Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

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Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Fri May 24, 2013 12:03 am

I'm on my first trip away in the new van which has a Waeco 65 (or is it 60) litre compressor fridge, which runs off 12V only.

I'm slightly alarmed that although it's only been averaging around 10 degrees outside (and is only 2.5 degrees now!) the fridge runs almost continuously on a setting of 3 (about midway).

Can anyone with a similar fridge say whether this is normal? When I'm away from EHU it's taking around 2.5 amps out of my leisure battery all the time!
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by Guest on Sat May 25, 2013 7:23 am

Hi Mojo
Our old T4 Nekta fridge virtually always ran in this way. Although only around 50 ltrs (so smaller than yours) it will do on a mid range setting. You may find you will be able to turn it right down to a much lower setting and still keeps things cool. Just experiment a bit with the setting.

Keep warm smile!
Regards
John
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Sat May 25, 2013 11:25 pm

hoopman wrote:
Our old T4 Nekta fridge virtually always ran in this way.

Ah, thanks for that - I was expecting it to act rather like a typical domestic fridge, but I guess as the compressor is smaller it seems reasonable that it would have to run longer. I'll try cutting it back to setting 2 and see what difference it makes.

Even if it halves the amount of time it runs, it seems like I will need to look further into the possibility of a 100W solar panel on the roof...
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by Peter Brown on Sun May 26, 2013 2:37 am

I've never heard of an AS Celex model. Is it very old or is it the current Bilbo model?

Peter

PS AS flirted with a compressor fridge in the Stratford but have not used it since. The van could not be used much off hookup because of the fridge power consumption
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Sun May 26, 2013 10:59 pm

Peter Brown wrote:I've never heard of an AS Celex model. Is it very old or is it the current Bilbo model?


Hehe - the former. I have special leave to remain as long as I behave myself and don't mention Bilbo's. Ooops.

Compared to the absorption models the fridge is actually very good - with a big freezer compartment that can actually freeze things. I'm thinking that maybe I should do what Mrs Dutto suggested, keeping freezer packs in there and swapping them out into the main body of the fridge while off EHU, switching it off until next on mains. Trouble is the only way you can keep track is to keep opening the door to check the temperature, and that lets the heat in!

Longer term solution will deffo be a solar panel - in summer I suspect that a 100W panel should be able to fully supply the fridge with a bit to spare in full sun, but won't know for sure until I get the Sikaflex out and glue one on...
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by brodco on Mon May 27, 2013 8:38 pm

Hi wave

-mojo- wrote:Can anyone with a similar fridge say whether this is normal? When I'm away from EHU it's taking around 2.5 amps out of my leisure battery all the time!
Going back to the original question it seems that nobody has actually measured it but there is a spec on the Waeco website.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Current Consumption (12 volts DC):
1.6 Ah/h at +25°C ambient temperature,
1.9 Ah/h at +32°C ambient temperature,
both at +5°C interior temperature and -18°C in the freezer compartment .

If your unit is not working within spec why not have a moan at them! It won’t make any difference but at least it shows them that people actually notice these things.
By the way look at the units (Ah/h). lol4 lol4 lol4

Brod.
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by Campievanner on Mon May 27, 2013 8:49 pm

We have a Stratford as mentioned above, with the compressor fridge. We wondered why AS fitted it, as it seems unique in the model range. But one day it dawned on us, the fridge is fitted on the nearside !
If it was a normal type, it would have required the vents on the 'wrong' side, meaning the gas exhaust could vent into an awning, also if the sliding door was open, it wold have been so tight on the vent grilles, it would block them shut.

The other reason for the Stratford being unpopular, is that if you are over 5'6", you can't push the driver's seat far enough back (there was a modified bathroom wall available though)
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Mon May 27, 2013 10:58 pm

brodco wrote:
Current Consumption (12 volts DC):
1.6 Ah/h at +25°C ambient temperature,


Thanks - that's 2.5A with a duty cycle of 66% near enough? Problem is mines 2.5A with a duty cycle of 100%.

Guess you're right and I should moan, but it's hard to motivate myself when I know for sure I'm just going to be fobbed off (as I was when I asked what the MTPLM of the van ~really~ is, rather than what the user manual says it is... Just a minor detail in their view, it seems.)
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Mon May 27, 2013 11:01 pm

Campievanner wrote:We have a Stratford as mentioned above, with the compressor fridge.

Have you had much experience of it away from EHU? I think I would be lucky to get 2 days running out of it with the van stationary.
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by nimbus on Tue May 28, 2013 10:28 am

Thanks - that's 2.5A with a duty cycle of 66% near enough? Problem is mines 2.5A with a duty cycle of 100%.


Sounds as if it's low on refrigerant and needs recharging with gas.

