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Old 18-07-2015, 18:32   #16
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

The tech said that instead of trying to find the leak and repairing it - and replacing the compressor, that it would be cheaper to leave the unit in place, install a new set of coils inside the box and a remote compressor. That is what he quoted at $1,800. I'll have to check on the removal cost for the isotherm to know how it will compare.
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Old 18-07-2015, 18:59   #17
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

If you are living onboard fulltime and depending on solar personally I would be looking at an air cooled holding plate system a little higher price but in the long run you will be very happy I know my dad and I are.
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Old 18-07-2015, 21:12   #18
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

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If you are living onboard fulltime and depending on solar personally I would be looking at an air cooled holding plate system a little higher price but in the long run you will be very happy I know my dad and I are.
A water cooled unit is more efficient if considering a permanent unit as opposed to an Engel. The Frigoboat is water cooled and no additional pump is necessary because of the design.
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Old 18-07-2015, 22:10   #19
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

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A water cooled unit is more efficient if considering a permanent unit as opposed to an Engel. The Frigoboat is water cooled and no additional pump is necessary because of the design.
Actually the water cooled unit is not near as efficient in tropical waters check it out talk to Richard Kollmann or call Rich over at cool blue either will give you the facts on refer systems.
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Old 19-07-2015, 05:40   #20
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

There is a bit of a war, not unexpectedly, between vendors here.

OP asked if anyone had experience with Frigoboat; I've not heard anyone other than me speak of it. FB has air-cooled, only, too. It's just that the keel cooler is vastly more efficient, even in the tropics, than the same or higher temperature air, at carrying off heat.

With NO change in box, and some reasonably detailed checks as to its efficacy under the direction of the same Richard Kollmann, our brand new SeaFrost, with its enclosed (more efficient) and ducted air cooling, cannot maintain our temps running full time at high. If we add the (very problematic, but necessary to achieve the cooling we ask) water cooling, it can cycle and keep up with our (altered to warmer in the freezer due to performance issues) demand.

OP has now stated that he has two systems - one freezer and one reefer. So, likely, the freezer will have some form of conventional layout plates, whether holdover or evaporative. If he can get the same equivalent heat removal into the box (the only reason we didn't go back with Frigoboat was that we'd have to destroy the box to do so), he should get good performance from a FB unit, whether keel or air cooled.

Having both is the best of both worlds. No pump, and the ability to use air cooling when out of the water and/or in extremely hot conditions, to supplement the water cooling, is the best of both worlds.

I don't imagine I'm unique in this: In Indian River, where Vero Beach has its moorings, in the summer, disassembly and cleaning of the water intake on a less-than-weekly - i.e. more than once a week - is necessary to maintain flow. The 3/4" pipe I peer into is usually closed to less that pencil size, and vegetation and shelled creatures are what's doing it. Ramming and scraping manages to open the hose, again, and the cycle resumes. But for whatever reason, in well under a year of actual use, the raw water pump ha$ failed. Whether that's a failing of the pump (it's going back for post mortem, as SF claims they next to never fail, but the replacement wasn't free) or just bad luck, it's another annoyance in a system which gobbles amps at a rate right at double what my FB system did - and were I to ask it of it, cannot approach (by 15F) the depth of cold in the freezer which my FB achieved (as a test; we normally kept the freezer, however, about 10F colder than we now do due to the staggering amount of electrons needed to achieve our previous freezer temp).

Elsewhere, you'll have many people, Rich among them, singing the praises of air cooling, and how they keep a total box similar to mine (3.5CF freezer, feeding 6.5CF reefer with spillover fan) at zero and 35 with under 50AH a day. Please. In Nova Scotia, or maybe Maine. If you're surrounded by air and water in the 90s, unless you have a foot or more of insulation (I suppose it's possible) to my 6", I just don't see it happening that way. Even with my FB, it was higher than that by half to double. But, in its best moments, and with air and water cooling on high, in 90+ water and air, I cannot achieve zero in the freezer. That is, the system, on high, running continuously (about 13A), cannot pull the freezer to zero. It can, however, cheerfully, eat through about 250AH a day trying.

The previous poster made an empirical statement; yes, of course, it's not as efficient in tropical water. Neither is the air as efficient in tropical air. But the energy needed to remove heat is markedly less if water is the medium, or is aiding the air.

The OP wanted to know about FB owner experiences. What's yours?

L8R

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Old 19-07-2015, 08:09   #21
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

I have no personal experience with the Fb water cooled ystem except to have replaced several with other air only systems my customers are saying they are happier with most of the systems I have installed with one exception the Engel ice box conversion unit just didn't do it for a box over about 3.5 to 4 cf. I do have specific numbers for a system installed on dads boat they are posted elsewhere on cf but we are nowhere near the high power usages ppl are complaining about here its in the high 80's and low 90's here and we are still well under 30ah per day.
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:14   #22
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

I wonder what the water temperature is in Puget Sound?

When we've been in ME, where the water never gets above about 55, we sleep with a blanket. Ambient temperature inside the boat, which is in 55 or colder water, is very cool.

Ergo, it can be VERY hot outside, but if the boat's sitting in cold water, the air cooling won't work as hard due to the cooler environment (as compared to being in, as I am, currently, 90+ water)...
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:22   #23
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

As of this moment the water is 61 f in the marina here on Foss waterway and the engine room temp is in the mid 60's and will likely get into the upper 80's today and I expect to use less than 18ah with the fridge.
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:39   #24
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

Hm. 60 is a long way from 90, particularly if you like your fridge at 40...

But I'm glad your system eats so sparingly. Right now, we're off the boat attending to shore matters, so the fridge is decommissioned - and awaits my installation of the new March pump.

Our solar and wind keep our battery bank absolutely full, and were it not for the controller for the solar, overcharged, with all of our usual ghost loads (~2.5A) still running. If we were still off the boat but leaving the SeaFrost on, air only (haven't replaced the pump yet), we'd be down 200AH or so in two days, despite both wind and solar banging along at full capacity (wind and sun all get through; no controller stopping it because it's charged). That's our trigger to put out the Honda and recharge as far as a tank of fuel will take us - usually either 'full' or apparently so based on voltage.

And, not to divert, but just in case you were wondering, my last hydrometer test was quite recent, and under ghost loads, all cells were 1.275 low/1.290 high, so I think our batteries are OK.

If I were using a Frigoboat keel cooler in our system, I have little doubt we'd keep up, or, at most, need a run a week rather than every other day. Indeed, in the Bahamas, where the air and water were only in the 80s, but there was good, high, sun and a breeze, we similarly didn't run but about 1x/week.

But I wish I could get our freezer cold enough to have hard bread that popped a slice off, rather than risked bending and breaking, to separate, as we used to have in our FB setup.
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Old 19-07-2015, 08:54   #25
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

The cure for the bread issue is to bake a fresh loaf every other day LOL
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Old 19-07-2015, 14:31   #26
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Re: Isotherm rebuild vs Engle drop in

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Dude, you're killing it in the galley. Looks like a constant stream of goodies. Do you bake in the little force 10 propane? I need to get a stone or something for temp regulation.
I enjoy the baking, especially when we don't have access to groceries and no freezer. I just use the force 10 and a bread pan. I would like to add a pizza stone, but have not yet. The oven is terrible, but good enough for small batches, and gets hot enough for good pizza (about 600 f on mine).
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