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Old 18-11-2009, 11:10   #31
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Originally Posted by hooligan6a View Post
All the wires and connectors are clean, the zinc's are new, the refrigerant has been topped off and as far as I know there is no fan on my unit. I did not mention that it is blowing the 15 amp. fuse in the control box. I called the dealer and he said he thinks my wiring (power) may be to small. I will check that out.
I don't know which model you have but mine (from 2005) have a small fan on a heatsink on the side of the compressor. It's called the oil cooler. They also have a heatsink on the controller module. The service-info states that when that heatsink gets too hot, it needs a fan too.

I replaced the tiny fan with a somewat bigger computer-fan which also reached the controller-heatsink.

How many compressors flip that 15A breaker? I never see more than 6A from a single compressor.

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 18-11-2009, 17:05   #32
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There are maybe ten different models of the Danfoss electronic modules and two other module models one produced by Adler Barbour and one by Frigoboat. Danfoss stopped producing the earlier four pin module several years ago so to support their after market customers AB and Frogoboat were forced to come up with their own electronic modules.
There was only one major quantified complaint about Danfoss compressor powered systems and that is RF noise on some boatís radios.

`
There can be isolated failures on any type of reliable electronic equipment used on a boat but if two units in the same installation fail there is a problem with the installation in that boat.

Because the Danfoss compressor modules are voltage, amperage and temperature sensitive devices they are subject to failures under the following extremes.
  • Lighting strikes on or near the boat.
It is almost impossible to avoid electronics damage with a direct lightning strike although if Danfoss electronic unit is wired correctly damage from local area strikes are less likely.
For the Danfoss control module to perform correctly and be protected from any other electrical power serge on a boat Danfoss requires it to be wired direct to the main battery buss and not through a branch circuit area. Most boat manufactures and DIY boaters ignore compressor wire sizes based on length and also use a branch circuit in boatís circuit breaker panel to power refrigeration unit. When this Danfoss unit is correctly wired to main battery buss it will help avoid transient voltage spikes from damaging compressorís module.
  • Improper cooling
The Common failure mode of hermetically sealed compressors is defined as burn out caused by overheating. Danfoss avoids BD compressor burn out failures caused by heat using safety circuits in electronic module that monitor voltage and amperage. When compressor amperage is to high module stops compressor and then after a brief period it will attempt a restart it. There are two reasons for high amperage poor condenser cooling or refrigerant has been tampered with.. If this overload is not detected and corrected quickly electronic module will overheat and fail do to repeated overload start attempts.
Other causes of module cooling failures result from poorly designed refrigeration systems where return super-cooled gas is not sufficient enough to cool compressor or compressor with module are not provided with fan cooling.
  • Water damage.
Danfoss electronic modules like all other electronics are intended to be inside a boat because they not resistant to direct water emersion or moisture spray.
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Old 18-11-2009, 18:28   #33
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Richard;

What are the symptoms of a control module not performing correctly, due the condition you mention below?

Chris

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  • Incorrect electrical wiring.
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]For the Danfoss control module to perform correctly and be protected from any other electrical power serge on a boat Danfoss requires it to be wired direct to the main battery buss and not through a branch circuit area.
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Old 20-11-2009, 05:17   #34
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Chris, Danfoss electronic modules can react to minor voltage spikes and voltage surges during compressor start up by terminating compressor start without damaging module. Minor low voltage spikes and surges can result from low battery or one or more resistance points in boats wiring. When compressor start voltage drops below the Danfoss default setting of 9.6 volts compressor will not run. All of the many Danfoss modules sold have provisions for a low voltage troubleshooting LED but LEDs are rarely installed. There are many that believe a volt meter across module power wires will detect low voltage spikes and surges, not so, unless you have supermanís eyes.

High severe voltage surges generally damage module and in most cases will blow module fuse. Causes of the most severe module damage can result from lightening strikes, a loose alternator power wire, turning battery selector off and then back on while engine is running. Some boats have solenoids for heavy equipment like electric windless or electric winches maybe even an electric clutch, each of these units discharge a high voltage surge when de-energized. Keeping the Danfoss electronics separated from all other electrical equipment is the best way to protect modules reliability.
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Old 20-11-2009, 06:12   #35
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The Seafrost unit I removed was sealed in its own cabinet, it had seals and gromets on all the openings to the unit. Its electronics were very well sealed. An occassional splashing is not probably going to hurt the unit, or the electronics within. (Now a full dunking may certainly be another issue)
Actually I'm not sure as to why you switched from Seafrost. I installed one of their air cooled dc units 2 years ago and I found their products very well designed and support first rate.
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Old 29-03-2010, 11:09   #36
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The major reason to replace the Seafrost system was that it was damaged beyond repair by sitting in saltwater for a week.

Secondarily, it was also an engine driven, or 120 volt AC driven system with a cold plate. It was/is my belief that such technology is not as efficient as a DC driven evaporator system.

I wanted/want to be set up for extended, away from shore power, cruising. Having the engine/AC driven system would have required me to run the engine every day. With solar panels and wind generators I don't have that requirement.

Still have the error LED on. I suppose it is time to do something about that. Seems like Great-Water has about the best controller board prices. I had great service from them when my Quality Line water heater sprung a leak at one of the welds.
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Old 13-10-2011, 14:02   #37
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Re: Frigoboat

Have to agree with POOR customer service from Frigoboat. If the system works it's great, but forget it if you have a problem. All you'll get is a runaround and in the end the problem is your fault.

We purchased their stainless steel refrigeration and freezer boxes along with keel coolers last November for our Lagoon 380. Items were shipped to Trinidad and I installed the systems.

