Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 29-11-2010, 12:24   #1
Registered User
 
SV Liberty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Boat: Morgan Out Island 416
Posts: 155
Images: 1
Danfoss Compressor 'Bumps' but then Doesn't Run

I have a 11 year old Novacool F2600 12v freezer with a Danfoss D-35F compressor. The controller is a 101N0200.

When I turn the power on the compressor will "bump" once, not showing any current draw on my Link, then the fan runs but the compressor does not run at all. I have removed the fan and applied power, and I get the "bump" but the compressor still does not run, so I don't think the issue is the fan drawing too much current (although I have not checked the fan current with my multimeter). Voltage to the unit is battery voltage, about 13.4.

I disconnected the controller and checked resistance between the three compressor pins, and resistance was approximately the same (2.7-2.8) between the 3 sets. This leads me to believe the controller may be bad.

The freezer worked fine until about a week ago. I went out of town a couple of weekends ago (mission - fill the freezer with venison - accomplished), I inadvertently left shore power on and also left my (unregulated) solar panels on (sidebar - I haven't been regulating because while on the hook full time the batteries are never full - I don't have a Blue Sky regulator - this may be a less than optimal practice, so feel free to comment). When I got back, the battery voltage was up in the high 14s, and I wouldn't be surprised if it went higher during the bright, sunny weekend. I know the fridge is supposed to take voltages up to 17 volts, and doubt the batteries exceeded that, but I don't know for sure. This fridge was the only draw (other than bilge pumps, if they ran, which I doubt they did).

Any comments before I try to replace the controller or call someone for assistance are welcome.

Thanks,
Dave
__________________

__________________
SV Liberty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 12:38   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 3,016
Images: 4
I think the controller has pins for a diagnostic flashing LED. It would help to know what it flashes.

I doubt the battery charging issue is the cause...

The controller is pretty smart about shutting down if the motor stalls or runs too slow. A stall is usually caused by too much refrigerant, a clogged capillary tube, low voltage or something else that overloads the motor. Has the compressor been upside down or tilted recently? Have you checked the input voltage at start time right at the controller terminals?

Re the batteries: you probably 'boiled' some water out of them.
__________________

__________________
daddle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 12:42   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
You could have written the description of the problem I'm having with my Nova Kool 7500. I came back to my boat after two weeks to a great odor, but my compressor was not trying to start at all, originally diagnosed as a bad fan. Fan is now replaced and compressor makes an effort at starting but quits after a second or two. I have the same resistance readings as you. Nova Kool support says it's the control unit and they're shipping me one. They say if it doesn't fix it they'll give me credit for it If I send it back. I have found several other stories on the web where people were having similar problems and even did the LED flash test that is specified in the Danfoss literature for the BD35f as did I. It tells me I have a 4 flash error which is failure to achieve running speed in the specified time, which is caused by compressor overload. In all of the other stories on the web this was in fact a controller failure, not a compressor overload. Apparently it's pretty hard to generate an overload condition unless someone has just overfilled it with refrigerant and that is only going to happen if someone has just serviced the unit or the unit is extremely hot. The guys at Nova kool are pretty helpful. You can probably beat their prices on the net somewhere on a new controller if you want to take the chance that it is the controller and not the compressor without being able to get credit for the new controller.
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 14:43   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,821
Have you removed the 12 volts to the unit, waited a few seconds and retried?
It might be in a permanent shutdown mode until reset.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 17:21   #5
Registered User
 
SV Liberty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Boat: Morgan Out Island 416
Posts: 155
Images: 1
Senormecanico: I did remove the 12v power with no effect.

Capt. Bill, and others: I think it is a bad controller. I happened to have a spare 101N0210 controller on board for my FrigoBoat keel cooled unit that also uses a Danfoss compressor (got the spare, and the Frigoboat, from Great Water in Maine), and on a whim I decided to take off the old controller, hook up the wires to the new controller, and it worked just fine. Left it on for 15 minutes and the evap plate was nicely frosted over.

