'Super Fridge' the upright freezer conversion: Take 2
|Upright freezer converted into a fridge|
The way the conversion from a freezer to a fridge works is really very simple. A temperature controller is programmed to turn the freezer on when the temperature inside the freezer reaches 5ºC, and off when it reaches 3ºC (can be adjusted). The controller has a thermostat that measures the internal temperature. The freezer plugs into the controller, and the controller plugs into the wall socket. See this post for details about how I made it up - it cost about AU$15.
Choosing the right freezerIssues with the original design of the cheap (Aldi AU$299) upright 190L freezer that I used were:
- no space to stand up bottles
- water condensing on the top shelf
- poor build quality, seals and drawers cracking
- hard to open the door
- hard to open drawers (damaging wall mounts and insulation)
- exposed metal elements inside that rusted
- the sides of the freezer got very hot as it ran
- we began to need more space to store fermented drinks
I was pretty keen to get a replacement for the broken one quickly, and I wanted to support our local electronic goods supplier - but there was only 2 options of upright freezers available in store. The bigger one with, what appeared to be a better build quality, and 5 year warranty won over in the end. And they could deliver in a few hours. It was a lot more expensive than our original one ($1100 VS $299), but I felt more confident with my experiment than I did originally. On reflection, I should have taken some more time to research the one best to suit my needs - but I really wanted to see it in the flesh.
A few things I liked about the design of the Beko 290L frost free freezer were:
- removable glass shelves, so we can stand up bottles and change the layout - yay!
- easy to open door
- long warranty
- easy to open, quality drawers
- different heights and sizes for drawers
- frost free - no condensation - a big bonus!
- no metal to rust inside
- external cooling element (not built into the side walls)
- more room
Measuring the energy useEarly indications (Autumn - 24 days over May 2019) are that the new freezer uses slightly more energy than the original. Averaging 204Wh p/d as compared with an estimated 175Wh p/d with the old freezer (17% more energy), but the gross volume is significantly larger - 290L VS 190L (53% more volume). The new super fridge is about 30% more energy efficient than the previous one based on volume (.70W/L compared to .92W/L).
In an attempt to further reduce energy consumption I adjusted the temperature range, where it turns on at 5ºC and off at 2ºC (instead of 3ºC) for a period of 18 days, this reduced the average slightly to 201Wh/d. (.69W/L 33% less than original)
I adjusted the temperature range again with a bigger range, from 5ºC and off at 1ºC, for a period of 58 days and noticed a more significant reduction to 189Wh/d. (.65W/L, 41% less than original - important to note that this during winter, the coolest time of the year)
Comparing an 'all-fridge' to a 'super fridge'Interestingly, the model that I bought is part of a pigeon pair. It has a all-fridge (no freezer) that's exactly the same external dimensions. This allows me to compare the two.
|The freezer on the left is the one I got and converted it to a fridge - the one on the right is an all-fridge|