I would like to modify my 3 year-old KitchenAid KRFC300ESS french-door (freezer on bottom) refrigerator to disable the auto-defrost cycle on a short-term basis, preferably by putting in a switch mounted near the front (ideally, connected the low-voltage control circuitry, not the defrost heater itself).
The motivation is that I'd like to be able to drive a few critical loads from a 1kW inverter, during short-term (few days) power outages. The inverter is usually able to handle these with aplomb, but during a recent power outage it could not (overloads and shuts off) even when I isolated so the fridge was the only load. I believe the auto-defrost must be the culprit.
I am a EE, and I'm comfortable going inside of appliances (in fact, I fixed a noise problem on this fridge that a tech could or would not). But I don't have the first clue how auto-defrost works, in theory or in practice.