicated meal it's tough keeping that fridge cool.

We replaced a front loading 16cuft refrigerator and a 4.5cuft freezer with two 10.6cuft freezers. One of the freezer we put on our covered lanai just outside of our kitchen/dining room. It is more out of the weather than our previous freezer location that was in our carport (shop/laundry room).

The other freezer was placed where our upright front loading refrigerator used to be. Note we never got the use of the jalousie window with the old fridge there.

Image above: Top opening 10.6cuft General Electric chest freezer converted to a fridge with the use of a thermostat to shut it off when the temperature approaches 32ºF

Of course, there are advantages in organizing (or the lack there of) when using an upright refrigerator. Fortunately the freezer we found to use as a fridge had two features that helped a lot.

One - it comes with three plastic coated metal wire bins that slide on a ledge just under the top .
Two - it has a light on the underside of the top opening door that turns on when you lift the top.

Image above:Above the thermostat and monitor for the converted freezer to make it a refrigerator.

Left is the control for the thermostat that has a sensor on a long copper tube. It can be adjusted down to 20ºf. We are using it set to 32ºf. On the right is the source of electricity. The tan extension cord runs down and through the wall to the covered porch outside our front door. That is where our 110volt inverter sits just over the battery array under the porch.

Plugged into the cord is a power monitor that shows the refrigerator is pulling 88 watts while it is cooling. Plugged into the monitor is the thermostat and plugged into the thermostat is the fridge.

We bought the Johnson Controls Freezer Temperature Controller from Amazon.  This thermostat converts the freezer to a fridge.

So far so good. We are watching and adjusting how we load and use these units. 

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: The Forthcoming freezers 8/25/18
Ea O Ka Aina: Convert Freezer to Fridge 7/21/18
Ea O Ka Aina: Guilt Free Cold Beer 3/7/10


No comments :

Post a Comment