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Old 08-11-2010, 11:17   #1
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Handy Information on Danfoss Refrigeration Control Modules

I went to my boat over the weekend and was greeted by a wonderful aroma. Apparently my refrigerator/freezer had quit some time in the previous two weeks since I had been to the boat and from the smell it was probably near the begining of the two weeks, but never let it be said that I didn't take an opportunity to learn something from a broken piece of equipment.

Having gone through the diagnostic procedures in my manual I determined that the control module had failed. So this morning I placed a call to a most helpful fellow at Novakool technical support. I told him that I had gone through the diagnostic procedure and landed on the step that said replace the control module, but I asked him to review my steps and results and a few things I had noted that were not strictly in the trouble shooting tree. When I noted that the fan was running but the the compressor was not and the fan would eventually shut off he asked if I had unplugged the fan. I had not as that was not a step in the diagnostic tree. He then informs me that the Danfoss controllers have a protection circuit in them that prevents the compressor from starting when the fan draws more than .5 amps and that the fans start out new drawing .25 amps but after 8-10 years commonly start to reach the .5 amps range. He also added that a thermal protection circuit will eventually shut the fan off as well but the compressor will not even attempt to start. My unit has been in service 8 years-9 months. He said disconnect the fan, if the compressor starts then the problem is the fan which is much cheaper than a $200+ controller.

We talking about the Danfoss 101N0210 controller and from looking around it appears that this is used in many brands including frigo-boat and Isotherm as well as Novakool, so the information probably applies widely. I'm sharing this in the hope that I might save someone a bit of grief and some time should they have issues with an older refrigeration unit.
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Old 09-11-2010, 23:44   #2
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G'Day Bill,

Don't have that problem, but have mentally filed this interesting bit away for future use! Good stuff, and thanks for sharing.

Now if only some one would find a way to get rid of the RFI those bloody controllers generate...

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Gatcome Head, Qld, Oz, southbound
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:24   #3
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For this very reason (and a few others) I always clean out the fridge and freezer and shut it all down if I'm going to be away from the boat for a week or more.

It means a certain amount of wasted food (maybe not wasted; usually the crew carries it home) but it prevents this kind of problem. Other advantages are that everything gets defrosted this way (instead of building up ice continuously), and you can isolate your house batteries and shut down the low current electrical system.

Thanks for the excellent technical information. I have the same compressors and controllers and will print off your post and stick it in my manual in case I have the same problem.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:20   #4
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Just a short follow up. I got back to the boat yesterday, reinstalled the controller, compressor failed to start per original problem unplugged the fan per the technician's instructions, compressor started immediately. The fan is on it's way $20 + shipping versus $228. Kudos to Novakool support for the great service, just wish their documentation department had put that in their trouble shooting tree.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:42   #5
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glad you fixed it for 20 bucks. thanks for the info it may come in handy
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Old 11-11-2010, 13:14   #6
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I remember showing up on the boat when there were flies everywhere. Where did the flies come from? The maggots eating the rancid meat, of course.
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Old 11-11-2010, 13:33   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
I remember showing up on the boat when there were flies everywhere. Where did the flies come from? The maggots eating the rancid meat, of course.
Y shouldn't ask. It may have been forgotton Y fronts?
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