We talk of post crash and off grid, but what of refrigeration?

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Tirediron

Seasoned HillBilly
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Rural western Canada, Sunrise side of the Rockies
This may need to become a forum of off grid.
There is little or no discussion of refrigeration, long term post collapse. other than the use of heat pump type refrigerators powered by electric or RV style ammonia absorption stuff. both work well but are not very user serviceable
Decades ago I found a brilliant spin on the ice box concept, in which a very well insulated Ice box was built, and a antifreeze solution was used to remove heat from the ice box to the atmosphere via thermosiphon. this system could be built using simple parts and would be user servicable. I am going to do a bit of searching to see if I can find an example on the net somewhere, if there is ant interest.
 
There are many solutions........it totally depends on location. Which is "WHY" serious preppers start with the foundation of location. You can even use evaporation box for refrigeration. When I lived on Lake Clark that lake was my refrigerator. Other places the creek was my refrigeration. Most northern locations use a buried wooden box for refrigerator. Location, location, location. An evaporation box will work in the hottest desert.
 
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All the old original places around here had spring captured and water went into a stone spring house with troughs to set crocks of food in water to keep them cool.

Underground icehouses had a 'manhole type lid' on top and you cut and dropped ice through it all winter till it was full and then it had steps on side entrance to get ice from all year round.

Some had wooden ice house structures and stored blocks of ice and sawdust for year round use..or as long as it lasted.

Hampton-26.jpg
 
Refrigeration or freezing?

Simple refrigeration is a insulated hole below frost line

Freezing is a different ball game

Uneducated opinion

I have often wondered if you could dig a hole , insulate walls using 12” styrofoam blocks
Floor.walls, ceiling
Use 2 chest freezers with tops removed
To freeze a 10’x8’x 8’ tall. Room
 
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Bet there’s a chapter on spring houses in one of the Foxfire books. Where I lived in northern Virginia were two very old stone spring houses. Right by a creek, over the creek, or the creek ran through it and before electric refrigeration these were used for keeping foods from spoiling, so I was told. Beautiful fieldstone.
 
I asked some elderly friends what they did once when they were talking about how when they were first married their kitchen consisted of a hotplate and a spot of counter. I asked about refrigeration. They said in the winter they would hang food in a bag from the window ledge since they were on the second story. He said when he was a kid (early '20s) they had a cage wrapped in burlap. They set that in a trough of some sort and they would get cold creek water and poor over the burlap every few hours during the day and kept it in a breezy area. The only thing they kept in the cage was butter & milk. They preserved meat and meals in other ways.
On a similar note, growing up we had a "cold room" out in the wood shed. It was a room with 1' walls filled with sawdust. There were shelves in the room for foods. I want one of those again someday. It didn't keep things "cold" per se, but did keep things cool even in the heat of summer.
 
I'm guessing that this exercise is for after a total collapse and fuel is no longer available.
For those of us who live in cold climates, we can cut ice blocks out of a frozen pond, lake or river. Growing up I knew people who had ice houses built with logs and insulated with sawdust.
Years ago I built a stone boat for my horses that I used for pulling logs and firewood out of the woods. It would be easy to use a team of horses and a stone boat for hauling ice up to an ice house. This is how it was done in the old days.
 
There are options. Personally I plan to keep on having power no matter what happens. God knows I've spent the better part of 20 years making sure I have ELECTRICITY! I also have a backup fridge & freezer. I pretty much have backups for everything I can possibly have.

There are also options like this.


 
There are options. Personally I plan to keep on having power no matter what happens. God knows I've spent the better part of 20 years making sure I have ELECTRICITY! I also have a backup fridge & freezer. I pretty much have backups for everything I can possibly have.

There are also options like this.




Don't tell my actually think that is real? I thought you where better than that. Come on....think about it for a minute. I KNOW you have at least some knowledge of thermodynamics.
 
Don't tell my actually think that is real? I thought you where better than that. Come on....think about it for a minute. I KNOW you have at least some knowledge of thermodynamics.
Actually it uses butane which is the same refrigerant often used in those small dorm fridges and yes I expect it works. I've seen enough pressure releasing to form frost / ice on surfaces to many times to doubt it can work. All they are doing is creating a high and low side with that small tiny tube acting as a pressure benchmark , change point. The little pump vacuums one side while pressurizing the other. It SHOULD work just on a very small scale!
 
