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Compact fridge on inverter

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2 hours ago, payaso del mar said:

good points.  now you got me thinking about not replacing the propane fridge in our cabin but just doing some work on it..........

Electric compressor-type refrigerator can get just as cold and run much more efficiently then any propane refrigerator.  When someone makes claims - it is important to know what certain words mean when put in context.  Especially what "efficient' means.

My 5.8 cubic foot Sundanzer electric DC refrigerator uses, on average, 1/4 amp per hour @ 12 volts DC when it is 70 degrees F outside.  I can run with a single 120 watt solar panel hooked to a single 110 AH battery.  I'd call that amazingly efficient by most  uses of the word "efficient." Let's compare costs.

Propane refrigerator in RV - 4 cubic feet - uses 15,600 BTUs of energy per day when it is 70F air temp. Cost $1.25 per day to run (Walmart tank exchange price)..

Electric DC refrigerator - 5.8 cubic feet - uses 72 watt-hours a day. Plugged into the grid that is 1 cent per day to run. 

Electric DC refrigerator - 5.8 cubic feet - hooked to a pair of 120 watt solar panels and one 110 AH battery.  15 cents per day to run.
(Note: cost of solar figured for 2 1/2  batteries in 20 years plus other equipment costs that comes to 15 cents per day.)

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2 hours ago, jjrbus said:

My understanding is that some of the Amish types do not use electric refers, so use propane instead.  If there are any in your area they may be able to work on and have parts available to work on yours?? 

                                                  Jim

Amish dairy farmers in my area use diesel engines to run generators to run the milk-coolers.  Seems as long as they make the electricity themselves from diesel that comes from Arabs - all is OK. 

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18 minutes ago, jdemaris said:

Seems as long as they make the electricity themselves from diesel that comes from Arabs - all is OK. 

one reason i'm a heathen.  sophisticated theology is way over my head.......

you don't have to convince me of the long term economics of solar vs. propane.  especially when you insert the word "used" and shop CL for your panels.  my 300 watts of panels just arrived yesterday for the Bandit, and wife and i are in the middle of installing a 2.8 KW/day system at the "cabin".....maybe $2500 total and never worry about the electric bill or county bldg. inspectors (since the latter doesn't know you're there without utility hookups....) or property taxes (same reason, your property is "unimproved" on paper).    

However, until lithium batteries get cheaper, for someone on the move, the amount of energy you can store in a tank of propane for the weight still has attractions compared to any energy storage in lead-acid batteries.  when I win the lottery, the Bandit will get a 6.3 GW Tesla Powerwall....:rolleyes:

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25 minutes ago, jdemaris said:

Amish dairy farmers in my area use diesel engines to run generators to run the milk-coolers.  Seems as long as they make the electricity themselves from diesel that comes from Arabs - all is OK. 

There are many sub groups and different sects that do things differently.  Not connecting with the world seems to be their goal, I don't get the phone outside in a shed?

If I needed help with an LP fridge, I would ask a guy with a horse and buggy!     

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2 minutes ago, jjrbus said:

Not connecting with the world seems to be their goal,

not entirely a bad idea, although ultimately not entirely sustainable.....viz the problems they have with buggies getting hit by cars.  but the more I see of most of the human race, the more I want to get away from all 7 billion of it.........

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1 hour ago, payaso del mar said:

not entirely a bad idea, although ultimately not entirely sustainable.....viz the problems they have with buggies getting hit by cars.  but the more I see of most of the human race, the more I want to get away from all 7 billion of it.........

I can relate  :D

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1 hour ago, payaso del mar said:

the amount of energy you can store in a tank of propane for the weight still has attractions compared to any energy storage in lead-acid batteries. 

True but the propane tank is a finite source of energy.  Solar panels hooked to a battery provide an infinite source of energy.  You are comparing a simple storage vessel to a power generation/storage system.  Figuring efficiency with dollars - the electric setup greatly beats any propane setup.  The only advantage to propane that I can come up with is convenience in some uses.  Not efficient by any connotation of the word I am privy to.   Now - if I had a cabin in a dark woods where solar was not practical - and I wanted quiet refrigeration - I can see where propane would be nice.  Even then - running a generator once a day to replenish a battery running a DC  compressor refrigerator would  be cheaper then using propane to fuel an absorption refrigerator.  Using a gasoline powered generator for 30 minutes a day to recharge the battery (running the DC refrigerator) would cost around 30 cents a day.  Much cheaper then the dollar-plus cost of propane for a day running the smaller RV refrigerator.  Now in an RV where convenience is the only concern - I can see where some people prefer propane.  I just don't happen to be one of them.  I like having a refrigerator that does not need to be level, does not need a chimney and/or wall vent to the outside, and is dirt cheap to replace.

