Thermostatically controlled refrigerator vent fan - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-08-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
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Thermostatically controlled refrigerator vent fan

What thermostatically controlled switch should I get to turn on a fan on the back of the frig to keep coils cool?

Turn fan on at
80 degrees ?
85 degrees ?
90 degrees ?
95 degrees ?
100 degrees ?

Should it be a normally open switch or a normally closed thermostat temperature
switch?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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Switch

Normally open "Closes on Temperature Rise"
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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You're ahead of me. When needed I hang mine on the outside with a couple of paper clips and attach it to the battery with alligator clips. Raz
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
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It seems like it would make more sense to put the thermostat inside the fridge and have it kick on at 40 degrees F.

You might even be able to liberate one from a discarded refrigerator on the curb.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:19 PM   #5
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Adding a fan on the inside of the frig. that kicks on a 40 degrees.
Adding a fan on the outside of the frig. fins that kicks on a ______ degrees?
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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I am assuming that you want the fan to come on only when the fridge is cooling. Why would you want it otherwise?
I guess it depends on where you put the sensor. The top horizontal pipe, just after the chimney gets the hottest. It is almost too hot to touch, so I would use the 100°F, (or higher) sensor on the cool end of that. That way when the fridge is off, so is the fan. To determine the correct temperature for the sensor, I would run the fridge on 12VDC, or 120VDC, (likely the coolest it will run). Then measure the temperature at the point that you want to mount the sensor.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Adding a fan on the inside of the frig. that kicks on a 40 degrees.
Adding a fan on the outside of the frig. fins that kicks on a ______ degrees?
I'm assuming that you want the fan to run when the fridge can't maintain 40 degrees inside without assistance from the fan. Ideally you'd monitor the inside temperature, as that is what you really care about.

I guess a second best way would be to monitor the ambient temperature inside the vented enclosure and have it kick the fan on at 80* F or so. I'd put the sensor below the heat exchanger so it measures incoming air temperature.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
It seems like it would make more sense to put the thermostat inside the fridge and have it kick on at 40 degrees F.

You might even be able to liberate one from a discarded refrigerator on the curb.
The fan inside the fridge should run full time, as its chore is to circulate the air, resulting in an even temperature inside, regardless of temperature.

For the venting fan, it could be a thermostatically controlled one, or if it was me, I might be inclined to just have it on a switch for when I wanted it on.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
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I am with Jim, my fridges performance can vary depending on whether it is running on propane or electrical & whether or not there is any breeze outside or not. I would be inclined to think a manual on and off switch would be better than an auto system based on outside temp - why drain battery power if you dont need to. A switch located inside the trailer with a light on it as a remember the fan is on would be a good thing - I know I have forgotten on more than one occasion to turn my outside fridge fan off. ;-)
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett View Post
The fan inside the fridge should run full time, as its chore is to circulate the air, resulting in an even temperature inside, regardless of temperature.

For the venting fan, it could be a thermostatically controlled one, or if it was me, I might be inclined to just have it on a switch for when I wanted it on.
2X. I've got mine on a switch - lets me shut it off if I want quiet.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:29 PM   #11
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I've got my interior and exterior fans on a switch, too, but the OP's question was about how to thermostatically control the fan.

I still think that it makes sense to control the external fan based on internal temperature. If it is 40 degrees or below inside, you don't need the fan. If it is above, the fan can help to bring the temperature down.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:12 PM   #12
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How about double throw center off switch: one way to power the fan regardless of any temperature (manual on), the other way to power the fan through the thermostatic switch (auto), and center position off (manual off)?

In this case, I would want the fan when the refrigerator needed help, so I would locate the switch at the top of the coils but away from the burner exhaust, and choose a temperature above that observed for a running refrigerator in cool ambient conditions, but below that observed when the refrigerator is running continuously to keep up.

I understand Tom's point: if it can keep up without assistance, there's no need to run the fan.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I understand Tom's point: if it can keep up without assistance, there's no need to run the fan.
Unless you are using propane, often the increased circulation will allow you to use a lower temperature setting due to the efficiency it introduces, thus saving fuel. If you are on electric, and can keep the temps in the fridge low enough, any extra energy cost due to a higher setting is on the campgrounds dime.

All this is dependent upon how well the existing fridge in your trailer is vented. I have yet to have trouble keeping things cold in temps well above 30°C, though I have heard of others having troubles with the same trailer.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:43 PM   #14
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In my case my intent is to use the muffin fan with a manual switch and a thermal switch as back-up for my failure to operate properly.
I have purchased from Senasys ( senasys.com ) an airstream mount Thermal Switch part # 2511F002 switch 070 F-563 Close 70 degree F, Open 60 degree F
$9.75 with shipping close to 15 bucks

This switch will turn on the fan at 70 degrees F and turn it off if it reaches 60 degree F ambiant air temperature.

With my desert camping I can easily see 50 degree temperature swings in a single day especialy in the spring and fall. I will run the wiring from power to a manual switch then to the thermal switch sitting in ambiant air in the lower outside refrigerator compartment and then to the fan. Camping in the desert the fan will be needed most of the time anyway but late in the night the thermal switch will turn off the fan so I dont have to, and prevent over cooling and to conserve battery. Much more reliable than me doing it.
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