Efficient Refrigeration that works: Separate Freezer and Fridge so ice can be made in Darwin, yet you will be using free power from the sun!
3-Way refrigerators were great in the 1960’s when there wasn’t solar power and reliable batteries. However, the world has changed with new technology that gives you better refrigeration, lower running costs and takes up less room for the same chilled volume! Here is how:
- Efficiency: Compressor fridges are far more efficient. A 3-Way fridge running on 12v will draw approx. 9A plus continuously. A compressor fridge will average about a third of that or less.
- Renewable Energy instead of a Carbon based fuel: The fridge and freezer in the Kimberley Kruiser can operate using ONLY solar power and Lithium Batteries for extended periods. In fact, the Limited Edition could operate indefinitely with normal use. You will save money with LPG over $6/kg in the outback!
- Fast cool down: 3-Way fridges take a long time to get cold. 12v compressor fridges will reach temperature within 15-30 minutes of turning on. (This may not apply as the fridge will be always on)
- Greater Reliability: 3-Way fridges will not work on a gradient due to the gravity required to make the process work. 12v compressor fridges will work on an angle of up to 30°!
- Lower heat output: 3 Way fridges generate significant heat and do not perform well in higher ambient conditions.
- No external vents to keep clear: The gas code was recently updated with tougher regulations on venting because of continual risk with lack of ventilation.
- 240V Power will of course power the compressor fridge as there is a 40A Battery charger/power supply as standard in the Kruiser and this will run the fridge and freezer and all other 12V appliances without any dependence on solar. So if it is available, then use it.
Q: Why don’t all Caravans use compressor refrigerators?
If it was as easy as just getting a good quality compressor refrigerator, they probably would.
The difficulty is piecing together all the other items needed for safe and efficient operation.
Good engineering of a complete system is required, and a complete quality system is not cheap.
This is what we do at Kimberley to have the best-of-breed refrigeration in the Kimberley Kruiser:
- We choose quality refrigerators and freezers that are both made in Europe then modify them for Australian conditions.
- We add additional insulation to the sides and top of the fridge and freezer. Better insulation lowers the power consumption by reducing the cycle time. We use quality closed cell foam.
- We increase the compressor speed to its maximum. While this appears to increase the power consumption, without doing this, you will not make ice in the tropics!
- We dampen the fridge temperature sensor response control to minimize quick cycling when using the fridge extensively at meal times. This offsets the increases power consumption from the higher compressor speed with a shorter duty cycle and the result is lower power consumption. (One of our engineers has an Honour’s Degree in Thermodynamics!)
- We use an external compressor and add an additional separate fan for drawn ventilation over the condenser, which has to be a “Multi-Fin” design.
- We design the 12V system to maintain a constant voltage as high as possible with Lithium Batteries. The extra 0.5V we squeeze from Lithium Batteries reduces the current draw and improves efficiency.
- We install sufficient solar capacity to operate the fridge and freezer at only 20% of the maximum solar power available; but typically at 30% of capacity on the Limited Edition. In the event of poor solar conditions, you rely on the Lithium Batteries. On these alone, and with no solar connected, the Limited Edition Model will operate for over 5 days with the fridge and freezer running from a fully charged state.
- We select a cabinet design with large free storage at the bottom of the fridge for beverages which increases thermal dampening
- We use a separate secure tie for the doors, which eliminates food flying out off road and keeps the door seal tight!
- We use a Dual level drawer system in the freezer to get better separation of frozen items and to minimize lifting and disturbing food.
Photo on right shows the sliding top shelf on the freezer drawer.
Photo below shows the Fan/Fin/Fan design unique to Kimberley to improve efficiency and get ice in Darwin!
Another example of Kimberley’s “Thoroughbred DNA” Model.
Kimberley conducts extensive tests on all sourced European products and modifies them for the Australian Market.
The benefit to you is that you don’t have to worry about it refrigeration and ice....
Just stay “Kruisin…”
Bruce Loxton, Ballina April 9th.