QoD: “The law made me say this” edition

The Secret Lair has a refrigerator. Sort of. Provisionally. It’s AC/DC and works on some principle I forget and doesn’t use a compressor. So maybe it will work for keeping butter and a couple of beers cool in summer. We’ll see how it works and what it does to the power system, but I think it’ll probably be okay.

Opened the manual that came with it and read the following caution, which I am absolutely not making up…


Risk of child entrapment. Before you throw away your old cooler:
1. Take off the doors
2. Leave the shelves in place so that children may not easily climb inside.

Really, though, I think that might not be a problem, because…

…any kid small enough to fit inside yet still able to reach the door to close it, will be very unusual indeed, and possibly precocious enough to know not to do it.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to QoD: “The law made me say this” edition

  1. Ben says:

    So the Lair finally enters the (previous) century. Congratulations!

    I will be interested to hear how that works out for you, but we will likely have to wait for summer to know for sure. My guess is that it will be better at keeping something cold than at MAKING something cold.

  2. MamaLiberty says:

    That’s wonderful, Joel.

    As for the caution label, I laugh reading them all the time.

  3. Edward says:

    Actually Joel, keep a close eye on your power systems when using this item. The Pelletier junction cooling system, at least the ones I remember working with 30 years ago, were power hogs. The modern versions may have improved a lot, but I would check current draw with an ammeter inline if running off 12 V. Set the thing to 10 AMP range initially.

  4. g2-cdb27520fb49967abcc1c55ca90a2fef says:

    I second Edward’s comment – Peltier coolers use a lot of power compared to a compressor refrigerator. Can your system handle a constant 50w drain? Because that’s the minimum that it will pull.


  5. jed says:

    I hadn’t looked at these before. Checked the manual for one of the Igloo models, and it notes that because there’s no thermostat, it just cools down to appx. 45 degrees below ambient. If yours works that well, I’d be careful about freezing that frosty beverage. A quick search reveals 12v cooling thermostats aren’t terribly expensive, and some come with a temperature probe. Yeah, added complication, but might be worth it.

  6. Joel says:

    While I don’t agree that they use more power than a compressor fridge, they do definitely use a non-trivial amount of power. I plugged this one into my Kill-a-Watt…

    It started out around .8 amp and slowly came down to about .65. So that’s a lot more than 50 watts – sometimes closer to 100.

    So overnight and overcast days like today – probably not a good idea to leave it on all the time. Will work fine during sunny hot days, though. Just turn in off when it’s dark or it’ll pull the batteries down more than is good for them repeatedly.

  7. Douglas2 says:

    I’d wager that the power used by that device running on 12v is considerably less in net than that used at 120v, as it is a native DC device, and you also lose the inefficiencies of your AC inverter.

    It would not be meterable with the Kill-a-watt, however. I’ll have to ponder a simple solution that would automatically only run it when there is excess solar after the batteries are at full charge.

  8. Ben says:

    “…a simple solution that would automatically only run it when there is excess solar after the batteries are at full charge.”

    This may be a perfect application for a sufficiently programmable Low Voltage Disconnect. This one could be set to disconnect at 12.1 volts and then stay off until the battery is charged to 12.8 volts.


  9. Joel says:

    Douglas2, where it is in the kitchen it would be easy to wire it into the 12v lighting and I probably will. Just waiting to see if the whole idea is worth the bother. It’s been kind of a disappointment learning that I can’t leave it on full-time.

To the stake with the heretic!