Propane Refrigerators

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Get a carbon monoxide detector and don't use any gas appliance unless the detector is working. Not worth risking a life over a $30 gadget.
The other Steve B..
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Already got the top of the line Kidde. Has the digital readout, and the memory button. If anyone is considering buying a CO detector, BUY THE ONE WITH THE READOUT AND THE MEMORY.
The other kind goes off when the levels are at dangerously high levels. The display units tell you what the reading is RIGHT NOW, and with a push of a button, tell you what the highest reading is from the last time you reset.
No good if it goes off after you are unconscious ..................
Steve
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SteveB wrote:

Propane (actually ammonia cycle) refrigerators are common on RV's, so check RV sites on the internet. Anything with a flame needs a vent. A standard feature is to have the burner in a separate space from the actual cold space. Built in that way or the unit is on rollers and just backs into a space that is vented to the outside. Or, the unit just sits in a highly vented space such as a screened porch.
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I was puzzled when I looked at the manual, and there was no mention of venting. Venting would not really be a problem, just some Rube Goldberg (am I dating myself?) plumbing of flues. I would have to drill a rather large hole through six inches of solid wood exterior wall, but really, not a big job to vent the thing.
Just seeking understanding before I go hacking and cutting.
Steve
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My understanding of propane (absorption) refrigerators is that they contain a mixture of ammonia and water. The mixture is heated and the ammonia vaporizes. As the vaporization occurs the result is expanding gas. Expanding gases absorb heat, hence the name. This is easily demonstrated by using any spray can or letting the air out of a tire or tank of compressed gas/air. You can feel the can/tank get colder. If you let the air out of a SCUBA tank ice will form on the valve.
I would not use one without venting. Although there is a small flame there will still be some CO present. Besides that you will get some soot. There is probably a baffle inside the flue or chimney that needs to be able to move freely. Soot can also build up inside the chimney and it should be cleaned occasionally, perhaps once a year. It is also VERY important that the coils be cleaned and free of dust and goop. The refrigerator will cool much more effeciently with clean coils. Also keep your burner clean and make sure it has a good-looking blue flame. If it is all clean and working properly you will have less soot and probably less CO.
One of the beauties of the RV type units is that they also contain heating coils that operate from 12 VDC or 120VAC or both. If you run out of propane you can hook it up temporarily to a battery or to an AC supply. The older ones (probably built before the 90's) needed no connections other than propane but the newer ones require a 12VDC source to operate. I think the older ones are better.
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I forgot to mention that it must be level. You can get an omnidirectional bubble level from an RV store for about a dollar or so. Put it inside the (clean, frost-free) freezer compartment and check it.
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Propane gas ranges and ovens have been used in homes for decades and have no venting and no soot buildup.
In my house, the CO detector is about 10 feet down the hallway from the kitchen. With 4 burners and the oven going, it gets no reading from the range. I don't see a problem.
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[original post is likely clipped to save bandwidth]
wrote:

A level of abstraction may help. All heat pumping devices use some form of potential energy to transport thermal energy from or to a desired place.
Folks accept that building a fire can be used to refrigerate! Light a fire at a coal power plant, make steam, then electricity, send it to a home and use it to operate a refrigerator. The source of the needed energy is a fire at a coal burning power plant!
Take out a few steps and you have fire to cold in one box!
A compressor is a pump. Gas refrigerators have a pump! The percolator is a pump, it creates enough pressure differences and mechanical "refrigerant" transport to use heat of vaporization just as an electric driven refrigerator does.
The combination of water, ammonia highly pressurized with hydrogen set the stage to do it all in one box.
gerry
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