I turned the unit off so I could reassemble it correctly (controller screwed in, connections tight, etc.), but I have no reason to believe at this point that it is not fixed. Now I need to replace my spare controller.

To Mark's credit at Great Water, when I asked him 3 years ago what single spare I needed to have on board for my refrigeration, he said "a spare controller". When I bought it I recall it was around $200 - how much is NovaKool getting? Not sure if I will replace my spare controller immediately, or wait. Our NovaKool is really a spare fridge, although when we leave for the Bahamas we expect to have it, and our main freezer, packed to the gills (mostly with venison and steak). If the main fridge controller were to go out, I'd pull the relatively new one from the NovaKool and switch it over.

Dave
__________________
SV Liberty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 17:48   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Novakool Quoted me $228 plus shipping, but I've seen it cheaper at some web sites I googled.
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 17:52   #7
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Something you might want to try. This site claims they'll repair your old one for $95. I think I might do that with my old one for a backup.

101N0210 by Danfoss - Buy or Repair at PLCCenter
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 18:08   #8
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 784
Variable Speed Danfoss BD Compressor Troubleshooting

Small 12/24 volt boat refrigeration using Danfoss compressors manufactured after 1996 will have a BD 35 or BD 50 variable speed compressor with a troubleshooting computer chip built into their control module. This circuit makes them easier to find troubled area if compressor fails to run. If your unit does not have this $2 LED install one, as it could save you a lot of money later. Without the LED on these new units troubleshooting will be the same as earlier 4 pin Danfoss BD compressors: Eliminate thermostat, Eliminate boat wiring voltage spikes and Disconnect fan.

1. Place jumper wire across thermostat terminals on electronic module, Compressor still does not run go next step.

2. Disconnect black fan wire from electronic module, Compressor runs, replace fan. Compressor still does not run after fan ground wire is disconnected, go to next step.

3.. Run correct size and correct polarity jumper wires direct from a fully charged battery in order to bypass all boat’s wiring. Volt meter readings are of no value when looking for voltage spikes unless you have Superman's eyes. Compressor still does not run electronic module needs to be removed and tested on another unit. If there are no other units available to test your module on I will test all 12 volt Danfoss control modules free except for BD80 compressor modules. Email me for shipping address and details. richard@kollmann-marine.com One half the modules I test are good and 90% of the time the boats wiring turns out to be the problem or someone tampered with refrigerant.

Variable Speed Danfoss BD Compressor Troubleshooting

Small 12/24 volt boat refrigeration using Danfoss compressors manufactured after 1996 will have a BD 35 or BD 50 variable speed compressor with a troubleshooting computer chip built into their control module. This circuit makes them easier to find troubled area if compressor fails to run. If your unit does not have this $2 LED install one, as it could save you a lot of money later. Without the LED on these new units troubleshooting will be the same as earlier 4 pin Danfoss BD compressors.



If installed trouble shooting LED will only flash if electronic module sees a compressor problem. In each case problems of compressor’s failures to run are identified by Counting number of flashes of LED:
  • No LED flashes would indicate either thermostat is open or no power to module.
  • One LED flash and a 4 second pause indicates a boat wiring electrical resistance problem or low batteries. Because of modules sensitive to milliseconds of a voltage spike they cannot be detected by a voltmeter. Solution is to bypass boat’s wiring till problem is located point of electrical resistance.
· Two LED flashes indicates fan over current cutout. If fan circuit on these variable speed compressors exceeds ˝ amp compressor start up will be aborted. This condition can be confirmed by disconnecting Black fan wire at module even if fan runs replace fan.
  • Three LED flashes indicate excessive torque is required to start compressor. This is commonly caused by turning compressor off and back on too quickly or too much refrigerant or poor condenser cooling. Most people jump to the conclusion that there is a mechanical rotor lock up inside compressor and this is a mistake on Danfoss BD compressors.
  • Four LED flashes indicate compressor motor not reaching sustained controlling speed above 1,850 rpm quick enough.
If someone has tampered with refrigerant by connecting gauges to a system letting air in or adding too much refrigerant can cause either a Three or Four LED flashing signal. On water cooled Danfoss condenser systems three and four LED signals are common only when seawater gets into refrigerant circuit.
__________________
Richard Kollmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-11-2010, 20:54   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,821
Richard knows whereof he speaks.
We had a danfoss problem last summer, bought his book and resolved the problem.
It turned out to be exactly what his book called for.
I resisted his diagnosis because the boat's wiring looked new and wasn't corroded.
As we had just fixed a leak in the refrigerant and had tuned the system to work most efficiently via the least amp hours used, the problem turned out to be insufficient wiring !
Originally the system only drew about five amps, but when we tuned it for max efficiency, it drew about 7 or 8 on startup. First thing in the morning before the solar kicked in, this was a little too much for the 220 ah battery bank via an original equipment 10 gauge wire to the panel, and the compressor stalled. The fix, after a lot of head scratching was to replace the feed wire to the panel with a 6 gauge wire.
Problem solved. No more instantaneous insufficient voltage !
Truly a "Duh!" moment. I should have figured it out sooner, as the boat is supposed to be more of a lightweight camping out type.

