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Thread: ENGEL Fridge - solar panel question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sunny HOT, Flat, Fort Myers, Florida
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    241

    Question ENGEL Fridge - solar panel question

    I think this doable but I would like advice from someone who actually knows.

    Scenario:

    I just bought an ENGEL 35 from a lead on this forum (Craigslist).

    I just bought a pair of 5 watt solar panels (from a list member) that daisy chain, for a total output (dependent on sun) of 10 watts.

    Literature says ENGEL consumes 2.5 watts.

    Does that mean I can hook my ENGEL to my Optima, hook my solar array to my Optima and basically as long as I have sun, expect to keep this fridge cold, all for free?

    If not... What am I missing?

    Thanks to everyone that responds. I will standby and take my answer off the air.
    David

    www.fivespokewheel.com

    HIS: 1996 Discovery Series I, "Sahara" grille, OME 3" lift springs, OME Stabilizer, LR Diff lock, Bilstein shocks, ARB front bumper, WARN M12000, Safety Devices roof rack, LR rear ladder, 4 Hella 4000's, LR OEM driving lights, best of all LR cup-holders.

    HERS: 1999 Discovery Series II, OME Stabilizer, LR Brush bar, LR rear ladder, LR Cup-holders. Hella 500's.

    Ours: Norcold 60QT. Fridge, Cook Partner - 3 burner stove

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by voyageur View Post
    I think this doable but I would like advice from someone who actually knows.

    Scenario:

    I just bought an ENGEL 35 from a lead on this forum (Craigslist).

    I just bought a pair of 5 watt solar panels (from a list member) that daisy chain, for a total output (dependent on sun) of 10 watts.

    Literature says ENGEL consumes 2.5 watts.

    Does that mean I can hook my ENGEL to my Optima, hook my solar array to my Optima and basically as long as I have sun, expect to keep this fridge cold, all for free?

    If not... What am I missing?

    Thanks to everyone that responds. I will standby and take my answer off the air.

    Isn't it 2.5 (actually 2.7) AMPS? So that's over 30 watts when running. Since it doesn't run all the time, the total average consumption of power will be a bit less.
    KI6MIE
    Sacramento CA
    1997 FZJ80 Desert traveller
    1989 FJ62-OME, 33s, OME suspension, H55f
    1984 FJ60-SOA, H41, toybox, locked, 37s, Rubicon edition
    1971 FJ40-SOA, FJ60 axles, 85 2F, it abides

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sunny HOT, Flat, Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    241

    Default You are correct..

    It is amps not watts...

    Same question Andrew, will it work? Dang! I thought I had it all figured out. Wish I understood OHM's law instead of OMMMM's law.

    Thanks,

    David
    David

    www.fivespokewheel.com

    HIS: 1996 Discovery Series I, "Sahara" grille, OME 3" lift springs, OME Stabilizer, LR Diff lock, Bilstein shocks, ARB front bumper, WARN M12000, Safety Devices roof rack, LR rear ladder, 4 Hella 4000's, LR OEM driving lights, best of all LR cup-holders.

    HERS: 1999 Discovery Series II, OME Stabilizer, LR Brush bar, LR rear ladder, LR Cup-holders. Hella 500's.

    Ours: Norcold 60QT. Fridge, Cook Partner - 3 burner stove

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NORCAL/NORNV
    Posts
    2,110
    THE ENGEL CAN DRAW FROM 0 TO 60 WATTS AND YOU CAN'T ADD UP TRICKLE CHARGING SOLAR PANELS, TO MAINTAIN A BATTERIES TOP, CHARGED CONDITION

    YOU NEED AT LEAST ONE 40 WATT PANEL/CONTROLLER, FOR LIGHT DUTY AND HEAVIER BEYOND THAT





    SORRY FOR THE CAPS

    JIMBO

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by voyageur View Post
    It is amps not watts...

    Same question Andrew, will it work? Dang! I thought I had it all figured out. Wish I understood OHM's law instead of OMMMM's law.

    Thanks,

    David
    That's OK, James Lucas thought the same way and look how far it took him...


    More seriously, I've often though of using a small cheap panel to spare the battery during trips, like when parked for an extended period. 10 watts might be enough to extend the battery from a couple of days to say 5, and that would be extremely helpful.

