Powering Your Fridge Off-Grid
12V TECH WITH BAINBRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES
Gone are the days of the traditional eskies full of ice, and parents yelling at their kids to “Hurry up and shut the esky lid!”. With more 4wders and campers opting for 12v fridges, we’ve got the solutions to common problems 4wders face when it comes to your fridge set up.
POWER YOUR FRIDGE WITH PORTABLE POWER
If you are after a simple plug and play solution to power your fridge - the Baintech PowerTop will keep your essentials running, without the fuss of a dual battery set up. The PowerTop is a complete portable power source built on a 100ah Gel battery. Featuring multiple input and output sockets, including two Engel and Ciga sockets to directly connect your fridge. If you plan to run your fridge for a greater length of time, you’ll need to pair the PowerTop with an adequate charging source to keep the 100ah battery in top condition.
ADD SOLAR FOR A STAND-ALONE SYSTEM
By adding a solar source to charge the PowerTop you can charge on the move – by either by fixed solar panels on your roof, via alternator charging or while set up at camp by using the Baintuff 180w solar blanket. With both regulated and unregulated solar Anderson plug inputs, it’s as simple as plug and play. The PowerTop has a built-in solar regulator that will prevent the PowerTop 100ah Gel Battery from overcharging.
WATTS IT ALL ABOUT
The biggest question I receive about the PowerTop is - how long will it run my fridge for? The biggest thing to remember is your PowerTop battery, like any other battery - should only be used to 50% depth of discharge (D.O.D). Meaning when calculating your PowerTop's useable power, you should base your calculations off half the batteries amp hours. For example, 1x 100amp hour battery, should ideally only be used up to 50amp hours. 1x 135ah battery should ideally be only used up to 67 hours.
CALCULATING YOUR POWER
If your fridge is drawing 1amp then the PowerTop’s 100AH battery will be able to run for 50 hours. Basic calculation method 100AH battery / 2 = 50AH of available capacity (50AH / 1amp draw = 50 hours of usage) This is a very basic calculation example, and will vary greatly on your fridge type, operating amp draw and varying heat conditions. Remember, it’s best practice to keep your battery topped up, by putting more in than you are drawing out. I always recommend testing out your gear on a short trip for the most accurate calculations, this will avoid major issues when you’re off grid in a remote location.
MONITORING YOUR USAGE
The PowerTop has a built-in volt meter, with warning alarm that notifies you of low voltage levels. This built in alarm is designed to prevent you from drawing current from the battery once the voltage drops below the ideal minimum level. A well-maintained battery will last you through a greater amount of cycles than a battery that is misused and continuously discharged below 50%.