Freezer to Fridge Update

I was asked by a reader if the numbers I put on my last post were correct. I made the error of relying on my memory instead of referring to notes taken at the time or taking current measurements. If I’m not certain of the claims I make, then I aint got no bidness making ’em. Things have changed a lot since I recorded any previous numbers. The fridge is now in an earthbag home instead of the old stick house. I’m also generating my new numbers using a new temperature controller and the temperature is set to 2C instead of 4C. I have set my temp differential to 3.5C meaning the fridge wont turn on until the temp reaches 5.5C before it cools things to 2C again.

My freedger (not bad eh?) is a Danby Premium 7 cubic foot I picked up at a big box store. It had a minor dent in the lid and was on sale for $225. I offered the manager $150 and he offered to help me get it in the truck. So here’s the numbers as measured over the last 24 hour period:

Total power used – 0.21 kWh

Total run time – 1 hour, 56 minutes

Running watts – 150 on startup and then settling down to about 105

Running amps – 0.98 to 1

(Note: My meter did show max amps at 4.75 and max watts at 552 but I watched the thing when it kicked in a few times and never saw it hit those levels.)

Now I am running the numbers for my chest freezer. I’m pretty sure I will be disappointed. I got the unit from a friend who just wanted to get rid of it. Because I’m generating my own power, it may just turn out that I can’t afford free. (Too bad he didn’t have a Sundanzer he couldn’t stand the sight of.) We’ll see how the freezer situation shakes out.

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4 thoughts on “Freezer to Fridge Update”

  1. Thanks for the update. Still trying to convince my lovely wife to ditch her old fridge. It was fairly efficient at the time, but technnology has moved on. Problem is, she loves that fridge. For now, I’d adding another solar panel.

    If she asks why I have to run the generator now and then, I’m poiinting to the fridge.

    I’m hoping that after living with no refrigeration on the boat, she might be fine with a small freedger. Maybe we can just run the old fridge when we have lots of company.

  2. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Muddome,

    I am very happy that you found my blog because it led me back to yours. It is the best one I have seen so far, and I think I can learn a lot from it. I read the entire thing last night, including your old blog on blogspot. The house has a great look and feel to it. I would love to follow the same path with the earthen construction and the rocket mass heater. Although over time I hope to max out the self-sufficiency of our homestead, I feel constrained by our situation. In two months we will vacate our winter rental and move on to the homestead permanently. We will be living out of a tent and an 8’ x12’ cookshack (yet to be built) while we rush to put up a very conventional little cabin before the snow flies again. Looking forward to following your progress.

    Mark.

    1. Mark,
      I’ve enjoyed your blog as well. You folks sure have a beautiful property. We’ll be watching and cheering you on as you develop your homestead. I gotta tell you, I love building with earth, especially the earthbags. It’s turned out to work quite well for us. I wasn’t sure in this climate because I couldn’t find anybody else that had done so. As for the rocket mass heater, DUDE, DON”T DO IT !! Maybe in the shop, a greenhouse or outdoor kitchen or sitting area (which I may yet do), but don’t put one in your house, especially if it is your only source of heat. You may find people online who swear by them, even in cold(ish) climates, but I can tell you from first hand experience, they don’t work that well at -40C with a bitchy wind. I built mine very carefully after extensive study and rebuilt and tweaked and begged the goddamn thing to work. The correct answer turned out to be biting the bullet and buying a good quality wood stove.

  3. I think you will be able to have a freezer. I was looking at my notes and I started out at 62.4 amphrs, next year I moved the freezer into the cool basement, and that droped me down to 53 amp hrs, then I plugged it into a mechanical timer where I set it to run roughly from 9, 930 to 6 or 7pm (only during summers daylight hours) that knocked me down to 48 amp hours. I also have now switched from using water jugs for cold storage to steel plates stacked in the bottom.The steel took up less room than the water jugs but steel holds the cold better(something about the heat capacity of steel vs frozen water) so if I need to unplug the freezer to shed load I can go for maybe 6 or more days without worrying about things defrosting. In the winter its moved out side, still on a timer set for 11am to 4 pm. I didnt write down what I measured, but from memory in Dec it was below 20 amphrs, 15 comes to mind……anyway mine must be 6, 7 years old now I suspect newer ones will be better yet. Thats amp/hrs per day, your values would be half mine on your 24volt system.
    Its a gradual process to get everything down…a learn as you go thing…I started at 400 amp hours per day, and have paired things down to roughly 200-225 per day, and still have ideas to try on how to reduce it further.

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