    Try it and report back. Unfortunately those panels get pretty expensive as they start to make real power.
    KI6MIE
    Sacramento CA
    1997 FZJ80 Desert traveller
    1989 FJ62-OME, 33s, OME suspension, H55f
    1984 FJ60-SOA, H41, toybox, locked, 37s, Rubicon edition
    1971 FJ40-SOA, FJ60 axles, 85 2F, it abides

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sunny HOT, Flat, Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    241

    Default Dang it!

    I knew it was too good to be true.

    Well time to go shopping again. I guess I could use my Powerflex set up (10WATT) to charge my cell phone or something like that.

    Same question, different approach. If I run my 'Overy engine for 15 minutes a day (twice a day) to charge my Optima, will that keep the ENGEL cooling, until I can find (and afford) a 40 watt PVC and still start my engine?

    David
    David

    www.fivespokewheel.com

    HIS: 1996 Discovery Series I, "Sahara" grille, OME 3" lift springs, OME Stabilizer, LR Diff lock, Bilstein shocks, ARB front bumper, WARN M12000, Safety Devices roof rack, LR rear ladder, 4 Hella 4000's, LR OEM driving lights, best of all LR cup-holders.

    HERS: 1999 Discovery Series II, OME Stabilizer, LR Brush bar, LR rear ladder, LR Cup-holders. Hella 500's.

    Ours: Norcold 60QT. Fridge, Cook Partner - 3 burner stove

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sunny HOT, Flat, Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    241

    Default Good idea Andrew.

    We are doing an overnighter this weekend. I will set the Powerflex up to trickle through my cigarette lighter and see how it does as far as keeping it a little longer. I will have a second vehicle in case it doesn't work and I have to jump-it. I'll post the results...

    Voyageur
    David

    www.fivespokewheel.com

    HIS: 1996 Discovery Series I, "Sahara" grille, OME 3" lift springs, OME Stabilizer, LR Diff lock, Bilstein shocks, ARB front bumper, WARN M12000, Safety Devices roof rack, LR rear ladder, 4 Hella 4000's, LR OEM driving lights, best of all LR cup-holders.

    HERS: 1999 Discovery Series II, OME Stabilizer, LR Brush bar, LR rear ladder, LR Cup-holders. Hella 500's.

    Ours: Norcold 60QT. Fridge, Cook Partner - 3 burner stove

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Auburn, WA.
    Posts
    4,458
    I am curious too.
    I want a solar panel not to hook my ARB fridge to, I plug it into a 12v socket that is live all the time to the battery.

    I just want a panel to keep the battery topped off when camped for a week.
    I have ran my ARB solid for five days max on my battery, and the rig started right up on the fifth day no problem with no prior starting of the engine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NORCAL/NORNV
    Posts
    2,110
    Using a trickle, solar pnl for the vehicle battery, is a GOOD IDEA, take advantage of the sun, when you're not driving somewhere

    I always trickle chg, my off-road vehicle battery -whenever- but I still use my 60 watt pnl, for the TRAILER battery, I use for EVERYTHING

    A lot of these expeditioners use dual battery systems and I'm sure they're great for their travels, I just never threaten my vehicles battery when off-road, usually my wife and I-far/far away

    15 minutes a couple times a day won't save your battery, if you drop the battery down below 12.7 volts, so mind your P's and Q's


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Sunny HOT, Flat, Fort Myers, Florida
    Posts
    241
    Thanks Corey. Thanks Jimbo. I appreciate the information. I will just keep my 10W panels for a constant trickle.

    I am going to start looking for a PVC too. I understand I will need a charge controller. Any suggestions as to source? Manufacturer? Cost?

    Thanks I owe you a beer. Now it will be cold - with no ice. Very cool I think...

    Voyageur
    David

    www.fivespokewheel.com

    HIS: 1996 Discovery Series I, "Sahara" grille, OME 3" lift springs, OME Stabilizer, LR Diff lock, Bilstein shocks, ARB front bumper, WARN M12000, Safety Devices roof rack, LR rear ladder, 4 Hella 4000's, LR OEM driving lights, best of all LR cup-holders.

    HERS: 1999 Discovery Series II, OME Stabilizer, LR Brush bar, LR rear ladder, LR Cup-holders. Hella 500's.

    Ours: Norcold 60QT. Fridge, Cook Partner - 3 burner stove

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