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truckfridge vs. engel mt45 question
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72boughitnew
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: 12vdc Compressor Refrigerators Reply with quote

I have had a Norcold DE 250C in my 72 Westy for 40 years. It has been over some of worst roads in the world and is still working great. It uses a swing motor compressor just like the new ones. I would be curious as to how the truck fridge measures current draw. Has anybody put an accurate amp meter in series with the battery and actually measured what the unit draws while running? My Norcold pulls 4.9 amps at 12.8vdc. and makes ice cubes in 45 minutes flat. The actual run time is directly dependant on ambient temperature. If you are at a ski resort a 30% duty cycle is realistic. If you are in Arizona in the summer, the unit never shuts off until the sun goes down. So to say the refrigerator will run 36 hours on a 100amp/hr battery is not true unless you are in a cold environment. After 40 years of camping with the Norcold I expect 2 days battery life unless I am skiing! Buy a Honda EU2000 generator and an IOTA 45 amp charger and you are set for extended rough camping.
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Re: 12vdc Compressor Refrigerators Reply with quote

72boughitnew wrote:
I have had a Norcold DE 250C in my 72 Westy for 40 years. It has been over some of worst roads in the world and is still working great. It uses a swing motor compressor just like the new ones. I would be curious as to how the truck fridge measures current draw. Has anybody put an accurate amp meter in series with the battery and actually measured what the unit draws while running? My Norcold pulls 4.9 amps at 12.8vdc. and makes ice cubes in 45 minutes flat. The actual run time is directly dependant on ambient temperature. If you are at a ski resort a 30% duty cycle is realistic. If you are in Arizona in the summer, the unit never shuts off until the sun goes down. So to say the refrigerator will run 36 hours on a 100amp/hr battery is not true unless you are in a cold environment. After 40 years of camping with the Norcold I expect 2 days battery life unless I am skiing! Buy a Honda EU2000 generator and an IOTA 45 amp charger and you are set for extended rough camping.


Well, there ya go - an antique unit should not be compared to modern units. I personally have tested Truckfridge and Vitrifrigo units at 3.0A startup. tapering to as low as 2.2A. And they do cycle on/off even in the hottest weather. I ran a VF C51i in my personal Westy Syncro for a couple years before testing - connected an analog clock to the fan leads (fan runs whenever the compressor runs) and got exactly 33% run time on 80~85 degree ambient temperature, holding a steady 40 inside the fridge. I have a C60i in my current rig and use a battery monitor to verify usage. These new fridges consume far less power than your 40-year-old unit - on the order of 20-25 ah per day. So a 100 ah battery can easily run three days if you push it to 75%, although I like to see more battery capacity than that.
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nocreditnodebt
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The swing compressor on my Norcold de0040 was a buzz saw. Vibrate my whole Van. When it failed. it was floating in the cabinet, surrounded by sound dampening materials, and still, too loud, and would cause other things to vibrate.

I've found my New Danfoss/Secop powered Vitrifrigo to be much quieter, and more efficient.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nocreditnodebt wrote:
The swing compressor on my Norcold de0040 was a buzz saw. Vibrate my whole Van. When it failed. it was floating in the cabinet, surrounded by sound dampening materials, and still, too loud, and would cause other things to vibrate.

I've found my New Danfoss/Secop powered Vitrifrigo to be much quieter, and more efficient.

It could be a Norcold thing or it could be what I experienced with a pallet load of Engels I bought.

Most were whisper quiet except a problem child or two.

The problem children buzzed because something was out of place or tweaked.

Opened the unit and followed some instructions we got on line, i believe.

That made them quiet down.

But, who knows in your case.

FYI: The Norcolds and Engels are known to run 2 or 3 decades without issue. But stuff does happen and maybe you were unlucky. You also had a sample set of one. Tough to make a case that way.
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had experience with two DE-0040s, both vibrated enough to rattle cabinets when trying to sleep. Gave up and then went to the Vitrifrigo. Very Happy
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72boughitnew
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Compressor refrigerators Reply with quote

I am confussed with respect to variable current draw on a swing motor compressor refrigerator. They should draw a consistent amount while running. Has anybody actually measured the current draw with a good digital amp meter? My Norcold pulls 4.9 amps while running. Attempting the calculate the total number of hours or days between recharge is dependant on many factors, the primary factor being ambient air temperature. A fully charged 100 amp/hr battery should deliver about 80% of its rated capacity. That calculates into 18 hours of continuous run time based on a 5 amp current draw. In the 40 year that I have had my Norcold, I have found that the duty cycle is around 40% to 50% on and 60% to 50% off in 70 to 80 degree day time temperatures. That will yield me about 36 to 45 hours between recharging. I carry a Honda EU2000 generator if I am going to do extended rough camping. By running the gen two hours every couple of days, The 45 amp IOTA charger keeps the battery topped up.
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72boughitnew
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:01 am    Post subject: Truckfridge Reply with quote

Ken, does truckfridge make a unit with outside dimension of 171/2 w by 21h and 20 deep? You are probably right, my Norcold is 40 years old and they have made a lot of improvement with respect to power consumption over the years. Moreover, if it ever packs in, there arn't any parts around.
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:52 am    Post subject: Re: Truckfridge Reply with quote

72boughitnew wrote:
Ken, does truckfridge make a unit with outside dimension of 171/2 w by 21h and 20 deep? You are probably right, my Norcold is 40 years old and they have made a lot of improvement with respect to power consumption over the years. Moreover, if it ever packs in, there arn't any parts around.


