R 22

Rhodes 22



The ice box in my cooler is starting to crack and I've wondered about replacing the whole thing with a 12Vdc unit. How many solar panels do you think it would take to keep the battery charged enough to run it on weekends?

Gary Sanford
s/v Raven

I finished analyzing your solar cell charging system. This will be my next project; probably this winter. Is your refrigeration one of those coolers that plugs into a cigarette lighter? My boat has the regular upright cooler w/ice box. I have thought of replacing this with one of those DC coolers. I am thinking of a solar setup like yours. I should have enough juice to run it.


PS had a review of them a few months ago. They draw about 4-5 amps. Using it for 48 hours means that (48*5=240) 240 of amp/hours are needed. You do not want to drain the batteries more than 50%. Regular, type 27 wet cells are rated at 115 amp/hours so you will need 4 (115*4=460) just for the refrigeration. To replace 240 amps in 5 days will take: 18-amp hour per day per 50 watts (the table entry I recall). 18*5=90 amp/hours per 50 watts per 5 days, 240/90=2. 6667*50 watts units or 133 watts of solar. These numbers are just for refrigeration; they need to be larger for other uses.

These numbers do not work for a 22-foot boat, I have found out myself.


A comment on Rummy's search for cooler improvements. We use Platypus or Nalgene collapsible water bottles to carry freezable liquids, could be water, and could be pi colada mix. Buy the half-gallon size and fill it about ? full then freeze it. Keeps your cooler cool just like block ice, so the bag ice can be used for more important things, like 'rumncokes' (that is one word isn't it Rummy). As the bottled liquids thaw they are ready for use. You can even carry soups and stews in them and heat them in a pan of boiling water. The Nalgene version is better for this as it has a wider mouth. They are a great solution for extra 'coolth' (opposite of warmth).

David Rasberry
AKA: Razz the Rhodes wannabe

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