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3 hours ago, payaso del mar said:

oh duh....now I understand why I see all the Amish made refurb bits for these.

Totem, the "cabin" actually is a 21' Nomad traila for now, and the ammonia refer is stock.  why was that one giving off fumes?  you mean just the propane-combustion exhaust?  in theory, that should be just CO2 and water, but in practice, it does seem like it always has a sweet organic-compound odor.

how much $ would the lithium batteries run for that power pack?  you say old laptop batteries, but my (admittedly limited!) experience has been that the battery is usually one of the first things to die on a laptop.  is there a way to refurb em?

that thing on ebay is a thermostatic fridge and won't get things that cold....they claim 54 degrees F below ambient....after factoring in the "ebay seller claim discount", i'd guess more like 40-45 degrees below ambient.  sorry, I want my beer colder on a 95 degree Mexico summer day than 50 degrees, and it sounds like you'd have trouble keeping a lot of food cold enough to prevent spoilage in the summer, esp if your RV interior gets hotter than outside.  and it's not like the juice usage is all that low....you can run a real compressor-style fridge on 6 amps.  Engel, ARB, FridgeFreeze, JD's $130 Igloo..........

If youve been throwing away "dead" laptop batteries youve been throwing away $. 99% of the time only one 18650 cell in the series has gone bad and rest will charge andbperform to spec. You can buy "dead" packs online crack em open and they are filled with 18650 lithiums. You can then repurpose them into all kinds of things including rebuilding drill packs for ryobi, cell phone chargers , rc toys etc. many flashlights now use them also. As to the fridge if you dont believe specs thats your choice im merely thinking outside of the "lead" box... And like i said john mc taught me there is a reason dometic still uses propane today.

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14 minutes ago, Totem said:

there is a reason dometic still uses propane today.

The Dometic company that made our refrigerators in our 70s-90s RVs is gone.  Was bought out a long time ago.  The reason why the brand name and refrigerators still exist is because some people still buy them for special uses.  Not because the absorption tech has any huge advantage in the world of refrigeration.

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I think one reason they're still around is that a lot of people find it more than convenient to use one fuel source for their fridge, stove and furnace.

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Very popular out in the woods especially where the sun doesn't shine much. As for Dometic not being the same company, large multinational companies go through lots of ownership changes with the core still being essentially the same. They also own Waeco, Attwood and a ton of other RV and marine product companies. Focus has not changed.

Linda S

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10 hours ago, linda s said:

 Focus has not changed.

Linda S

Yes, and that main focus has always been for use in Caravans AKA RVs.    Not because it is an efficient method of cooling. Sometimes in some places it was the only viable method used with propane, kerosene, and even firewood at times.  It offers the convenience of a "one fuel" setup in camper.  If someone has a cabin off-grid and wants efficient cooling - absorption technology takes a  back seat to compressor-refrigeration.  The latter is much more efficient.  Now adays in an RV?  Much has changed in the past 20 years and it is no longer the only OEM choice of cooling food in an RV. 

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Here are some figures on refrigeration and types of fuels and costs. Not always easy to make direct-line comparisons, but I tried.  Also - about Dometic.  Personally - I think their service stinks.  I called them last month for some parts info on the refrigerator in my 1988 Minicruiser.  They could not even come up with old part #s for me, much less new parts.  Now - maybe they are better in Europe - I don't know. I recently tried to get some parts for my West German Stihl chain-saw.  1987 vintage but a  high-end professional saw.  Stihl USA told me it is obsolete and no parts available anywhere.  Then I later found out that sellers in West Germany had all the parts I needed.  So, who knows?  In my world-view - a company like Dometic who deals with built-in refrigerators in RVs that often only get used a few weeks a year - ought to have better support for a product made in 1988.  That  being said - I just had a 15 year old Jenn-Air oven crap out in our house and the replacement board is "obsolete" and "not repairable" according to the company.  So, maybe this is what I should expect with anything USA now adays.

