Barlow fridge





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Thread: Barlow fridge

  1. #1
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    Default Barlow fridge

    A friend has been given this fridge with the assurance that it works on 12 Volt for his caravan. There is a tangle of wires at the back, the red ones go to the thermostat and between the wires with the connector is a resistance of one and a half ohm. Can I try connecting these to a 12V battery without causing damage? Assistance will be greatly appreciated.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Barlow fridge

    Quote Originally Posted by rgoossens View Post
    A friend has been given this fridge with the assurance that it works on 12 Volt for his caravan. There is a tangle of wires at the back, the red ones go to the thermostat and between the wires with the connector is a resistance of one and a half ohm. Can I try connecting these to a 12V battery without causing damage? Assistance will be greatly appreciated.
    Normally the 220 volt will go through the thermostat and 12v dos not

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Barlow fridge

    IIRC the element / heater has two separate coils, one for 12V and another for 220V. 12V into a load of 1.5 Ohm is 8 Amps, which sounds about right. Connect and test, no hassle. Just take care, 8A continuous is a lot of current and will fairly quickly drain a battery that is not being charged. On the small portable 3-Way fridges, the 12V element is usually only used when in a vehicle while the engine is running. Gas is the way to go for these, IMO.
    Last edited by An3s; 2019/12/15 at 06:25 PM.
    ZS6VL


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Barlow fridge

    Quote Originally Posted by rgoossens View Post
    A friend has been given this fridge with the assurance that it works on 12 Volt for his caravan. There is a tangle of wires at the back, the red ones go to the thermostat and between the wires with the connector is a resistance of one and a half ohm. Can I try connecting these to a 12V battery without causing damage? Assistance will be greatly appreciated.
    Hi,
    Curious to hear if you got this sorted? I have the same fridge and it needs some fixing up

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Barlow fridge

    Quote Originally Posted by CabousBeer View Post
    Hi,
    Curious to hear if you got this sorted? I have the same fridge and it needs some fixing up
    At best the 12V element does not work well and normally one will start a trip with everything frozen. At the overnight one would use gas that works 10 times better. Also the element can draw up to 15A. No battery will even go through a whole evening and night at this current. This is about 2x what a house type 200L fridge would use.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Barlow fridge

    So what would concern me more than anything else is the amount of corrosion I see.

    So an absorption fridge is not fussy about the heat source. The problems you will face are the notorious hysteresis (spread between max and min) of the thermostats. I measured mine ( different fridge) and if my memory serves me correctly is was 13 deg C. So if you want a cold beer in the heat of the lowveld day, that fridge setting will also freeze your veggies and salad stuff when the ambient temperature drops at night. It is not worth installing a decent controller on such an old fridge.

    So the ideal would be; get a dual element 220/12V and fit this, they are readily available Use the 12V to power the fridge while travelling (make sure you have an override switch so that you don't flatten your battery during a stop for lunch etc). Then you use the 220V element for when you are in camp.

    If you want the best temperature control then use the gas burner. The burner runs independently of the themostat, best results but not the cheapest option.

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