Keep refrigerators and freezers dry:
In order to extend the life of any refrigerator or freezer, they should be kept as dry as possible. Water will cause rust on the internal Freon lines causing premature failure. Water can also infiltrate the insulating foam causing damage. A refrigerator or freezer should not be placed in a location that will get wet, including indirect rain. In addition all water should be removed from the inside of a refrigerator or freezer as often as necessary. There is a drain plug in the bottom of Steca and SunDanzer units that will assist in draining the water from the inside of the units. The unit should not be operated with the drain plug removed. It will be necessary to use a cloth or towel to fully dry the inside of the unit out.
On some units, it may be necessary to use a silicone caulk and caulk the seams and corners to help prevent water from entering the unit. Inspect your unit and see if any of the inside metal seems could leak.
Hints to save power with DC refrigerators and freezers:
- Never put hot or warm things in to your refrigerator or freezer. (Let them sit out and cool first.)
- Always cover up liquids you put in your refrigerator or freezer. (Any uncovered liquids will add moisture and your refrigerator or freezer will have to work to condense or freeze that moisture)
- Use covered ice cube trays.
- Limit the people authorized to open your refrigerator or freezer. (The less it is open the less heat and humidity will get inside.)
- If you take something out of your refrigerator or freezer but you are only going to use a portion of it, return the unused portion to the unit before it warms up.
- If you are going to put water in your refrigerator or freezer, add it first thing in the morning after your panels start getting sun. (This way your refrigerator or freezer will run “Sun Sync”, in other words it will use the power right off the PV panels, instead of using it from the batteries. This will save the 20% loss from charging and discharging your batteries.)
- Replace any bad or worn door seals in your refrigerator or freezer.
- Be sure that there is at least 1 foot of clearance on the side your refrigerator or freezer with the vent for the motor. Also leave 4 inches of space along the back and other side of your refrigerator or freezer. (Your refrigerator or freezer needs to get rid of the heat it has removed from the inside, it is important to provide adequate air flow. If you notice that the compressor is hot, it might be a good idea to add a fan on your refrigerator or freezer. A fan can be purchased from the NTM Tech Center. APP030 or APP012)
- Leave a good quantity of water (in sealed containers) in your refrigerator or freezer. (Water retains cold exceptionally well, and it will decrease your refrigerator or freezer from cycling on and off as often.)
- Ice buildup on the walls of freezers should regularly be removed, as ice can act as an insulator making the freezer consume more energy. A fan can be used to accelerate the removal of this ice. Do not use a heater, such as a blow-dryer to remove the ice from the walls. If scraping ice from the walls of a freezer, be very careful not to puncture the walls, as the Freon lines are just behind the metal sheet, and if the Freon lines are punctured, the unit will not function.
Changing a SunDanzer to a Freezer and Vise-versa:
It is possible to change a SunDanzer refrigerator to a freezer and vise-versa by changing the thermostat. However, it is important that the proper resistor be installed with the thermostat. The instructions that come with the thermostat reference this, however, they did not include the required resistors.If your SunDanzer has possibly had its thermostat changed, you should inspect your thermostat for the proper resistor.Having the proper resistor will increase the unit’s efficiency, and allow it to maintain colder temperatures.
- Units with ECU Part numbers 101N0300, 101N0320 or 101N0400
- Ensure that the wires from the “C” and “T” terminals on the ECU, which are going to the mechanical thermostat, do not have any inline resistors in them. (Small bulges with heat shrink over them.)
- Units with ECU Part numbers 101N0200, 101N0212, or 101N0220
- Refrigerator – Ensure that the wires from the “C” and “T” terminals on the ECU, which are going to the mechanical thermostat do not have any inline resistors in them. (Small bulges with heat shrink over them.)
- Freezer, large 8.0 cubic ft. – Requires 1.5k Ω resistor between the ECU terminal “C” and the mechanical thermostat.
- Freezer, medium 5.8 cubic ft. – Requires 270 Ω resistor between the ECU terminal “C” and the mechanical thermostat.
If you have any questions, or need the proper resistor, please contact the NTM Tech Center.