I know this.  At our remote cabin in the NY Adirondacks - for years we used a pair of 4 cubic foot absorption refrigerators (one Dometic and one Japanese Travl'r). If we stayed for two weeks in mid-summer and had our 20 lb. tanks filled at the local campground - it took $35 in propane for that two weeks.  When we later switched to a large tank and had a gas  guy fill it once a year - two weeks using propane cost $16.80.  We then switched to a Sundanzer 5.8 cubic foot compressor refrigerator powered by a pair of 120 watt solar panels and one 110 AH battery and then cost for two weeks was a total of $1.68 and no running around for propane refills.  Note my $1.68 for two weeks is based on a cost-per-day projection of a solar electric system with a 20 year life.  

 

My AC vertical Samsung 4 cubic foot chest refrigerator hooked to an inverter.

430 watt-hours per day @ 70 degrees F

 

My AC chest Igloo 3.5 cubic foot refrigerator hooked to an inverter

129 watt-hours a day @ 70 degrees F.

 

Sundanzer 5.8 cubic foot chest refrigerator DC power

100 watt-hours per day @ 70 degrees F

 

Dometic vertical 4 cubic foot absorption RV refrigerator

15,600 BTUs per day, equals 4500 watt-hours of electricity

 

Costs?

Propane with a Blue Rhino exchange at Walmart - $1.27 per pound /21,600 BTUs

$1 buys 17,000 BTUs

 

Gasoline - $2 per gallon equals 124,000 BTUs, so $1 buys 62,000 BTUs

 

Grid power - $1 buys 28,500 BTUs

 

Solar power - 560 watt-hours a day for 12 cents a day = 1900 BTUs

$1 buys 15,830 BTU

 

 

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efficient in your definition is of course at heavy expense to your wallet and also of course with the "assumption" that you will get enough sun to power it; which in places like Seattle is not always a given...Propane however will ignite and burn in all circumstances; is readily available and has great energy to weight density; does not require huge lead bricks to store itself in and as Dereck mentioned, can be used to heat and cook. Its really a no brainer; solar panels are fun for off-grid but strapping them and their requirements onto an RV is costly and weight bearing. I also challenge the "efficient" comment you make. How many panels, batteries and inverters would you need to do what OP was looking to do. It seems he tried and it wouldn't work reliably.... so reliability must come into play in the consideration of "efficiency"  a hang glider is more efficient than a plane; but without wind its useless where as the plane can always fly.

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5 minutes ago, jdemaris said:

Here are some figures on refrigeration and types of fuels and costs. Not always easy to make direct-line comparisons, but I tried.  Also - about Dometic.  Personally - I think their service stinks.  I called them last month for some parts info on the refrigerator in my 1988 Minicruiser.  They could not even come up with old part #s for me, much less new parts.  Now - maybe they are better in Europe - I don't know. I recently tried to get some parts for my West German Stihl chain-saw.  1987 vintage but a  high-end professional saw.  Stihl USA told me it is obsolete and no parts available anywhere.  Then I later found out that sellers in West Germany had all the parts I needed.  So, who knows?  In my world-view - a company like Dometic who deals with built-in refrigerators in RVs that often only get used a few weeks a year - ought to have better support for a product made in 1988.  That  being said - I just had a 15 year old Jenn-Air oven crap out in our house and the replacement board is "obsolete" and "not repairable" according to the company.  So, maybe this is what I should expect with anything USA now adays.

I know this.  At our remote cabin in the NY Adirondacks - for years we used a pair of 4 cubic foot absorption refrigerators (one Dometic and one Japanese Travl'r). If we stayed for two weeks in mid-summer and had our 20 lb. tanks filled at the local campground - it took $35 in propane for that two weeks.  When we later switched to a large tank and had a gas  guy fill it once a year - two weeks using propane cost $16.80.  We then switched to a Sundanzer 5.8 cubic foot compressor refrigerator powered by a pair of 120 watt solar panels and one 110 AH battery and then cost for two weeks was a total of $1.68 and no running around for propane refills.  Note my $1.68 for two weeks is based on a cost-per-day projection of a solar electric system with a 20 year life.  

 

My AC vertical Samsung 4 cubic foot chest refrigerator hooked to an inverter.

430 watt-hours per day @ 70 degrees F

 

 

My AC chest Igloo 3.5 cubic foot refrigerator hooked to an inverter

129 watt-hours a day @ 70 degrees F.

