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Old 05-18-2019, 09:58 PM   #1
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DE0061 12VDC Refrigerator Duty Cycle

This is info for those with this refrigerator installed, particularly the 2018 View 24D owners but others with this refrigerator may benefit hopefully. This graph was data collected by my Fluke 375 FC connected clamp to the battery ground main wire to chassis plus the one other green wire at that post - in other words, reading all current DC. I found through separate testing the baseline current point is around .7 A DC with everything in the rig off. The LP alarm draws .1 amp and the stereo in standby .5 amps. Everything else is off including the LP solenoid.


Conclusions should be obvious but when manually trying to time the duty cycle I was listening to the refrigerator - won't work as you will see in the graph. This is a 10 minute graph of amps. Refrigerator set on 4 at thermostat with a half load inside both compartments.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:09 AM   #2
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Most interesting. It looks like the compressor runs for around 3 minutes, off for a minute or so then back on for 3 minutes.

Does it do this if you force the fridge into a long cooling mode, such as switching the temperature setting from say 4 to 6?

I would have expected the compressor to run constantly until the proper temperature is reached.
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:34 AM   #3
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That is about the same as I experience on my 2019 View. I believe my "off" time is a bit longer than yours. My off and on time appear to be about equal.



We have been using the fridge full time, for the last two months. We have a full load of food in both compartments. On level 4, it holds a steady 10 degrees in the freezer. It has worked well, so far. The only down side is the fan noise, when it on.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:17 AM   #4
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Al, I think the 12VDC compressor units all run pretty much like this, the idea is to have short run times then off, then back on - all to help battery life. The unit was stable temp and 4 is one mark from as cold as this unit operates - end of thermostat. Once the unit has cooled down there is no way to get a long cycle.



Barney, when "listening" to the operation with a second hand clock I was swearing and noting a 2 minute on/ 2 minute off cycle. That's exactly what it sounds like. With the recording Fluke I see clearly I am wrong. You can't hear the operation at the beginning of inrush or motor start up. You can also see the refrigerator is always adding current to the baseline, even when in "off" cycle.



This all seems to point in the direction of a residential fridge which behaves more like the unit at home. That means the inverter has to stay on so there would be some loss but I'm looking at the best way to throw away the DE0061. The other way is to stay 12VDC and put in the Isotherm Cruise 195. A "normal" 12VDC unit just should not use this much current.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:53 AM   #5
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The reports I have seen show residential fridges us 100-150AH a day. I believe these were the typical frost free 10-18 cu ft fridges. Perhaps a manual defrost 8-10 cu ft one will take less. I think the defrost cycle takes quite a bit of power.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:57 AM   #6
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Yes, I would go with 7 cu ft and manual defrost. I just reviewed the Norcold specs again and in the specifications they state 3.2 amps at 12VDC - however, and a BIG however, in the troubleshooting guide they state for the DE0061 at 12VDC 8 amps startup and 5.9 amps stabilization. I'm assuming (know what I'm thinking) that the 75% duty cycle is "stabilization" so it is operating as designed. They noted at 70*F ambient, I was at 80*F ambient for the tests shown.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kayak73 View Post
Yes, I would go with 7 cu ft and manual defrost. I just reviewed the Norcold specs again and in the specifications they state 3.2 amps at 12VDC - however, and a BIG however, in the troubleshooting guide they state for the DE0061 at 12VDC 8 amps startup and 5.9 amps stabilization. I'm assuming (know what I'm thinking) that the 75% duty cycle is "stabilization" so it is operating as designed. They noted at 70*F ambient, I was at 80*F ambient for the tests shown.
If you can find the fridge you want on a show room floor you might get a "killowatt meter" and check the power usage if they will plug it in for your. Also the energy star tag is helpful as well.
https://www.amazon.com/P3-P4400-Elec...s%2C206&sr=8-3
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:31 PM   #8
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Our 2018 24D refrigerator ran for 5 minutes and then shut down for 2 minutes and did this as long as it was turned on. It did not matter what the setting was. It was just too noisy to listen to all night long at the foot of our Murphy bed.

We had it in the shop 3 times to get it to work and then to try and get the duty cycle to be more reasonable. The local RV repair place helped but had limited ability to make changes and Norcold didn't seem willing to put any effort into helping with it.

