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|240 VOLT AC MODELS
Understanding the refrigerator choice?
Refrigeration is normally the largest consumer of power in the household
situation. Some refrigerators use more than double the power of other
refrigerators of the same capacity, so when choosing a new refrigerator
it is very important to understand what you are purchasing.
Refrigerators and freezers (240 volt AC models) sold in Australia are
rated under an energy labelling system. More crucial than the star rating
on the label, is the amount of power that the refrigeration unit uses
in a year. This is also shown on the energy rating label in kWhr/yr (kilowatt
hours per year).
What is the preferred choice for energy consumption?
Energy consumption of under 500 kWhr/year should be
the preferred choice. The lower the number, the less power the appliance
will consume. This should be the primary consideration when purchasing
a new refrigerator or freezer.
See http://www.energyrating.gov.au for
detailed information on energy ratings of specific appliances.
12 OR 24 VOLT DC MODELS
How do DC models compare with AC fridges of a similar size?
In smaller power systems that are based around a 12 volt or 24 volt
DC battery bank, refrigeration that operates directly from the DC
voltage is also available. As the DC fridge compressors are smaller
and use less power, they run for longer periods. Despite this, they
still use less power overall than an AC fridge of comparable size.
Depending upon weather conditions, a 250 litre 2-door DC refrigerator
would use approximately 250 to 350 kilowatt hours of power per year.
What are the disadvantages of DC refrigeration?
In DC refrigerators the heating element
that automatically defrosts the evaporator plate in the back of the
fridge is not available, meaning that manual defrosting is required
every few weeks.
It is possible to obtain a DC timer that can be programmed
to turn the fridge off for an hour a couple of times a night, which
allows the refrigeration plate to defrost. Manual defrosting of the
freezer is still required.
The other limitation of DC refrigerators
is that they are only available in sizes of up to 250 litres.
also use less power than their 240 volt AC counterparts, but are limited
to 220 litres in capacity and do not "deep freeze" as
well as AC models.
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