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Old 25-02-2013, 09:47   #1
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Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

My current plan is to replace my aging leaking Sea Frost with an Engle Ice Box Conversion kit.

Here is the link to the flat one

http://www.engel-usa.com/index.php?p...mart&Itemid=59

Both the flat and the L versions will fit but I am wondering if there is any reason to get one over the other. I also have a question about where to put the compressor. Currently the Sea Frost compressor is located in the aft cabin locker which is about three feet by five feet and contains nothing else. The lines run about egith feet from the box in the galley. I have the option to mount the compressor right next to the box which would mean running the lines maybe 10 inches, but the cabinet is much smaller around two feet by one foot. Engle says there needs to be several inches around the comptessor, and this would be a tighter fit. So what is the trade off between short line run verses a bigger space around the compressor.

My Sea Frost draws around six amps and the Engle is suppose to be around 2.75 so this seems to make sense to me.

Any input welcome.
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Old 25-02-2013, 10:19   #2
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

Bump.

Tom,

It is hard for me to imagine out of two current systems one is over twice as efficient. If the Sea Frost draws over twice the amps in good working condition I would guess its cycle-on time would be about 1/2. I know the Engels are very efficient, but by a factor of 2 is a stretch. Maybe save some money and fabrication time, borrow a freon sniffer and find the leak and solder it up. Draw the system into a vacuum and recharge or have a tech do it.
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Old 25-02-2013, 10:30   #3
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

Ah, the engel unit is only rated for 100 quarts or 3.3 CF max at 40 degrees F. with 2" of insulation as a fridge. It does not have the capacity to really work in a larger ice box. So energy use for the engel is based on a small icebox.

Plus its not your amp draw but the amps used per hour that really matters. I think Engel use amps used per hour reather then amps running. In reality its only maybe a little better then the seafrost. I'm betting the sea frost uses 3 amps per hour. so not that big a difference.
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Old 25-02-2013, 10:59   #4
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

sailorchic34,

Every time our paths cross you are giving accurate advise from an engineering perspective. Girl or guy, makes no difference, I'm impressed with your overall knowledge in a lot of different arenas. Care to clue me in on your background?
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Old 25-02-2013, 23:53   #5
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

Oh Bob, your asking an interesting question;

I'm just a curious woman that reads a whole lot. Self educated mechanical, plumbing, fire protection, steam, utility, central utility plant design engineer, with a PE license. I never went to collage. I've been senior engineer/ project manager designing large hotel/casinos in Vegas and Reno, Bio-pharma plants in CA, and just a whole slew of other things large and small all over the country.

I pretty much am considered an expert with almost any type of piping system design, from material and equipment specifications through design and construction. I also know HVAC design and have designed large central plants from 3,000 to 20,000 tons cooling, 5,200 boiler HP steam plants, clean utilities and pure water systems up to wfi (water for injection).. Really its all just piping.....

The last firm I worked at I was only the second general engineer they had hired in 50 years in business. I actually started out as a draftsperson for an engineering firm back in the 70's. Then a french engineer made the mistake of teaching me some mechanical design. From that point on I never stopped learning.

I would read design manuals and manufacturers catalogs, design guides, building codes and the NFPA codes over lunch for 20 years. I'm a little shy and slightly bookish....

For fun, I also learned C/C++ programming (and three or four others) and wrote a few engineering programs, back in the early 90's. I've also learned auto mechanics from my dad, studied photography, astronomy, physics, martial arts and digital electronics. In the past, I've raised alpaca's, llamas, goats and chickens. I also have a spinning wheel. Plus cooking, sewing, fashion too. I read 3 ish books a week and have for oh 40 years or so.

Oh there is that sailing single handed and live aboard thingy. Sailing is nice, because you never really learn it all.

So there you have it, just the boring girl next door... Yes my avatar is me...
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Old 26-02-2013, 00:21   #6
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

sailorchic34,

On past responses that you have assisted folks I figured an engineering background. I was a lab tech in R&D for many years until I went back to school for a BS in Marine Transportation.

