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what type of fridge

I have just purchased a sailaway and wander if i should purchase a 12 volt fridge or spend the extra money on a bigger and better inverter and a cheap 240 volt fridge any body any ideas

Asked by: richard williams  | 5.49pm, Sunday 24 May


WW says:

As with most things to do with narrowboats, there are pros and cons to each option.
230-volt fridges are cheaper and they can probably be replaced more easily if they develop a terminal fault.
If you buy a super efficient one, they use only a small amount of electricity while running. However, like all fridges, they use a greater amount of power each time the motor cuts in so the inverter has to be big enough to accommodate this, or have a high surge rating.
Although the fridge cycles on and off, the inverter has to be on all the time so it is consuming a small amount of power continuously. This is not a problem if you are cruising for four or five hours a day but could mean you have to charge the batteries more often if you stop in one place for a while.
On the other hand, 12-volt fridges only take power from the battery when the motor is running and the latest models are very efficient. They typically use less than 24 A/hrs in a 24 hour period.
Also, they do not rely on another piece of equipment - the inverter - that could fail and render them useless.
On the downside, they often require heavier cables to ensure that the voltage between the batteries and the fridge does not drop to an unusable level.
So, if you are planning to install a reasonably large inverter and are prepared to have it switched on all the time you are on board, the 230-volt option has a lot to commend it.
Alternatively, if you prefer a simpler, low energy approach, the 12-volt route may be the best.

Graham Booth  | 10.24AM, Tuesday 26 May

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