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#276252 - 08/18/15 03:35 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: JeffMc]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 869
Loc: wellington, fl
There are fiberglass insulation kits for water heaters to decrease energy use for reheating the contents. The same approach can be applied to fridges, freezers and ice chests by layering insulation on the outside. have done so with foil backed rigid foam from the lumberyard, old foam sleeping pads, and such. All effective to some degree. Less effective in general than paying close attention to the lid-frame weather seal material.
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#276254 - 08/18/15 05:44 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Alex Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 1034
Loc: -
For the insulin cooling you don't have to go with a huge food fridge. There are plenty of dedicated portable electric coolers available on the market. Including battery operated and 12V ones, suitable for solar power (no need for a whopping 300W of power, something like 20W should do just fine for them); e.g.: http://sell.lulusoso.com/selling-leads/2...s-supplies.html

Regarding the ice bottles method - I understand the versatility of having clean water at the end of the melting phase, however the special gel cooling packs are noticeably more efficient in my experience (keeps it cool longer, occupies less space).

By the way, if using ice bottles - boil the tap water first, let it cool down, fill your bottles and let them stay for an hour or two open before freezing them. That way you will get rid of air and other gases in the tap water, as well as settle any solids in it. That will make you a crystal clear ice, which melts longer.

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#276256 - 08/18/15 07:10 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Tjin Online   content
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1776
Nobody mentioned those cooler which are able to run of different power sources, you know the ones which are able to run on:
- 220 / 110V
- 12 V
- Gas (propane/butane)

Simple, not to expensive, lots of options and propane cylinders are simple to store and use.

(Do NOT use gas mode in enclosed area's)
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#276258 - 08/18/15 08:21 PM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
LCranston Offline
2
Member

Registered: 08/31/09
Posts: 199
Loc: Nebraska
It is a balancing act-- money vs. quality/options/space.

A quality dometic or norcold fridge will run you 750.00 minimum for a dorm size unit.
BUT, will run on anything, and can keep food/milk/medical supplies too.

The little medical unit will cost you 100-200, and only needs a small solar panel
BUT will only hold a little bit.

The chest freezer will hold your medical supplies plus a side of beef for 250.00
BUT, will take more solar.

The deciding point for me; I already HAVE the freezer. If I plug it in to generator/inverter, I can keep it a fridge like temperatures running it a few hours a day.
IF I had an ice machine (I dont) i could make ice to fill it.

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#276268 - 08/19/15 02:30 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: LCranston]
LesSnyder Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1637
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
as Mr Cranston pointed out, don't overlook the possibility of changing the thermostat on a small chest freezer to the working range of a refrigerator... the upright chest freezer will typically have better insulation, and not allow cold air to as easily spill when the door is opened...an EU2000 with a propane/natural gas conversion could possibly be modified to work with a wood gasification generator to work with a variety of fuel options...

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#276272 - 08/19/15 08:16 AM Re: A Total Collapse [Re: Tjin]
adam2 Offline
Addict

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 450
Loc: Somerset UK
Originally Posted By: Tjin
Nobody mentioned those cooler which are able to run of different power sources, you know the ones which are able to run on:
- 220 / 110V
- 12 V
- Gas (propane/butane)

Simple, not to expensive, lots of options and propane cylinders are simple to store and use.

(Do NOT use gas mode in enclosed area's)


I can not recommend these appliances for regular use whilst times are normal or in an emergency.
They use a great deal of energy. typically 150 watts continual in electric mode or a significant gas consumption.
They are basically absorption cycle gas fridges with the option of an electric heating element instead of the gas flame.

For keeping insulin or other perishables cold for a long time without utility service I see only two realistic options.
Either a very large and very well insulated container filled with ice that will take months to melt.

Or a high efficiency DC refrigerator and a battery bank charged by PV modules, that will work indefinitely until something breaks. If life depends on it then the equipment should be duplicated.

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