 

Sundanzer 5.8 cubic foot chest refrigerator DC power

100 watt-hours per day @ 70 degrees F

 

 

Dometic vertical 4 cubic foot absorption RV refrigerator

15,600 BTUs per day, equals 4500 watt-hours of electricity

 

 

Costs?

Propane with a Blue Rhino exchange at Walmart - $1.27 per pound /21,600 BTUs

$1 buys 17,000 BTUs

 

 

Gasoline - $2 per gallon equals 124,000 BTUs, so $1 buys 62,000 BTUs

 

 

Grid power - $1 buys 28,500 BTUs

 

 

Solar power - 560 watt-hours a day for 12 cents a day = 1900 BTUs

$1 buys 15,830 BTU

 

 

 

that's all great and how MANY panels? how MANY batteries? does it take? seems this is better suited for a cabin not an RV.

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13 hours ago, Derek up North said:

I think one reason they're still around is that a lot of people find it more than convenient to use one fuel source for their fridge, stove and furnace.

Bingo UpNorth. I hate to agree with you but that convenience you mention is the main reason;

1.) great weight to energy density

2.) easier to control a small flame powered by propane to run a heating element that will run a chiller unit than gasoline; - gasoline is liquid and falls and cannot be flowed upwards as reliably in flamepoint

3.) fumes or the lack there of; gasoline burns far dirtier than propane. Who wants to smell that when they are enjoying camping?

4.) Sundanzer 5+ cubic fridges are not cheap at $700 plus, solar panel is at least $120, battery suitable for frequent discharge at 12 if only one $250 or two 6 volt coscos at $160...Sundanzer draws 5 amp according to specs...236 amp hours battery required according to my math...that must be one heck of a 110ah rated battery you have there in some serious sunny areas JDE...or some warm skunky beer.

5.) stock working fridge came with rig (0$ extra if working) and $11 propane will run said fridge for a month or more.

:)

New Bitmap Image.bmp

Edited by Totem

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1 hour ago, Totem said:

that's all great and how MANY panels? how MANY batteries? does it take? seems this is better suited for a cabin not an RV.

Yeah, and my response originally was to the guy who WAS talking about his CABIN (Payaso Del Mar).  Your comments were not specific to RVs as far as I can perceive.  RE "how many solar panels?"  If an RV and just talking about a compressor refrigerator - the answer is "none" if the engine is started and run a bit at least once every two days.  If we are talking about an RV that is parked and not driven - then it seems it no longer has the "vehicle" part of RV being used anymore.   To long-term camp with a compressor refrigerator like the 3.5 cubic foot Igloo I have - a single 100 watt panel would be enough, along with a single 110 AH "house" battery. Not a huge investment and not a lot of added weight. My el-cheapo Igloo that I just put into my Toyota Chinook runs on 129 watt-hours a day when air temps are 70 defrees F.  A single 100 watt solar panel makes 200-300 watt-hours a day.  

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1 hour ago, Totem said:

 

 

 battery suitable for frequent discharge at 12 if only one $250 or two 6 volt coscos at $160...

Sundanzer draws 5 amp according to specs...236 amp hours battery required according to my math...that must be one heck of a 110ah rated battery you have there in some serious sunny areas JDE...or some warm skunky beer.

stock working fridge came with rig (0$ extra if working) and $11 propane will run said fridge for a month or more.

 

Walmart  type 29 battery is projected to last 500 cycles of being discharged 40%. For $90, that is a lot. Note is is also rated for 100 % discharges just like the Trojans. Just cannot handle as many. Walmart is rated for 250 cycles when run stone-dead, and the Trojan is rated for 750 cycles.  For my use? If I discharge our house battery to 40%, 20 times a year it is a lot. At that rate - the Walmart battery would last me 25 years. Obviously not an issue since the battery will die of "old age" long before that.

Walmart Everstart Maxx 29DC, type 29 deep-cycle battery (made by Johnson Controls, flooded-lead-acid).  Cost $90.

 100% discharged – 250 cycles, 80% discharged  – 300 cycles, 60% discharged – 500 cycles, 40% - 800 cycles, 20% discharged – 1500 cycles

The amps the Sundanzer draws when running has nothing to do with any of this. What counts is overall power use per day. That is 100 watt-hours @ 70 degrees F. That is 8.3 amp-hours per day.  Walmart  type 29 "house" battery is rated for 110 amp-hours. Math is not all that difficult. One battery can easily power it for 3-4 days without being severely discharged. YOU use some very strange math.

