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Old 02-07-2014, 20:16   #1
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12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Hoping to get some advice from those onboard.

We have a 10 year old Isotherm that basically is now a straight Danfoss cold plate water cooled system. As isotherm stuff stopped working we ripped those items out. No thermostat. We use a 12v 10 stage timer. Run times are based on water temp / air temp. Water cooled using our fresh water tanks which lay against the hull. Tank water is the same temp as sea water.

While doing a 600 mile up uphill bash we were heeled over the whole trip on one tack. The longest continuous run time is about 5 hours. It was during this time that the unit would stop for 5 seconds then start again. Run for 4-5 minutes then stop/start again. We noticed it only during this longer run time. Inside cabin temp 90+. Water temp 86 degrees.

Now that we have arrived in Ecuador and flat the unit runs perfectly.

The feed wire is 8 gauge and the voltage drop is 2%. I checked the fuse holder and the wire buss and all seemed good. I thought it might be a loose wire connection but that did not show up when I started looking.

Question. . . . Does the Danfoss BD50 have trouble running at a steep angle? Because I have had not issues with it before or now. BTW voltage was 13.2 during the times it was stopping.

Comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you

Chuck



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Old 03-07-2014, 08:34   #2
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Are you saying compressor stops running or are you reporting loss of refrigerant cooling. If module stops compressor due to detecting a control limit is exceeded it will try to restart compressor in about 40 seconds not 4 minutes that you are reporting. Water flow problems may be more of an indication when 4 minutes running causes compressor cooling to stop.

Have you checked refrigerator's performance when healed at 30 degrees or 20 degrees?

If the stuff you removed included the troubleshooting LED you need to re-install LED. One flash every 4 seconds would indicate am electrical low voltage spike and 3 or 4 flashes in this case indicates an overloaded compressor. Overloaded compressor could be either oil during excessive compressor tilting flooding compressor cylinder intake, or high amperage do to lack of sufficient water cooling.
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:59   #3
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Hi Richard

Sorry I was not clear.

The compressor would stop about every 5-10 minutes (sometimes every 15 minutes -- random ) but only for < 5 seconds then start up again. The fridge did draw down and kept everything cold/frozen.

It seemed to me that it might be a voltage drop but like I said previously the batteries were over 13V. I pulled the fuse off and felt as many electrical connections I could looking for heat. Signifying resistance. All appeared normal. The sea conditions and location of the compressor made me not want to get into troubleshooting with a voltmeter, etc.

The trouble shooting leds are not installed. The unit was installed in 2004.

I have a 12V computer fan over the top of the compressor to help circulate air and when I put my hand on the compressor it was not any hotter than normal. I looked at the clear water hose that feeds the heat exchanger and could see water flowing thru it.

Being at sea in not so kind conditions and with the compressor on a shelf behind the gimbaled stove I did not want to attempt any trouble shooting at that time. It would be my luck to make it worse. I have been know to fall into that club at times

Now on a mooring the unit has not faltered once. Another comment is we made a similar trip from Panama to Ecuador last year. All uphill, on the same tack as this year and nothing seemed amiss. Conditions were similar

Appreciate any suggestions you may have.

Regards

Chuck
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:20   #4
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

I would find and install a $2 twelve volt LED and install the + side of it to the small + terminal and ground side to D terminal on Danfoss control module. This LED will never light up unless control module detects a bad condition preventing compressor from running. If compressor will not run and LED does not flash problem is in the thermostat or its wiring. There are five codes that LED will flash one flash every 4 seconds is a low voltage spike in boats DC power grid or spike in boats wiring between main power busses and control module.

Now maybe you can see why all BD35 and BD50 compressors must have the LED installed. In most cases it eliminates the need for a so called mechanic from Hell who is guaranteed to make things worse. With a little information and the LED even the onboard Cook can keep refrigerator performing correctly.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:33   #5
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

I will install a 12V blue seas LED in the morning. I have a few as spares onboard.

Many thanks for your comments

Chuck
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Old 06-07-2014, 14:08   #6
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

I recently ran into the same problem with a client. The tubing running between the compressor and evaporator had excess tubing length coiled in an athwartships plane. When this was re-arranged so the excess tube ran fore and aft the problem went away. I can assume that liquid refrigerant tumbling down the excess tubing caused a greater differential pressure that the Danfoss module was programmed to accept.

Michael P. Wilson (dip.mech./mar.eng U.K.)
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Mazatlan Sinaloa Mexico
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:57   #7
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexicolder Mike View Post
I recently ran into the same problem with a client. The tubing running between the compressor and evaporator had excess tubing length coiled in an athwartships plane. When this was re-arranged so the excess tube ran fore and aft the problem went away. I can assume that liquid refrigerant tumbling down the excess tubing caused a greater differential pressure that the Danfoss module was programmed to accept.

