First Report on SunDanzer

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by Tango, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I won't bore ya'll with hourly or daily reports on the SunDanzer but want to mention a couple of points for those interested in this fridge. Within 30 minutes of being connected at an ambient temperature of 90 degrees F. the unit cooled to a thermostat reading of 32 at top level. I opened the door twice ( :rolleyes: ) thinking maybe it wans't working properly and checked the fuse. The compressor kicked on again 25 minutes later for 10 minutes. Kicked off again. Running with 365 watts of solar array on a partly cloudy day, my battery bank is registering full charge and the controller has cut out. I will connect the trimetric to the batteries to detail any pronounced changes just wanted to share my findings. Like the review this unit received last year, my first impression was that I had been sent the freezer by mistake :) The instruction manual says to wait four hours before loading contents so I thought it would be a very slow start up.... not the case at all.
     
  2. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    wow,cool,literally.

    BooBoo
     

  3. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    Call me stupid, but are Sundanzer and Sundancer the same company?
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    SunDanzer is the brand name for a 12 or 24 volt Refrigerator or Freezer manufactured by Electrolux. I don't know about Sundancer and haven't seen that spelling in reference to the same units.
     
  5. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Once it is partly filled with stuff I'm thinking the temperature should be more stable. Shouldn't need any more power once everything is cold, but should be more stable.

    I would like to know more about how the controller works between charging the battery and running the fridge. I'm sure it works just as well if I don't fully understand it. I am just curious. Which side of the charge controller does the fridge need to be on, or does it matter? I might be thinking about it all wrong.
     
  6. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Hey JAK, a controller tells what state the battery charging is at in volts. When the batteries reach a certain level, the controller diverts the current being gathered by the solar panels. It protects the batteries from overcharging basically. The fridge isn't directly connected or involved with the controller; it is hooked up to the batteries so I keep looking at the controller to tell me how the batteries are doing. Very good so far :)
     
  7. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I think I understand. Now as I understand it if the fridge comes on while the solar panels are generating power, the fridge will take what it needs from the solar panels, and if that is not enough then from the batteries also, but if there is current left over from the solar panels, that goes towards charging the batteries. Is that correct?
     
  8. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    You're getting there :) The panels are directly connected to the charge controller. The charge controller is connected to the batteries and monitors and controls their charge state. When the batteries reach capacity, the controller diverts the excess power from the panels which will continue to gather energy from the sun throughout the time it is in position for them to do so. I can't use all the power I generate with a small 365 watt array in the summer so for now that energy is wasted. The fridge is hooked directly to the batteries, not to the panels. Hooking up this fridge directly to the panels will fry it. The panels just generate power according to the position of the sun, as long as the sun is in position, they can't help themselves, like a freshman at his first keg party. That generation needs to be controlled to protect the batteries from overcharging. If the current from the batteries exceeds a specific amount 15 amps for the fridge and 16 for my previous inverter, the appliance is damaged, hence the charge controller. Have I made any sense? :)
     
  9. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Marcia, since there can be excess power, would it be possible to add batteries to increase storage, or to add an outlet to power other items?
     
  10. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    I think that makes sense. I know there are always some losses. I am just curious what people do to minimize them. I noticed from the fridge specs that it can handle up to 17v of input voltage which is more or less what a solar module might produce at peak, but I think that all goes away once the batteries are hooked up and their is current flowing some place or other. As I now understand it the charge controller always ensures there is some place for the current to flow, so it creatres an upper limit to the voltage, rather like a spillway on a dam. Is that it?
     
  11. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Would love to do that tinknal. I asked the people at Backwoods this last year and they told me that ideally sized the battery bank would work for the panels and not the panels working for the battery bank. Right now I'd love to use the extra power but with a small inverter I can't get much going here, unfortunately :( I charge my lanterns and power tools during the day but can't run my dehydrator or microwave or much else on the small inverter. The bank is sized to provide 4 days of avg. power needs should the sun be scarce in winter. I was thinking of adding batteries in summer but they would quickly deplete in winter and not render usage after. Sure would be interesting to hear how others have tackled this.
     
