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Gas or propane refrigeration

Discussion in 'Everything Else Energy' started by rhoda_bruce, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Sep 1, 2010
    rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Almost Self-Reliant

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    I have electric refrigeration and have 2 generators to fall back on in a power outage, but I am thinking on converting to either gas refrigeration or propane or find out if a device can be applied to the appliances to use either/or.
    My father claims these appliances won't cool as well. I have no idea where he gets his info, because he couldn't explain why. Some of my co-workers claim that the small refrigerators in RVs don't cool very well. Perhaps that is why Dad isn't too keen on the idea.
    I already did some math and it should cost me about the same in propane vs electricity. Problem is making sure I have the propane, whereas the electricity comes out of an outlet in the wall.
    The real expense would be in getting the appliance.
    My primary reason is for outages; esp extended outages, like Katrina. Sometimes its nice to have your whole house with power, but your main concern may be refrigeration, if you have hundreds of dollars of food thawing out and no stores to buy new food at.
    The whole house generator runs on natural gas and the small standby 13 horsepower runs on liquid gasoline.
    If my refrigeration can be not dependant on electricity, then I only need electric power for comfort. I mean what if they shut off the gas? Plus my sister's gas bill was about 700 dollars after Gustave.
    Anyone with firsthand knowledge about the effeciency of gas or propane refrigeration? Anyone has anything good or bad to say about them?
     
  2. Sep 1, 2010
    SKR8PN

    SKR8PN Late For Supper

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    Propane refrigeration isn't all that efficient in the big scheme of things.......
    http://www.refrigeratorefficiency.com/off-grid

    If your gonna have propane, why not run as much as you can off that source? If all you have is propane 'fridge.....that's all you'll be able to run. BUT.......if you have a propane fired generator, you can not only power your refrigeration, but also lights and other necessities off that gen set.

    That's why I went with a propane backup generator, with 1000 gallons plus of storage capacity. If I am careful about my consumption, I can run that gen set( and everything else!) for a loooong time on 1000 gallons........
    Just so ya know.....we have THREE freezers, TWO refrigerators, and sump pumps that we HAVE to keep running. Being without power is NOT an option for us.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2010
    TanksHill

    TanksHill Super Self-Sufficient

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    My camper fridge runs great. But for us propane is expensive.

    A bit ff topic. Skr8pn I have been meaning to ask you what size your ummm :hide :lol: generator is?

    My SIL just bout some property here in Ca. It's pretty remote and she has to provide her own power. She managed to get her hands on a huge propane generator, 10,000kw. It came from a COW, Cell on wheels. A temporary cell site. Geesh it's good to have friends in the business. Any ways, I hear there might be another lying around. I am thinking about trying to acquire it. :D Maybe for my future farm. Anyways I just thought I would get your opinion on the size.

    gina
     
  4. Sep 1, 2010
    SKR8PN

    SKR8PN Late For Supper

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    I have a pretty large generator. :D It is a 15,000 watt but will handle up to an 18,000 watt surge if need be. At the time it was the largest air cooled gen set I could find. I also installed a 200 amp automatic transfer switch. If/when the power goes off, the transfer switch has a magnetic switch inside with relays, that automatically starts and stabilizes the generator. We have power within 90 seconds of the grid failure an don't have to worry about back-feeding power out to the grid.

    The back-feeding of power onto the grid is what you have to be very careful about. From what I have heard, there is a LOT of paperwork involved when you electrocute a lineman that is attempting to repair the power outage. :ep


    A 10,000 KW generator is HUGE and is large enough to power a small town.
     
  5. Sep 1, 2010
    rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Almost Self-Reliant

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    Sounds like you have the same generator as me. Size and able to use propane and such. I can't see that I would take advantage of the use of the propane though. Not to run my whole house. I would need a huge tank and then I never did the math to see how long the absolute biggest tank would run my house.
    I don't consider lights a necessity. We might like to have them, but we can do our living during the day. We can use candles or hurricane lamps by night, but not for long, because they put off a lot of heat, so we prefer to go to sleep ASAP.
    The thing about generators that the locals weren't advised about was that they needed to be stopped about every 8 hours, cooled off and have all the gauges and oil and such checked before starting up again. Everyone went out and bought these whole house generators after Katrina, with automatic turn-on switches. Then here comes Gustave and a mandatory evacuation. So everyone has there house running and they not even home to take care of things. Well they all came home to no power; from the power co. or from their generators.
    We were late getting our generator. We had actually ordered a 16,000 wt, but it was taking forever for the manufacturers to produce it and they called us with an offer for a 15,000. It wasn't until Gustave was in route before the electricians showed up to connect us and they did it wrong.........thank God. If they had connected us correctly, we wouldn't have had the benefit of knowing how often to check the thing out. We got some of our connection money back. Also the electrician didn't think it wise to have automatic turn-ons. He said all our wiring is in the attic and after our roof blows away, we didn't want all those exposed wires to be live. Made sense to us. So we wait until after the worse part of the storm to turn the power on.
    We let our 2 generators take turns. Gustave (whole house) is used by night, Katrina (13 HP) is used by morning. We take an 8 hour break without power. Then back again.
    I cook with propane after a storm and sometimes regardless, so as not to heat up my house......all my outdoor cooking is propane.
    Does anyone know anything about how cold the freezers and refrigerators stay?
     
  6. Sep 1, 2010
    SKR8PN

    SKR8PN Late For Supper

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    If your roof blows away, the genset wouldn't even fire up. IF it is connected correctly, the feed trip wire would go away with your roof! :gig

    Propane refrigeration gets just as cold as electrical refrigeration, it just uses more propane, dollar for dollar, than you would use in electricity.
    That's why they say it isn't as efficient.
     
  7. Sep 3, 2010
    rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Almost Self-Reliant

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    I'll be sure to let my electrician know that. In any event, after what I saw following Gustave, I will not change to automatic turn-on. Way too many people I know had useless generators, because they all shut down after about 36 hours of continous use.
     
  8. Feb 12, 2014
    rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Almost Self-Reliant

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    Well, let me bump this back up to the top.
    Update: by tomorrow, DH and I will buy another house....for him. So, he was thinking of buying several items he felt he needs, including a new refrigerator. Well, I'm figuring I can get a gas/propane refrigerator and let him have our old one.
    I'm now hoping for gas, with the ability to convert to propane, when and if needed.
    I'd appreciate any knowledge from any who may not have previously read this thread.
     
  9. Feb 12, 2014
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    Don't know about in your area, but I've been hearing that propane is super expensive right now in parts of the country. That might be something you want to look into.
     
  10. Feb 13, 2014
    rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Almost Self-Reliant

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    Thats why I want natural gas, with only the possibility of converting to propane, if necessary. I know, cuz the last few times I got refilled, it bit. I did read a few customer reviews, but was hoping someone here had first hand experience, but no biggie. Figured it was worth a try.
     

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