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Thermoelectric refrigerators?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by practicalprepper, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. 12 volt operated, used in RV's and by truckers. Anyone have experience with them? My small scale solar setup in my garage is complete and want to put one in for drinks and backup to the house fridge, just in case. Will be in a well insulated room, temp mainting around 70 degrees. Says it will cool 40 degrees less than the surrounding temp. Thanks.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    These type coolers, are built on the Peltier Junction technology. Just about every other refrigeration technology, will be more efficient, but these are cheap, and they DO work. If you really plan on using them, figure to SuperInsulate the cooler area and have the Hot-Side of the Junction freely exposed to the surrounding Air, so it can dissipate the removed heat. ...... YMMV.....
  3. goinpostal

    goinpostal Monkey+

    I have two 40qt Igloo's in the truck.One in an upper cabinet,one in a
    the lower one below it.
    The upper one is both a warmer,and cooler.I use it as my fridge.
    The lower one has one of my rear A/C ducts blow on it,and will keep stuff frozen to as low as about 25degrees.
    I dont if a small solar system will keep up with one of these power hungry beasties or not.One of mine will kill four fully charged big truck batteries in less than 5hrs.
    The only issue that I've had with them is that they've both melted the ends off the plugs.
    I solved this issue by hard wiring them both to the D/C input of my 1800watt inverter.
    I also added an inline toggle switch,so I can shut them down without unplugging them.
    The smaller thermo electric coolers,are more often than not junk,but the Igloo,and Coleman 40&50qt models are pretty bullet proof.
    When they do break,it's the fan motor.They're pretty easy to install,and the Refurb kit for them can be found at most Truck Stops for about$35.
    vegasrandall likes this.
  4. Thanks for the input. I'm looking at either one of the higher end Koolatron models (draws up to 6 amps) or an Engle (draws up to 3 amps). When I say small scale solar, I have a 50 watt panel feeding 200 amp hours worth of batteries. The house system will be much larger.
  5. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    I have used them for several years, they only cool to about 40 degrees below the temp of the air around the cooler. Not bad if it's 80 or so, not so good if it's 90 or higher.
  6. GrandpaDave

    GrandpaDave Monkey++

    to give you one more option
    I have what's called a three way fridge in my camper... runs off 12v DC or 110v AC or propane... there not cheap... I should know I had to replace the old one and the new one set me back just over a grand
    RV Refrigerators - Norcold N841 3-way on Sale - PPL Motor Homes
  7. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    That is what we put in our Beach Cabin, Dave. Normally runs on 120Vac when the Diesel Genset is running. Then auto-Switches to Propane, when the Genset stops, because the Inverter/charger is finished topping off the 24Vdc Battery Bank. Controls runs on 12Vdc, and that can power the refer if the Propane happens to run out, or I forget to switch the Tanks. Yes, they are NOT cheap, but you can get pretty good deals at RV JunkYards, if you look around. ...... YMMV.....
  8. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    ever consider running all your house water thru coils in a very well insulated box?
    like a mini springhouse, it wont freeze or get too cold
    but it will keep your stuff at groundwater temp
  9. Considering the point in the garage I want to put the spare frig is at least 50 feet from the house, might be cost prohibitive and too much work to do this.
  10. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    does your incoming waterline pass near the garage?
    if so just detour the line thru the box
  11. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    As I have a well, there is always condensation from the cold ground water on the PVC. A coil cooler would need drainage; over time there is a potential for mold.
  12. Nope, it's at the far end of the house. At least 100 or so feet away.
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