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Old 21-09-2017, 06:40   #1
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Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

We have a water cooled refrigerator on our boat. I am planning on converting to air cooled instead. The compressor is a Danfoss BD50F and it has quick connects to the tubes to the cooling plates in the refrigerator box.

The question is whether I can change the condenser from the water cooled version to an air cooled version without getting a new compressor?

I have attached a picture of the connections from the compressor. The lower one goes to the condenser unit.
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Old 21-09-2017, 06:54   #2
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

Frigoboat has an air cool add on to their keel cooled unit to use it either way. It looks straight forward.

If you don't have the quick connectors then check with Rparts (or another vendor) for a fan add on.

Cheers,
Bill O.
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Old 21-09-2017, 07:46   #3
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

You'll need to evacuate the system and solder in a new condenser in most cases, then test and charge. If you have a vacuum pump and are comfortable with these tasks it isn't a difficult job albeit a tedious one; MUCH easier if done at a workbench and not in situ...
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Old 21-09-2017, 09:41   #4
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

Yes adding an air cooled condenser to a system that never had one can be a daunting task if you are not familiar with doing this kind of work. May be easer just to replace the system with an air cooled one.

Why do you want to go to air ? Did your keel cooler fail?

Regards John.
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Old 22-09-2017, 10:45   #5
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

I asked a pro the same question in reverse. He said it's possible but probably won't save me any money.I have one of each, and the air cooled one is too noisy to leave on at night. Gains 15 degrees, runs almost constantly when it's hot outside (and inside).
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Old 22-09-2017, 12:50   #6
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

Thanks a lot for your replies so far. They have been very helpful.

Here are some of my reasons for not wanting water cooled refrigeration:
  • We recently had a failure of the seacock at the cooling water outlet. It doesn't really help having all seacocks above the water line when you have a pump actively pumping sea water into the boat (the leak wasn't too bad, but who knows about next time that happens).
  • The sea water strainer is also above the waterline. This means that every time we go sailing, air gets trapped there and I have to refill it with water.
  • I don't think it really saves much power. I would think air cooling would work nicely on our aluminium hull. It is not insulated below the water line, so there should be good heat exchange between the air and the water.
I understand that some of you find the air cooled version noisy. Do you all have that experience? I would get something along these lines if I end up changing the compressor as well:

http://www.isotherm-parts.com/index....9568bb7361d919
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Old 22-09-2017, 14:27   #7
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

I have 2 bd35 units, either can be used for freezer. My system was unusual in that there is a dedicated tank used for cooling coils for both. One unit failed with PO, refrig mechanic cut out the old cooling put in a air heat exchanger with a fan, presumably cose it would be cheaper. Not commissioned properly in that it was overcharged and did not cool,refrig mechanic got me to leak off a little gas each day until the temperature gets down to thermostate setting, took 2 weeks. For a refrig mechanic to do that it would be very time consumming, (this being a capillary tube system).
2 issues: Yes the fan is a little noisier, but thats OK. The second however is the heat rising around the settee, when its already hot, I have to move, not all the time, but often enough. I'd go back to the cooling coil system, if I knew the coil was sound.
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Old 22-09-2017, 15:22   #8
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

Quote:
Originally Posted by BjarneK View Post
Thanks a lot for your replies so far. They have been very helpful.

Here are some of my reasons for not wanting water cooled refrigeration:
  • We recently had a failure of the seacock at the cooling water outlet. It doesn't really help having all seacocks above the water line when you have a pump actively pumping sea water into the boat (the leak wasn't too bad, but who knows about next time that happens).
  • The sea water strainer is also above the waterline. This means that every time we go sailing, air gets trapped there and I have to refill it with water.
  • I don't think it really saves much power. I would think air cooling would work nicely on our aluminium hull. It is not insulated below the water line, so there should be good heat exchange between the air and the water.
I understand that some of you find the air cooled version noisy. Do you all have that experience? I would get something along these lines if I end up changing the compressor as well:

http://www.isotherm-parts.com/index....9568bb7361d919

if you have an aluminium boat the easiest fix would be to use your fresh water tank for cooling water and keep you existing system and water pump etc, if it is integral to the hull for cooling/heat extraction for the fridge/freezer i have done this for years,and it even works with the boat on the hard in the boatyard,or as i dry out twice a day,at low tide,aslong as there is about 100 liters of water left in the tank this is sufficient for heat dissapation,even in the tropics.
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Old 22-09-2017, 18:18   #9
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

Have you thought about going to fresh water cooling? We did that about 12-13 years ago (full time cruisers) and never looked back. It stopped all the issues using salt water (zinc, plugged strainer, etc etc).

All we did is Tee into one of our two water tank supply lines (45gal) and also return to that tank. Its the second tank we go to when we run the first one dry. Rarely is it an issue as once we get to 1/2 tank we almost always start the watermaker or top up. Both our tanks are below the floorboars and lay up against the hull so maintain seawater temp at all times

The other nice thing is we can run the freezer/fridge while hauled out.

Know this doesn't answer your question but just a thought.

Regards

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Old 22-09-2017, 18:51   #10
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Re: Converting from water cooled to air cooled refrigerator

Great suggestion Chuck and the main reasons I installed Oziefridge units
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