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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Fridge draining batteries

    I have 2 new 110Ah leisure batteries.
    If I leave the small 12v fridge on overnight (with no other load on the batteries which are fully charged), the batteries will be flat in the morning. Is this normal or could the fridge be faulty?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Carribbean currently Grenada
    Posts
    6,818

    Default

    How many amps does the fridge draw?

    If it is an Electrolux fridge from [ very distant ]memory the draw is about 8 amps. Say 15 hours thats 120 amp hours so your bats should be about about 45% assuming they were fully charged.
    Monkey patching programmer [retired ]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    West Australia
    Posts
    11,719

    Default Fridge

    As said it depends on what kind of fridge. The "Pelteir" type electronic fridges (can heat or cool food) are the worst drawing a lot of current with not much cooling. The 3 way heat absorption type are also very heavy on current drain. Either of these types could flatten your batteries.
    The compressor tye fridges WAECO ENGEL or similar compressor kits should draw in the region of 5 amps and then only operate for about 30% of the time. The fridge will freeze everything if it is set to cold or thermostat fails. Any other large wastage of power would result in something getting very hot.

    AH ratings of batteries is a manufacturers way of describing size of the battery. Even new batteries might actually only produce in real life 80% or less of rated AH and after a bit of aging only produce 50%.
    olewill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    N London, and boat in Suffolk
    Posts
    2,113

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by William_H View Post
    As said it depends on what kind of fridge. The "Pelteir" type electronic fridges (can heat or cool food) are the worst drawing a lot of current with not much cooling. The 3 way heat absorption type are also very heavy on current drain. Either of these types could flatten your batteries.
    The compressor tye fridges WAECO ENGEL or similar compressor kits should draw in the region of 5 amps and then only operate for about 30% of the time. The fridge will freeze everything if it is set to cold or thermostat fails. Any other large wastage of power would result in something getting very hot.

    AH ratings of batteries is a manufacturers way of describing size of the battery. Even new batteries might actually only produce in real life 80% or less of rated AH and after a bit of aging only produce 50%.
    olewill
    Boat (compressor type) frig's need careful management to avoid excess battery loading. When I start a trip I load cooled drinks and goceries etc (frig's like to work loaded) and turn on the frig when the shore power is connected. In 3-4 hours of near continuous running the frig has equalised. Then I turn up the thermostat to maintenance, and the compressor runs about 1/3 of the time.

    I also have a wooden cover from my chest-type frig to reduce losses through condensation on the lid.

    Setting low temperature and having a half empty frig is a perfect recipe for strangling the unsupported battery.

    PWG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    out cruising, sailing around UK and Europe
    Posts
    993

    Default

    Ours was an Igloo camping 3 way fridge, draws 8 amps but it drained batteries overnight too, its the type of fridge not a compressor, best with the waeco compressor type only draws .02 amps up to 2.5

    Spend a little more, well alot more, but better in the long run.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    2,057

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oddynoki View Post
    I have 2 new 110Ah leisure batteries.
    If I leave the small 12v fridge on overnight (with no other load on the batteries which are fully charged), the batteries will be flat in the morning. Is this normal or could the fridge be faulty?
    Suspect you have it set too cold so the compressor runs too much.
    As others have said you wont have 220Ah anyway and "flat" is around 50% discharged so maybe using 50-60Ah looks like flat batteries.
    With my fridge its only on full when on mains or motoring, on very low during the day and off overnight.
    .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    everywhere
    Posts
    13,410

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by oddynoki View Post
    I have 2 new 110Ah leisure batteries.
    If I leave the small 12v fridge on overnight (with no other load on the batteries which are fully charged), the batteries will be flat in the morning. Is this normal or could the fridge be faulty?
    What do you mean by "flat" ie what measurement are you using?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    South Coast
    Posts
    525

    Default

    I use a Waeco Tropica Cooler (Top loader) on board which runs at 5 degs (same as fridge at home). Yes it can hammer the batteries but when its in off mode the batteries tend to recover to a certain degree. The other thing you need to consider is your lighting at night, cd player and any instruments left on all of which will not help. I have similar battery set up as yourself and on average I probably lose 30% over night with the voltage dropping to 12.5. I have a separate engine battery which at its worst shows 12.7 volts.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    46

    Default

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am thinking of buying a the WAECO TropiCool TC-35FL, coolbox which cost around 200.00

    I have a twin engined cruiser on the thames with 2 engiune batteries, which are only for the engine use, once the engines are started the charger switches over to the two 110AH house batteries after 5-10 minutes, all my lighting is led so i dont use much of the house batteries,

    I am not sure what my alternators output are i will have to check them (The boat is a Birchwood 33 with what looks like the origional alternators)

    I was just wondering if 2 batteries would be enough for running the fridge over a weekend, we dont have 240volt shore power so the only charging the batteries get are through the alternators, we use the boat every weekend but as we have a newborn baby we might only have the engines running for an hour, until we moor up somewhere nice for the weekend, i was just wondering if anyone had any views on the Waeco, do they hold the temp well until the morning when switched of at night to conserve the power, i didnthink about a gas fridge but the BSS regs are quite complex with them, and if possible i would like to keep gas appliances within the cabin to a minimum of the cooker only

    Or can anyone recommend a diiferent coolbox/arternative

    Cheers
    Last edited by Mark M; 02-05-11 at 07:37.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    986

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark M View Post
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ....
    I was just wondering if 2 batteries would be enough for running the fridge over a weekend, ....Cheers
    Another question is whether an hour's engine running would get the batteries fully charged again.
    If it's just a weekend, then
    Bomb proof ploy which keeps food cool over a weekend without flattening batteries or costing money.
    Save some drinks/fruit juice bottles - maybe half a dozen, each of a litre or so.
    Fill with water - not quite full as water expands on freezing
    Place in freezer at home, allow some space between them (see above).
    Convey food to boat in large well insulated bag which also contains said bottles. On arrival at boat put the lot into fridge, or coolbox, or just leave in bag.
    Problem solved.
    You will still need a fridge, though, if you want food to stay cool for more than a long weekend.

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