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Opinions and Critiques Please - On Small Frig/Freezers or Freezers Under 70W — The Grow Network Community
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Opinions and Critiques Please - On Small Frig/Freezers or Freezers Under 70W

monica197monica197 Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭

Do you have a say on small frig/freezers or freezers that run on 70W or under?

Do you have a critique of frig/freezers or freezers that are solar powered?

I have been looking at them and am interested in long term use outcomes.

I am interested in something small (3.2cu ft perhaps) but it seems that the freezer sections of the frig/freezers are pretty small (smaller than I would find helpful should I need to move frozen things due to power outage).

Please share any comments and links you have. Thank you.


  • toreytorey Posts: 2,560 admin

    @monica197 3.2 cubic feet is pretty small, smaller than most fridge freezers. Especially if it is an upright one. Chest freezers usually hold a lot more than upright. So that would be my recommendation.

    Have you looked into propane freezers? Most people I know who are off grid have propane. But we are in the north so solar is not as reliable in the winter and generators need to be used as back up. Propane often fires their hot water and sometimes the generator so if you already have propane, it could be a better solution than solar.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭

    Good points @torey

    Since we are in the south I was thinking solar just to stay away from needing a fuel....

    I was looking at the Whynter brand - they have a chest freezer as well as a small upright but there were mixed reviews, which is what brought me to post this thread

    I'd much rather have a freezer unit - I thought that would be the best be...you can always thaw stuff out!

    And yes, I was trying to be small about this just because powering by solar would take quite a bit - this is something I would only be using in emergencies.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,560 admin

    @monica197 You could check out RV sales. They often have a large selection of off grid type appliances that work off solar, AC or DC power and propane that they sell to RV owners. The RV sales reps might know more about these types of appliances than a general sales clerk at a hardware store. Builders of tiny homes might also have some suggestions for you.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,466 ✭✭✭✭

    @monica197 The tiny "college dorm" type refrigerators have a tiny freezer that is useless, although if you set the temperature dial too low, you will find most of the refrigerator contents frozen. I use that refrigerator only for drinks.

  • edited June 2020

    Another good place for all kinds of appliances that work well with solar is at the truck stops that the large Semi Tractor Trailer drivers frequent. There is a whole industry creating things for them to use in the cabs of their trucks-- running on direct current, so easy to fit into a solar system without an inverter. 12 volt and 24 volt appliances, both. Almost everything you have in your house also exists in a "trucker version" that uses DC power and runs on 12 volts.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭
  • Happy HankHappy Hank Posts: 10 ✭✭✭

    @monica197 I use one of the small 3.2 dorm type for many years and it is small but will hold a couple dozen eggs and 3 half gallon boxes of drink plus several other very small things. Sometimes also a couple small packages of frozen vegetables. Have not tried turning temperature low enought to freeze all the contents. I use this as an extention to the small refig/freezer in my RV. It does use about 96 watts when running and of course the RV has the needed inverter to change 12 volts DC to 120 AC. A lot will depend on you budget as a good quality compresor unit will be pushing $1000. The cheaper truck models usually can only lower the inside temperture about 40 degrees below the outside temp. One reason us long haul drivers use the air condition in hot weather. LOL

  • solarnoon.aspensolarnoon.aspen Posts: 219 ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    We have invested in 4 Sundanzer fridge/freezers!! At first, while we were building, we used one as a fridge then converted it into a freezer later. Now we have one small freezer in the pantry and three larger ones in a separate building. this allows us to freeze all our meat and vegetable harvests. They use a fraction of the energy of conventional units and are easily convertable. https://sundanzer.com/

    We have had no problems with them. They are very simple, chest style (which we really didn't like as a fridge, but ok for freezers) and have so much insulation, that they are very economical on power. Almost no sound. They will run on AC or DC, easily converted. We are on 24 volt. DC You can look up the charts for power use for each one. It depends on ambient temperature, and size of unit.

    We also have a stand up two compartment fridge-only by Sun Frost http://www.sunfrost.com/

    Disadvantages of all these units is price. They are expensive, (check the links for current prices), however, they allowed us to have tons of cooling and freezing room and to use DC, not through the inverter. This let us actually turn our inverter off at night, saving power and sleeping without emfs in the house.

  • So I asked around some RV'ers, and found that the technology has advanced such that they find small 12 volt fridges to be useful and reliable in their setups. Interestingly, both people had this model as a second refrigerator, which surprised me.

    Unfortunately, two of them recommend a model that is getting harder to find, but I will mention it here, as it is listed on Amazon. You might get lucky to find one at another online store or RV dealership: "JoyTutus Car Freezer 42 Quart(40L) Portable Refrigerator RV Fridge(-4℉~50℉) Car Refrigerator Electric Compressor Car Cooler for Truck, Boating, Camping, Road Travel and Home Use-12/24V DC"

    But there are similar items available. Apparently, many of them are made in the same factory in China and just rebranded among different distributors. The bad news is, like anything for "RV" or "trucker" use, you will pay a premium-- for example this comparable unit costs $400.

    One of the commenters even gave some power numbers for a comparable unit, which may help you in your planning: "I have a similar non-Chinese knockoff one, the power use should be about the same. It varies a lot depending on conditions and use. I took some measurements - Low side, 40 degrees setting, indoors not opened = ~240 watts in 24 hours. Chilling room temp drinks might end up being ~740 watts / 24 hours. Used as a freezer (5 degrees), about 950 watts in 24 hours. Figure 250-400 watts in 24 hours in typical use as a fridge, but that can go up a lot in difficult environments (such as a parked auto)."

    I will link below to a unit available today that does much of the same thing as the ones recommended by my RV friends. As always, you'll need to do your own research, but I hope this helps with your thinking. And also, as always, if you look around beyond Amazon you can probably find it for a little bit less somewhere else. Let us know what how things turn out!


  • monica197monica197 Posts: 662 ✭✭✭✭

    Great information - thank you very much - I noticed that it said it used 50W...would you happen to know if that is start up wattage? @seasparrow32

  • Almost certainly not. One of the things I have learned from Steven Harris over at battery1234.com (warning-- he is an abrasive personality who shouts a lot, but his engineering knowledge is impeccable) is that most fridges have a startup spike over the recommended wattage, but then calm down to the listed value. Usually, they are below the listed value most of the time, and just jump up to it when the compressor kicks on. It's one of the reasons why most new refrigerators sound like a high pitched jet engine with epilepsy. It's more efficient that way, but it sure sounds terrible. Unfortunately, I don't know what the startup wattage of that particular unit is. Sorry!

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