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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by Guest on Tue May 28, 2013 5:18 pm

Hi again Mojo
I think 3 days running for a compressor fridge from a 100A/hr (ish) battery is about the most you can expect without moving your van, without EHU or solar top up. I notice B****s are now pushing out their 80W flexi solar panel option and perhaps this is why.

Our own experience with out Nekta were about the same and I replaced the original fit 86A/hr battery with a 140A/hr unit when the original gave up the ghost. Soon after we sold the van so don't really know the improvement, however we always moved the van daily and most times had EHU. The only times I ran into problems were when forgetting to switch the fridge off when parked up at home! and 3 days later the battery was in need of a charge. I did find you could run the fridge at a very low (1) setting for most of the time and still contents were cold. My biggest gripe was the noise emitted when the fridge ran, perhaps yours is quieter in the new model?

Regards
John

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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Tue May 28, 2013 11:32 pm

nimbus wrote:

Sounds as if it's low on refrigerant and needs recharging with gas.

It's brand new!

Actually, I'm not sure that many compressor fridges can be recharged. The ones that I've looked at (admittedly not many) had no facility to do so - perhaps it's mainly the commercial units that can be recharged?
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Tue May 28, 2013 11:44 pm

hoopman wrote:Hi again Mojo
I think 3 days running for a compressor fridge from a 100A/hr (ish) battery is about the most you can expect without moving your van, without EHU or solar top up. I notice B****s are now pushing out their 80W flexi solar panel option and perhaps this is why.

I was tempted to go for the option myself, but the price was just way too high (£500 IIRC). I can DIY something similar for less than £200.

For anyone thinking of DIY solar, note that large EU import duties on Chinese solar panels come into effect in around a weeks time.

hoopman wrote:
Our own experience with out Nekta were about the same and I replaced the original fit 86A/hr battery with a 140A/hr unit when the original gave up the ghost. Soon after we sold the van so don't really know the improvement, however we always moved the van daily and most times had EHU. The only times I ran into problems were when forgetting to switch the fridge off when parked up at home! and 3 days later the battery was in need of a charge. I did find you could run the fridge at a very low (1) setting for most of the time and still contents were cold. My biggest gripe was the noise emitted when the fridge ran, perhaps yours is quieter in the new model?

I think they have realised that 86Ah is not enough - they are now fitting 110Ah ones.

The fridge certainly isn't quiet, but the fact that it runs almost all the time helps - it's always there so I quickly got used to it and it doesn't affect sleep at all for me.

I'm up at a non-EHU site on the north coast of Scotland in a few days time so I'll try your suggestion of lowest setting, while moving freezer packs into the main body of the fridge, and see how well that works.
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by brodco on Wed May 29, 2013 2:19 pm

Hi wave
nimbus wrote:Sounds as if it's low on refrigerant and needs recharging with gas.
-mojo- wrote:It's brand new!
It's still possible (ok unlikely) that it wasn't done properly at the factory. Thing is if it's on 100% duty cycle when its cool outside how will it cope when the weather's warm? Still you have the warranty so it might be worth getting it checked out.
-mojo- wrote:Actually, I'm not sure that many compressor fridges can be recharged. The ones that I've looked at (admittedly not many) had no facility to do so - perhaps it's mainly the commercial units that can be recharged?
They can fit a valve and recharge them but I don't expect it's worth it in most cases. We had it done a while ago. The man said that modern; gases leak faster than the old freon types (don't know if that's true or not) and that the smaller the unit the harder it is to re-gas.

Brod
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Wed May 29, 2013 10:30 pm

brodco wrote:The man said that modern; gases leak faster than the old freon types (don't know if that's true or not)

I believe this is true - I went through the process of converting a car aircon system from the old R-12 to the more environmentally friendly R-134A, and this involved breaking every joint in the sytem and replacing the O-ring seals with new, less porous ones, but it never proved very reliable as you really need to change the seals in the compressor, and this generally involves a new compressor!
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:45 pm

Thanks to all for the advice.

Having just spent 2 days off EHU at the minimalist Bettyhill site (the facilities extend to one bin and a water tap) I can confirm that the Waeco is very sensitive to the setting - I turned it down one notch to 2, took 2 of the frozen freezer packs out into the main body of the fridge and tried not to open it too much and it hardly ran at all! After 2 days with no hookup and no engine running the battery was still at 12.7V so it made a huge difference.

I suspect that it was running a fair bit warmer than the recommended 5 degrees, so I made sure to half incinerate the fresh stuff that had been in there when I next got to a full facility site. No sign of any dire consequences (yet...).
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by brodco on Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:57 pm

Hi wave

-mojo- wrote: I can confirm that the Waeco is very sensitive to the setting
Glad you got it sorted.

Presumably when it was running at nearly 100% it was well under the required temperature. For a long time I’ve wondered why they fit an adjustable thermostat "thingy" at all.

