Battery not keeping up with fridge, please help





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  1. #1
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    Question Battery not keeping up with fridge, please help

    I have a Snomaster 52 Litre fridge/freezer that i purchased 2 months ago. It is being run by a 105Ah Deltec Lead Crystal battery that is being charged by a CTEK 250S in my Nissan HB. The fridge compartments are set at -10 and -1 degrees celcius.

    My first use of the combination was at the Kgalagadi where it was probably about 35-40 degrees Celsius on average. I was driving at least 4-6 hours a day and when at camp was running the fridge off electricity for as much as i could 2-3 hours a day.

    Over the week that i was at the Kgalagadi i could see the battery voltage was slowly dropping, it was definitely being charged but not as much power as was being used by the fridge over the course of the day.

    I understand that the fridge was working extra hard due to the extremely high external temperatures but with that much driving shouldn't the battery keep up? Also what can i do to curb this problem? Extra battery maybe or mount a solar panel?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by yatish View Post
    .............It is being run by a 105Ah Deltec Lead Crystal battery that is being charged by a CTEK 250S in my Nissan HB. The fridge compartments are set at -10 and -1 degrees celcius.
    Lets just make a 100% sure what kind of battery you have.
    Lead Crystal's are not available in 105Ah.

    Could you please post a photo or the exact name of the battery

  3. #3
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    where does the fridges compressor vent - vent to ? if this is somewhat blocked or obscured the fridge eats power

    and is -10 needed on battery power ? and -1 ? what about a few ice cubes in there ? try -5 and 3 degrees and you will reduce power consumption hugely

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfuwefarmer View Post
    Lets just make a 100% sure what kind of battery you have.
    Lead Crystal's are not available in 105Ah.

    Could you please post a photo or the exact name of the battery
    Apologies, yes you are correct it is not 105 A/h . It is a Deltec VRLA - 12 Volt 100 A/h SMF Battery. I will take a picture of the battery tonight and post it.

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    Also have a look at the units airvents.
    If there is something blocking the airvents, the unit can not exspell the hot air fast enough, and thus the compressor would run much longer than nessesary.
    Is your CTEK mounted close to the battery, or far away?
    The closer to the battery, the better.


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    Quote Originally Posted by 3bar View Post
    where does the fridges compressor vent - vent to ? if this is somewhat blocked or obscured the fridge eats power

    and is -10 needed on battery power ? and -1 ? what about a few ice cubes in there ? try -5 and 3 degrees and you will reduce power consumption hugely

    The fridge is in the load bay within the canopy, there should've been alot of air around as most of the time the canopy only had the fridge and battery.

    Changing the temperature is a brilliant idea, thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wetkit View Post
    Also have a look at the units airvents.
    If there is something blocking the airvents, the unit can not exspell the hot air fast enough, and thus the compressor would run much longer than nessesary.
    Is your CTEK mounted close to the battery, or far away?
    The closer to the battery, the better.

    The air-vents are clear, but maybe the bag that it comes in is blocking the air-vent. I will double check this, thanks.

    The Ctek charger is in a ammo box with the Deep Cycle battery in the load bay. So close to the Deep cycle battery but far from the main battery.

    Thanks again.

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    I have a 60l Snomaster and a 105 battery. When driving around or on 220v I run it at -19. Then at night when its cooler I set it to -3 or -5 this saves the battery's tremendously. However you need to do a lot of driving around to maintain -19 and charge the battery.

  9. #9
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    Now whilst we wait to find out the exact type of battery you have just the following remarks based on my own setup.

    I have just returned from a trip to SA running 2x 80lt freezers stuffed with goodies set at -15C, running off a 100Ah lead crystal charged with a Ctek D250s. Yes granted I drove at least 7 hours a day so ample time to charge but at night the battery was drawn down to about 30-40% SOC due to my settings and running 2 freezers off 1 battery. I keep a constant eye on the battery monitor in front of the vehicle to ensure that it is charging ok. Yes it was also very hot in Bots on our way back and the temps in Zambia is currently ranging between 34 and 37C.

    Thus in theory your system should have coped well without a hassle.
    What could thus be the problem:
    1) Battery type and condition??
    2) Ventilation of the Ctek. The charger needs to ventilate and if it is in a box you might have a problem with ventilation and it would automatically cut down on the charging rate to protect itself.
    3) Are you sure all your connections are tight?
    Last edited by mfuwefarmer; 2013/10/29 at 08:04 AM.

  10. #10
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    the fridges cover can definetly disturb the compressor vent

    the other thing to check is the battery temp sensor on the ctek - is that getting a proper temp ?

    i have found putting ice cubes in the fridge / freezer reduces the battery load significantly - yes it does make it like a cooler box but damn it works and extra battery life is a bonus

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfuwefarmer View Post
    Now whilst we wait to find out the exact type of battery you have just the following remarks based on my own setup.

    I have just returned from a trip to SA running 2x 80lt freezers stuffed with goodies set at -15C, running off a 100Ah lead crystal charged with a Ctek D250s. Yes granted I drove at least 7 hours a day so ample time to charge but at night the battery was drawn down to about 30-40% SOC due to my settings and running 2 freezers off 1 battery. I keep a constant eye on the battery monitor in front of the vehicle to ensure that it is charging ok. Yes it was also very hot in Bots on our way back and the temps in Zambia is currently ranging between 34 and 37C.

    Thus in theory your system should have coped well without a hassle.
    What could thus be the problem:
    1) Battery type and condition??
    2) Ventilation of the Ctek. The charger needs to ventilate and if it is in a box you might have a problem with ventilation and it would automatically cut down on the charging rate to protect itself.
    3) Are you sure all your connections are tight?
    Thanks for the quick response

    1) I will send the pic through tonight but for reference the battery is Lead Crystal and brand new (a month old)
    2) this may be a problem worth investigating as the charger is mounted within the same box as the battery.
    3) Triple checked the connections whilst i was on holiday. I don't think this could be the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3bar View Post
    the fridges cover can definetly disturb the compressor vent

    the other thing to check is the battery temp sensor on the ctek - is that getting a proper temp ?

    i have found putting ice cubes in the fridge / freezer reduces the battery load significantly - yes it does make it like a cooler box but damn it works and extra battery life is a bonus

    How do i check if the temp sensor is getting a proper temperature? When i installed it, i just glued it to the top of the battery.

    Thanks for the tip, i will def try the ice as well.

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    Not sure what amps the snomaster's compressor draws when running but , with 4 hours charging a day it should be ok. If it draws 2.5 amps, as they say, than it consume 50Ah per day if its runs 24 hours ((24-4) x 2.5), with should easily be put back by the alternator on 4 hours. I think there is something else draining the battery or the battery is on its way out.
    Johan Kriel

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  14. #14
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    Measure power out and check power in.
    You need to put a bit more in, in 24 hours than you take out.

    Made that mistake myself.
    After 3-4 hours drive the battery was charged but not 100%. With 5 hours drive and NL selonoid it was fine - I did not use DC-DC charging.

    Now days the 70l SnoMaster is in the Echo with 2 x 105's and 130 Watt solar.
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