Michael P. Wilson (dip.mech./mar.eng U.K.)
Rescue Refrigeration
Mazatlan Sinaloa Mexico

Hey Mike

What you described is exactly what we have. The excess tubing is neatly coiled up into a 4" coil that is attached to a bulkhead athwartship. So it's a possibility. Either you have a very good memory of when your head was tucked in behind the stove working on our unit many years ago or it's a good assumption

I am installing a LED trouble shooting light today. Hoping to not have this issue come up again but at least with a quick glance I can see if it's blinking or not.

Thanks for the suggestion

Chuck
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Old 26-02-2015, 05:51   #8
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
I would find and install a $2 twelve volt LED and install the + side of it to the small + terminal and ground side to D terminal on Danfoss control module. This LED will never light up unless control module detects a bad condition preventing compressor from running. If compressor will not run and LED does not flash problem is in the thermostat or its wiring. There are five codes that LED will flash one flash every 4 seconds is a low voltage spike in boats DC power grid or spike in boats wiring between main power busses and control module.

Now maybe you can see why all BD35 and BD50 compressors must have the LED installed. In most cases it eliminates the need for a so called mechanic from Hell who is guaranteed to make things worse. With a little information and the LED even the onboard Cook can keep refrigerator performing correctly.

Well it's been a while since I last posted this. I did install the trouble LED light that Richard suggested. The fridge continues with the problem ( I hear it stop maybe one or twice every couple days) and for months I have been trying to jump up and check the light when the fridge stops.

The fridge stop and within 2 seconds start back up again. Usually at night when it's quiet and I can hear the unit running. It's like watching a pot boil........ Because the unit stop start time is only a couple seconds I have never been able to see the LED light up. BUT yesterday I was standing by the fridge and it stopped while I was looking. What I did see is the LED flashed for a total of 3 times maybe once every 3-4 seconds. After months of watching the freakin thing finally.

I was unable to measure voltage at the time.

The unit is keeping the box cold and no interruption of service.

Suggestions to what might cause this issue?

Thank you

Chuck


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Old 26-02-2015, 06:22   #9
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Three flashes means the compressor did not start. However, it sounds like yours is starting.

Are you sure it wasn't flashing just once, only did so 3 times? If so, this means low voltage, which is much more plausible and common.

Measure the voltage while it is running and no charging sources are operating. It should be >12V (ideally close to battery voltage).

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Old 26-02-2015, 07:49   #10
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Hey Chuck.
Since the 3-flash-of-doom error code is usually a voltage spike/drop issue a good troubleshooting trick is to run a temp wire set straight from the positive/negative battery terminals to the Danfoss controller power leads. This will eliminate all of your ships wiring as part of the troubleshooting process. And if the problem goes away, well the fun of chasing down a wiring issue begins.

I believe you do have a spare Danfoss controller with you because I remember shipping you one a while back. While there isn't a quick and easy test to prove out a controller problem, you could swap out the electronic controller. If the problem goes away then perhaps your 10yr old controller is on the fritz.

A 10yr old Danfoss BD50 should have plenty of life left in it, so its doubtful that you really have a compressor problem. My guess is an electrical or controller problem.

Just ping me on Skype if you need any help.
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Old 26-02-2015, 07:50   #11
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

[QUOTE=chouliha;1759531]Well it's been a while since I last posted this. I did install the trouble LED light that Richard suggested. The fridge continues with the problem ( I hear it stop maybe one or twice every couple days) and for months I have been trying to jump up and check the light when the fridge stops.

The fridge stop and within 2 seconds start back up again. Usually at night when it's quiet and I can hear the unit running. It's like watching a pot boil........ Because the unit stop start time is only a couple seconds I have never been able to see the LED light up. BUT yesterday I was standing by the fridge and it stopped while I was looking. What I did see is the LED flashed for a total of 3 times maybe once every 3-4 seconds. After months of watching the freakin thing finally.

I was unable to measure voltage at the time.

The unit is keeping the box cold and no interruption of service.

Suggestions to what might cause this issue?

Thank you

Chuck

One LED flash every four seconds is a low voltage spike and not detectable with a volt meter unless you have Supermanís eyes. The fan is coming back on making you think compressor is also starting. Compressor itself will attempt to restart in 40 seconds as it does attempt to start fan will slow down for a second.

Because this condition only seems to occur when heeled over I would first look for a lose connection in refrigerator ground wire and power wire where it my be under a strain when sailing.

A single flash code is common trouble when circuit breaker or a off on switch is old or wire terminal end is corroded. Trouble shooting wiring for low voltage microsecond spikes is normally done by passing one item at a time.
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Old 26-02-2015, 17:32   #12
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Hi Richard

This time we are on a mooring and not underway. I will follow up with all the connections and make sure everything is clean and tight. Will report back. Thank you for your comments
Chuck


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Old 26-02-2015, 17:51   #13
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Re: 12v Danfoss BD50 stopping when heeled over

Rich - Thanks I do have the controller that I brought back to the boat. I am sure if I go thru the wiring and connectors I will find something amiss. It is interesting that it was happening even with the voltage way about 12.8 so it does point to a bad connection or corrosion.


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