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Old 26-08-2015, 12:09   #16
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

I had a Cool Blue with The optional big holding plate for 13 years.
It ran the fridge and freezer box with a spill-over system.
Good quality and good customer service.
Averaged 50 amp hours per day.
Cold beer in the Bahamas and hard ice cream.
(It would take more than 50 amp hours to keep the freezer really cold, as in -18 Celsius, but for everyday use with -10 in the freezer, 50 amp hrs or 10 hours compressor run time would do it, I installed an hour meter inline with the compressor. Had over 11,000 hrs when I sold the boat)
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Old 26-08-2015, 12:57   #17
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

Rich, I'd add and even easier and more free way, but you gotta have a big freezer.
Put several 1 gl milk jugs full of water in the freezer and let them freeze, turn off the thermostat when it's dark and when the sun comes up, turn it to full cold. The several gallons of ice function in a similar manner to cold plate.

Assuming you have excess Solar of course, or else what's the point.

Why wire in a switch? Just turn the thermostat up or down?
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Old 26-08-2015, 13:19   #18
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Rich, I'd add and even easier and more free way, but you gotta have a big freezer.
Put several 1 gl milk jugs full of water in the freezer and let them freeze, turn off the thermostat when it's dark and when the sun comes up, turn it to full cold. The several gallons of ice function in a similar manner to cold plate.

Assuming you have excess Solar of course, or else what's the point.

Why wire in a switch? Just turn the thermostat up or down?
Bingo...add a 4th Cheap and Easy way to the list...the frozen water jug trick to store BTUs. But yes, if you don't have excess energy...what is the point.

Why the switch or relay and not just dial the thermostat up and down?
Basically because I'm lazy and have no will power. I would rather not open up the box lit to mess with the thermostat setting, where I would be tempted to see the Ice Cream bars...and anyone that has seen my display freezer at the Boat Shows, knows what I'm talking about...
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Old 26-08-2015, 13:25   #19
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

I didn't think about mounting the switch externally, but since it's external, have an LED with the switch, can't miss that at night and forget to turn it off.

OK, graduate level, have an external photocell sensor that operates the switch, or be slick, have the voltage sensing part of the system as a part of the electronic module for the compressor, above a set voltage point, compressor runs at 2X speed, below the set point, compressor runs at 1X speed?
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Old 26-08-2015, 14:37   #20
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$
Rich, I'd add and even easier and more free way, but you gotta have a big freezer.
Put several 1 gl milk jugs full of water in the freezer and let them freeze, turn off the thermostat when it's dark and when the sun comes up, turn it to full cold. The several gallons of ice function in a similar manner to cold plate.
Good idea, but some of us have small freezer with no extra room.
Mine was even smaller than stock as I added extra insulation on the inside of both ice boxes, total of 4 3/4" in each box.
The 2 1/2" optional cold plate from Technautics did the same job as the gallon jugs of frozen water.
To improve efficiency I added 2 computer case fans in the compressor compartment blowing directly at the stock fan and for exhaust I drilled four 2" holes.
The extra fans and the hour meter only drew 0.15 amp hours.
Posted pictures and details of the set-up on this board and on Kollman's board, worked great and again, I highly recommend the Cool Blue system...

Note: the only thing I had to change was bigger power wires. Initial installation was with the factory recommended gauge wire, but after a while I realized I had a 1/2 Volt drop and that caused start problems.
Went up a couple of sizes later and problem solved.
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Old 26-08-2015, 15:51   #21
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

Let me make a quick (ok I donít type anything short usually) but needed comment.


If someone has a bad experience or opinion of Technautics/CoolBlue, please feel free to post it and donít pull any punches. With me (the owner) here commenting in the thread, I donít want people to feel like they canít post what they honestly think.

Itís also total BS for say that CoolBlue units are perfectÖwe have shipped out units that had small refrigerant leaks and send out replacements as quickly as we could. And like anything on a boat, we have units that do indeed failÖour **** stinks, just like everyoneís does at times. The difference I believe is that when **** goes wrong, my approach is to get it fixed asap without trying to do whatís cheapest for me. For example, we had a unit with a solder joint leak on a 5 months old compressor/condenser. Donít really know if it was something the client banged into it or our fault in production. But rather than having him send it back for repair he wanted to head south this week, so we sent him a brand new compressor/condensing unit and told him to put the leaker in the box all covered by warranty. In another case, a guy with a 4yr old unit that he was just about to finally install (happens all the time) called and said he wasnít happy with how the unit was put together, now that he was looking closely at it. Now I bought the company 3yrs ago from Randy (who still works with us) but still told him to ship it back and I would give him a brand new replacement. He was shocked in a good way, but thatís how I would treat a buddy in an anchorage, so thatís how I treat customers. Iím currently working 3 trouble shooting calls over HF/SSB radio Email to cruisers in far off lands of no wifi/phone and unless Iím sleeping, they have never had to wait more than 20 minutes for my reply for the next trouble shooting steps.



You guys see how I am here (to the irritation to some I know from a few PMs Iíve received), when someone responds to a thread and I have something to sayÖboom Iím on it right away when the email notification hits my inbox. If Iím driving down the freeway and an email pops up on my screen from a client, I pull over and answer it. Itís my OCD personality and to be honest, I love the hell out of it. Iíve always had jobs like that where it is go go go and as my wife said, it is why I ďfailed as a retired cruiser, I just canít sit stillĒ. No, I donít love it when **** goes bad, but what I love is not being ďnormalĒ. I love the always being on call, always ready to email or answer the phone and shocking people in a good way when they get a reply back in my goal of under 30 minutes to every email. Oh sure, this comes off as blowing my own horn a bit I know, but Iíve found that when you do your honest best to live up to the horn blowing, wellÖ.itís not so obnoxious.