TF65: http://truckfridge.com/tf65acdc.html
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Compressor refrigerators Reply with quote

72boughitnew wrote:
I am confussed with respect to variable current draw on a swing motor compressor refrigerator. They should draw a consistent amount while running. Has anybody actually measured the current draw with a good digital amp meter?

I did with my Engels. It varies based on input voltage and controller setting. Under initial start-up it is more like 3A on a 12.8 volt input, as it seems the factory measures at 13.8 volts which is typical for a mobile application. Most things that are for 12v mobile applications are actually measured at 13.8v. Later, as it gets colder, it creeps down. I have seen it loaf at 1 amp plenty of times and then cycle off....recall Engel MT series ratings are 0.7A to 2.5A .

72boughitnew wrote:
My Norcold pulls 4.9 amps while running. Attempting the calculate the total number of hours or days between recharge is dependant on many factors, the primary factor being ambient air temperature.

Agree...

72boughitnew wrote:
A fully charged 100 amp/hr battery should deliver about 80% of its rated capacity.

Depends. Temp, age, and true capacity come into play here. PLUS this is true for a TRUE deep cycle battery. I understand this is death for some types of battery chemistry, though.

I am nice to my flooded cell batteries and only go to about a 50% discharge, at most, That only happens with no solar input and did that only once or twice with the rest have a solar boost during the day light hours.

72boughitnew wrote:
That calculates into 18 hours of continuous run time based on a 5 amp current draw. In the 40 year that I have had my Norcold, I have found that the duty cycle is around 40% to 50% on and 60% to 50% off in 70 to 80 degree day time temperatures. That will yield me about 36 to 45 hours between recharging. I carry a Honda EU2000 generator if I am going to do extended rough camping. By running the gen two hours every couple of days, The 45 amp IOTA charger keeps the battery topped up.

Might be time to consider moving into the 2000s technically speaking. MANY of us go for days with out depleting our house batteries. We do this via newer equipment and solar power. No need to have a gas powered anything to make up for low state of charge as we never get to that. *IF* the hosuse battery gets really low, then we may let the engine charge the house battery.....time for a beer run or whatever anyways.... Smile Smile Smile
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nocreditnodebt
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the case of my Norcold de0040, all the noise emanated from the compressor itself. Isolating the compressor from the fridge, and isolating the fridge from the cabinet were the only options, besides sleeping with earplugs. Frequently I'd have to re adjust the fridge in its floating enclosure to get something in the cabinet to stop rattling, and many times just punched the door in absolute frustration.

The Vitrifrigo makes less than half the noise, though I did replace the fan with a quieter one, and make it so it pushes air through the condenser instead of pulling it, which quietens down the original fan too.

Both my Norcold de0040 and VitrifrigoC51i(front loading fridges, not chest style) had/have extra insulation, and cabins is designed around evacuating compressor/condenser heat.

The Vitrifrigo's performance and ergonomics of use, are superior.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Refrigerator and solar panel Reply with quote

What would I need in the way of a solar panel to keep the refrig battery topped up? Can they be mounted flat or do they have to be positioned for effective output?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:43 am    Post subject: Re: Refrigerator and solar panel Reply with quote

72boughitnew wrote:
What would I need in the way of a solar panel to keep the refrig battery topped up? Can they be mounted flat or do they have to be positioned for effective output?
Blue Bay Bus Mine is flat. I have 140 watts that keeps up with my TF 49 and all that I use. A modern fridge will pull 2.9 amps and less so just for the fridge a 50 to 60 watt will run it. Most put out that many amps. The fridge runs down to .9 to 1.5 amps , so the solar should keep up with it 24 hours a day. With a good battery to! Very Happy PS- I can't here my TF 49 at night, but I did add extra insulation to the TF 49.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Refrigerator and solar panel Reply with quote

72boughitnew wrote:
What would I need in the way of a solar panel to keep the refrig battery topped up? Can they be mounted flat or do they have to be positioned for effective output?

The below thread is what a few of us are doing. It may or may not be what you need, but gives you an idea. There are plenty of other solar threads, too... Use the SEARCH!

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=295946
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Solar panels Reply with quote

Has anybody had any experience with the Mars 100 portable solar panel. It looks pretty slick. It folds into a locking case which also holds the controller. The package measures 26" X 26" X 2 3/4". Total weight is about 17 pounds. It comes with the various adapters and 15 feet of power cord. They sell for around $349.00
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