Propane refrigerators for SHTF???

This is a discussion on Propane refrigerators for SHTF??? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; A propane refrig and freezer is expensive. From what I've seen, the fridge and freezer would easily cost as much as a propane generator. But ...

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Thread: Propane refrigerators for SHTF???

  1. #16
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    A propane refrig and freezer is expensive. From what I've seen, the fridge and freezer would easily cost as much as a propane generator.

    But the big advantage to a propane gen. is that you can run your electric fridge and freezer. And that would lend insight to my next issue: if we go the propane fridge and freezer route, what do we do with the propane units when we don't need them; at what point do we transfer the food in the elec. fridge and freezer to the propane?

    The propane generator answers that problem. Use the propane to drive the elec. fridge and freezer. That way you can put the propane fridge and freezer money into a propane generator.

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  3. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ti Carry
    I know for sure there are propane generators, I have been looking at the Guardian line up from Northern Tool.

    The liquid cooled might be over kill unless they have one comperable to this one. But here is what I am looking at. I actually might be able to do it for just a little over $4,000.00 with an air cooled model.

    Anybody have experance with the differance between to two? I have no doubt the LC models are much better for long term use but how much better is the question I guess and are they worth the extra money.
    Ti.
    For power outage situations, I'd think the 16kW would sustain us especially if we were careful about our "power diet". Although, the specs on the 16kW unit says it can start a 5 ton air conditioner.

    But I would think if we were going to run a large air conditioner from a LP fuel source, it's gonna use a lot of it. I need to find out how much energy is in a large propane tank.

  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle
    For power outage situations, I'd think the 16kW would sustain us especially if we were careful about our "power diet". Although, the specs on the 16kW unit says it can start a 5 ton air conditioner.

    But I would think if we were going to run a large air conditioner from a LP fuel source, it's gonna use a lot of it. I need to find out how much energy is in a large propane tank.
    A 5 Ton A/C Unit is a BIG unit - very large house size in a hot climate.

    A typical propane tank (residential) I believe is 350-400 lbs of propane, or about $750 in todays market. That's really about all I know about the stuff, except one tank could keep a small, well insulated house tolerably warm for a few months dependent on degree days, insulation, and temp required. A propane company can fill you in on all the specs.

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock
    A 5 Ton A/C Unit is a BIG unit - very large house size in a hot climate..
    I know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rock and Glock
    ...A propane company can fill you in on all the specs.
    I'm waiting for them to return my call as we speak.

  6. #20
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    Your original post answered my next question - How long a disruption? (You said a week or so). I guess it's just a matter to then just study the relative economics of a generator or a gas fridge. My GUESS is that a gas powered fridge (used, from an old RV) and stove would be the most economical for that alone, but it leaves other power needs.

    I'm interested in your findings, Sir!

  7. #21
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    R&G,

    That "How long" is a nagging question. I guess it pivots on the "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst", but realistically the commitment to prepare for the worst may not be feasible.

    I certainly will post updates on my findings. I am especially interested in how much energy there is a tank of LP. Given the energy efficiency of devices we wish to run, or even better but more elusive, average energy consumption, we could pretty well predict how much we need for how long.

    I'm gonna be trying to get some energy use numbers (like LP per hour per kW) on the Northern Tool 16kW generator and how much energy etc. is in LP.

    If anyone sees a propane gen. that might be appropriate, let us know.

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle

    I certainly will post updates on my findings. I am especially interested in how much energy there is a tank of LP. Given the energy efficiency of devices we wish to run, or even better but more elusive, average energy consumption, we could pretty well predict how much we need for how long.

    I'm gonna be trying to get some energy use numbers (like LP per hour per kW) on the Northern Tool 16kW generator and how much energy etc. is in LP.

    If anyone sees a propane gen. that might be appropriate, let us know.
    I bet the propane company will have a lot of data for you, as well as the generator folks! Interesting study!

    Any energy consultants here?

  9. #23
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    And that would lend insight to my next issue: if we go the propane fridge and freezer route, what do we do with the propane units when we don't need them; at what point do we transfer the food in the elec. fridge and freezer to the propane?
    Most of the better ones are 3-way, size may be the biggest reason to switch. Personally, I think a good generator is needed either way. If a person was to go totally propane, you will still need electricity to run the blower on a gas furnace.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
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  10. #24
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    Cool, great info.

    I have tossed out the idea of buying propane (only) appliances just for an outage, it would be hell to store them and like Tangle said when at what point should one switch them over? I would want to maintain the appliances I already have in place.

    If something was to happen that standby generator and extra tank set up becomes priceless at that point.

    Like I said, my house is LP fueled and I already have a 600 gallon propane tank so the choice is easy for me. I would want a second even larger tank for extra storage that could sustain me for up to 6-8 or even 12 months depending on the energy use.

    With a few calculations one could figure out pretty close (weather will affect the exact numbers) as to how much energy your home will use and cut back accordingly to make it last when using your back up system.

    I will also be getting a hold of my LP supplier and even the electric company and give them something to do and see what the word is.


    Ti.
    Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!

    I vote for Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President.....Not!

  11. #25
    OD*
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    Ti,

    You can live "fairly" independently with a little forethought and work (which you guys seem to be doing well).

    The wife and I lived in a 24' camper out in the middle of nowhere for six months.

    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    That is wild OD!

    I can't even see a single tree anyware.


    Ti.
    Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!

    I vote for Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President.....Not!

  13. #27
    OD*
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    That's Cochise Co. Arizona, about 13 miles NE of Tombstone. Few trees until you get into the mountains, those are the "Dragoons" in the back ground.

    It was a little close living with a wife, me and a Pit Bull in that camper.

    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

  14. #28
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    I am not an energy consultant, but I can tell you that every time you convert energy from one form to another there is loss. I can say with all honesty, you would use less propane operating a propane appliance directly, than you would if you used propane to run a generator, which would in turn run the appliances.

    Just my two cents here, but IMHO you would be better off picking up a used 3way fridge for a camper/motor home, and hooking it up in your garage, or family room (fill it with snacks to save kitchen runs during the big game) and run a propane line to it. In the event of a power outage, it will already be cold. Just light the pilot light on it if you haven't already, and move your perishables into it.

    As for a generator, they can be handy, but they are going to be consuming fuel the entire time they are running. Let's say for instance your fridge runs for 20 minutes out of every hour, to stay cold. (just guessing) That is 40 minutes of low load on your generator that is not really needed.

    Don't get me wrong, I can definately see the benefits of going with a generator. For a semi long term scenario, it would take a LOT of fuel to maintain. Also in a katrina type situation, you can hide the propane tanks, but the sound of that generator running is going to get noticed.

  15. #29
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    Agreed.
    We ran propane for everything except the TV, sweeper, iron etc. One thing to remember also, a good gas generator can be converted to propane.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

  16. #30
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    TI:

    A propane supplier I've worked with can tell me almost axactly to the pound what my tank has in it by using statistical data (average use previously,with know degree days, etc.) without even seeing the dial. That they have such an ability indicates they have the data...just need to figure out which person you need to chat with.

    Good luck!

    OD - That's what I call "Going off the Grid!". Pretty neat!

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