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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Nova-Kool Refrigerators

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mockturtle

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Posted: 05/04/11 10:36pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Anyone have experience with one? How long will one run on 12V without having to charge the batteries (assuming no solar)?


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bdosborn

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Posted: 05/06/11 04:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The quick answer is - it depends. I logged the energy usage of my Waeco CF-40 for 24 hours (set at 40F, outside temp of 80F, didn't open the fridge) and this is what I got:



Energy usage is based on a lot of things, how hot it is, how cold you have the fridge set, how many times you open it, etc. Here's the usage when I put warm beer into the fridge:



Here's my webpage with all my test results:

Waeco CF-40

Bruce


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mockturtle

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Posted: 05/06/11 07:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, thanks. There are a couple of attractive RVs that happen come with the AC/DC (Nova-Kool) fridge. I think I would greatly miss my propane model since I do more dry camping than hookups.

landyacht318

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Posted: 05/06/11 08:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You should note that modern absorption fridges use battery power to run the circuit board. I am not sure the exact amount, but it is a significant draw over 24 hours.

On another forum one guy claims 1.3 amps per hour. My small compressor Norcold doesn't use that much in an hour unless I fill it with warm beer.

Perhaps others here know the circuit board draw and can enlighten you on battery consumption by absorption versus compressor fridges.

vikx

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Posted: 05/07/11 01:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had bad luck with a nova kool refer in hotter weather. Mine was designed to cool 30/40 degrees below ambient temperature. At 90 degrees, that's 50 at it's coolest. I like my brew a little cooler than that...

mockturtle

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Posted: 05/07/11 08:45am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

And you need 40 or below to keep food from spoiling. It seemed to me like a poor substitute for a AC/propane fridge and it probably is. Thanks.

dzzz

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Posted: 05/07/11 08:54am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vikx wrote:

I had bad luck with a nova kool refer in hotter weather. Mine was designed to cool 30/40 degrees below ambient temperature. At 90 degrees, that's 50 at it's coolest. I like my brew a little cooler than that...


You can set the danfoss compressor in novakool fridges to run faster and provide more cooling at 100%. It's in current novakool documentation:

All Nova Kool units are supplied with the silent and efficient BD series variable speed compressors from Danfoss. Nova Kool has supplied your unit preset at the optimum speed for most “normal” applications. The speed is controlled by a resistor in the thermostat circuit. 0 ohms (no resistor) runs the compressor on its slowest speed, a 1523 ohm resistor will provide you with the fastest speed. The slower the speed, the lower the amp draw, and the lower the capacity. The chart provides four examples, the resistance must be between 0 ohms and 1523ohms.


But a guess in your case it could be venting the heat exchanger that may be the problem.
Most people switch to compressor fridges for better cooling, not worse. Compressor fridges cost considerably more, especially if additional solar is part of the design. The trend in more expensive builds to compressor fridges wouldn't be happening if the units weren't superior at cooling.

* This post was edited 05/07/11 09:06am by dzzz *

bdosborn

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Posted: 05/07/11 09:24am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vikx wrote:

I had bad luck with a nova kool refer in hotter weather. Mine was designed to cool 30/40 degrees below ambient temperature. At 90 degrees, that's 50 at it's coolest. I like my brew a little cooler than that...


But that's a thermoelectric model isn't it? I thought he was looking for information on a compressor freeze. My Waeco, which is a compressor fridge will go down to 0F, it will just use a ton of juice to get there. Hmm, I should run a test at 0F and see what I get for energy usage.
Bruce

mockturtle

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Posted: 05/07/11 09:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am the OP and my main question was about dry camping without solar and how well and how LONG the Nova-Kool functions without running the generator. I can run my fridge on propane for weeks with minimal battery use. My interest stems from the fact that both the Tiger CX and the Sportsmobile come with the compressor fridge (although the SMB offers the absorption type as an option).

bdosborn

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Posted: 05/07/11 09:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mockturtle wrote:

And you need 40 or below to keep food from spoiling. It seemed to me like a poor substitute for a AC/propane fridge and it probably is. Thanks.


I have both a compressor and an absorption fridge and the compressor fridge is hands down better than the absorption. I bought the compressor fridge because the absorption kept getting up too warm in hot weather. That being said, I would be sure to supplement a compressor fridge with a solar panel.

Bruce

Edit note: Oops, we posted at the same time. An 80 watt solar panel should keep up with your energy usage most of the time - don't open it too much, don't put in a lot of warm beer, sunny day, etc.

* This post was edited 05/07/11 09:38am by bdosborn *

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