Fridges To run or not to run

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Fridges To run or not to run

Post by cruiser1 on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 8:40 am

Hi guys.When the camping gear is laid up and not being used is it a good idea to run the fridges continually,leave off or run intermittantly.I was just wondering if it was detrimental in using what ever practice with the fridge.Also with the roof mounted solar panel is it ok to not have anything running off from the batteries.Can I rely on the solar regulator to stop the batteries from being cooked while driving around town. The car is parked up sometimes in the shed for a couple of days.I have two 120 amp hour batteries in the rear of vehicle which are solely charged from the 140 watt solar panel.

Cheers

Phil
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Re: Fridges To run or not to run

Post by NuggieDreamer on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 4:58 pm

Phil,

Fridge
If there is nothing in your fridge then there is no reason to put wear and tear on the fridge compressor for no reason. (with no load in the fridge, the compressor will short cycle) Leave the door open, clean and dry then wipe on some vanilla essence inside to make it smell nice for next time.

Batteries
If you have the solar panel still connected to batteries, that's a good thing.
Batteries are better off with a trickle charge on them to stop them losing charge and sulphating up while not connected (lead plates are getting covered by a hard crust reducing the surface area from the plate to conduct charge through the electrolyte to the next)  Very Happy

- To check if your batteries are Sulphated (losing capacity, voltage won't stay up off the charger and the Specific Gravity (SG) is Low)
You can use a (SG) hygrometer to see your battery condition where the float inside needs sit in the Green or OK to be good. (If you don't have one, you can disconnect the battery and let the voltage in the battery relax for 24hrs. Then you just test your battery with a voltmeter to see if there is still 12.5Vdc at the terminals, if so, throw the trickle back on, your batteries are in good nick)  cheers
Low Voltage - If the voltage dropped below 12.5Vdc while relaxing for 24hrs, the batteries may be prematurely dying from sulphation. If you can't afford a battery, don't panic! It may just be one of the batteries if you have multiple connected. Now it's time to hit it with the old cheap and nasty buzzing transformer battery charger (your charger must be rectified, have no regulator and have a high current 6-8A charge rate) hooked up with a load in series (12V like a car headlight lamp) to keep the charge voltage down @ 13Vdc on each battery in turn. Watch the charge rate slowly rise and stabilize (may take 1-3 weeks and while doing so, keep distilled water levels above plates while you high charge (desulphate) the battery.
Then just check the battery the same way, (let it sit unconnected to the charger 24hrs) if she comes back to 12.5Vdc again after all your effort you've saved $200.00 coz all you need to do then, is load cycle the battery 5 times to get the battery load capacity time extended as much as possible now it's back from the dead.
To load cycle the battery, connect a heavy load on the battery and watch the Volts drop slowly (while under a high current @ 20A) down to 11.0Vdc then recharge (till recharge current drops, then steady's, then leave the charger on another 48hrs.
Do another relax test (leave battery disconnected 24hrs) and repeat (to flex the plates to crack up as much plate sulphate crust as possible.
You'll find the load will run longer and longer each cycle. When you don't get any improvement that is the best your going to get with your old battery.
Now just throw your trickle charger back on kwdf


Last edited by NuggieDreamer on Sun 05 Oct 2014, 9:09 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling errors)
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Re: Fridges To run or not to run

Post by cruiser1 on Sat 04 Oct 2014, 6:26 pm

G`Day NG.Thanks heaps for the detailed reply on batteries.I wonder how many people simply toss the batteries thinking they are cactus.Cheers also for the link on LOCATE in Google Earth which I have been playing with today.

Regards

Phil
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