Returned to Trinidad this year for haulout and noticed the starboard cooler which was placed closely in along the interior edge of the keel showed some deterioration. The port cooler is located in the exact same position on the port hull and was fine. All electrical wiring is the same with the same grounding.

We contacted the local "Rep". He stopped by for a quick look and agreed the cooler had some deterioration, but would need to investigate further. After a week of phone calls and daily promises that he would be by, we gave up and contacted Frigoboat in Annapolis.

They requested pictures of the keel cooler, inside and outside. From these they first informed us that the damage was from stray current while at a marina and/or a metal thruhull. We have not been in a marina for 3 years and all of the thruhulls are plastic. With this information, they said it was damage from a lifting strap. That was impossible as well because when put back in the water last year we were launched on a trailer and there was no contact with the cooler. For haulout this year it was done via travellift, but a diver was sent down to check strap placement and again, the position of the cooler would make it impossible for a strap to cause damage.

With this information, Frigoboat finally said it was physical damage and not a warranty issue. We hit something and didn't know it. Throw a little epoxy on it and don't call us if you have any more problems.

Love all of the support they give you. Seems they are more interested in sales figures than satisfaction after sale.

They were notified of my dissatisfaction with their "service" and their explanations for the cause. I haven't heard anything else from them.
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Old 14-10-2011, 08:50   #38
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Re: Frigoboat

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Have to agree with POOR customer service from Frigoboat. If the system works it's great, but forget it if you have a problem. All you'll get is a runaround and in the end the problem is your fault.
Soooo.... your systems are working great and all you found is some deterioration of one keel cooler and because Frigoboat can't tell you exactly how you did and/or got that, you write this negative piece? You blame Frigoboat for not knowing if a neighbour at anchor has had a grounding problem or may be you have some problem? Or if you hit something? How can you blame all that to others if you don't know this yourself? Or are you stating that there was a manufacturing fault in one of the two keel coolers? That would be visible as a crack-line or something and should be replaced by Frigoboat in that case. All the other possibilities you listed are indeed not the fault of Frigoboat.

I have 3 Frigoboat keel coolers for 8 years now and indeed they slowly deteriorate. This is what happens when you put a metal in salt water. I don't even bother trying to patch it up with epoxy or anything, and will just replace them when I reach their end of life. I suggest you do the same, life is too short to sweat the small stuff.

ciao!
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Old 14-10-2011, 17:21   #39
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Re: Frigoboat

As Richard would no doubt tell you, the keel cooler version for a refrigeration system exposes you to a signficant failure point. Namely, damage and/or degredation of the keel cooler itself. He has noted several installations where there has been galvanic damage to the keel cooler. As Nick suggested, metal in saltware, generally not a good thing!

I have had no issues todate on this front, but, I am very dillegent about replacing the zincs on my coolers. I was also very aware of the position I placed them in. I too have a catamaran and I placed them in staggered proximity to one another, on the inside of one of my hulls. I also only put it about a foot bellow the water line.

Oh, the update boards I have from Rpart, have not had an issue since. I did replace the slide connectors with Ring connections by soldering one end of the wire directly to the board space and running them to a terminal connector. No undervoltage since. Did have to mess with topping up the refrigeratant once or twice. See there was a benefit to going through all that pain in Nassau!
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Old 15-10-2011, 10:30   #40
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Re: Frigoboat

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As Richard would no doubt tell you, the keel cooler version for a refrigeration system exposes you to a signficant failure point. Namely, damage and/or degredation of the keel cooler itself.
Yes, of course. But so does a salt water pump... I personally find the keel coolers much maintenance friendlier than those pumps.

Air cooled is probably the best option for boats outside the tropics.

About the control modules: I think overheating might be the #1 cause of failure for them. I have put some air flow over them by enlarging the "oil cooler" fans and did not have a single failure in 8 years. It also helps that I have a spare... that discourages these modules from breaking down :-)

ciao!
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Old 15-10-2011, 14:22   #41
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Re: Frigoboat

Nick, I like the spare notion. When I go offshore again, It will be one of the first things I bring aboard. Don't want to go through that again in foreign places!

I would not trade out my keel coolers for pumping water aboard, or the air cooled unit. As I wrote somewhat earlier, I have to put them in my engine space. When I run the engines it getts VERY warm in there. Also, Water is about 16 times more efficient at transfering heat than air. I am all about efficency on-board.

Cheers and fair sailing!
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Old 15-10-2011, 15:01   #42
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Re: Frigoboat

Danfoss has always experienced problems with electronic control modules on BD compressors. After ten to fifteen different Danfoss module models still randomly failures occur with no warning. If we exclude lightening strikes and corrosion due to water module failures seem to be caused by voltage spikes and 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 wench, 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. Danfossís installation application data sheets have always assumed system designers would insure 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. Only Danfossís AEO modules all have built in module cooling fans. Danfossís variable speed specifications for BD50 require an additional fan for control module if compressor is to be operated at maximum capacity (3500 rpm). 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.
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Old 24-09-2014, 21:01   #43
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Re: Frigoboat ... PELTIER ...

My peltier cooler, with added insulation(Coleman), habitually gets between 45-50 degrees below ambient.

I just bought a Bristol with an installed Frigiboat unit and will make sure I always have my miniscule bag of ALL the parts I need if a temporary conversion is in order.

A 45-50 degree cooler( with the peltier), is much better than a 90 degree cooler, while waiting for parts and spending all that money.

Did I forget to mention that EVERYTHING, I need, in the way of parts, fits in an about a quart sized zip lock bag ... and the total cost of all the parts is about $15?

A great alternative to a broken compressor....
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