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Old 17-06-2006, 12:01   #1
Kai Nui
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Engel Refer Unit

A couple of years ago, I was searching for a freezer unit to add to the boat. Looking at the boat show, I was impressed with the Engel's. I have researched these units quite a bit since, and found no negative information on them. When I discussed them with other vendors, I received the expected responses about the other vendor's units lasting longer and running colder etc. etc., but no negative info on the Engel unit in general. As a 64qt Engel runs under $1000 US this seems like a good option for a freezer, or back-up referidgeration. Any comments? Is anyone using these units? Has anyone had them fail?
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Old 17-06-2006, 12:25   #2
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Like you, I had looked into getting one, and found nothing bad about them. I was going to get the 30something qt one for my 26 footer, but since I moved up, didn't do it. They seem to have a lot of positives and if they are only half as good as they say, they should be worth the price, IMHO.
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Old 17-06-2006, 14:17   #3
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I have one. I can't see how any other make can say theirs run quiter. I can't hear mine at all.
It was dead easy to install and draws very little power. I am extremely happy with it.
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Old 18-06-2006, 03:13   #4
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Well Rick. Pardon me!!

If your Koolatron model is discontinued. Then I suggest to Kai that he gets the Engel instead.

Why buy something that has been discontinued. No logic there. Especially, if you really need the parts.

I myself would go with the Engel's. Never owned one. But heard lots of good things about them!!
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Old 18-06-2006, 04:26   #5
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Well.

That's great if they do have those parts, Rick.

The part that does have my concerns are the power consuption that you described?!!
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Old 18-06-2006, 04:53   #6
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Koolatron and other Thermoelectric coolers operate on the “Peltier Effect”.
It’s not generally feasible to replace the Peltier module, as the replacement cost roughly equals the retail cost of a complete new cooler.
I suppose the fan and power supply cord are economically replaceable.

To compare heat pump “efficiencies” search “Coefficient of Performance” (COP).

Further reading:
http://www.tellurex.com/12most.html
http://www.melcor.com/handbook.html
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Old 18-06-2006, 05:45   #7
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No I did not.

Sorry about that Rick.

I overlooked the bottom list that you made, while I was reading over it. Sorry!!

I tend to overlook the weblinks. And that's how I missed it.

Also I think I need glasses? Been working weird hours, 3rd shift. Not 100% adjusted to it. And I work on electronic boards. Strains the eyes!!!



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Old 18-06-2006, 13:45   #8
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So ios anybody saying that the Peltier devices are better today than they were a few years back?? I had a Tropicool unit. It was a power hungry device that didn't do a heck of a lot. So I tossed it over my shoulder and fitted the engel. Much more power conservative.
I gave pete (pwedderel) the tropicool to try and see if it would meet his needs. I haven't heard from him to see if it did or not.
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Old 18-06-2006, 15:27   #9
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I had a small Koolatron years back in my truck (Before the new rolling condos). It kept my soda cold. Nothing wrong with it for a weekend cooler. The one I had was set up with a reversable plug so you could also use it to keep food warm. Never used that feature on purpose. Found out it worked one day though. DId you know Coke cans explode when heated? I never did get the cooler completely clean
Wheels, great to hear your experience with the Engel. To be honest, I am not really asking because I am looking for one right now, but I suggested this as a back-up system to Sean, and thought some input about these units might be useful. Sounds very positive. When I get to that point, I may still buy one to use as a freezer on the trimaran.
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Old 18-06-2006, 20:41   #10
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When Kay and I bought WhiteBird in 97 the eutectic system was knackered. The couple we bought it from had been using a beat to **** Engel so rusted out that it was held together with a bungee cord. In the re-fit I stripped out the eutectic and looked around at the new engels. What I discovered was that Engel used what appeared to be the same apparatus in various models and sizes, they just ran the little compressors harder in the big units. (bigger cold plate to suit) SO... what I did was weld up a stainless steel box about 4 times the size of the original and literaly cut the old Engel apart with a wood saw and mounted the end with the works against one side of my new box. I installed 4" of good insulation around the sides and 6" on the bottom. I fired her up and she has never stopped since. I have no idea how old the thing was to start. On the boat I have a regulator for the solar system that the fridge system runs on. The regulator displays the battery voltage, charge rate and draw. According to the regulator the Engel generally drew in the mid to high 3's for amps. (3.5 to 4) Because my solar system was doing so well I got greedy last summer and also put on board a portable model of Waico fridge. Waico has driven the price of the things down here. From waht you guys are saying you can buy cheaper in OZ! (unusual) The wiaco uses a Danfoss compressor and appears to be more effient but the insulation that comes with them is hopeless. I wrapped mine with some engine room sound insulation to good effect for my $20 investment.