  12. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    JAK, I can answer only simple questions :) All I know is that one of my panels puts out 17. 6 volts which would ruin my inverter and I think my fridge. I don't know if they produce 17.6 x 3 volts, like with amps (each produces 7 amps for a total of 21 amp output- I know this because I had to buy a large controller last time I added a panel). Someone with more experience should tackle this qestion. To my understanding the battery bank allows a predictable expenditure.
     
  13. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ...........Tango , Some controllers can\will accept power form several sources , I.e. , 120volts ac from genset , 12-24-48 volts Dc from batteries\solar panels and\or wind generators . The highest efficiency is achieved when the controller is converting a 48 volt dc voltage into 120 volts ac . So , the conversion ratio ...or...conversion efficiency is maximized when the conversion ratio approaches 1 :1 , or when the controller is converting 120 volt dc into 120 volts AC . This is why a Solar system is much more efficient when all the panels are producing 48 volts Dc as opposed to 12 volts DC . To convert 12 vDC into 120 Volts AC is a 10:1 ratio . The other facet of this situation is that the lower the source voltage from each panel means that the Amperage required will have to be much higher to supply the Controller .
    ............Solar panels with the same voltage rating are hooked in Parallel , which means that the voltage remanins the same , but the Current from each panel will be added collectively to the others so If each panel puts out 2 amps (max) and you have 10 panels your Total amperage should be around 20 amps in toto . fordy... :dance:
     
  14. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the explanation fordy. Clear as mud :)
     
  15. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Fordy,did you mean Inverter? All my controller does is protect the batteries from overcharging and maximizing charging rate.In fact mine REDUCES the voltage from the panels.
    I dont know of a controller that Increases voltage.
    Got a link for me to look at?

    Thanks Fordy,

    BooBoo
     
  16. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ......................Um , er , well let me reference my Rube Goldberg manual on Advanced Electronic theory , Um , , Ah , Yes , Tis an Inverter . Fancy that , I'm sorry to have cornFused you Tango . And , according to Da "Kingfish" Atoms are made UP of ...Protrons , Neutrons and ...FigNewtons !!!Sorry about that . fordy... :p
     
  17. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    Ooh I see :) I only have a small inverter right now a 400 watt mod sine wave, not designed for daily use. The Samlex 600 watt true sine wave inverter, which I unknowingly killed, failed due to a 16V spike according to the company. They are replacing it for free but I doubt they'll send me another one if I make the same mistake by leaving it unprotected again. It is also a small inverter as inverters go. I will be shopping fora bigger and better one in the future sometime. The manual for the SunDanzer says: " The SunDanzer refrigerating appliance, like any battery-powered refrigerating appliance, requires care unique from appliances plugged into an electrical utility. Prudent operation is the key to extended service." To me that means, use a controller :) wire it correctly, and take care of my batteries (and fight, fight, fight the urge to get inside from 12 pm - 4 pm daily :baby04: )
     
  18. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Ok,Marcia,wheres the update???? :)

    BooBoo
     
  19. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    LOL, alrighty then :) We've had partly cloudy days everyday for the past two weeks and Sunny the Sundanzer is really shining with a 365 watt array. Several times I've listened for the compressor just to make sure its working :) comes on sparingly at night when our temp here drops to upper 60's It is going to be a minimal drain this winter. And I LOVE that little light bulb too. At first I unscrewed it thinking it would use more energy than what I wanted to spend but now I realize how easy it makes my life in the darkness. With just two propane lights, I'd need a flashlight to search the fridge at night. Now I know why refrigerators have lights! :) Never made much sense before. Highly, highly recommend Sundanzer to off-gridders. I've not had any problems adapting to the chest storage and after the initial price tag, that's it. No propane to buy and no inverter to worry about. :dance:

    My two 130 watt Kyoceras arrived this week but I don't have money for a mount or the cables needed to install so they are still in the box. Was hoping to have a 12v fan this summer but methinks I'm topped out unless I can start generating some income.