Solar powered refrigeration system
Having lived virtually three decades in an off-grid home with no electrical energy, and no refrigeration, we finally purchased an innovative new solar driven fridge. Here are our impressions.
We acknowledge to being one thing of a Luddite. It’s not too We dislike technology, it is only my sensation many contemporary ‘conveniences’ and technical marvels can get in the form of enjoying the simple pleasures of staying in a beautiful environment. And thus we decided to reside in a rural “off-grid” neighborhood and boost our two children within setting.
The troubles of living the straightforward life in an outlying location is earnings. Although we act as self-sufficient by growing our personal meals, bartering and trading for things we can not make ourselves or elsewhere provide, big discretionary costs have always been out of the question. We feel our lives have-been rich beyond compare, but money has not been area of the equation. In past times few years, but it has started to transform. Our sons have now both finished with school, the tuitions tend to be compensated, and us company, Eartheasy.com, is continuing to grow to the stage where we could today afford a few ‘luxuries’ – and topping record had been a refrigerator! In past years we had gotten by with a little 2 cu ft RV fridge, run by propane. But propane now costs $1 a pound, the containers tend to be hefty to pack in, and I was always worried about the possibility of fire, the pilot light being just a couple inches from my cedar residence. Considering these restrictions, we only ran the RV refrigerator throughout the hottest couple weeks of summer time.
Looking into the right brand name and design
Of course, not just any refrigerator would do. It must be solar-powered, since we're nonetheless off-grid, plus it had to be very efficient, since we now have one solar panel and two electric batteries. Exploring the best brand name and model was simple, because most of the houses within community are off-grid and quite a few homes have been using solar power refrigerators. The opinion did actually favor the SunDanzer line of DC-powered solar refrigerators as the brand name delivering many refrigeration utilizing the least quantity of power. We had a chance to get a used design but had been encouraged against this, as dilemmas had been reported with older SunDanzer designs which were made outside of the US. So we decided on our design or choice – a fresh SDR165, a 5.8 cubic base chest-style unit that attracts just 60 – 75 watts of energy.
Solar refrigerators are not inexpensive. The price had been about $1400 plus $300 delivery to our remote location. (The actual cost of the SDR165 is all about $1200. I paid much more as a result of an ordering mistake.) Obviously, we rationalized that numerous years of anticipated usage and cost savings we might gain from much better storage space of food would bring genuine worth for the investment. Therefore we shook off the sticker shock and placed our purchase.
I was maybe too informal whenever phoning during my purchase to your closest SunDanzer retailer, or he might have things muddled in moving in the order toward maker in Tx, however in any instance We been able to order and buy the wrong model. This I didn't understand for several months when a well-packaged, but bigger than expected refrigerator reached my house. At 8.1 cu ft, it absolutely was the size of a big chest fridge. After a couple of anxious measurements and another trip to the SunDanzer internet site, my mistake ended up being as apparent while the shiny brand-new white elephant now sitting to my porch.
The outlook of coming back the machine for an alternative ended up being dim. The logistics of having the ice box here involved trucking, a ferry, another truck, a-trip on a small boat, transfer to an inferior ship, and loading it the hill to our house. I happened to be starting to feel cornered into coping with a more substantial model that could take an excessive amount of power and wouldn't fit in our kitchen.
Then an additional problem surfaced. The ice box had slightly sticker on the side nevertheless “freezer”. The organization had delivered me a freezer by mistake. My feeling ended up being darkening. It took about weekly of calls and figuring out the options, but in the course of time an area technical wizard just changed the thermoregulator together with device had been transformed into a refrigerator.
Warming up to your brand-new cool
Setting up the ice box to our 12 volt system had been simple, together with huge moment finally appeared to make it on. It purred quietly for a few minutes and moved almost hushed. Within one hour the interior heat had dropped to 8 degrees C, as well as in another hour it transpired to 4 levels (approx. 40 degrees F, the perfect heat for a refrigerator). The batteries held firm at 12.7 volts, and felt significantly more than adequate to run the applying. After which the love affair started. The butter got difficult. The celebratory beer got cool. It seemed miraculous! Also to top it well, we discovered that the larger 8.1 cu ft design (SDR225) needed just a fraction more energy as compared to smaller design we had prepared on.
Buying the larger 8 cu ft design turned out to be a fortunate mistake. As it calls for hardly any additional energy compared to the smaller design, what’s wrong with having a more impressive fridge we reasoned. Our kitchen is slated to be reconstructed next summertime, so the additional space would be offered. Gradually, our sensed problems and anxieties melted away, leaving myself with only hook feeling of shame about all of the hassle. For a couple of months now, the refrigerator has actually operated effortlessly and silently at a continuing 4 degrees (C ) during the ‘medium’ establishing. There has been no frost or moisture buildup. Our electric batteries appear to hardly notice the draw. My wife is directed at occasionally draping by herself on the ice box in a giant hug, murmuring the nice nothings I wish she'd tell me personally inside our tender moments. And so all’s really that finishes well, and now we tend to be thrilled using the brand new cool that is end up being the centerpiece of our summer time food storage system.