I know the project sounds strange but I do have photos to show if someone wants to see them. I hope the new owner of WhiteBird gets good service from the little engel... yes.. we sold her last week and now I've got to work out what to do...build? Farrier? Oram??? Schionning?? I figure whatever we do if it needs a fridge I'll get the naked works from Waico and build the box myself. According to my regulator the waico uses less amps... low 3's, and pulls down faster. Unless I can find a dead looking engel for cheap!

Cheers

Bob
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Old 18-06-2006, 22:50   #11
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Sounds like something I would do Speaks well of the longevity of the units, and for the capacity, 3-4 dc amps is not bad.
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Old 18-06-2006, 23:00   #12
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Arrrr, ooops, now I am confused. Engel? or Waico?? I think I have a Waico. It has the Danfos compressor, so what ever make uses that one. The other cool feature is the pre-gassing. Although mine didn't come gassed. OK, more to the story. Mine was new but second hand. Actually it came from a Bavaria (I think) imported in to NZ. Either the owner or importer fitted something different and sold the unit. They are NZ$1300 here new and I paid NZ$500. All I had to d was gas her up and I was away laughing. It has been so good, I would love to rip out the stupid threeway system in my vertical fridge and put one of these in that. You all can interpret that last comment in another way. DON'T EVER buy those stupid three way fridge things. They are too heavey on DC consumption, keep going out on Gas and the elements on either DC or AC don't last if you leave it going continuose like we do. Or did.
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Old 18-06-2006, 23:18   #13
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And, the 3-way fridges are usually ammonia systems which I am not fond of. The next to largest Engel (34Qt I believe), I was able to locate for about $650 in an RV store. Even the bigger unit at $1000, considering Sean just lost $500 in food on the last deal, would be a good investment.
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Old 19-06-2006, 16:33   #14
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Greetings Alan ...yeah, i think you have a waico or something. Danfoss compressors are found in several brands though. Engel uses their own compressor and is configured like a cylinder. It has a big slug in the center that is moved up and down by an alternating magnetic field/coil system whereas the danfoss is small motor with piston and crankshaft like petrol engine. My little waico is super quite, whitebirds old engel was a noisy thing but reliable. I bought my waico (20 litre I think) at "super Cheap auto supply" for $599 AUD means about $400 US.
Greetings Kai Nui.. you are a cheap scape too!! good onyer! Yeah, if my gauge was accurate it wasn't bad but like I say, the waico was better.
The two systems on a boat that are most important are refridgeration and self steering... my own humble opinion... I'm a beer guy!

Cheers

Bob
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Old 19-06-2006, 20:33   #15
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Yep Bob, I am cheap, but I am not easy THe Engels I looked at were about as loud as the Norcold I have now. I can live with it. I agree on the self steering. We lived for years with ice boxes, and refridgeration is a true luxury. I would not let it stop me from going, but after about 5 years without it, I sure appreciate having real refridgeration. Moreso, I appreciate how much my wife appreciates it. The trimaran will have a refer unit, and it will have a sizable freezer. The 64 qt Engel is the prime candidate at this point.
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