Fridge Set up and insulation

Submitted: Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 12:53
ThreadID: 106518 Views:2145 Replies:1 FollowUps:2
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Hi looking for advice regarding set up and installation changes to my fridge. Long winded to try and include detail .. sorry

Current set up in Iveco Daily Van 12 v . Vitrigrigo 130l upright, mini fluro lighting, a couple of cig lighter sockets, full exterior lighting off 60amp lighting relay ( two spots, flasher/strobe ..was a wide load escort vehicle). Redarc 100amp microprocessor solenoid between starter and leisure battery (120AH) , 240v AC main connect via 15amp/circuit breakers, and an ac Calibre 20 amp AC/dc smart charger. so charge house battery (inefficiently) whilst driving via solenoid and when plugged in via Ac smartcharger.

I wish to add solar to allow up to two days disconnect from grid and not much recharge from starting engine.

I am looking at

second 120 aH Deep cycle or marine , possibly get two new matching trojans or similar
200v 12 or 24 v single panel solar .which will be portable, on roof rack or similar but will take off for road

an mppt solar controller 15 amp or

a redarc 1225 20 amp dc to dc charger and mppt solar controller..

a 600watt inverter basic modified sine to run a fan

Apart from fridge and minimal use of lights i wish to run a pedestal fan at night if hot... I live in the tropics. so planning on 240 v fan through inverter .. not convinced the 12v fans i have seen push enough air for me

Insulating around fridge

Adding air vents for fridge (low in and out hi) and a 200mm computer fan at bottom

Adding some form of cabin air extractor/air movement to help get hot air out of the van .. the two days camping time is unavoidably going to be largely in the sun.


1. Are there variable voltage alternators that need to be wired differently , as a euro truck, i have seen some mention of this but no definitive answer as yet.. so question re wiring from battery/alt

2. Insulation/ Air .. was nothing except tightly packed in 3mm ply with remote danfoss35 compressor on top i plan for 50mm polyurethane sheeting on bottom/sides and top but not sure of back,, the VF tech spec has an extra measure of 30mm at back... is this just to not squash the hoses/piping or is it a air cavity?? the back of the fridge is sealed???? so no vanes/heatsinks etc i know of

So can i insulate the back as well?

3. Output of solar / load if fan used for 8 hours ,,, and fridge going overnight???

Are sums about right/

4. Connection , if i go solar i just add the controller close to house batteries with fuse
If i go Dc to Dc with the solar ( which appeals to me) do i have to isolate it from ac charger etc

5. Cable , connections etc recommend ...

6. Ways to move air to avoid the hot interior... last few outings the inside of locked van plus the venting of the fridge compressor air inside the van made the compressor work hard... still nice and cold beer despite 34degree weather .

All thoughts appreciated Darryl
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 14:07

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 14:07
We have the same fridge in our Oka, ours is the remote compressor model is yours?
I've added 30mm of high density polystyrene building insulation (blue/pink sheet) all around the fridge except of course the door. Makes a big difference to run times. Regardless of compressor mounting both types need free airflow past them, the remote like ours is self contained and has a fan already blowing air over the condenser and compressor.
If yours is the model with the compressor/condenser mounted in the back of the fridge then obviously you will have to leave that section alone but like all the sways it will benefit if there is free airflow from the bottom of the fridge past the compressor and condenser fins and then preferably outside like your typical 3 way fridge should be ducted.
The Scirroco fans from Whitworths etc run directly on 12v and shift more than enough air for most people and are very quiet.
Lots of people find these days with all the electronics in vehicles and smart alternators that it is easier and quite often cheaper to use a DC to DC charger from vehicle electrics to house battery for charging.
You really need to work out exactly how much power you need per 24 hours and then add a bit being careful to only allow 50% Depth of Discharge to preserve battery life.
If you have 240ah of batteries which typically would rarely be charged past 90% SOC when travelling gives around 110ah capacity to use without passing the 50% point. A minimum of 240w of solar should be a good start, wired seperately to minimise shading problems through a good quality controller.
AnswerID: 527572

Follow Up By: Darryl E - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 15:12

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 15:12
hi Peter


my model is the remote compressor with its own fan, and i will put the compressor above the fridge and insulation with an angled roof to help the hot air rise and get out via the vent.

I will have a look at the sirocco fans thanks for that and thanks for the thoughts on dc to dc charging... confirms my thoughts
FollowupID: 809994

Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 19:01

Monday, Mar 03, 2014 at 19:01
The biggest problem with fridges is the power connection.
Make sure the wiring is larger than required and use a good quality circuit breaker rather than fuses. While the current required is relatively low it is constant and as the batteries discharge it will require more current as the voltage drops so it is better to have heavier wiring than necessary.
FollowupID: 810015

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