I've been following a thread here on Solar, trying to expand my knowledge base.
A couple weeks ago they got into a discussion on power consumption and I got to wondering about my appliances. I'd done a crude test of the frig in perfect conditions (sunny days - great solar gain on the panels) while traveling, to see if the solar array was up to the task.
Now I thought it best to understand the consumption side, since perfect conditions don't exist in the Pacific NW for most months. To that end I starting researching test equipment to see what was available. I chose to try a Poonie N2000 monitor. It works on 120 Volt circuits by plugging the unit into a receptacle (it has a short extension cord if it won't fit directly on the receptacle) and plugging the appliance into the monitor. It will display running and elapsed data, so for my purposes it's sufficient.
Hopefully, those of you with more electrical experience/theory can help adjust my process if I missed something.
The exterior factors were as follows:
Trailer sitting in the open on shore power.
Typical fall day: high in the low 60s, down in the high 40s at night, overcast in the mornings. partly sunny afternoon.
Furnace on in the trailer: During the day set to 70 F, turned down to 64 from 9PM to 9AM
Frig: It's the original Kreftt frig that was converted with an Isotherm conversion kit, model 2501. This has the rectangular evaporator and is rated for up to 7 cubic feet. The compressor and controller sit above the frig in the storage area.
It's an all electrical unit (12/120 V). The frig controller defaults to 120V when available. (Keep in mind the controller output is 12V
to the compressor.) I have it on a 120V circuit that is direct from shore power so we aren't using the inverter/batteries. It runs on a separate 12V
circuit that I use when traveling/boondocking. I left the original insulation in the frig itself and replaced the door insulation with rock wool. The outside of the frig has rigid foil backed insulation between the frig and cabinet. One inch on the sides and top. Two inches on the bottom.
The frig is running on 120V. The switch is set to 6 (range 1-7).
The frig was empty for the test, so I assume it may be more efficient under normal use.
Thermometer just a cheap one made for use in a frig.
Here are the results:
Using less than a Kw was good in my book, but under high temps in the summer its bound to go up significantly. Have to retest next summer.
Thoughts on method??