Earlier this year I installed an Isotherm
air-cooled holding plate system in my icebox
. I plan on using the boat for weekend trips every now and then, and thought it would be nice to have some sort of built in refrigeration
when doing it.
I mounted under the quarterberth just aft, in a large-ish space with admittedly poor ventilation. It worked okay for a while, though the box never really got as cold as I would have liked (the holding plate never really frosted over, even when I left the unit running on max for 24h+). It didn't seem to be a problem with ventilation, the compressor
space never heated up very much. The box is ~4 cubic feet and the old system was sized for a bit larger, but that might have been generous given the 36 year old insulation
behind my icebox
Anyways, it quit working recently. I left it run all night recently and when I came back the next day the plate was still room temperature. The compressor didn't sound any different so I'm wondering if the system lost
When I picked this system, I opted against water-cooling due to the increased complexity. I'm reconsidering that now, especially because I feel it would be much more efficient with the cold water
here in San Francisco
Bay. Here's the draft
: The compressor mounts near the thru-hull for the engine raw water
intake. I'm thinking I can tee off of that. Actually, I'd tee after the engine
strainer and include a check valve to prevent the engine pulling water
through the compressor when it's on. I would have to make sure the fridge is not turned on without the thru-hull being open - which does worry me a little if I decide to leave it running when not aboard.
: Run a hose from the compressor aft to a small thru-hull high up in the transom, with another check valve to prevent backflow in a following sea.
: Another idea was to add plumbing
to my freshwater tank and use that water for heat exchange instead of raw water
. It'd be a lot of extra hoses and the freshwater isn't as cold as seawater, but it might work?
Think this is worth doing?