Solar Panel for the ute

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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby David P » Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:12 pm

I would have said you'd do better to mount it down between the racks (even under the bottom of the rack) for better protection, and so you could still use the rack if you really needed to. Impressed by it being able to support the fridge tho - I rely on gas to drive my three-way one when I'm away from a power point.
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby stevo. » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:29 pm

Yeah that is the plan, i can still use the racks, i have a canoe that might hang over the front a little so it might sit on the rack.

I was talking to a dude, he said the 3 way fridges require alot more power when run on 12v as compared to the 12v/240v type, so you will drain your battery pretty fast, so i assume a 3 way fridge is best run on gas.
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby Chicky Babe » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:52 pm

Hey stevo...you're right...only run your 3 way fridge while driving, it will drain your battery damn fast when not...on Gas it is awesome and 240Volt. :?#
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby stevo. » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:56 pm

The 3 way fridges must use the fan/heatsink system on 12volt then? not a compressor?
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby Chicky Babe » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:02 pm

Puhhh...got me...all i know is the thing works but don't leave it on when the cars not going...I don't put it on the car anyway...chill it right down afore I goes and light it up as soon as I get there...mind you haven't done a longer trip than 3 hrs yet!!
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby David P » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:33 pm

Not sure how it works myself either, except it doesn't have a fan.

Like Chicky Babe, I load it up the night before and then run the thing on 240 volts to get it cool, then change over to gas once I get there. I tried running it on 12v off the car as I drove, but it doesn't seem to do anything - I assume the joggling around disrupts whatever it's cooling mechanism is. Or karma. Or something.

Runs like a train on gas though, the internal cooling element gets down to freezing, and doesn't use very much gas - over a week on a smallish bottle from memory. Having said that, my memory is crap, so I might be wrong.
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby stevo. » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:45 pm

I had some major issues with the fridge over the holidays. It kept cutting in and out constantly. The battery had enough power/volts so i wasn't sure what was happening. I came to the conclusion that the wiring from the battery to the cig socket wasn't big enough for the load. So i cut the cig socket off the fridge cord, ran some new 6mm wire from the battery, an Anderson plug and a blade fuse. Hopefully that will solve the issue.

I have talked to various people about it and some had the same issue and fixed it by doing this also.

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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby Jo&Kev » Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:09 am

Stevo - we found with our 3Way that the standard wiring wasn't up to it! 6mm wire and the anderson socket should pretty much solve your problem. Waeco even sell a thing that has 6mm cable that you can run from the battery and the far end has a cig and a hella socket (and a 10.5V cut out, and ignition cut out circuit) which means that the fridge makers know about the current draw issue...

For the curious/bored/technically minded...

Absorption cooling dates back to the mid 1800's, and was developed from then into the 1920's - Albert Einstein and a student of his designed one!

I only 'sorta' know how they work, but what I do know is that the refrigerant is ammonia, and water and hydrogen gas are part of the process. From memory the ammonia boils which is how things are cooled. The hydrogen gas plays it's part by being a pressure regulator somehow, and the water is is used to separate the hydrogen gas from the ammonia gas. So the ammonia and water mixes, and later needs to be separated back to being water and liquid ammonia. Heat is needed to do this part of the process. Naturally heat from LPG is more efficient than the 240V heating coil, which is more efficient than the 12V heating coil.

Hopefully that explains some of the mysteries behind the 3Ways and their remarkably large current draw on 12V. The reason they don't need a compressor is that the process is pretty much carried out by convection in the sealed circuit. Mine has a little fan on the back that runs on 240V and 12V, which is the only moving part. When running on LPG there are no moving parts.

Interestingly there is a project aimed at developing an absorption fridge that can safely and efficiently operate on a small campfire, for emergency use in areas where electricity is not available.

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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby regnshaniah n » Sun Feb 13, 2011 6:30 pm

solar panel is a great idea how much did it cost
where did you get it also
we have a ute and may think about it if its in our budget
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby GypsyLady » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:35 pm

regnshaniah n wrote:solar panel is a great idea how much did it cost
where did you get it also
we have a ute and may think about it if its in our budget
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Not sure where you guys are located but I can recommend Jamie from Dynamic Solar Solutions here in Qld

www.dynamicsolarsolutions.com.au
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Re: Solar Panel for the ute

Postby stevo. » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:55 pm

I got all my stuff from Springers. Some of their stuff is cheap compared to other places, but some stuff is expensive, but it's a good place to go and check out. You can browse stuff in the shop and talk to them about it, and get an idea of what you want, and you can then search other places for prices to compare.

They have a website: http://www.springers.com.au

The website is good as it has prices.


PS. Thanks Jo&Kev.

I ended up running the fridge through the solar regulator, but then found out that's no good because because the regulator can cause damage to accessories when it cuts in and out. And it's also no good to run the battery down to 10.5 as it damages the battery, sooo now i have set the cut out higher on the fridge and will have to rewire it so it's directly from the battery again. I think the battery is on it's way out as it was second hand when i put it in, so i'll get a new battery, one day
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