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operating a chest cooler from one 12 volt battery

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Sunking View Post
    No more 100% honestly or truth. JUST PC satire. You will never know which answer is real or fabrication.
    That's probably a loss for reality, If so, seems to me P.C. just won one.


    • #17
      Hello and thanks for your responses, This post is from January 2017, but wanted to update you all with some real world findings. I was able to test an ice maker and mini freezer against my trucks starter battery. Some details about my setup.

      * 2012 Ram 1500 with a 5.7 hemi and stock 160 amp alternator.
      * My only and starter battery in a Bosch 94r 80ah 140 reserve capacity (what the battery says - says less online)
      * 1200 watt Whistler inverter sitting right on top of battery under the hood with very short 4 gauge wires and heavy duty 110v extension chord running under the chassis to the bed.

      With this setup It seems I can run most 110v appliances under 750 Watts. I run a microwave and a toaster oven. I can cut and drill through 4x4s .. yet making ice seems to be the greatest challenge.

      Ice maker Test: I bought a compact ice maker from Igloo that claims to store 1.5 lbs of ice at a time. Make it in a tiny bucket. Trying to find my notes on what it draws exactly, but it makes ice - maybe four times before my battery hits 11.5v and the inverter stops. In all only enough ice for about two tall drinks are produced because ice melts fast.

      Mini Freezer Test: I bought a 1.1 cubic foot 110v freezer from Midea. While running on Max it's drawing 90 Watts (which i thought was way too much). It runs for about 6 hours before the battery gets to 11.5 and the inverter stops. If I run my battery for 20 minutes, it runs another 6 hours. After 3 cycles like this all fluids inside are frozen solid. In some cases if I don't get the inverter on time my battery will not start the truck and I had to jump - not good for the battery of course. If I'm able to run the truck for just 20 minutes a few times during the cycles I am able to maintain frozen bottles in the truck. The freezer does a pretty good job if maintaining ice over night while off. I've seen online other doing this test with a freezer that was only consuming 30 watts, not sure why my freezer is not as efficient. Also think a 12 volt freezer from Dometic would be much more efficient.

      Stanley Jumper Test: I attempted running my mini freezer off the Stanley Jumper 1000 watt peak (19AH) device using a 150watt inverter - apparently not enough peak watts.
      Last edited by cyberpine; 08-29-2017, 10:05 AM.


      • #18
        Doing this to a SLI type battery will wreck it in short order as these batteries aren't designed for cyclic applications.
        2.2kw Suntech mono, Classic 200, NEW Trace SW4024


        • #19
          Seems I've been getting away with it for some time, but sure you are right. Have you heard of anybody running deep cycle (and even a deep cycle Lithium ion) as their starter and charging them with a car alternator? Something like a Stark Power 125AH lithium battery? Some say charging with an alternator is not good, others claim it's fine and they have been running a deep cycle battery under their hood as a starter for 10 years with no issues. I know i'm trying to get away with something here but the ideal criteria is this:

          * Just one battery and under the hood
          * Charged by my alternator
          * Around 1400 watt hours continuous power with no input or damage to the battery and able to crank the engine after a long day of use.

          Possible? Any ideas or suggestions?


          Last edited by cyberpine; 08-29-2017, 10:12 AM.