Needless to say, with this problem and a few others, we decided it was just best to cut our losses and we sold the rig and got one with a normal AC/DC/Propane refrigerator in it.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:10 PM   #9
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I completely understand the reason for the trade or upgrade to a different rig. We really do like our View and this is supposed to be "the last RV", has anyone ever heard that before At my age I just don't want to do IT again.

I found the main noise maker in our fridge, the capillary tube was rattling against the shelf back in the freezer - thin cork tape stopped that.

There is more to come as I struggle to learn what is happening. I have six more charts with remarkably different amp usage which tells me I am looking for the possible issue with the ZAMP controller or a wiring problem related. OK, the fridge ran all day with FULL batteries, really. The converter was OFF, the blue charge light on the Zamp never came on, panels covered, never saw a negative amps reading either.

Tonight at 10PM I went out and ran more 10 minute graphs since the Zamp had gone to sleep and converter was still off. Ambient temps had dropped to 77 then to 72*F. Batteries still showing very high charge at 12.6 approximately. Bazinga! The fridge was drawing only 2.7 amps during duty cycle and no baseline increase showing .6 amps - exactly what it should be.

OK, turned on the converter around 11PM and yes, I measured the charge as negative amps which is correct, it was charging at 13.4VDC since the batteries were still well charged and reading the inverted graph the fridge is still drawing about 2.7 amps duty cycle length unchanged.

Tomorrow is a new day, I will physically unplug the Zamp panels to try and prevent the controller from wake up, then run the graphs during the day as it heats up and with converter off. Two things are possible, the fridge draws a whole lot more current at 80*F or a real problem with the Zamp system somewhere.

For those who might want to follow I will just post the graphs in an album with a clear title hopefully.
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Old 05-19-2019, 10:32 PM   #10
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The short cycle time has been an issue with this refrigerator for a long time. With the temp measurements I have done on my unit over the 5 years I have had it, It appears that the on/off hysteresis is a little too tight. Normally a refrigerator will cycle with a temperature swing of ~ 3 degrees 3+ 3-. This unit appears to swing on about 1 degree.

I am currently designing a new thermostat for mine to get the cycle time more in line with IMHO opinion would be a normal cycle. And getting the Temperature sensor into a more accurate location. The thermo sensor for this unit is mounted on the top of the Refrigerator portion in the back. A more accurate location would be further away from the freeze plate and more in line with the actual food storage location.

The controller I designed For My Own Use is actually pretty simple. It is based on a very small arduino microcontroller with a very accurate Digital probe. There are many examples on the web for this type a Temperature control on the web. I have not installed it in my unit yet, but have tested it with a college dorm type of refrigerator and it has functioned to design.

The other mod I have made to the unit is increased the insulation by adding to the exterior. Lizard Skin. (found on web) . I did not find it to change the cycle time, but it has increased the retention of low temps when power is removed.

I removed the original RV Burner from my coach when I purchased it used (the coach) as I had this one brand new from another coach I was rebuilding. other than the short cycle time, it has been a great unit.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayak73 View Post

There is more to come as I struggle to learn what is happening. I have six more charts with remarkably different amp usage which tells me I am looking for the possible issue with the ZAMP controller or a wiring problem related. OK, the fridge ran all day with FULL batteries, really. The converter was OFF, the blue charge light on the Zamp never came on, panels covered, never saw a negative amps reading either.

Tonight at 10PM I went out and ran more 10 minute graphs since the Zamp had gone to sleep and converter was still off. Ambient temps had dropped to 77 then to 72*F. Batteries still showing very high charge at 12.6 approximately. Bazinga! The fridge was drawing only 2.7 amps during duty cycle and no baseline increase showing .6 amps - exactly what it should be.

OK, turned on the converter around 11PM and yes, I measured the charge as negative amps which is correct, it was charging at 13.4VDC since the batteries were still well charged and reading the inverted graph the fridge is still drawing about 2.7 amps duty cycle length unchanged.

Tomorrow is a new day, I will physically unplug the Zamp panels to try and prevent the controller from wake up, then run the graphs during the day as it heats up and with converter off. Two things are possible, the fridge draws a whole lot more current at 80*F or a real problem with the Zamp system somewhere.

