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Small Dorm Fridge Power Use


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I had a pleasant surprise regarding the power required to run an additional small dorm room type 120 VAC Fridge I recently installed in my motorhome. To have room for DRINKS ONLY I recently bought a small Haier 1.7 Cu Ft. fridge from Wally World for $80 bucks for the RV. Sure its small, however you can pack nearly a case of beer/pop/water in it plus the first wife even keeps a small sack of ice in its freezer. So we do a lot of extended dry off grid camping and I wanted to know how much power it consumed to determine if I had enough solar and battery capacity to run it continuously. I currently have only 200 watts of solar panels but am adding an additional 240 watts this spring before we head West. I have Four Golf Cart Batteries in Series/Parallel for 460 Amp Hrs total. My buddy has a plug in Watt Hour Meter so I plugged in the fridge (it was already cooled down) and let it run 24 hours with normal open and close use to get drinks when needed.


The results were:


236 Max Watts (That's when it starts) after start up it draws from 1 down to less then 1/2 amp during a typical four minute run cycle.

0.364 Killowatt Hours of use in 24 hours


364 Watt Hours divided by 12 volts (inverter input from battery bank) = around 30 Amp Hrs of energy to run it 24 hours


Subject, of course, to how many panels you have and the sun and angle etc., if your solar system could pump say 5 amps for 6 hours in a day into your battery bank that would be enough energy (30 Amp Hrs) to run the fridge.


Of course, the inverter is less then 100% efficient and there's other RV energy use such as water pump and vent fans and furnace and LED lighting and computer and cell phone charging and small TV/Radio etc.


Still, it looks like as long as I have decent sunlight for a few hours per day I can easily meet my energy requirements, fridge included, especially after I add more solar panels. I was just surprised at how little energy the small fridge requires and am a HAPPY CAMPER


John T

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