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?
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).
AKA: Razz the Rhodes wannabe