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Old 01-25-2012, 08:14 PM   #41
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Nice work so far. You have for sure done much more work to yours than I did. Just stuffed a 3rd keg in mine to cold condition.
What kind of energy usage are you seeing from yours? I'm curious how much mine will hurt my electricity bill...


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Old 01-25-2012, 08:30 PM   #42
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You know it's hard to tell right now because my electric pellet stove heater for my house has been running for the last 2-3 months. It really isn't as terrible as you would think for a big hunk of vintage steel. I run mine on one of the aquarium eBay temp controllers and the thing rarely runs.



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Old 01-25-2012, 08:32 PM   #43
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You've made my day. I know the thing works well, but I hadn't tested the energy usage before tearing it apart. At this point, the only thing that could have derailed my enthusiasm is starting it up and having the compressor run constantly.

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Old 01-25-2012, 08:41 PM   #44
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Haha, Yeah I scored mine from some old ladies screen porch and it looked like Henry Ford dropped the thing off. Brought it home and it fired right up.

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:06 PM   #45
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I've read in a few places that the vintage refrigerators tend to use less power than modern fridges. They don't have defrost cycles and the other bells and whistles of modern fridges, plus they tend to be a fair bit smaller. Or so they vintage fridge lobby tells me...

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Old 01-25-2012, 09:20 PM   #46
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Or so they vintage fridge lobby tells me...
That's what I've seen as well. Then again, it seems like I've read just as much about how inefficient they are. Mine has a butter compartment inside with heaters attached to it though, so I've got to wonder how worried about efficiency they were...

The big factors are insulation and the efficiency of the compressor. With the new R19 household insulation, I should be good on that front. When I get it back together I'll plug it into my kill-a-watt and get some real reading to post.
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:24 PM   #47
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A heated butter compartment? That's awesome! But probably not super efficient, I guess.

I have a hard time believing running an old fridge is going to create a significant change in your power bill, though. As long as you disconnect that butter warmer...


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That's what I've seen as well. Then again, it seems like I've read just as much about how inefficient they are. Mine has a butter compartment inside with heaters attached to it though, so I've got to wonder how worried about efficiency they were...

The big factors are insulation and the efficiency of the compressor. I know I'm good on the insulation with the new R19, but we'll have to see on the compressor.
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #48
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Great documentation, Kerber! How much further along are you now that it's June? I'm about to embark on my own vintage kegerator project and would love to pick your brain or see the rest of your renovation. I bought a 1954 Frigidaire Imperial Climamatic (I love the full name--you just don't get that any more, either) for $100 on Craig's List. If the pics attach properly, you'll see I have a lot more junk in the door to try and contend with. But I'll probably start my own thread for that--don't want to hijack yours!





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Vintage 1954 Frigidaire Kegerator Build

ON TAP!: Vanilla Porter, Hoppy Wheat
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Secondary:
Bottled:
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--Saison
Drinking:
--Beer: Rye IPA, Irish Ale, Saison, Doppelbock, Winter Warmer, Bavarian Dunkel, Honey Brown Ale
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Old 06-08-2012, 03:20 PM   #49
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Great find, schmidty65!! That looks like a real beauty.

My fridge has been coming slowly but surely. Work has been nuts and I've been spending a lot of time outdoors, so it's been on the back-burner for a while. All I've really got left is to paint the door, kickplate, and rear condensor panel.

While it's been waiting, I've also been working on rebuilding it's brains. The mechanical thermostat is being replaced with an arduino, temperature probe, and solid state relay. That will be communicating with a server to log data and present a webpage where the temperature can be viewed and set.



I picked up that relay without testing the compressor current draw. I'd rather not fry anything, so I've still got to test to make sure it can handle it before completely buttoning it up.

There are a lot more plans on expanded functionality of the arduino/webserver architecture, but I best not get ahead of myself.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:12 PM   #50
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Well, we just had an offer accepted on a house, so I best try to bring this project to a checkpoint before the move. I finished wiring and testing the electrical this week. Hopefully I can get the door painted and installed in the next couple weeks.


The new brains are all assembled.


Checking out the arduino via serial monitor.


Final testing.


Looks like those coils are doing the trick!


Here's the power consumption while the compressor is running. ~180 watts! With the new insulation and the speed with which the coils cool, I should see some really good efficiency on this.



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