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Old 28-10-2012, 20:36   #106
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
Those of you who built your own stuff, how did you incorporate the evaporator? Are you using something mounted against an interior wall, recess it in an interior wall or did you run copper tubing under the fiberglass barrier between the insulation and the box interior?

Although I still have an unfinished project...that will get done during the winter, I want to explore building a refrigeratored chest to sit on our rear deck. I often have to change a refrigerator in our apartments so if I find one that uses R134a, I intend to rip out the compressor and condenser. That will be the easy part, just have not conceived how the address the evaporator.

Another question-- do you have an interior icing problem that requires manual defrost?

Thanks--

Foggy
Our cold plate is mounted in against an interior wall in the freeze. Well, against 3 walls, to be precise. We (carefully) bent the flat panel to fit along 3 sides of the freezer box, with about 10mm (3/8") air gap between the panel and the box and then fitted a perforated plate to protect the cold plate, agai with about a 10mm (3/8") air gap. You can see the peforated plate in the photo below:


No defrosting required yet, but it is still early days, I guess.
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Old 28-10-2012, 22:14   #107
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Foggy,

Our evaporator is an off the shelf item.
The box was built from off the shelf FRP from Home Depot.

4 ft. x 8 ft. White .090 FRP Wall Board-MFTF12IXA480009600 at The Home Depot

The shiny but nubby finished surface didn't suit me as I thought it might encourage mold, so I put the smooth side facing into the fridge space.
The seams were not glassed, but taped on the outside with fiberglass sticky tape and the inside corners were sealed with quick setting 3m5200.

We don't live aboard, but went for a month's vacation last summer.
It was in the 80's almost every day, we didn't even bring our shore power cord along.

Frost was not a problem at least in the Canadian SW waters.
We didn't have to defrost it during that time, but it did have a bit of buildup by the time we got home.

I lightly vacuum bagged a piece of 10mm Aerogel and zip tied it to the bottom of the evaporator to lower the freezer temp.
This kept ice cream rock hard while the average temp in the freezer ran a couple of degrees above zero f. with the fridge temp set to run between 44 and 45 f.
A small computer fan at the top corner blows straight down (without any ducting) when the compressor runs.
This keeps the box temp within a couple of degrees from top to bottom.

BTW, the fridge has been running continuously since I installed it and the solar panels last February and the boat has never been plugged in since.
The batteries are always full or very nearly so.
This morning, they were at 96% and that's after heavy overcast for over a week!
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Old 29-10-2012, 10:06   #108
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
Our cold plate is mounted in against an interior wall in the freeze. Well, against 3 walls, to be precise. We (carefully) bent the flat panel to fit along 3 sides of the freezer box, with about 10mm (3/8") air gap between the panel and the box and then fitted a perforated plate to protect the cold plate, agai with about a 10mm (3/8") air gap. You can see the peforated plate in the photo below:


No defrosting required yet, but it is still early days, I guess.

Thanks Weyalan---

And that black top..........and that black top! There is so much craftmanship displayed here in the forum.

I intend to use whatever it is I ultimately put together as a cooler or a freezer but not both. Mostly, it will be a cooler so the evaporator's duty cycle should prevent frost build up but I was not sure.

Foggy
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Old 29-10-2012, 11:27   #109
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Quote:
Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
Foggy,

Our evaporator is an off the shelf item.
The box was built from off the shelf FRP from Home Depot.

4 ft. x 8 ft. White .090 FRP Wall Board-MFTF12IXA480009600 at The Home Depot

The shiny but nubby finished surface didn't suit me as I thought it might encourage mold, so I put the smooth side facing into the fridge space.
The seams were not glassed, but taped on the outside with fiberglass sticky tape and the inside corners were sealed with quick setting 3m5200.

We don't live aboard, but went for a month's vacation last summer.
It was in the 80's almost every day, we didn't even bring our shore power cord along.

Frost was not a problem at least in the Canadian SW waters.
We didn't have to defrost it during that time, but it did have a bit of buildup by the time we got home.

I lightly vacuum bagged a piece of 10mm Aerogel and zip tied it to the bottom of the evaporator to lower the freezer temp.
This kept ice cream rock hard while the average temp in the freezer ran a couple of degrees above zero f. with the fridge temp set to run between 44 and 45 f.
A small computer fan at the top corner blows straight down (without any ducting) when the compressor runs.
This keeps the box temp within a couple of degrees from top to bottom.

BTW, the fridge has been running continuously since I installed it and the solar panels last February and the boat has never been plugged in since.
The batteries are always full or very nearly so.
This morning, they were at 96% and that's after heavy overcast for over a week!

SenorM--

I have used the FRP stuff from Home Depot. That is tough stuff........especially to cut. That is something I will consider but I will purchase some type of grinder/cutter possibly from Harbor Freight for cutting.

AS I mentioned in my reply to Weyalan, my box will only be used as a freezer or a cooler, not both. I just want to be able to keep soda, maybe a six pack of alcohol stuff for guests, water plus whatever Wifey cannot fit into our fridge and that seems to be a lot.