Thanks Richard for your insight!
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 00:01   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 151
I too had this "bump" problem about 1 month ago.

My control module was bad. The steps I took to diagnose were listed on another forum (I'm hesitant to post the linkage...but google night0wl and danfoss and its the first link). Richard Kollman was tremendously helpful in my issue resolution...luckily my part was under warranty...it was the control unit that was bad.

I now carry a spare that I sourced off of ebay for around $150 shipped. Had I known Kollman sold these parts too, I would have bought from him.
__________________
night0wl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2010, 00:38   #11
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
The control module actually has an inverter which creates a 3-phase AC that is fed to the compressor. The "bump" is a sign that 1 (or 2) phases are not being output anymore... or that the windings in the compressor are defective.

ciao!
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-12-2010, 10:19   #12
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 784
Danfoss BD will not run

Failure of a Danfoss BD 12/24 volt air cooled condensing unit compressor to start running instead and making a bumping or chirping sound is most always an electrical problem if no one has tampered with refrigerant or compressor oil. The 12/24 BD compressors are not a typical hermetically sealed unit in that pump armature’s rotation is totally controlled externally by a multifunction electronic control module. Troubleshooting one of these units is simple once it is understood that it is very unlikely that this type compressor will ever fail. BD compressors have almost an unlimited life because their control module protects it from failures common in other hermetic electric compressors.

The number one cause for a Danfoss BD compressor module to terminate a compressor start up is a low voltage spike. Voltage spikes at module are not always visible with a meter and can be present on any boat. Unstable voltage is why the module must receive power direct from battery buss using correct size wiring, fuses, circuit breaker and switches that allow no voltage drop. When compressor is correctly wired to battery buss it will absorb voltage surges like a very large electrical capacitor reducing module electronics false starts and module failures.

In my earlier post I describe how a boater can troubleshoot their own Danfoss powered BD compressor in a few easy steps.

After several emails trying to convince this boater he had a boat problem and not a refrigeration problem I received this response today.

Hi again Ric,
Just wanted to let you know that I finally found the problem. After you insisted that, in your experience, it is rare that the module is bad, I decided to start completely over from the basics.
So, I disconnected all the batteries and chargers, isolating them bank by bank, one by one. Indeed you were right. Even though the battery that the refrig was hooked up to was with new wire, connections and the battery new, I found that the charger was giving "false" LED readings and actually not charging much, if at all. So, it came down to a bad charger and the refrig unit when hooked up to a different battery bank, works fine All my refrig guys were saying it was the module. One even wanted to sell me a whole new unit since this one is almost 7 years old and he suspected that the compressor might be bad.
But, thanks to you, the problem found and money saved. Of course I have to buy a new charger, but I'm fine with that. Was planning on upgrading my charging system with an inverter anyway.
Thanks for all your help!!!!!!!!
__________________
Richard Kollmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2010, 20:56   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
One half the modules I test are good and 90% of the time the boats wiring turns out to be the problem or someone tampered with refrigerant.
You would have lost the bet on mine this time. A new module did the trick for my unit. I don't know if paying $250 for a new module (shipping included) is worse than having to trouble shoot the boat wiring, but I may be the one who got off easy if somewhat poorer.
__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2010, 06:24   #14
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ft. Lauderdale
Posts: 784
Captain Bill, you never get off easy when forced to pay marine prices for a Danfoss control module these days unless you find and correct the reason for your module failure. Failure to correct cause of this failure will cause future failures.

