Inverter for the 4wd that is strong enough to power a large household fridge (during power outages)

darb

Well-Known Member
Right so after a 24hr + power outage, I resorted to plugging our house hold big fridge (two seperate units in a pidgeon pair) into a crappy old 1KVA generator we had. It seems to handle it ... but only just. When the compressor starts in the fridge you can hear the generator almost stall and quit. I know household fridges have a much larger draw when they first start , compared to the draw they have when they're running.

I detest generator and im sure the neighbours do too.

So i tried to use 350watt DC-AC inverter I have in the car (700 watts peak i think), however it chokes when the fridge first tries to start its compressor and switches off.

I want to get a bigger inverter so in future I can just run the household fridge from the inverter in the 4wd silently (it is solar fed during the day and has plentiful dual batteries - we would manage that) ... what size do you reckon you'd need, to be able to tolerate that initial greedy draw from the household fridge?

I'm aware too that they're a pidgeon pair, there might be a x2 factor here, but in that event we would just self-manage by only powering one of the two at any one time and alternating (one's a freezer, one's a fridge ... the freezer stays frozen for 24-48hrs anyway, it's mainly the fridge that needs topups)

We've got thousnads of $$ worth of food in our household fridges and I like being able to cover that, particularly with so many power poles catching fire and power company taking too long to fix them :) (they do their best)
 

Albynsw

Well-Known Member
Not an answer but if you get an inverter big enough to run the fridges do you think you have the battery capacity to drive it?
I had the electrician wire up an inlet on my switchboard that I plug my generator into so I can run my fridge and water pump and a few lights during a power outage.
 

Hoyks

Well-Known Member
If a 1kVA is struggling, then probably best to have some spare capacity. A 1500W constant should be able to do it as it will have a bit to spare and if has some surge capacity, all the better.

It will suck the guts out of a battery though. You'd be looking at 4-5 250W panels on a sunny day just to keep even. It might be worth looking at a quieter generator.
 

darb

Well-Known Member
well, currently the 1000 watt generator has held it all day long. I daresay the current draw is much less than 1000 watts, somewhere around 150 - 300 watts (i haven't got an ammeter) ... BUT, when the fridge initially boots the compressor, it sucks around 1000 watts ... so whatever system it is needs to be able to tolerate a 1kw "peak". At moment the generator almost stalls / strains and but catches itsef and then the load backs off to its normal pull.

My inverter is I think 350 watt with a 500 watt peak ... so sadly that initial peak knocks it over.

The wiring in the vehicle may be a limiting factor anyway, 50 amp fused circuit ... which at 12.6v is about 600 watts?

Annoying how the fridges have such an initial demand

Gennie's are just so noisey (especially when the whole suburb is quiet as noone has power!)
 

Colly18

Well-Known Member
To be honest Darb, I wouldn't feel guilty about upgrading to a 2-3 Kw generator (plenty of modern quieter models out there). For the number of times you use it in an emergency it appears to me to be the sensible option (?) (I'm coming at this from a quite 'green' perspective, i.e. you do plenty of other things right in terms of environmental responsibility(?))
 

Hoyks

Well-Known Member
If you want to feel better about disturbing the neighbors, get a bigger genny, chuck an extension lead over the side fence to the bloke next door that you get on with and he might even kick in for fuel.

You're all in it together, so may as well turn a mild annoyance into community spirit;).
 

darb

Well-Known Member
If you want to feel better about disturbing the neighbors, get a bigger genny, chuck an extension lead over the side fence to the bloke next door that you get on with and he might even kick in for fuel.

You're all in it together, so may as well turn a mild annoyance into community spirit;).
that you maverick ?
 

Petunia

Well-Known Member
Do you have a new electricity meter? or an old type?

if you have a new type [digital readout] they tell you everything, then by simple math of the actual voltage you are getting out the line multiplied by the amps it shows = wattage of appliance.

I have turned everything off, then one at a time read the meter display and determined exactly how much each appliance uses. It makes life simple, and cut my bill by 100$ by simply shutting down the high demand appliances, including lights. [i dont use any 240 lights anymore]

As for an inverter, as others said, I agree you will be pushing cheese uphill. The extra demand you put on your car system needs to be put back, and yes your 50amp system would need upgrading to at least 100amp Peak? and if a 1kva struggles you need higher than 1000watt inverter?
 

Hoyks

Well-Known Member
that you maverick ?
No, sorry.

I have a 2.5kVA, its a old Robin (Subaru), probably nudging 30 and a bit of a noisy bastard. It will power the fridges, water pump, instant gas hot water and the wifes coffee machine. The horses next door have yet to complain about the noise.
 
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