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Old 08-06-2015, 11:37   #31
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

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Originally Posted by Anna Sail View Post
If you have the option of air or keel cooled, then simply plug in your fan and see if the air-cooler does the job - the refrigerant will pass through that condenser first before it flows to the keel cooler. If it doesn't do the job, if your box still doesn't get cold enough, then you know it's not about the keel cooler.

There's further troubleshooting information at the Frigoboat's U.S. importer's website that may help you further with diagnostics: http://CoastalClimateControl.com/index.php/refrigeration/self-help.html
May I suggest looking at "R134a Charge Guidelines for Frigoboat systems" & "Capillary tube troubleshooting guide"
Yes we have an air cooler with switch but the unit still doesn't seem to come fully on - like the compressor is just purring slowly but not fully up to speed. I'll look over the troubleshooting guides as you suggest! Thank Anna
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:35   #32
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

There are many threads on CF about Frigoboat.

Mine is among them.

I had to trash it due to contamination due to heat, and no way to duplicate the evaporator due to having built the box around it.

If I could have, I'd have gone back with another keel cooled Frigoboat. It would have been a couple thousand, including the haulout, cheaper than what I now have which works fine but at twice the cost of electrons to do the same job.

YMMV...

L8R

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Old 09-06-2015, 12:08   #33
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

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Originally Posted by mholtzberg View Post
Paul,

My family and I love your show.. Distant Shores We are great land lubber fans. We sail when we can$$. If Distant Shores has a keel cooler then the question is how much exposure is the refrigeration circuit to salt water? If you ever decide to cruise the Gulf of Mexico look us up... we are in Tampa.
Hey Thanks Holtzberg! Glad you are enjoying the TV Show. We are still filming and will make a few episodes on the Azores!

Yes there is some exposure to salt water for the keel cooler. Not sure of the benefit/risk to the cooler so I might even disconnect it... will ask this.

Best,

Paul
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:12   #34
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

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Originally Posted by BillYorde View Post
We've struggled with both our Frigiboat freezer and refrigerator but, once properly vacuumed, completely filled and an O ring replaced, they both work fine. They are over 8 years old. If you have a Speed Controller it will give you fault codes and Frigiboat has an algorithm that helps you track down these problems. There's a couple O rings that can cause a loss of coolant but, I would think a bad keel cooler is rare. You were in Simpson Bay Lagoon for awhile, did you clean off the keel cooler? Reefco in St Thomas (great folks), emptied our refrigerator and filled the compressor until the cold plate was completely frosted, took about 2 hours. The Frigiboat tubes are small and take patience to fill properly. We also learned the best method of vacuuming the system is to have the pump hooked upon in the afternoon and run all night, no need for an expensive tech to watch it for several hours. Coastal Climate Control in Annapolis is the N American distributor and they have a great site: Frigoboat refrigeration - Climma air conditioning with lots of information. I hope there is a tidbit in here that helps.
Thank for suggestions... yes I did clean off the keel cooler - SXM sure does foul the bottom!! I have tried some of the hints given in this thread and have appreciated the thoughts and now understand the system better than I did. Unfortunately I do not have it working yet and probably next stop will be MAYS who might suggest a technician.

Cheers, Paul
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:27   #35
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Now at the dock in Horta with time to work on the problem... here is the state of my Frigoboat ...

BD35F with air cooler + keel cooler option connected (Unit is 5 years old)
Unit is operating and slightly warm to the touch fan is on
Evaporator plate in freezer is cold to the touch but doesn't freeze up at all
Voltage at supply is good - 13.2 (when sun is on our solar panels)

I have tapped the "liquid line to cap tube transition" as per suggestions but to no effect. I have not tried to bend this to vertical.
I have not been able to find the "end of cap tube" to warm with wet rag. Suspect this may be inside custom stainless Frigoboat fridge/freezer unit so not accessible?

Questions... Next step ? try to find fridge tech to charge unit?

Disconnect keel cooler and leave unit with just air-cooling?? A number of people have suggested keel cooler is unnecessary. Richard Kollman has also suggested this I think? Also our bilge is wet and exposes keel cooler to bilge water.

Any thoughts?

Thanks again for help!

Paul
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:55   #36
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Hey Paul I think that might be your best bet, I know Richard Kollmann preaches AIR COOLING only for the little Danfoss bd35 and bd50 compressors and says they were never intended to be remotely keel cooled or otherwise. I have had BD 35 s always aircooled and they go for years and years . I now have two Vitrifrigo BD50's from Sure marine . I payed $494.90 for each ND50CB3-QV compressor's and $147.00 each for the PT14-Q evaporator's.
By the time you get it all sorted you may end up paying more then if you just replaced the unit with a slightly larger aircooled BD50 , You really don't want the problem to come back again , murphys law .

Is the air cooler right on the tray of the frigoboat unit? If it is , thats good , the compressor likes the air to flow over it and the control module .

Sure Marine Service, Inc. | Air Cooled Cooling Units

Regards
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:57   #37
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Let's break this down into components:

The compressor is running. You don't mention a fault light flashing. If you don't have a fault light (it's on the optional speed controller for example), you can rig one with 12v LED. If the fault light isn't flashing, it rules out a lot of things including voltage.

Coolant - the obvious risk is that the coolant has leaked. This could be from bad o-rings, leaking keel cooler, or any flaw in the tubing. This would seem likely, except that you reported you got it working normally for two days after you first had the problem. Coolant obviously doesn't come and go.