Did you use a 12vdc compressor? Most of the 12vdc stuff use an onboard inverter. I have my eye on a fridge in one of our apartments that needs replacement only because the tenants have abused it. I will probably change it sometime in November. The cooling circuit is fine and I believe it uses R134a. Fortunately I have a super vacuum pump so breaking it into piece parts should be easy along with the reconstruction. I don't know if the evaporator in this beast is copper of aluminum. Time will tell about that.

Foggy
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:56   #110
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

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Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
SenorM-- I have used the FRP stuff from Home Depot. That is tough stuff........especially to cut. That is something I will consider but I will purchase some type of grinder/cutter possibly from Harbor Freight for cutting. ....
I used the same stuff...



... and it cuts easy with tin snips....



....also if you read the build...

Endeavour 37 Interion Mods Index

...you can possibly get some ideas on mounting an....




...evaporator and how to ...



...run the lines.

I think the major problem with using a fridge like you are talking about is actually separating the evaporator out of the box itself as I think it is built into the wall but I might not be remembering that right. Also you are going to loose some efficiency dealing with the inverter.

Good luck,

Sum
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Old 29-10-2012, 12:59   #111
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

I cut it with a battery powered circular and on a cheapo table saw, the $99 kind you get from a hardware store.
I also used basic metal drill bits, a variable speed sabre saw, and normal tools.
I didn't see any particular problems.
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Old 29-10-2012, 16:18   #112
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumner View Post
I used the same stuff...



... and it cuts easy with tin snips....



....also if you read the build...

Endeavour 37 Interion Mods Index

...you can possibly get some ideas on mounting an....




...evaporator and how to ...



...run the lines.

I think the major problem with using a fridge like you are talking about is actually separating the evaporator out of the box itself as I think it is built into the wall but I might not be remembering that right. Also you are going to loose some efficiency dealing with the inverter.

Good luck,

Sum

I recognize that refrigeration system... I think! Is that an Alder-Barbour? Years ago I installed one in my sailboat. OH, that last picture of your box (from your pointer)gives a better representation of its size. Your unit is big.

Evaporator-- yes, I might have trouble with the fridge evaporator especially if it is aluminum. They are as you stated usually mounted in a difficult place. But I find a Sawzal does a great job cutting most things. I will know more about the particular fridge in a few weeks because I know I will have to swap it out with another unit.

Cutting tools-- I will try the shears on some scrap I have in my basement. Senormechanico did not have any trouble with a power saw but I certainly did! I have a cabinet makers saw in my basement that I tried using for cutting. Now maybe with a finer tooth blade things would have been different, my experience found it was just like cutting G10 stock. It did a job on my carbide blade also. I had fiberglass splinters all over the place.

Not anxious to try my saw again with that stuff.

SenorM--- if you had no problems sawing that stuff, you must have had a better blade than the one I used.

Enough on cutting. The material is still attractive. It is inexpensive, durable, available and it looks great after being installed.

Foggy
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Old 29-10-2012, 17:18   #113
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Quote:
Originally Posted by foggysail View Post
I recognize that refrigeration system... I think! Is that an Alder-Barbour?....Foggy
Yep the unit is ....



....a Waeco/ Adler Barbour Coolmatic 84....

Coolmatic 84

It looks fairly large in the pictures, but is quite compact at 5" D x 15" W x 6" H. They have a couple other options that are even more compact with the condenser on top of or behind the compressor. I chose this one as I wanted to shroud the condenser to make it more efficient.

The box interior is about 4 cu. ft. total including the freezer section that is a little less than 1/2 cu. ft.. The overall box size is pretty big with 4 inches of insulation in the walls, 3 in the top and 7 and 9 inches under the two bottom sections.

It extends out...



...past where the old upright fridge was and also into that area under the counter there. The extension gives us more counter space in the galley and that is welcome. There are two openings into the fridge one is a hinged (under the bowl) with a lift out under the hinged top and the other (where the original countertop is above) is two lift out sections,

Sum
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Old 29-10-2012, 18:09   #114
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Nice job Sum. It fits comfortably into your boat, something to be proud of having built yourself. A lot of talent here in the forum.

Foggy
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Old 09-12-2012, 13:45   #115
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Spaceloft or Cryogel is used in Australia for fridges, eski's etc. My understanding that it has far superior performance characteristics than general EPS etc. Had a charter guy show me a large one off eski made with 5 layers of Cryogel insulation. Kept our beers cold for the 3 day charter!! Supplier is aerogels australia Aerogels Australia
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:29   #116
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, deepsea.
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Old 19-03-2013, 00:56   #117
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Any updates from the various contributors on this great thread?

Earmarked for next winter project...

Cheers
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Old 19-03-2013, 11:33   #118
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

My last post here is post #63and some on the 2nd and 4th page. I have been using my refer for a year now and I think it works great. I used an inch of Areogel and a few inches of pour foam around it. The Areogel is messy to work with. do a search and you ight find the thread I posted pictures in.
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Old 19-03-2013, 11:41   #119
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

Thanks yep i did that this morning and appreciate it. I'll spend the next six months getting the bits together...
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Old 19-03-2013, 12:16   #120
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Re: Aerogel - Spaceloft Insulation for Fridge / Freezer

I just received our supply of Aerogel, man is it ever dusty stuff. I cut the roll in half using a box cutter and while it worked I wondered if anyone else had used some better way to cut it??
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