2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by Hillhater » Jul 26, 2017 6:04 pm

Make sure to keep the freezer FULL at all times...with anything like bottles of water or those freezer blocks..anything that does a phase change near freezing point. Then when the power is off the freezer stays cold longer.
As long as you use free power to freeze them initially, they will act as a cold energy store.
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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by amberwolf » Jul 27, 2017 12:57 am

I keep the empty spaces of my refrigerator/freezer (upright type) and my deepfreeze (chest type) filled with the gel-type "cool-packs" that come in our fish orders at work. There's only a couple a week, but over the years it's quite a lot of them. :) When they break open I use the stuff inside to mix with my planting soil to help keep moisture in there.
Matt Gruber wrote:anytime i see more on trash day, i'll pick up good pieces for the sides.
If there are pet stores near you that carry fish, find out what day they get their shipments in. They probably come in styrofoam coolers that are tossed out. If they carry frozen rats/fishfood/etc they also probably get a box with sheets of styrofoam inside it.

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by billvon » Jul 27, 2017 2:13 pm

amberwolf wrote:If there are pet stores near you that carry fish, find out what day they get their shipments in. They probably come in styrofoam coolers that are tossed out. If they carry frozen rats/fishfood/etc they also probably get a box with sheets of styrofoam inside it.
Might be a downside to reusing dead-rat shipping containers to encircle food storage.
--bill von

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by amberwolf » Jul 28, 2017 1:41 am

Why? All those frozen foods (rodents or otherwise) are
A) frozen solid (packed in dry ice)
B) individually sealed in plastic bags / bubblepacks.

Unless their ghosts come nibbling.... ;)

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by Matt Gruber » Aug 09, 2017 5:08 pm

Great reviews on this co.
$98 for 800w pure sine wave 24v input

http://www.ebay.com/itm/800W-Car-Power- ... 1438.l2649

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by Matt Gruber » Aug 11, 2017 7:18 am

amberwolf wrote:FWIW, if it's a chest-style freezer, then there are two methods I've seen for those to shed the heat from the compressor coils. One is in a rear-mounted/under-freezer mounted setup, and the other is built into all the side and front and rear surfaces.

If it's like the latter you can't add any insulation to those surfaces while it's actually running (but you can wrap it in blankets or any other thick insulation jacket, thicker the better, after power fails to help insulate it further, as long as you be sure to remove them when power comes back on. This could add a LOT of time to keep it cold inside).

If it's made like the former, you can add on styrofoam sheets to quite a thickness to all sides without exchanger coils, whatever's practical for the area it's in, and even put insulation under and over it if it's only a rear-mounted heat exchanger. Depending on how it's mounted a rear exchanger can even be moved away from the freezer a bit and add even more insulation between it and the freezer. This can all be done and still ahve it running with the insulation on it, and it will take much less power over time to keep the stuff cold inside it.
Did a test on the grid, with the room at 82F i used my IR gun to take temps, to look for improvement areas.
inside lowest temp: compressor temp: rear coil temp:
15min 24F ........................105F.....................109F
25 min 13F..........................124F...................112F
65 min 1F..........................159F....................112F(rear panel 97-99F)
case passes, 79-81F except for rear. 97-99F)
Inside shelf, above compressor FAILS- 4F warmer than side of comp. or anywhere else. will add styrofoam.
i replaced the old door seal, almost no leakage, maybe 1 degree at worst.
may try a 2 watt fan on the rear coil and another at compressor. may pull coil up off rear as that is a hot spot.
thanks for comments!

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by Matt Gruber » Aug 11, 2017 2:02 pm

OK here is what i did:
1. moved rear coil out 5" away. added 3/4" styrofoam against rear freezer wall.
2. added 1" styrofoam in compressor box.
3. 4" fan blows air in left front, it goes around comp. and exits right rear..
4. inside, put 2.5" styrofoam on top of shelf(comp under it)
.
Used 1 whole glue stick! LOL
anybody want to see another test tomorrow?

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by amberwolf » Aug 12, 2017 1:25 am

Would be interesting to also see the difference in length of time it stays cold with and without the extra insulation. ;)

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by Matt Gruber » Aug 13, 2017 7:48 am

8-13-17 test #2 on grid AC
room 78, down from 82F
after 65 min, comp was only 107, down from 159! this is important as induction motors running on modified square wave inverters are said to use 20% more watts, creating more heat, risking overheating and failure. future test will use inverter and check heat.
rear coil 95, was 112.
rear top 79-81 down from97-99. added foam 82-87.
front-sides-top 74-76 was 79-81

inside -5 down from +1, except floor was as high as 38F :roll: and comp box side 17-18 top 0 need foam on floor and box side.
used wattmeter this time, 112w slowly dropped as low as 97, but popped up to 105 as i had lid open 2 minutes checking temps at test end.
everyone should own an IR gun! the food you save may be your own! LOL
.
edit
after 42 min OFF, floor was 47, most was 35. top comp 38. that floor is terrible. i thought cold air sinks and didn't check it last time. :oops:

edit2
just added 4" thick :shock: styro to bottom....17"x13" no more sneaky floor exit!

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Re: grid tie inverter, but no grid, will it work?

