Electricity for portable refrigerator-freezers in vehicles


Date & time Aug 18
Electricity for portable refrigerator-freezers in vehicles
Creator yungecarfridge

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Running a 12V car portable fridge freezer in your van requires an electrical setup that consists of (at a minimum) a 12V outlet connected to an auxiliary battery (not your starting battery), and a means to charge it. But how much battery capacity do you need?

Determining Your Battery Capacity

To calculate how much battery capacity you need to reliably run your fridge, first find your fridge’s average power draw.

As an example, let’s assume our fridge draws an average of 2.0 Amps per hour.

Over the course of one day (24 hours), a fridge drawing 2.0 Amps per hour will drain 48 Ah from your battery.

When sizing your battery bank, you also need to consider the type of battery you have. Lead-acid, AGM, and gel batteries can only be discharged 50% before you start to damage them, so you always want to double your energy usage number to determine your battery capacity. In this example, you would want a minimum battery capacity of 100 Ah – plus additional capacity for your other electrical loads.

LiFePO4 batteries (lithium iron phosphate, or LFP), on the other hand, can be discharged 100%. So in this example, a 48ah LFP battery should be able to keep up with your car electronic refrigerator. However, you would need a bigger battery to accommodate your other electrical loads, and we always recommend building in some wiggle room if you can.

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