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Old 17-12-2013, 08:27   #1
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Adler / Barbour Power Plate

Hi there,

Just wondering if there is anyone out there using an Adler/Barbour Power Plate in there refrigeration or freezer set up and the experiences with them, good or bad . There are pricey but I like the slight holding capacity they have and they look tough .

Regards
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Old 17-12-2013, 11:55   #2
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

To understand the performance of a energy storing holdover plate you need to have surplus energy to store in it and also its exterior surface area must be capable of transferring heat energy fast enough to cool box adequately.

Disadvantages of Power Plates:

1. Too small for a six sided freezer box.
2. Lacks plate surface heat conductivity in refrigerator box sizes 4 cu ft and above.
3. There is little if any surplus energy produced by a BD35 or BD50 compressor.
4. May store less than 200 Btu of energy.
5. Destroys some of the new variable speed compressor’s improved coefficient of performance do to added daily energy consumption.
6. Box temperature drift is far greater with a power plate over a standard evaporator.


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Old 17-12-2013, 12:30   #3
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
To understand the performance of a energy storing holdover plate you need to have surplus energy to store in it and also its exterior surface area must be capable of transferring heat energy fast enough to cool box adequately.

Disadvantages of Power Plates:

1. Too small for a six sided freezer box.
2. Lacks plate surface heat conductivity in refrigerator box sizes 4 cu ft and above.
3. There is little if any surplus energy produced by a BD35 or BD50 compressor.
4. May store less than 200 Btu of energy.
5. Destroys some of the new variable speed compressorís improved coefficient of performance do to added daily energy consumption.
6. Box temperature drift is far greater with a power plate over a standard evaporator.


Great information, I will pass on them Richard.

I have a separate fridge 8 cubic feet and freezer 3.5 cubic feet . Both have R40 insulation around them . Looking for the best solution to keep things cool and frozen . I will be in the tropics and have plenty of 12v DC power to keep the units happy .

Not crazy about water cooling but if I have to I will. FrigoBoat make a nice air cooled BD50 and BD35.

Tough decisions

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Old 19-12-2013, 09:18   #4
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

With a 8 cu ft refrigerator and 3.5 cu ft freezer and good insulation operating in Canada you might get buy with capacity of an efficient air cooled BD50 powered condensing unit. You are correct about any type water cooling of a Danfoss BD compressor system. I stopped recommending water cooling system smaller then 800 Btu because of their poor overall performance 10 years ago.

I have never seen a 45 ft sailboat with plenty of 12 volt DC power with 11.5 cu ft of refrigeration space. For tropical climates I would recommend to you the following refrigeration systems and DC onboard power grid size.
  • BD50 compressor system for refrigerator with the largest evaporator designed for the BD50.
  • A second BD50 compressor system for freezer with evaporator covering two opposing walls if possible. For a freezer to be affective evaporator needs to surround product as much as possible. And wood rails in box to allow natural air tumbling down one side and under frozen food and up the other side.
  • To support a possible 150 to 200 amp-hr daily combined boat and 12 volt refrigeration consumption while in tropics without destroying batteries in one year, battery bank needs to be no smaller than 800 amp-hrs based on age and not amp-hr ratting when purchased.
  • It is difficult to replace 100 or more amp-hrs per day with even a 200 amp alternator as battery bank heats up amperage must be reduced to prevent battery out gassing. In some cases it may take 3 to 4 hours of alternator running per day.
  • Alternative energy from Wind and Solar is strongly recommended. To support just your refrigeration it would take 1000 to 1500 watts of solar power a day in the tropics.
  • The current trend in tropical weather is live aboard boaters are carrying a portable Honda 2000 generator and a 110 volt 100 amp battery charger connected to compensate for a boats DC small power grid.
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Old 19-12-2013, 10:04   #5
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Excellent Advice Richard, thank you.

For 12v power on board I have 600AH of LiFePO4 batteries. Charging from an Echo-tec alternator directly coupled to a 3 Cyl Yanmar. If you take a look at my page there is a bunch of pics of the setup. I can get 300amps daily into my bank in just over an hour without even warming the batteries and the are good for many thousand cycles . Fantastic technology ! all boats should have them. Lead acid batteries make great mooring anchores LOL . If it was not for this technology I wouldn't have a prayer of have good refrigeration on my boat .

I like the idea of the wood racks in the freezer, never thought of that .

No problem with a plate on either side of the freezer as well, I can get them custom fit from Seafrost looks like that's the manufacturer I will use.
Cleave Horton suggests that I use water cooling but I really dont like that idea and think I will just use his stuff with air , "KISS"


Any other thoughts would be very much appreciated before I drop all the cash down .