Now is that type of customer service and owner attitude worth the extra cost or our CoolBlue over the other great systems out there? No to some, but yes to others, especially when added in with the benefits of the air cooled holding plate system. I tell everyone, if you are not happy with it, send it back and Iíll give you your money back. Yes I have had one come back, like I said, we are not perfect (too bad that was a fellow SSCA member and friendÖisnít that always how it goesÖrats)
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Old 26-08-2015, 16:25   #22
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

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Why wire in a switch? Just turn the thermostat up or down?
Why do any of this? Just connect a cheap NO relay between your solar output and the reefer.

Sun comes up, reefer turns on. Sun goes down, reefer turns off.

We used to run our anchor light like this until we got a photosensitive one.

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Old 26-08-2015, 16:35   #23
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

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Three things made me chose the CoolBlue.
It's KISS, or as I say it, if it's simple and works
This is pretty much true for all the small closed systems. I installed our Adler-Barbour in 2005 and haven't given it another thought since.

Basically, if any of these systems are installed correctly and do not have an inherent defect, they last for decades. Most problems are installation-related, operator error (ice pick on the evaporator) or complicated by external cooling.

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Old 26-08-2015, 20:17   #24
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

Went with the full system from coolblue. I like the idea of cooling the box when the sun is shining, and shutting it down overnight. Will keep you posted on the install and subsequent performance. Thanks all for your input, and thanks Rich for your 1950's attitude to your business. You're a rare asset in today's market!
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Old 26-08-2015, 21:19   #25
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

I'd be leary of all these options to try and make use of the holding plate in this fundamentally small 12v system if you are using it in a spillover system. It is hard enough to get a good setting for your thermostat that keeps the freezer parts cold enough, the refrigerator portion warm enough and the total system efficiently low enough daily amps use.
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Old 09-08-2016, 00:49   #26
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

I would have a question to Mr. Boren about the CooldBlue system please. Searching through the company's website I presume the "Coolblue" is the only kit system you currently offer, not including the upright "EcoFridge" fridges (not interested in those ones).

I understand the CoolBlue uses the Cubigel GD30FDC compressor, which I believe to be similar in performance to the Danfoss/Secop BD35F, is that correct?

I tried to find performance specification for the CoolBlue kit, with regards for usage in tropics, for a 200 liter freezer with 10 cm (about 4inch) PU foam insulation, old school bad insulation stuff, no Cryogel Z R30 here...

I was under the impression that a Danfoss/Secop BD35F could never manage this kind of a BTU demand. Not even a BD50F would suffice, or so I've understood. One would possibly have to go to a BD80F to have a chance. With air cooling, no water cooling.

So, that leads to my question, I have understood that the CoolBlue is more efficient than a system with a Danfoss/Secop BD 35F compressor, have I misunderstood or is the CoolBlue really more efficient?

Could the CoolBlue handle a 200 liter freezer in the tropics? If yes, what exactly is it that makes the CoolBlue so much better? Surely not just a bigger condenser coil?

Thank you for great contributions Mr. Boren.
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:11   #27
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

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Bingo...add a 4th Cheap and Easy way to the list...the frozen water jug trick to store BTUs. But yes, if you don't have excess energy...what is the point.
Please correct me if I'm remembering wrong, but on a previous fridge thread wasn't it stated that the "freezing water jug" theory was indeed a false theory?

Do we now have a new thought on it?
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Old 09-08-2016, 07:44   #28
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

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I'd be leary of all these options to try and make use of the holding plate in this fundamentally small 12v system if you are using it in a spillover system. It is hard enough to get a good setting for your thermostat that keeps the freezer parts cold enough, the refrigerator portion warm enough and the total system efficiently low enough daily amps use.
Dialing in a spillover system is indeed often very difficult just as you say. On my previous boat I got some styrofoam pieces just large enough to cut to size and block off the spillover opening until I got the right amount of mixing. It worked great for me but I can see how it might not work in every situation.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:16   #29
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

Ref the 200 liter freezer.
I have a 1987 boat with original icebox, it is 14 cu ft which is 396 Cu L, by liters I do assume you mean cubic Liters? It has original 30 yr old I think around two to three in spray in foam insulation
Any way I have a spill over, 200 cu liter fridge, and 200 cu liter freezer.
I keep the fridge part in the mid 30's F and the freezer around 5F.
Rich built me a dual cold plate system with a BD80 compressor, I think but am not sure that mine is a BD compressor, looks like one anyway, and I don't know how to tell if it is a Cubigel or not.
I'm in the Fl panhandle with air temps in the mid 90's day and around 80 at night, with water temp right at 90, all Fahrenheit of course. Compressor unit is in the Lazarette and temps there are above 100F

So yes, a Cool Blue can do it, maybe not the standard one, but he can build something other than off the shelf, give him a call, provide specs and he can come up with something
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:25   #30
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Re: CoolBlue - is it worth the extra $$$

I've had my cool blue by technautics for over 10 years now and it hasn't missed a lick. Bought from Randy and self installed it has been a source of pride and a non issue addition to my cat. I did shrink the size of my box a bit by adding foam blocks, ( from Home Depot by Randy's advice ), making it more efficient. I didn't have additional room to add to the outside of the horizontal , side access boxes to increase insulation.
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