When I made the decision to cruise
in the tropics and live aboard I faced the refrigeration question.
I decided on an engine drive with a cold plate that could make ICE ie a freezer. I warm freezer is a refrigerator
Part of my calculus was that I definitely would be using the diesel
almost every day... and this would make electricity, hot water
and could run the compressor. With 12v refer I would also need lots of battery
stored energy which meant... running the engine or more charging
I installed a Grunnert Caribbean
engine drive and it works a charm. What I typically do when living aboard
is have a "noisy hour" once a day in the AM after breakfast. This is to run the engine, cool the refer, recharge the batts (high output alternator
, do the dishes, take a shower
and vacuum. At the end of the noisy hour I have topped up batts, a full supply of hot water
for the day and a cold refer... and I don't have to sit there listening to the engine because I am busy doing chores!
Of course when I motor
to the fuel dock
, in and out of anchorages
and so forth I replenish all the above - cooling, electricity and hot water.
I don't have to have extra batts, though mine are quite large - 2 8Ds for house. Since I don't stay at docks I need to make my own energy and by diesel
is my main power generator
The longer I run the refer the colder it gets. For passages I get it down to freezer temps and use an extra cooler for things which require refer temps... and move them onto the top of the refer where it's warmer as the days progress and we consume the frozen stuff.
Since I have to run the engine to make up electrical
needs using it for the refer has been a good solution. But I hate the noise
of the diesel.