Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Power Needed For Whirlpool Fridge

4:41 am:
We are rethinking the feasibility of using the Whirlpool electric refrigerator.

From the Whirlpool manual, the following specs are obtained:
➜ 120 volts
➜ 0.8 Amps

120 volts x 0.8 amps = 96 watts. So, the Whirpool requires 96 watts to operate for 1-hour. And for a whole day, 96 watts x 24 hours = 2,304 watts per day.

Our Yingli solar panel is rated at 250 watts.
How much power does a 250-watt solar panel produce?

Using 4-hours of full sun gives us this equation: 
250 watts x 4 hours. That's 1 kWh (1,000 watts) in a day for our 250-watt panel. 

Even on a good summer day, our Yingli does not produce enough electric power for the Whirlpool. We are short 1,304 watts/day.

Note: Are these calculations correct?

7:34 am:
What's That George Up To?
➜ Finishing up the Vinyl Plank Flooring in the area near Scampy's door.
➜ Tying down the freshwater tank with a strap.
➜ Changing the freshwater tank's filler tube with PVC in order to bring the filler tube in line with the two tank fittings.
➜ Installing the screen door recently received from Scamp Trailer.

3:37 pm:
Fiesta Bonita!
That George is always up to something! Right now he is over at the Fiesta Bonita Mexican Restaurant and treating himself to a Chili Relleño!

Good Mexican food!

9:02 pm:
Air Conditioner Installation
I could have purchased an air conditioner designed for an RV. But I do not like those A/C units!

Most of them are too loud and too expensive. I prefer the A/C unit that I bought which designed for the homeowner to fit into a window. These A/C units are produced in huge quantities. As a result, the selling price is extremely low.

I bought my Frigidaire A/C from Amazon and paid only $130 for it. Click
[Here] to view this A/C.

Mounting the Frigidaire A/C
Because this A/C unit has a cabinet that is made out of very light gauge aluminum, it is not feasible to just slap the A/C on Scampy's roof and hope for the best!

I have designed a mounting bracket that will protect the A/C's light-duty cabinet and hopefully prevent the A/C from being pounded to death up there.

I've engaged a local machine shop to fabricate up my design. The material of the bracket is 1/4" thick hot rolled steel plate. That steel may seem overkill to you. But I believe it is required for this A/C application.

I'm meeting with the machinist who will do the work tomorrow morning.

Installing the A/C
I have selected Lake RV in Ponderay Idaho to do the A/C install using the steel bracket that the machine shop is fabricating for me.

Lake RV is also repairing some holes in Scampy's fiberglass shell that arrived there because of changes that I made in some parts of Scampy's design.

Not a biggy!

Nite Camp Location Map
Elevation: 2,131 feet



  1. That fridge will only run about 1/2 of the time, so it will use around 1200 WHr (1.2KWHr) per day.

    But you are still short about 200 WHr per day.

    You can run a fridge on solar, but you need to use one of the high efficiency units made for boats or trucks. Look up NovaKool, Truckfridge, Dometic. They are expensive though.

    I've been using a NovaKoll for several years in my truck camper, it has worked very well. No need to level and always holds the temperature well.

    1. Hi Kenneth,
      I took your advice and looked up the Nova Kool. Thank you!

      When I do switch away from an absorbent type fridge to an electric, a Nova Kool will be my choice!



  2. The refrigerator does not run 24 hrs a day, only when the thermostat tells it it needs to cool down.
    I've known people who turned the power to a fridge off when they went to bed & back on when they got up & the sun was shining on their solar panels.

    1. Hi Rob,

      I did not consider that the Whirlpool did not run 24 hours a day when I nixed that project.

      However, I believe that I made the correct decision about not using the Whirlpool that I bought to replace the Dometic.

      The Nova Kool fridge that Reader Kenneth commented about looks to be a much better choice.

      Since changing from the Dometic absorbent fridge to an electric fridge is not an urgent thing at this time, I have put that project on the back-burner.