Regards
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Old 19-12-2013, 10:27   #6
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

An option for you to consider could also be the Technautics CoolBlue holding plate system that is designed from the start to run without water cooling. Technautics has been making marine refrigeration units without water cooling for 45 years, so we have a little experience in the field.

I agree with Richard's recmmendations on going with two condensing units for boxes your size and tropical cruising plans. We can put together the systems for you with one or two off the shelf plates or build you custom plates for the same cost specifically designed to fit your box.

CoolBlue 12v Marine Refrigeration
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Old 19-12-2013, 11:24   #7
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Sv Third Day, The CoolBlue machine with large holdover energy storing plate is a great unit for the right application. Unfortunately in a large box or when expecting normal refrigerator/Freezer temperatures cruising south of Latitude 30N Coolblue is not the right unit. I recommend Technautics CoolBlue when it makes sense because it is the only unit currently available with large enough holding plate to store surplus alternative energy. All other plates are too small to benefit from wind and solar energy.
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Old 19-12-2013, 12:32   #8
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Thanks for the commets Richard, you have forgot more about Marine Refrigeration than most people, even in the industry, know. Your Marine Refrigeration Books should be required reading for those looking to install a system, I have both of them, recommend and love them!
Kollmann Marine
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I will just mention that we do have literally thousands of 12v CoolBlue units cruising the world and tropical destinations south of 30N latitudes, heck that is where cruisers want to go! Over the years, we have had lots of positive customer feedback from clients with rock hard ice cream at anchor in the tropics with what they consider great power usage compared to other cruisers with competing systems:
CoolBlue Client Feedback


The CoolBlue power usage rating of 25AH for a 6CF total Box with 1/3 freezer and 2/3 refrigerator is based on a R40 insulation value. Of course not every boat has R40 and some have larger total box volumes. Many CoolBlue units are installed on boxes with up to 9CF of total box space divided typically 1/3 freezer and 2/3 refrigerator. The CoolBlue unit will use more daily power in these warmer climates with larger boxes but then again all the other units on the market will also. For boxes larger than 9CF or units with less than stiller insulation, we do recommend going with two condensing units like you mention one for the freezer and one for the refrigerator.


One of our strong selling points is that our system was designed from the start to operate at ambient temperatures of up to 120-degs (tested by the Military at 135-degs) without needing water cooling. Being a live aboard cruiser myself, I have seen enough problems with water cooling to know it’s a maintenance nightmare. When we were floating in the Sea of Cortez 89 degree sea water, the folks with water cooling (pumps or keel coolers) were singing the blues about their refrigeration unit’s high power usage, while the CoolBlue unit kept us in cold beer and homemade frozen juice pops. It was amazing to see a family of 4 drinking 8L of cold water per day! It also put a big load on our refrigeration system, but the cold water is what helped us survive 4 summers in the Sea of Cortez at anchor without air conditioning...ok...that and maybe I could be a little CrAzy.
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Old 19-12-2013, 13:09   #9
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
The CoolBlue power usage rating of 25AH for a 6CF total Box with 1/3 freezer and 2/3 refrigerator is based on a R40 insulation value. .
Opps...Not sure what I was thinking...the Power usage rating for the CoolBlue was for a 7CF box using R30 insulation. Not sure why I was thinking R40 or 6CF. But it could be because I'm currently sitting in front of a Diesel heater to stay warm in Morro Bay, CA when I would rather be using a fan on me to say cool down in Mexico! 3 1/2 more years until the kids are out of school and it's back to Mexico!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
I have never seen a 45 ft sailboat with plenty of 12 volt DC power .

The current trend in tropical weather is live aboard boaters are carrying a portable Honda 2000 generator and a 110 volt 100 amp battery charger connected to compensate for a boats DC small power grid.
Can I get an AMEN to that!
Underestimating power usage is one of the main issues most new cruisers run into.
After facing this reality myself, I'm not in the process of TRIPPLING my solar panel wattage to even have a chance of having enough power. 260W was only enough solar to make me feel good about having solar, but not enough to run the boat's electrical demand.

The $950 with free shipping Honda 2000 generator EU2000i matched with a 60 or 75A battery charger is so prevelant in the cruising fleet that we decided to build our 20 and 30 gallon per hour water makers around what the Honda 2000 could power. Our Honda 2000 has lived for 5yrs now on the deck of the boat with a sunbrella cover purring away with monthly oil changes.
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Old 19-12-2013, 13:19   #10
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Hi Rich,

I was looking at your Coolblue set up , it looks awesome ! The heat sink and receiver drier are huge. The only thing that i didn't like was your evaporator plates , they are very thick , I understand the are holding plates , that is what I am trying to get away from as you can see from the photo of the freezer , it's all seafrost plate I love there new slim ones , I could put them on the sides,instead of the front and back, gives me a much more usable space.