After all we know what temperature the fridge is supposed to run at (4°C ish) so why not fit a fixed temperature sensor (I’ve done just that on my indoor (domestic) fridge and it works an treat). Taking it a little further the money saved by not fitting the adjustable mechanism could be used to fit a small fan that would do wonders for the temperature stabilization!

Brod.
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Waeco fridge

Post by bdpage on Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:27 pm

We have a Stafford, nasty shock when we went to Chester racecourse, lasted just two days, have just added a second 110 battery and it just ran for about four days without ehu.   May add solar panel, but can't really see it giving us more that one extra day.   Agree need to keep it on number 2 to work.   Probably ties in with the fact that the whole system is a lot of number twos!
Baz:scratch head:
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by -mojo- on Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:53 am

bdpage wrote:We have a Stafford, nasty shock when we went to Chester racecourse, lasted just two days, have just added a second 110 battery and it just ran for about four days without ehu.   May add solar panel, but can't really see it giving us more that one extra day.   Agree need to keep it on number 2 to work.   Probably ties in with the fact that the whole system is a lot of number twos!
Baz:scratch head:

It's possible that you may be underestimating the solar panel option. The thing is that, if you get a large enough panel, it may be able to run the fridge ~and~ replace the power used by the fridge when the panel is not generating power. I should state now that I'm only looking at the theory - I have not yet fitted a solar panel. But a simplistic analysis of a 120W panel running at half rated efficiency (because, for example, it's sitting flat on your roof instead of aligned precisely to the sun) should be able to put around half its capacity into running the fridge and the other half into recharging your battery.
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by bdpage on Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:02 am

Thanks, not quite sure that I could get anything bigger than an 80w on the van as not a lot of space left, but it is certainly something we are looking at.   Just want to feel that we can justify the money for the return, your feedback is food for thought.
Baz:scratch head:
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:44 am

As mentioned earlier in this thread, their is one advantage of using a compressor fridge and that is that no fixed outside vents are needed and the fridge can be installed anywhere in the van. Particularly in a small van that gives much more freedom to the habitation layout designer over the traditional caravan absorption fridge.

Whilst many of us do enjoy rallies and the freedom and economy of camping without EHU, it is a fact that most buyers of new vans for several years now always intend to have an EHU and want vans with lots of electrical goodies installed. Its not surprising therefore that when AS decided to design a small van they felt confident that a compressor fridge would be acceptable.

I was one of several who predicted an outcry from purchasers when they realised the constraints but that didn't happy and I'm only aware of a few users who have identified the feature as a problem to them.

I do know an ASOC member with a Stratford who found the issue when he acquired the van. He now has three leisure batteries, a solar panel, understands the importance of energy management and rallies very happily all year round. The East Nuek Fifer is a similar sized van with a compressor fridge and as standard it has three batteries and a solar panel. A friend has had one for a few years now but has never been off hook up long enough to have an issue with fridge power consumption.

BDPAGE - Before you spend any more money, I suggest you think how you want to camp in the future. If you want only to camp with out hookup when you are travelling every day (or two) and have a hook up when static for longer periods then you are ok as you are. If you would like to be able to camp without EHU for 2 or 3 nights (not in fog, heavy rain or mist) then a solar panel with your two batteries will certainly facilitate that. If your plans envisage regular long static periods without EHU when you would like to use the fridge then a van with an absorption fridge is what you should aspire too.

Peter

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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by bdpage on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:06 am

Thanks, for the detailed info, do disagree with your thoughts about most people with new vans like EHU, even if they did, vans age like all of us, so are we saying that therefore the vans become redundant.   Possibly why are about 60 stratfords build, there are more than 10% being advertised for sale.  Don't get me wrong love the van, not to happy with the build with regards to habitation plumbing and wiring, but that is being sorted.   Yes we will continue to use sites with and without electric.   Any good pointers on what solar system to fit would be appreciated.

Thanks again:up!: allthumbz
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by Peter Brown on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:14 am

The systems are all much of a muchness but I suggest you get an installer who knows Autosleeper models well. The companies who tour the shows (like solar solutions) and Autosleeper dealers would be (and have been) my first port of call.

Peter
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by bdpage on Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:36 am

Thanks, again for the info.
Baz
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Re: Waeco Compressor fridge current consumption

Post by Campievanner on Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:33 pm

Sorry for not replying earlier.  This summer we have been using the van on battery a bit due to attending rally type events, and the battery was just dying all the time. 

in conclusion the AS fitted 100a battery was faulty. our van was stood a 'bit' prior to our purchase, so as we'd replaced the vehicle battery ourselves when the van was a few months old (£120 eek) we decided to change the leisure battery too. the largest that fit was a 140a from Tayna that was about £100. It seems to last for 2 day weekend events just fine for us, so well worth it.

i know some people would have been banging on the dealer's door with it being a new van, but batteries are a consumable item in reality. Even though they had failed due to being discharged since build, it was just less stressful to buy good spec new ones and then look after them.
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