Off grid cold storage

No, this isn’t one of those posts that tell you how we keep our food cold with no electricity.

We like the convenience of a refrigerator. And fridges run on electricity. Or propane, such as the one in our trailer that crapped out on us several weeks ago.

We looked into buying a new one for the trailer and were staggered by the prices. It just didn’t seem like the best deal to spend that much money on a new fridge for an old trailer, especially since we’ll only be in the trailer until the house is built (ie, less than a year). We also looked into buying used, and while the prices were better, they were still fairly high, and the selection was minimal.

So instead, we decided to beef up our battery bank and solar panels and get an inverter so we can run a regular fridge on electricity. Yes, just as expensive (or moreso) than a brand new fridge. BUT, the solar generator system will be usable for other things on the homestead later down the road, rather than just a fridge to sit in an unused trailer once the house is built.

Hubby’s work happened to have a small fridge sitting around, not being used. So they gave it to us.

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It ain’t pretty, and it’s not terribly efficient, but it works. And even though it’s not very efficient, it’s small, so the power draw is fairly small as well.

So now we have four 100watt solar panels on the roof of our trailer. We have a battery box containing three 100amp hour batteries. We have a 1 kilowatt inverter. And we have a charge controller capable of handling the power coming in from the solar panels.

And if you know what all that means, you know more than I do!

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I’m just so excited to have more fridge space again. And to not have to bug dad every time we want a cheese stick or something. But I’m also thankful that for the last several weeks, we were able to keep our cold foods in his fridge, rather than an ice chest.

But then again, if we were having to buy ice every other day in this heat, maybe The Hubs would have gotten the system put together faster. Hmmmm…

Oh well, it’s done now, Hubs learned a ton about the whole process, and even I learned a little along the way.

And we again have a working fridge. 😀

UPDATE: since our fridge sits outside in the hot air rather than inside in a cool house, Hubby decided it needed more insulation.

Thus our robo-fridge!

Keeps our food cold AND looks…well, I guess it looks..ummm, OK, it looks kinda dumb. But it works! And that’s all that matters. 🙂

Maridy

“I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121

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About Maridy

Hi, I'm Maridy. Me and my husband and two girls (age 11 and 4), along with a tiny dog and a huge dog currently live in a 33ft trailer while we build our house on on our homestead property in Northern Nevada (Castle Rock Homestead). My father-in-law also lives with us on the property in his own trailer, and we have chickens and rabbits as our first homestead animals. Join us on our journey to building our high desert homestead from the ground up!

2 thoughts on “Off grid cold storage

  1. Vickie

    Yay! We have been relying on solar power more and more, also! We have a fridge in our bunkhouse and a 5 cubic foot freezer in the laundry shed – all run on solar! We did recently graduate from the deep cycle marine batteries over to the golf cart type batteries – which have more cycles per battery – or something like that. I still don’t understand all that stuff. One thing I do know, however, is that 110 refrigerators and/or freezers don’t like the smaller inverters. They need something called “pure sine”, which you usually get only with the larger, much more expensive inverters. Once our house is built and we have the larger system, we won’t have to worry about the fridge/freezer going out. ‘Cause you know – they only go out on the hottest day of the month! 😉

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  2. Maridy Post author

    Yeah, Vickie, my Hubby knows way more about it than I do. Our inverter is pretty heavy duty for what we’re using it for. It’s a 1kilowatt pure sine wave inverter. And yes, it was pretty expensive. The whole system cost us over $1500. But at least the fridge was free! 🙂

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