Post by Matt Gruber » Aug 14, 2017 11:42 am

got some free GoBoard 1/2" backer board pieces, for under freezer.
put an ice cube between goboard and styrofoam.
10 minutes later go was the clear winner! did not want to melt the ice hardly at all after 10 minutes go was 75F nearly dry, and styro was 67F and dripping wet!
GoBoard is waterproof and passes fire code, unlike styro. and strong enough for floors!
specs:
http://www.jm.com/content/dam/jm/global ... struct.pdf
.
edit
put 1" of backer board on bottom(outside)
1/4" gap to floor

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Re: inverter to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 06, 2017 5:23 pm

Freezer is on, with 2 gal of 52F water to start. will add more each day.
possibly hurricane Irma will pay a visit sun/mon.
Last edited by Matt Gruber on Sep 07, 2017 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: inverter to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by fechter » Sep 06, 2017 6:54 pm

Looks like you might get to try all that stuff out soon. Irma looks very dangerous.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: inverter to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Harold in CR » Sep 06, 2017 9:17 pm

Just talked with my son,in south east florida. Turnpike is full with 30 mph traffic, I95 is full with 22 mph traffic. Home depot has no plywood, no screws, there is only PREMIUM gasoline being sold at $2.81/gallon. Regular and mid regular is not deliverable, only Premium. :roll: :roll: No groceries at all in the stores.

He thinks it will hit Miami around 8PM Sunday night and go right up the east coast, trashing everything.
Thanks to Justin, the forum is open source and NON-commercialized.

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Re: inverter to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 07, 2017 8:18 am

fechter wrote:Looks like you might get to try all that stuff out soon. Irma looks very dangerous.
i thought it might be years, many years!
the freezer is working great, 15 F BELOW zero! the 4w fan i have blowing on the compressor has it at 98F, was 159F without it!
the cond. coil is 100F.
these are after 10 hours, so no worries about overheating.
.
Just put on my home made hurricane garage door. weighs 280, goes in in 4, 70# sections. 2x4 frame + plywood. should be good for 120 mph.

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Hillhater » Sep 07, 2017 6:21 pm

Wishing you a safe few days..
Forget the freezer for a while, just find yourself a safe , dry place.
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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 08, 2017 4:05 am

Hillhater wrote:Wishing you a safe few days..
Forget the freezer for a while, just find yourself a safe , dry place.
Yes, i'm in a safe dry place.
Years ago my Dad went with the advice of the governor, and went to a shelter, but the shelter turned him away. He came here. Why? When it was being built, he pointed out that many of the hurricane straps were not attached! So every one was attached right, and he knew my roof was not going to blow off.
Yes i have many things to do besides the freezer, but it is important to think ahead and have food!

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 13, 2017 5:57 am

IRMA blows out the lights!
at first, on day one, it looked gloomy. no pwr for 16 hrs and no sun. gen's humming in the backround.
So about noon, i hooked the 2 cars in series, and ran 24v to the ups. ran freezer for 1/2 hr, was about to shut it off, and the sun popped out! so out came the 2 PV's and ran 20 more. clouds and sun for the rest of the day, got 2 hrs run time. had to let LA's charge as they are not deep cycle.
Day 2 full sun 8am, but it is weak early, so ran 40 min on, 40 off. clouds rolled in/out, but got another 2 hrs by noon.
Grid back on at noon! was off for 38hrs.
Learned a lot, and for the 1st time a pwr outage was fun! :mrgreen:

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by fechter » Sep 13, 2017 2:38 pm

I think it's almost a Murphy's Law thing. If you are really prepared, the disasters don't happen. Anyway, 38 hours without power is pretty significant. Glad to hear your hardware performed well. I'm sure you learned a few things as well.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 13, 2017 3:56 pm

Hi Fechter!
One thing i learned is, it takes 12 minutes to cook a burger on a hot plate on 2p10s and, it cooks so slow it does not shrink! that 1000w hot plate put out 100 watts at 40v.
was about to try 2p15s, 60v when the pwr came back on. takes 2-3 minutes on 240v, 1400w stove. 1 minute on, then off til done.

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Hillhater » Sep 13, 2017 9:41 pm

You know, a camping gas stove and skillet has its uses !
or if you really want to be independently fueled, look up "Rocket stove".
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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 14, 2017 5:38 am

Hillhater wrote:You know, a camping gas stove and skillet has its uses !
or if you really want to be independently fueled, look up "Rocket stove".
i have a gas camping stove. also have millions of branches that could make nice fires.
i like electric burners, as there are no fumes. day 1 was very windy, like 30-50 mph, not good for camping outside. also wanted to try the hot plate and it worked good, just slow on 40v. next time i'll try 60v.

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by fechter » Sep 14, 2017 7:57 am

Matt Gruber wrote:Hi Fechter!
One thing i learned is, it takes 12 minutes to cook a burger on a hot plate on 2p10s and, it cooks so slow it does not shrink! that 1000w hot plate put out 100 watts at 40v.
was about to try 2p15s, 60v when the pwr came back on. takes 2-3 minutes on 240v, 1400w stove. 1 minute on, then off til done.
I should get one of those for a test load. I can cook a snack while discharging the pack too.
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Matt Gruber » Sep 14, 2017 2:52 pm

UPDATE 9-14-17
34% still without pwr in Volusia county after 4 days! There was not much damage to buildings, just a lot of wires down. it is easy to imagine 2-4 weeks without pwr with a cat 3. this is why i went solar instead of gas gen- a gas gen is going to run out of gas in a few days, as i'm not going to stockpile a huge supply.
solar, while erratic, won't run out, no carbon monoxide, and no NOISE 8)
freezer still has ice after 4 days, but not much. next time i'll make twice as much ice. it really makes ice fast, about 25-30 lbs /day, given pre-cooled water from my fridge at 52F.
Thanks for the comments!

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Re: 2 Solar panels to run old freezer after hurricane

Post by Dauntless » Sep 14, 2017 10:54 pm

It would be interesting to know how the solar systems survived the storms. Roof systems most of all, if they survived.
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