 Dometic rated their refrigerators made in the 70s-90s at 500-650 BTUs per hour of energy use when air temps are 70 degrees F.  New ones are supposed to be 20% ,more efficient.  A $18 exchange tank at my local Walmart has 324,000 BTUs of energy. A 500 BTUs per hour - that amounts to 27 days of use for $18.  That is about 66 cents a day IF temps do not go over 70 degrees F.  When I was buying propane in the Adirondacks - only place local was a campground and they charged $25 to fill a 20 lb. tank.

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3 hours ago, Totem said:

is readily available

true in the US or Europe.  not always so if you travel elsewhere.....sun is much more readily available in rural Mexico than propane.;)

i'm not trying to argue there's only one right answer here.  i see merit in both approaches depending on your situation.  in a Bandit, weight is always an issue and you can store a hell of a lot of energy in a pound of hydrocarbons.   

but I think JD is right on this when he notes that PV technology is the way of the future and is quickly making propane fridges more or less obsolete, the biggest snag being, yes, the energy storage.  (the person who comes up with better energy storage will make the guy who invented Viagra look like a pauper.....) 

the 150 watt panel I just got for the top of my Bandit weighs about 24 lbs.  it cost me $120 + about 40 shipping.  900 watt-hours a day at 6 hrs/day.  to be conservative, let's assume that due to panel temp and other factors, we're actually gonna see more like 750 watt-hours per day.  also bought a 2d one that I plan to hook up as a free standing exterior auxiliary and plug in via a 12v marine outlet, so double all those figures.  I'm cannibalizing the charge controller from our last cabin (Blue Sky 2512iX) so I already have that, but would be another $250 otherwise. I have one house battery already in my MH, as do most of you.  gonna add a second one so an additional $90 or in my case 200 for an AGM.  35 lbs each and total of 110 amp-hours or 1320 watt-hours. 

the factory 110/12V Norcold fridge....no empirical tests but rated at 5.5 amps @ 12v......so  66 watts/hour and 1584 watt-hours a day!  (guess I need to look into one of those Igloos...:rolleyes:).  This figure is inflated since it's based on when the compressor is running, and with enough insulation, you can cut the run time quite a bit, but ouch

still, the two panels (i'd put em both up top if I wouldn't have to hoist em when I raised the poptop) will generate enough per day to run even this juice hawg in Sonoran or Baja Sur summers.  indefinitely.  without beating the crap out of your vehicle over the 20 miles of washboard back into whatever resembles a town for propane, assuming you can find it.  without depleting your travel budget since you already spent the $ (I can afford it now, but when I retire, avoiding the $20 propane fills will be nice.......). 

so yeah, when you add it all up, I think DC fridge on PVs is mostly the way to go....plus, with a battery combiner, you always have the option of charging via the alternator in an emergency.

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BTW--Totem, thanks for that info on the batteries.  how many volts is each cell? 

and yes, after something over 1200 transactions on fleebay, I do tend to discount the sellers' claims.....for Chinese goods, which will be most all fridges these days, I tend to discount the specs from the manufacturer too.........

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1 hour ago, payaso del mar said:

BTW--Totem, thanks for that info on the batteries.  how many volts is each cell? 

and yes, after something over 1200 transactions on fleebay, I do tend to discount the sellers' claims.....for Chinese goods, which will be most all fridges these days, I tend to discount the specs from the manufacturer too.........

18650 lithium's should be stable at 3.7 volts. that 18 cell power bank I gave link to is of particular interest because its rebuild-able with cells that can be had for free for many.

I wont bother wasting time telling the energy to weight density advantages of LIFEPO4 vs SLA or lead batteries; also note that those 18 cell banks can be daisy chained as the 12 volt port on them is both input and output. 3 of them would be a 140 AH bank and weigh less than one wallmart battery although the cost would be very high.

I chew my nails every time I see the spot welders for sale for those on ebay; I want one to build better packs for experiments. its relatively safe to weld groups of 6 into a BMS chip in series, and then from there into other configurations and plenty of people are strating to make large packs to run ebikes and other things. though the car makes like Elon Mush put a BMS on every pair for safety reasons because their banks are YUUUGE on the Tesla.

