1. Good luck with this – it sounds an exciting project. And I’m shocked at the amount of kilowatts an old second-hand fridge can use in a day!

    We have one larder fridge (under the counter type) for every day stuff, 1 large fridge (where we can store enough milk, yogurt and wine for a week!) and a freezer of the same size for freezing produce during harvest season.

    We went away for 3 days recently and I noted that all three (plus 2 energy efficient lightbulbs left on for security measures) had used 2.3 kwhs per day. They are all rated at A, but I think you can buy AA already.

    I too would like to get rid of the large fridge, but we just wouldn’t manage as dh eats a lot of salad.

    Looking forward to your updates on this project!

    • @Mrs Green: Yeah, I was amazed that it was that high too! The fridge is pretty old (probably 15-20 years), quite large, and is a fridge/freezer combo which probably adds to the load.

      I’d be very happy if replacing it could knock 2 kWh/day off our bill – that’d save us something like $120/year! Given that this whole project will probably only cost $150 or so, that’s a pretty good payback period.

  2. Nitai

    Please let us know asap what happened with this. I am off the grid and this chest fridge could be just what we need. But now today I read some claims that the horizontal aspect does nothing to help, although that was one of MTBest’s main arguments. Eagerly awaiting the update…

    • @Nitai: I am in the middle of writing a post on the chest fridge project – should go up either tonight or tomorrow night. It was completely successful, is running fine, and only uses about 0.2-0.3 kWh per day! The horizontal door does help a bit, I’m sure, since all the cold air wouldn’t fall out. I think the bigger benefit comes from the better insulation, though. My freezer’s walls are about 3 inches thick – double the thickness of the old fridge it replaced. Anyway, whatever the reason, I can’t argue with the power meter!

      If you’re off-grid, have a look at this set of instructions that includes a modification to reduce the start power surge of the compressor. That should make it much friendlier to your inverter. That document replaces the freezer’s internal thermostat – a different technique that is a bit more tricky and a bit more expensive, but probably neater and better as a permanent solution.

  3. Nitai

    Thank you for the quick reply… I looked at the pdf you linked (I had found the same one a day or so ago)…and, well, a bit (a lot of bit) out of my league unfortunately. Maybe I will look a it again soon and see if I can manage with guidance from a friend. If I may humbly request that in your upcoming update you could include the outside temperature. I feel like I have not found enough consistent information regarding that. Summer is fast approaching here and the reason I want this chest fridge is because we started a raw milk business and need somewhere to keep all the milk very cold. Our propane fridge does not seem to be up to the task. Thank you for your time. Great blog!

    • @Nitai: You could use a simple thermostat like the one I’m using for starters, to see if it works for you. If the freezer is not too big and your inverter is a good size, you don’t really need the power surge suppression hack. You could always add it later if it turned out to be a problem.

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