For those who might want to follow I will just post the graphs in an album with a clear title hopefully.
I just realized, You seem to be attempting to monitor your battery State Of Charge (SOC) by either voltage readings or idiot lights which came with the RV. To actually "know" your battery SOC you need a battery monitor which shows the AH (Amp Hours) in and out, as well as instant displays of amps in/out and voltage. A monitor such as the Trimetric: - Bogart Engineering
There are other monitors which work very well.
With the battery monitor not only do you know your true SOC, but you can instantly see the change in amps in/out of the batteries by turning off (or disconnecting) the zamp controller or any other load. You also know immediately if you have inadvertently left on something such as a light in storage compartment, which is helping to drain the batteries.
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayak73 View Post

Tonight at 10PM I went out and ran more 10 minute graphs since the Zamp had gone to sleep and converter was still off. Ambient temps had dropped to 77 then to 72*F. Batteries still showing very high charge at 12.6 approximately. Bazinga! The fridge was drawing only 2.7 amps during duty cycle and no baseline increase showing .6 amps - exactly what it should be.

OK, turned on the converter around 11PM and yes, I measured the charge as negative amps which is correct, it was charging at 13.4VDC since the batteries were still well charged and reading the inverted graph the fridge is still drawing about 2.7 amps duty cycle length unchanged.

Tomorrow is a new day, I will physically unplug the Zamp panels to try and prevent the controller from wake up, then run the graphs during the day as it heats up and with converter off. Two things are possible, the fridge draws a whole lot more current at 80*F or a real problem with the Zamp system somewhere.

For those who might want to follow I will just post the graphs in an album with a clear title hopefully.
I may be misunderstanding what you are writing but:
When you turned on the converter, how would you be reading negative amps? When connected to shore power or generator running, the converter would be supplying positive amps.
Unless perhaps you are not connected to shore power/gen and have an inverter sending 120V to the converter which tries to charge the batteries while the inverter takes amps from the batteries.
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:09 AM   #13
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I may be misunderstanding what you are writing but:
When you turned on the converter, how would you be reading negative amps? When connected to shore power or generator running, the converter would be supplying positive amps.
Unless perhaps you are not connected to shore power/gen and have an inverter sending 120V to the converter which tries to charge the batteries while the inverter takes amps from the batteries.

Al,
The Fluke is connected to the battery main ground to chassis including solar ground. IF the battery is being charged more than the amps being used the reading WILL be negative amps. The negative amp reading is the result of more amps going in to charge than total amps being used. Trust me, that is correct, think about the current flow.


In any case this morning I proved the problem is in the solar system. Well, at least in the positive side of the solar. Now I've got to pull the passenger chair to get under there to see which solenoid has failed or what is going on. In full sun around 11AM the amps measured at the batt neg jumped up to 6.7 and ran high in off cycle. I measured at the back of solar controller - same thing. Verified connections per WGO wiring diagram there - all good and correct. Got the ladder out and unplugged both solar panels, measured good, both delivering 20.3VDC open voltage. Shucks! Smurf words!j


Back down I reconnected Fluke to neg battery ground and my amp usage is back to normal, .7 amps off cycle and 3.2 amps on cycle, cycles same interval. The issue is reverse current flow somewhere under the passenger seat. Only possible explanation.


Now about the reading of amps on the negative post to ground. You are reading and wanting to read the overall amp draw/charge at that post. The only way it can work. The converter is delivering charging amps greater than amps being used so you get a negative current flow in amps - correct. Since the solar panels ADD to that flow in positive amps there is reversed current flow in the solar system. Since the leads are connected correctly the issue has to be under the passenger seat where the positive feed from solar connects through a solenoid to the positive battery cable. Plus amps fed to the positive side will show negative on the negative side - really and trust me, that's how DC flows. You just can't measure ALL the current flow or any on the POSITIVE side for any clue. So...think about it this way, if the solar is delivering 10 amps output at 13.6 VDC and you are using 3 amps from the fridge you should see -7 amps at the neg post clamped to all main ground wires which would be effective in running the load and giving a positive charge to the batteries.



