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Old 08-03-2014, 02:36 AM   #1
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Question Outdoor Kitchen Refer Power ?

How much power do these refers draw? How big of an inverter is needed and how much battery power for say a three day weekend? Math has never been one of my stronger assets. Will one twelve do it? Two sixes maybe? Is plugging in or a gen. needed to keep one going all weekend. Assuming minimal load with everything else. I like the idea of the outdoor kitchens. But, in all reality, the sink, bbq, and stove is all that's really needed. A refer would be nice, but ice chests aren't that much of an issue.

So, what would three day of boon docking take with just battery power?
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:03 AM   #2
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Locate the nameplate, and all the pertinent information relating to it's power consumption (generally listed in watts) will be there. Check your owners manual as well, it may be listed there. Or lookup the brand/model info online. Your inverter size depends upon how much wattage is required by the refrig you have.

Unfortunately, inversion is terribly inefficient - A general rule of thumb for figuring battery capacity needed is that the inversion process requires 10 times as much DC power as the AC power you're trying to produce. Some inverters are more efficient than others, which can reduce that ratio, but they begin to get very expensive. While choosing inverters for comparison check the manufacturers specs for their efficiency ratings.

For example, here is a small Danby cube refrigerator: DAR195BL Danby Compact Cube All Refrigerator With Energy Star The manufacturer claims the energy consumption is 90 watts or 1.2 amps at 115 volts AC power. Using the 10:1 rule of thumb, you need approximately 12 amps of 12volt DC power on an inverter for it to run. Therefore over the course of 1 day, it will use 288 amp hours (12amp x 24 hrs) of DC power IF it's actually running the entire 24 hrs. There are factors which play into the true usage such as how often the door is opened and the ambient outdoor temperature. If you don't have people opening it up every 5 minutes obviously it will use less power.

Ok so using a base of 288 amp hours daily you need a battery configuration that will power it. The most common and least expensive setup is using 2 GC-2 type 6v batteries in series, which gives you 12 volts and approximately 220 amp hours. Using our numbers above, as you can see, if the refrig compressor is really running 24 hours, you're about 60amp hours short of running an entire day. I have found that the rated consumption numbers from the manufacturers are on the high side and that is it's rating while the compressor is running. For example, that small Danby will most likely only use around 140 amp hours in a 24 hr period depending upon how often it's opened and the ambient temperature.

So to answer your question above, with 2 GC-2 batteries and a fairly efficient inverter capable of producing at least 100 watts AC power, you will most likely get a run time of approximately a day and half on that small refrig depending upon your usage.

Keep in mind all this math is approximate and subject to change depending your usage patterns, such as how often the door is opened, the ambient temperature outside and the efficiency of your inverter.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:13 AM   #3
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Thanks for that detailed explanation.
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Old 08-10-2014, 09:37 AM   #4
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One issue and one other thought. The 10:1 is not efficiency. It is the voltage conversion to make the same power. The power equation is simple Watts= Volts x Amps. 100 W can be 1 v @100 A, 10 V @ 10 A or 100 V @1 A. That is most of the conversion cost. Loss is that it takes 11 A @10 V to make 1 A @ 100 V or 110 W in for 100 W out.

Accepted practice for deep cycle batteries is to stay above 50% charge to maintain long life. Not saying everyone does that but it is the best way to go. That doubles the size of the battery bank you would need. If I was going to try to run a refrigerator over a 3 day weekend I would go to an LP powered fridge and plan on some generator time to keep the control battery topped off or figure on a lot of generator time to keep the battery bank up. Now if I had a friend in the electric golf cart business... ;-)
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:28 PM   #5
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Why not run it on gas (propane)?
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:41 PM   #6
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Why not run it on gas (propane)?
Outdoor kitchen fridges are electric only, dorm type fridge.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:15 PM   #7
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O, electric only
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