I have seen some youtube vids of a guy that takes old dead lead batteries like JDEs wallmart one and open them up and fill them with cells in arrays making a yuuuge packs that reuse the terminals etc and could be used in susbstitution of car batts.

main thing to remember with lithium: you will need a BMS for each array (battery maintenance system) as well as a lithium charger (different from the ones that charge lead batteries) . 

I have 2 electric scooters that I have used with my toys that ran on 3 SLA wheelchair batteries that finally gave up the ghost; I am swapping to a 36v 30 AH LIFEPO4 that I just bought on fleabay... it was not cheap but has a dual use in that it will also run the ebike I am building out of my old suspension mountain bike. that pack on my 1000 watt scooters would give them like a 40-50 mile range at 35 mph I think... but on a 500 watt brushless front hub ebike much further but only at 18-20 mph.

The scooters could end up getting me a ticket counting as motorcycles with no plates but the ebike is federally legal in all 50 states and is illegal to ticket me on thanks to some recent lib laws that forbid states to require licenses for peddled bicycles. -Hey the only way to fight taxes and laws these days is by using them yourself to your own advantage; so the ebikes are probably going to be my go to over the scooters with the scooters reserved for places/trips where I know they are ok locally by state law.

 

 

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thanks!  this may be very useful, as I have a bicycle HID headlight that needs new battery, and the new ones from NiteRider are likely Beyond Exorbitant.  you don't have to convince me of the power for weight advantages: one of the best things I ever did for my XR650L was replace the lump o lead under the seat with a lithium battery at 1/3 the weight.  it really seems like the major issue with lithium batteries is cost, due to limited supply of lithium....else, they'd be the choice for RV setups where weight is an issue.  so if your solution to use a buttload of these is workable........

those damn libs and their laws, next thing you know people will be able to breathe in the L.A. basin.....;)       Remember that the de facto libertarian paradise is just south o here, not too many laws there or at least no ability to enforce em due to budget.  chugging tequila while driving, no problem, until you crash.  John Galt prolly lives somewhere in the Sierra Madre, where there are REALLY no laws....  Just joking there, but really, living out west where you don't have many neighbors (NM, AZ, NV, CO, WY, MT, etc etc) is the way to be able to live your life as you wish w/o too much gummint interference if that's what's important to you....even JD didn't move far enough west to totally escape the nanny state.....

IMHO, any cop who pulls you over on an electric scooter is likely looking for business, to the point that they'd find something to pull you over for no matter what you were driving!  currently working on a suppression motion where cops claimed FedEx truck was straddling lanes....yeah, right, that's why the patrol car dashcam video shows 6 cops with guns drawn rushing the truck as soon as it stops, a lane violation......

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to follow up on my comments on thermoelectric coolers....agreeing with Maineah-----from the Wikipedia page:

This technology is far less commonly applied to refrigeration than vapor-compression refrigeration is. The primary advantages of a Peltier cooler compared to a vapor-compression refrigerator are its lack of moving parts or circulating liquid, very long life, invulnerability to leaks, small size and flexible shape. Its main disadvantage is high cost and poor power efficiency. Many researchers and companies are trying to develop Peltier coolers that are both cheap and efficient.

Peltier elements are commonly used in consumer products. For example, Peltier elements are used in camping, portable coolers, cooling electronic components and small instruments.[8] The cooling effect of Peltier heat pumps can also be used to extract water from the air in dehumidifiers. A camping/car type electric cooler can typically reduce the temperature by up to 20 °C (36 °F) below the ambient temperature.

thus it sounds like 40-45 degrees below ambient would even be charitable.  so make that 60 degree beer on a 95 degree day..........:(      why do jokes about Lucas refirgerators and warm Brit beer keep coming to mind?

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On 4/14/2016 at 7:35 PM, payaso del mar said:

     why do jokes about Lucas refirgerators and warm Brit beer keep coming to mind?

Yes. Lucas was also know as "The Prince of Darkness."  Especially when going down the highway at 70 MPH at night in a 60s Sunbeam, MG, Triumph, etc. and have all the headlights go out.

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JD - That's the same nickname that Click and Clack gave to Lucas and for good reason.  You mentioned going down the highway at 70 at night and having all the lights go out.  I had that exact thing happen to me in my Triumph TR2 on a lonely 2 lane Illinois road many (Many!) years ago...

John

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