For Freezing, purchase a propane refrigerator the thermocouple will be in the freezer compartment, carefully move it out into the main refrigerator, and the whole unit becomes a freezer.
 
We've got two dorm fridges. They can be plugged in to an inverter, the inverter connected to a solar charged battery. Our solar panels charge three batteries at a time.
What happens if you have bad weather for a week?

That question is why I do not trust solar
 
What happens if you have bad weather for a week?

That question is why I do not trust solar
That's why solar alone is a bad idea. If you're going to be your own power provider you need at least three ways to make power in my opinion. Of course I've been living with solar and generators for the better part of two decades. I will be adding wind power in to the mix in the next year or two I expect. I'm also getting close to having a working Bio fueled mass battery thermoelectric generator. The more options you have the better in my opinion!
 
I wouldn't worry about refrigeration. You really don't need it. Of course, for almost 50% of the year a box on our porch can be a refrigerator.

What is it that everyone wants to refrigerate?
Personally I like ice in my drinks and ice cream from time to time...
 
Actually it uses butane which is the same refrigerant often used in those small dorm fridges and yes I expect it works. I've seen enough pressure releasing to form frost / ice on surfaces to many times to doubt it can work. All they are doing is creating a high and low side with that small tiny tube acting as a pressure benchmark , change point. The little pump vacuums one side while pressurizing the other. It SHOULD work just on a very small scale!
Remember....the cooling power of any system is a matter of how much heat can be rejected.

OPEN cooling, ie, pressure released causes rapid cooling because the heat is absorbed by the expansion of the gas.

In a CLOSED loop, like the video claims to show, that low pressure gas must be compressed and the heat from that 'squeezed' out and radiated.

Because ambient temperature is higher than the cold side, the radiator has to not just reject the difference between the low side condenser, but make up ambient temp and the operating energy. The video doesn't even pretend to do this, you notice the fan is blowing on the cold coil, not the radiator coil like you would need. This is because the cold side has been pre-chilled (by placing it in a freezer between the camera cuts) and blowing air over it, makes the frost build more rapidly and impressively.

You need a much bigger radiator, a much more powerful energy source. A small battery simple does not have enough energy inside it, to cool anything that size, that far.
 
Well it is good to see that this got derailed with consumables right off the get go. Where do we get propane 8 years in, My description was of a built in place Ice house, that doesn't require a lake nearby, and a crew to cut Ice blocks etc, History is really cool, but being able to just freeze a block in place without much effort except perhaps removing snow from the heat rejector .
Now stay on track kids.
 
Remember....the cooling power of any system is a matter of how much heat can be rejected.

OPEN cooling, ie, pressure released causes rapid cooling because the heat is absorbed by the expansion of the gas.

In a CLOSED loop, like the video claims to show, that low pressure gas must be compressed and the heat from that 'squeezed' out and radiated.

Because ambient temperature is higher than the cold side, the radiator has to not just reject the difference between the low side condenser, but make up ambient temp and the operating energy. The video doesn't even pretend to do this, you notice the fan is blowing on the cold coil, not the radiator coil like you would need. This is because the cold side has been pre-chilled (by placing it in a freezer between the camera cuts) and blowing air over it, makes the frost build more rapidly and impressively.

You need a much bigger radiator, a much more powerful energy source. A small battery simple does not have enough energy inside it, to cool anything that size, that far.
I agree with what you have stated but my original comment of yes I think it would work on a very small scale is also true. The run time would be super short and not hardly worth the effort! It is to small and compact to be useful IMO!
 
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Well it is good to see that this got derailed with consumables right off the get go. Where do we get propane 8 years in, My description was of a built in place Ice house, that doesn't require a lake nearby, and a crew to cut Ice blocks etc, History is really cool, but being able to just freeze a block in place without much effort except perhaps removing snow from the heat rejector .
Now stay on track kids.
Snow? What is this word?
 

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