Fridge affected by elevation? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-24-2012, 08:06 AM   #15
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Victor Benz's Avatar
Name: Vic
Trailer: Fiber Stream 1982 16 ft
Posts: 333
Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Regulator should not care, it's just a diaphram and spring that only allows a certain amount of pressure to reach the line.
Actually, not quite true. The pressure regulator is a differential pressure device, providing a supply pressure of 11 inches water column above the ambient pressure at elevation.

The difference in atmospheric pressure between sea level and 10,000 feet is very significant... 14.7 psia at sea level and 10.1 psia at 10,000 feet. 11 inches water column only adds about 0.4 psi to that.

This means that there is less actual gas flow at elevation than at sea level for a given liquid fuel composition. With the refrigerator, this is somewhat compensated by the fact that the temperature is usually much lower at elevation that at sea level in the summer, meaning that the refrigerator doesn't have to work as hard, and uses less fuel.

As one increases the butane content in the propane, the higher the inside tank temperature must be to allow fuel evaporation to continue. Look at the example of one versus two 100 pound bottle quoted above. With one bottle, the tank frost over, and fuel flow stops, because the tank cooled to below the fuel evaporation point. With two tanks, everything is fine. With two tanks, the evaporation load is spread over the two tanks. Now you have twice the tank surface area to release the cooling caused by fuel evaporation. With little or no frosting, the tanks can continue to evaporate fuel without problem.


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