Danfoss has always experienced problems with electronic control modules on BD compressors. After ten to fifteen different Danfoss module models there are still randomly failures occurring with no warning. If we exclude lightening strikes and corrosion due to water, module failures seem to be caused by voltage spikes or excessive heat.

Voltage spikes at module are not always visible with a meter and can be present on any boat. Unstable voltage is why the module must receive power direct from battery buss using correct size wiring, fuses, circuit breaker and switches that allow no voltage drop. When compressor is correctly wired to battery buss it will absorb voltage surges like a very large electrical capacitor reducing module electronics failures. When refrigerator is powered from a branch circuit breaker panel any item in that panel can cause a damaging voltage spike when that item is powered up or powered down. Any relay when power is turned off sends a voltage spike back towards the source. Windless, power wenches, generator start relays and even cabin light relays can damage refrigerator control modules.

Module overheating maybe the primary reason for so many electronic control module failures. Through the years Danfoss has designed static air heat sinks on modules to conduct and radiate heat away from transistors and other components inside module. Module heat increases as compressor load (amperage) increases. Danfoss’s installation application data sheets have always assumed system designers would insure that compressor design power amperage limits were not exceeded. What you will find in the marine industry is the elimination of module and compressor cooling air along with higher than design compressor heat loads. All of the following conditions can cause module overheat failures; High condenser cooling temperatures, Repeated attempts to start do to an overloaded compressor, First box temperature pull down in a hot climate, System ambient temperatures above 105 degrees F, and too large or poorly designed holding plate evaporator coils.

If you want to protect your new module from failure I would make sure the installation of condensing/compressor unit was installed so air could only pass through condenser once and heated air is exhausted somewhere else. I would add a small 10 to 20 Cfm fan to cool electronic control module’s metal heat sink.
__________________
Richard Kollmann is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2010, 07:30   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
Captain Bill's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: On the boat
Boat: Endeavourcat Sailcat 44
Posts: 2,313
Thanks for the advice Richard. My refrigerator is wired through the breaker panel so that may have contributed to long term wear and tear. I'm not sure what the proximate cause for the failure might be, but the refrigerator was the only thing enabled on the DC buss and the temps were running in the 50 degree F. range during the period when the unit failed. It failed while we were away from the boat so we're not exactly sure what day it failed. There were some thunderstorms associated with cold fronts during the period that might have induced some spikes, but all of our other electronics seem to have survived intact. We lost several instruments to a nearby lightning strike 4 years ago, but the refrigerator was fine. I would have expected to loose some instrument as well if that was the cause, but you never know about lightning damage. I'll definitely look at moving the refrigerator to a dedicated breaker with it's own connection to the Battery. I know the cabinet supplied by the builder does not quite meet the air flow requirement specified by the refrigerator manufacturer, but I would have expected that to be a bigger problem in the heat than this time of year. I'll look at adding a fan to the cabinet to improve the air flow.

Do you know anything about the company listed in my previous post that offers to rebuild these controllers? After this experience I would like to have a spare on board when I'm away from civilization.
__________________

__________________
Captain Bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
compressor

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale: Portable Fridge/ Freezer, Danfoss Compressor Boatguy30 Classifieds Archive 3 13-12-2010 18:31
Air Conditioner Makes Bumps on Deck ? Huh ? MikeZ Construction, Maintenance & Refit 9 09-06-2010 00:48
Wanted: Danfoss compressor controller sorino99 Classifieds Archive 4 27-10-2008 10:03
Danfoss bd 50 question George Elliott Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 4 11-09-2008 20:40
Danfoss BD35 Celestialsailor Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 2 24-11-2006 15:16



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:37.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.