  3. George, where does the AC install make your list?

    1. Hi Bob!

      Today, for goodness sakes!

      This afternoon I hen-scratched the bracket drawing. Tomorrow morning I'll meet with the machinist who will fabricate the bracket.

      The A/C cabinet of the Frigidaire is very light weight aluminum. So, the bracket will be made from 1/4" thick steel plate in order take stress off of the cabinet.



    2. Wow quarter inch steel plate
      If the welder is any good have a make it out of aluminum stock
      It's lighter and stronger and function the same way
      Your cost factor is not the problem you got to remember that AC weighs 41 pounds how much is your bracket going two weight
      I'm assuming you're going to put it on the roof, what is the roof weight factor,, or if you're going to put it in a back window The angle of weight have to factor in there as well
      When you order a scampi trailer air conditioning is optional along with that option is probably some kind of bracket made by scampi that you may or may not have there ?
      If you have a simple thin shell roof it won't support any air conditioner.
      The bracket would probably be fiberglassed in there something have to distribute that load

    3. Hi Ed,

      According to your comment, I believe that I like aluminum better.

      My bracket design distributes the A/C load over the perimeter of the vent.



  4. Remember although the panel is rated at 250W they are not able to make that except when conditions are perfect and even then they are probably only capable of 85% to maybe 90% of the rating. Warm temps drastically reduce the capability.

    I have 33 300W and 15 325W panels on my roof and they "should" make 14.775 kW at the best conditions but the most I've ever recorded is almost 12 kW.

    But these folks pointing out you will only need the power for a fraction of the day are correct but you really need to understand what the needs are before you move forward.


    1. Hi Don,

      Although I have been Blogging about switching out the Dometic and installing the Whirlpool, this change is not a high priority for me. Perhaps when I am wintering in San Diego?

      Also, it appears that the Nova Kool fridge would be a much better choice over the Whirlpool as suggested by Reader Kenneth Hufnagel.



  5. Your figures yes no and maybe
    Technically not going to do the math but you're not going to run The fridge On your solar panels. you're going to run tham off of your inverter
    Technically you're going from your Solar panel, to your battery, to your inverter, to your refrigerator,.
    And Rob is right, because a lot of people don't run the Beer fridge at night they transfer that load to something else lights TV battery charged
    They'll actually put a night timer on their inverter to fridge Circuit
    So you see yes no or maybe

    1. Hi Ed,

      I've put the Dometic switch-out on the back-burner for now.

      I definitely would be more happy with an electric fridge. But that fridge would more likely be the Nova Kool [Suggested by Reader Kenneth.

      Click [Here] to read about the
      Nova Kool.



  6. I can't picture the installation of a window type AC mounted on the roof of Scamp. You mentioned cost as one factor in choosing this AC. I think by the time you pay for the bracket construction and other modifications that savings disappears. Plus you'll be adversely affecting the value of Scamp with a Rube Goldberg installation. You can see I for one have a bad feeling about this AC installation.

    Then on the other hand. This sort of challenge seems to make you happy. Even if they don't work out or cause other issues. I guess staying active, productive and happy is a good way to go through life.

    1. Hi Bob,

      Your last sentence reads sooooo true in my head:
      "I guess staying active, productive and happy is a good way to go through life."

      Especially for this almost 81-year old RVer!



    2. You hit the A/C right on the head Bob
      There are some issues
      1 George is going to keep scampi trailer until he kicks the bucket so the value isn't going anywhere
      2 I'm hoping he has long arms to reach up and change the switch dial .
      3 now you and I won't tell George this .but they make AC unit that have wireless remote. (So long arms are not needed)
      4 yes condensation will run down the back of the trailer. When parked, now after he unplugs an leaves the park, then the fun begins, where is the rest of water going to go. when he drives down the road and stops
      I'm guessing active productive and happy will take over
      But that's OK we love picking on Mr. George

  7. We just plain love Mr. George!

    1. And Mr. George loves you right back, Joan! 😍