So that makes the clogged cap tube a likely culprit. Especially since it began on passage when things were being shaken up possibly releasing a piece of dirt of fleck of metal somewhere in the tubing. So I would bend the cap tube, tap, run it for an hour, let it sit for a few hours, bend the tube a different way (gently) and so on in the hope that it will eventually drop out.


It doesn't cost anything to try on the way to a technician.

Have you found the small (looks like thin copper wire) coil of cap tube? You are looking for the two spots that this thin wire goes into the much larger copper refrigerant tubes.


Carl


I
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Old 09-06-2015, 12:59   #38
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Have you contacted the company ?

It's been a while, but when I had questions or a problem they were very helpful and extremely knowledgeable.

Tel. +039 036235321
info@veco.net
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Old 09-06-2015, 13:12   #39
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

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Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
The compressor is running. You don't mention a fault light flashing. If you don't have a fault light (it's on the optional speed controller for example), you can rig one with 12v LED. If the fault light isn't flashing, it rules out a lot of things including voltage.

Coolant - the obvious risk is that the coolant has leaked. This could be from bad o-rings, leaking keel cooler, or any flaw in the tubing. This would seem likely, except that you reported you got it working normally for two days after you first had the problem. Coolant obviously doesn't come and go.
I
1) I will try to get an LED to rig this...

2) Yes but now no matter how long I shut down it will not freeze... so it may be getting worse..

3) Not found the coil of small tubing... perhaps its in the custom Frigoboat fridge box?

Thanks for your help!

Paul
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Old 09-06-2015, 13:14   #40
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

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Is the air cooler right on the tray of the frigoboat unit? If it is , thats good , the compressor likes the air to flow over it and the control module .

Regards
Yes they are integrated (we have both BD50 for freezer + BD35 for fridge). Both have keel cooler options and I might consider disconnecting both...

Paul
ps. Thanks for your help!
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Old 09-06-2015, 14:08   #41
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Please tell me more about this "O" ring problem and replacement. I'll be installing the control module on Thursday, but the last technician who spent hours on the unit, said it was leaking coolant. Where can I order a couple of o rings, and is it something I can do myself? Or is it best to have the guy who comes with the coolant take care of the o ring at the same time? Is there a Figiboat service person in Olbia, Sardinia? They seem to have everything within five minutes of me. It's a huge center for yachting. Generally it's much easier to find stuff here than in Mallorca.

Ken
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Old 09-06-2015, 14:26   #42
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Having worked through similar problems I am impressed by the level of expertise and the generosity of those who share their knowledge on this forum.
Put the recharge off until last. You can recharge yourself (do a little google research since I can't remember the link) with stuff you can get from an auto parts store. Of course it is illegal to do here.
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Old 10-06-2015, 01:13   #43
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

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Please tell me more about this "O" ring problem and replacement. I'll be installing the control module on Thursday, but the last technician who spent hours on the unit, said it was leaking coolant. Where can I order a couple of o rings, and is it something I can do myself? Or is it best to have the guy who comes with the coolant take care of the o ring at the same time? Is there a Figiboat service person in Olbia, Sardinia? They seem to have everything within five minutes of me. It's a huge center for yachting. Generally it's much easier to find stuff here than in Mallorca.

Ken
check out these guidelines from coastal climate http://coastalclimatecontrol.com/ima..._couplings.pdf

Paul
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:49   #44
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

See some of the FrigoBoat threads with Flying Pig, keel coolers (not the problem/failure, but might have been a contributor), and capillary tubes.

It may be beyond help, but if you're getting cool, but not cold, it's probably not a clog (actual clog will kill cooling cuz no gas moves).

If you can revive it, the next step would be to add a filter-dryer and filter such as FB claims are now included to solve the problem of the only such in the original being right next to that lovely hot compressor, defeating it.

Adding gas isn't rocket science, fortunately, and aside from not having one, neither is vacuuming and starting over (I did it many times before proving it dead at great expense).

Bilge water to the keel cooler should have no impact on the potential for failure, I wouldn't think. There are some reports of KC failure through the sintered bronze block, but mine took somewhere between 3-5000 impacts in our wreck and kept on doing the job for the rest of the time we owned it before the system packed in due to an irremediable clog (cap tube just like the suggestions you've been hearing), so I can't imagine the electrolysis issues of the instant cases; my maxprop zinc (big, heavy, dome, not a tiny thing like the KC zincs, of which I didn't have one) disappears every single month, and I didn't have a KC failure in the 8 years it was on...

Richard Kollmann has LOTS of history on these units; the US distributor is a participant in CF; he's Rob, known as Frigoboat Info here, and he went FAR out of his way to assist in our attempts to save the system.

It failed, but not due to cooling issues, and since I couldn't replace the evaporator without tearing my reefer out (I put it in before the top wen ton as I was building it), I had to go to something different.

If I could have, and MAYBE, even, at the nuisance value and effort involved, given how much the new one cost, and how it works just fine other than it requires water AND air cooling to keep the same cold, at literally double the cost in electrons, I would have gone back with the identical system, but with proper filter-dryer and filtering in place to prevent a recurrence of the problem (a hard-stuck clog in the cap tube, immobile despite nitro pressure one way and vac suck the other in both directions, while heating the cap tube, as well as evident deterioration of the oil - a different problem, but maybe the root of the issue).

I hope you get it resolved. If I could have replace the entire system (not tearing out the box), I would have done, and vastly preferred, that.

L8R

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Old 12-06-2015, 07:59   #45
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Re: Frigoboat BD35 suddenly "just cool"

Any Luck Paul?

How does the battle go ?

Fixing boats in exotic locations ,

Regards
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