I put you down as my recommendation for "A to Z" knowledge here......
CF members to seek advice from
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Old 26-02-2013, 04:06   #7
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

Bravo, So cool, a real treasure to the community. Thanks,,,,,/),,,,,,,
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Old 27-02-2013, 13:01   #8
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

OK so the Engel is for a smaller box. Currently my box is around 6.5 CF, it is narrower at the bottom than the top so an exact number may not be all that easy to calculate.

I plan to put six inches of insulation on the bottom; that number was arrived at based on how far down I can easily reach into the box when not standing on my tip toes and stretching as far as I can. I will also put some insulation on the sides, but it is hard for me to see how I can realistically get the box below 5CF.

I still am concerned about the expansion valve being in the cabinet next to the box since there is lots of condensation and I have to deal with water/moisture; currently by putting a drip pan under the valve and dumping it when it gets too full.

I am also wondering how much of a hit I take by the long run of copper pipe from the cold plate to the compressor. Not to mention the Sea Frost is not new and I am having trouble finding details about it.

Any suggestions on what is the most trouble free solution for a guy who is all thumbs.
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Old 27-02-2013, 13:50   #9
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

Tom,

What works for me probably isn't your cup of tea. I enjoy my USDA red meats, T-bones at the top of my list, so I stock up stateside. The fridge/freezer on my Cal 40 was maybe 4 cubic ft fridge, 1 cubic ft freezer. This ratio is typical even when sized up. The Engel stand alone units (like a oversized camping ice chest) has controls that let you decide if your going to use it as a fridge or freezer. That was the most trouble free solution for me. I could load it with 100 lbs of cut beef, plug it into 12 VDC and stow it out of the way. When I got towards the end and what remained could fit into the small galley freezer, I just unplugged it and used it for dry storage till I would restock. If you go this route be sure when you provision you contact the manager of the meat department of your grocery store and have him wrap the individual cuts in freezer paper and load a shopping cart then wheel it into his walk-in freezer. As good as the Engel units are, they just take way too long to freeze 100 lbs of meat, so let the store's freezer do that for you and pick up your order the next day.

The price Engel has for converting an ice box is about the same for a stand alone unit.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:06   #10
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

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Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Tom,

What works for me probably isn't your cup of tea. I enjoy my USDA red meats, T-bones at the top of my list, so I stock up stateside. The fridge/freezer on my Cal 40 was maybe 4 cubic ft fridge, 1 cubic ft freezer. This ratio is typical even when sized up. The Engel stand alone units (like a oversized camping ice chest) has controls that let you decide if your going to use it as a fridge or freezer. That was the most trouble free solution for me. I could load it with 100 lbs of cut beef, plug it into 12 VDC and stow it out of the way. When I got towards the end and what remained could fit into the small galley freezer, I just unplugged it and used it for dry storage till I would restock.

The price Engel has for converting an ice box is about the same for a stand alone unit.
What you describe is sorta my plan. I have an Engel standalone that I plan to use as a freezer if I catch a 40 lb tuna or a big grouper. I had planed to use my Sea Frost or what ever I may replace it with for stuff like cold water, soda, cheese, and the like that does not need to freeze. So far the Engel standalone running 24/7 does better than the Sea Frost did. I would be at 12.3 when I got up with the Sea Frost and am at 12.5 or better when I get up with the Engel.

I do understand the Sea Frost keeps more CF cold than the Engel, but I have enough solar pannels to deal with the draw, not to mention a Honda 2000 if needed.