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Old 19-12-2013, 13:35   #11
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

The game here becomes that as you make the holding plates thinner you are decreasing their internal volume and it is this internal volume that helps give holding plates their advantage: their "cold storage" ability and ability to continue absorbing heat even when the compressor is turned off, know as hold over capacity. The more volume you can have in the plates, then the larger the hold over capacity and less frequently your compressor will need to cycle on and off to maintain your temperature set point.

Take a look at these two charts for an independant test comparing a CoolBlue holding plate system to a AB Super Cold machine evaporation plate system done by Catalina Yachts on their Catalina 42 Box.

CoolBlue Holding Plate System on a Catalina 42
7CF Box with R30
Holding Plate Temp Range +12 down to -5


AB Super Cold Machine on a Catalina 42
7CF Box with R30
Evaporation Temp range +22 down to +4


You can use the temperature data to see how often the compressor cycled on and off. The Holding Plate system cycled on/off 4 times during the 24hr period while holding the plate temperature in a range of -5 to +12, while the Evaporator plate cycled on/off about 177 times during that same period, while holding the evaporator in a temp range of +4 to +22. This is becasue the Evaporation plate essentially has no hold over capacity to absorb heat when the compressor is off, where the holding plate does.

(Just as an FYI, most boxes have a 10 degree temperature difference between the Holding/evaporation plate and the actual box temp. If you see much more of a difference, then you could have an issue with poor insulatoin.)

Now if you cut the volume of the Holding plate in 1/2 rather than 4 on/off cycles you could expect to see roughly 8 on/off cycles. So this data helps illustrate the importance of hold over capacity (read internal volume) for a holding plate system.

There is always in issue of space on a boat, this is where custom sized holding plates can be a good option and can be made to cover your existing wall space more efficiently with as minimal intrusion into the box volume as possible. I guess it is like everything else on a boat...it's a series of trade-offs to reach the best system for you.
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Old 20-12-2013, 07:24   #12
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Thanks for the info Rich, your unit looks like an option, of course I would need two of them, at around $6000 that's almost double the price of just about everything else on the market . Seafrost will cost me about $3600 with 2 plates in the freezer and on large plate in the fridge.

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Old 20-12-2013, 09:26   #13
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Re: Adler/Barbour Power Plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
Thanks for the info Rich, your unit looks like an option, of course I would need two of them, at around $6000 that's almost double the price of just about everything else on the market . Seafrost will cost me about $3600 with 2 plates in the freezer and on large plate in the fridge.
Regards
SeaFrost make a good system and they are also good people and they have lots of happy customers out there cruising the 7 seas. There is an apples to oranges comparison: The Sea Frost system is essentilly an "Adler/Barbour Power Plate" type of system and not a "Holding plate" system like the CoolBlue. Earlier in the thread Richard pointed out some of the weaknesses of the AB Power Plate.

$3600 vs $5000 ($1400 or $700ea) is still a lot of cruising kitty dollars, all the little things just add up:
* The need of a filter/Drier Receiver with an adjustable expansion valve system
* larger condensing coil which is why we don't need water cooling or air ducts.
* the large fin/tube heat exchanger that is inside our larger holding plate

For those things, you get a more efficient system...BUT as a live aboard cruiser myself I understand that not everyone whats to pay an upfront premeium for efficiency. I'm just a frugal as the next guy when it comes to saving cruising kitty dollars! Technautics CoolBlue has the only full 5 year warranty in the marine refrigeration business because after 45 years of building marine refrigeraion systems we (Ok Randy Simpkins) have figured out what works and what to avoid.
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Old 20-12-2013, 09:46   #14
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Re: Adler / Barbour Power Plate

Again, thanks for your insight Rich, I do like the way you have set up the compressor and condenser, the best I have seen. But a big problem still stands , those big plates , can I use your system without the holdover capability, there by going to a thin plate like Seafrost's . My cruising partner hates those big bocks in the ice boxes . Do you offer the option?

Regards
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Old 20-12-2013, 09:52   #15
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Re: Adler / Barbour Power Plate

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can I use your system without the holdover capability, there by going to a thin plate like Seafrost's . My cruising partner hates those big bocks in the ice boxes . Do you offer the option?
My wife hates them also, so you are not alone...

We can make custom plates of any size to fit to the wall (and get through your box opening lid) but the thinnest we can go would be 1" think. Here is a link to our standard plates and all of them can be 1" OR 2.5" think.
Holding Plates
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