Thetford 12 Volt Refrigeration for Leisure Vehicles the latest innovation from Thetford.
Thetford are always looking to develop their products, to meet consumer and manufacturer needs.
Their latest innovation for 2021 are the new T2000 series fridge and freezer models. They are powered completely by electric with no option for gas.
But the question is, can you run a fridge and freezer from your leisure battery? In this blog we find out more and look at the benefits of an electric fridge.
What is the Thetford T2000 Series?
New for 2021, Thetford have launched five of their popular fridge-freezer models which are capable of running solely on electric. They will run on a 12V compressor.
The new feature enables them to run from a caravan or motorhome leisure battery, known as the 12V system.
When on 230V mains electric, known as electric hook up, this will provide continuous power to the battery and run the fridge-freezer like current models.
Current Thetford fridges can draw power from a 12V system when a caravan is being towed, or when a motorhome is being driven. But, this is to maintain ambient temperature and not to refrigerate the unit or run it once pitched.
How will it work?
With the new T2000 models you will only be able to run the fridge-freezer through electric. If you are on electric hook up then it will draw the electric through the mains and you won’t notice any difference. If you are off grid then the fridge-freezer will draw power from your leisure battery as opposed to gas.
Can a leisure vehicle fridge-freezer run on the leisure battery?
Yes, Thetford are industry leading experts when it comes to leisure vehicle products. They have made several amendments to this new range to make them more efficient and environmentally friendly.
If we look at the two smaller units, which as most likely to be fitted in many UK leisure vehicles, we can see their power use.
The 84 litre model will need 0.28kWh and 23.3Ah per 24 hours. In basic terms this means one 95Ah battery could power the fridge for four days off grid.
The 138 litre model will need 0.46kWh and 38.3Ah per 24 hours. In basic terms this means one 95Ah battery could power the fridge for 2.5 days off grid.
If you have a solar panel fitted to your leisure vehicle then this will deliver charge to your leisure battery. This will prolong your off grid battery capability. A large solar panel of 100 watt or more should be capable of producing enough charge to the battery to remain off grid indefinitely. It will power the fridge-freezer and other 12V systems you have. This would be less during winter when daylight hours are fewer.
If you have two leisure batteries fitted, or a higher Ah rating, then they will last longer too.
Energy Saving Benefits
Thetford have included some new enhancements to the T2000 series to reduce the power they draw. The new 12V models offer the ability to be able to control the freezer temperature separately to the fridge. If you do not intend to use the freezer you can choose not to turn it on. By not using the freezer you will reduce your power usage. The freezer compartment is designed to remain at an ambient temperature of no more than 17 degrees centigrade when the fridge is in operation but not the freezer. This allows the freezer compartment to be used to store food such as bread, chocolate or vegetables to keep them cooler on a hot day.
If you off-grid this system will save your gas use, save you money and utilise solar power, which is more environmentally friendly.
Are there any other added benefits?
Yes, several, by removing the gas element of the fridge-freezer Thetford have reduced the weight of the unit by a small amount.
By removing the gas system it removes the need for ventilation vents in the side of the leisure vehicle too.
The new models come with a flush touch screen panel, making them more sleek and modern.
Will they suit the UK market?
There will be some concern from caravan and motorhome owners that the safety of the gas function has been taken away.
Questions such as ‘what if there is a power cut on site’ and ‘How will I go off grid’. Many people choose to only stay on sites with electric hook up so they will be un-effected by this. Even with a power cut, the battery should cope for several days alone.
For those that go off-grid then the leisure battery will provide enough power for a weekend away. Those with solar panels should find they are able to remain off-grid as normal. With the ability to run on the 12V power it alleviates the worry of running out of gas when off grid. It will reduce your gas usage and save you money.
From an end user perspective, it would be beneficial to review a leisure vehicle fitted with the T2000 series fridge-freezer. Then an update on the performance of the leisure battery function can be made available to show its function.