I guess the real question is what is the best option for power consumption low maintenance, repair the Sea Frost or get something bigger than the Engel. But I may be wrong about this being the real question.
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Old 27-02-2013, 14:31   #11
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

Since space is always at a premium in the galley, that would be something you have to decide from knowing your layout first hand. As Sailorchic34 and I pointed out, for modern units, for the work they need to do, their efficiencies should be close. You pointed out different battery voltages when you checked in the morning. Was the voltages the same in the evening before going to bed? What is the R rating and area each unit is dealing with? I'm sure the built in unit looks nice and fits well in the galley, and with some added insulation should be real close in energy usage for work done to the Engel. The stand alone Engels just gives so much flexibility, when you run through all your frozen foods, can be unplugged or change settings to hold fresh fruit, veggies, fish and meat. As you know it takes about 3X the energy to hold at 0 F, than it does 40 F.
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Old 27-02-2013, 15:49   #12
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

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What you describe is sorta my plan. I have an Engel standalone that I plan to use as a freezer if I catch a 40 lb tuna or a big grouper. I had planed to use my Sea Frost or what ever I may replace it with for stuff like cold water, soda, cheese, and the like that does not need to freeze. So far the Engel standalone running 24/7 does better than the Sea Frost did. I would be at 12.3 when I got up with the Sea Frost and am at 12.5 or better when I get up with the Engel.
The best option may just be to add insulation to your boats ice box.Along with the 6" on the bottom, add an inch or two to the sides and lids and your going to reduce energy load.

The engel looks better, IE lower energy usage then the seafrost. But most of the savings is due to the smaller box size with fewer SF to inject heat into the box. Energy wise with the small compressors, 12V or 120V for a given amount of heat rejection the energy used per 24 hours will not change all that much. Oh you can slow the danfoss compressors with the VSD boards down, which increases efficiency some, but then it runs longer too.

Really more box insulation does more to reduce energy cost then anything else.

Oddly enough I use a 120V fridge with a cheap inverter and use 2.5 amps per hour in the hot California Delta when the cabin air temp is 92-95 degrees. Oh the Fridge pulls 14 amps @12.5 ish volts when running, but run times at 92 degree F cabin temps are about 2.5 minute in 14 minutes. or about 10 minutes per hour.

On cooler days like today when the cabin temp is only 65 it runs much less. Two group 27 deep cycle batteries running from 9 pm to 8 am pull down to 12.54 ish from full charge, that's with just the led anchor light, inverter and fridge running. That was this morning btw and yes I'm at anchor.
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Old 28-02-2013, 04:07   #13
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

I'm looking at an Engel inset into a locker in our pilothouse for beverages and fruit, i.e. "watch and deck provisions". The thermal and spacial qualities of bottles and cans are such that stacking them in a cooler that's going to be opened several times a day is less wasteful than doing the same to a reefer like the NovaKool I have in the galley. If that's opened only three times a day (for instance) and in a planned, not a "rooting around" manner, it should draw fewer amps per day.

I hadn't considered what to do with a fortuitous catch of the day, but that aspect of the Engel...fillet storage...just pull out the cans...intrigues me.

If you are interested, there is a very similar discussion going on here:

Refrigeration again

As an aside, I too have been impressed over my time here at the solid and factual advice SailorChick has brought. I have to say she's also the first auto-didact engineer of my acquaintance, but contrary to popular belief, casino builders don't gamble on hardly anything....
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Old 28-02-2013, 15:36   #14
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
The best option may just be to add insulation to your boats ice box.Along with the 6" on the bottom, add an inch or two to the sides and lids and your going to reduce energy load.

The engel looks better, IE lower energy usage then the seafrost. But most of the savings is due to the smaller box size with fewer SF to inject heat into the box.
SNIP
I am not sure what SF means. I do understand the advantage of good insulation. I guess I need to try and figure out how much adding insulation will reduce the load on the system and see if getting the size of the box to maybe four CF would allow the Engel to deal with the load, or if I would still need a bigger system even with maybe 4-5 CF to cool.
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Old 28-02-2013, 15:50   #15
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Re: Engle Ice Box Conversion Questions

I think that is short for "square feet", i.e. volume of you box.
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