In any case I am taking back at least the first 90% of my abuse of Norcold DE0061, it is not the refrigerator draining the batteries, nope, false assumption on my part and I apologize to Norcold and readers. In reality Norcold has delivered a unit which does indeed meet their spec for amp usage and even beats it in cooler weather at night, I'm very happy to know that because once the solar/solenoid issue is resolved I won't even need another solar panel - boondocking here I come (well, delayed by technical issues of this old man in troubleshooting). Now I know my batteries are more than adequate and the panels will do enough to forgo generator use most of the time. They will once the problem is fixed.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:33 PM   #14
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Al,
The Fluke is connected to the battery main ground to chassis including solar ground. IF the battery is being charged more than the amps being used the reading WILL be negative amps. The negative amp reading is the result of more amps going in to charge than total amps being used. Trust me, that is correct, think about the current flow.


In any case this morning I proved the problem is in the solar system. Well, at least in the positive side of the solar. Now I've got to pull the passenger chair to get under there to see which solenoid has failed or what is going on. In full sun around 11AM the amps measured at the batt neg jumped up to 6.7 and ran high in off cycle. I measured at the back of solar controller - same thing. Verified connections per WGO wiring diagram there - all good and correct. Got the ladder out and unplugged both solar panels, measured good, both delivering 20.3VDC open voltage. Shucks! Smurf words!j


Back down I reconnected Fluke to neg battery ground and my amp usage is back to normal, .7 amps off cycle and 3.2 amps on cycle, cycles same interval. The issue is reverse current flow somewhere under the passenger seat. Only possible explanation.


Now about the reading of amps on the negative post to ground. You are reading and wanting to read the overall amp draw/charge at that post. The only way it can work. The converter is delivering charging amps greater than amps being used so you get a negative current flow in amps - correct. Since the solar panels ADD to that flow in positive amps there is reversed current flow in the solar system. Since the leads are connected correctly the issue has to be under the passenger seat where the positive feed from solar connects through a solenoid to the positive battery cable. Plus amps fed to the positive side will show negative on the negative side - really and trust me, that's how DC flows. You just can't measure ALL the current flow or any on the POSITIVE side for any clue. So...think about it this way, if the solar is delivering 10 amps output at 13.6 VDC and you are using 3 amps from the fridge you should see -7 amps at the neg post clamped to all main ground wires which would be effective in running the load and giving a positive charge to the batteries.



In any case I am taking back at least the first 90% of my abuse of Norcold DE0061, it is not the refrigerator draining the batteries, nope, false assumption on my part and I apologize to Norcold and readers. In reality Norcold has delivered a unit which does indeed meet their spec for amp usage and even beats it in cooler weather at night, I'm very happy to know that because once the solar/solenoid issue is resolved I won't even need another solar panel - boondocking here I come (well, delayed by technical issues of this old man in troubleshooting). Now I know my batteries are more than adequate and the panels will do enough to forgo generator use most of the time. They will once the problem is fixed.
About the negative amp reading you are seeing on your meter. I am assuming you are using an induction probe rather than breaking the circuit and putting a meter in series.
In your statement, quoting you: "So...think about it this way, if the solar is delivering 10 amps output at 13.6 VDC and you are using 3 amps from the fridge you should see -7 amps at the neg post clamped to all main ground wires which would be effective in running the load and giving a positive charge to the batteries."
I don't question that you are seeing -7amps on an induction meter. I would have to be there and see just how things are set up.

Quoting your statement: "Trust me, that is correct, think about the current flow." Yes I know, electron flow goes from the negative to the positive.

I would like to go back to the set up and operation of a battery monitor, which is very basic and simple. You remove any an all negative leads from the battery pack, run the proper sized cable from the negative post of the battery pack to a shunt and then any and all negative wires which were connected to the battery pack are attached to the shunt.
Once the shunt is installed, the attached meter reads all charging current to the battery is showing as positive and discharge current is showing negative.

To me that is all that matters is; Is the battery pack being charged or discharged. From there if there is current coming from the solar panels, is it the amount that is expected or not. Additionally is there some device using battery power that shouldn't be using power or is it using more than what is expected.

I don't question that you understand electricity and know what you are doing. So I can accept the readings you are getting. I doubt I am able to fully comprehend all your readings without actually being there and see just how the induction probe is connected and how and why you are seeing the positive and negative readings you are getting.
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