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Old 21-08-2016, 18:24   #1
smj
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Isotherm top loading refrigeration

Does anyone have any experience with these. Seems as if it would be an easy option to building your own box, but then you have to wonder how much insulation they have and how efficient they are. I guess you could build a box with added insulation then drop it in?
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Old 21-08-2016, 19:37   #2
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

Their design criteria is maximizing internal volume and ease of drop in installation but power efficiency isn't high on the list. Now is that a "bad thing"? Well not if you can live with the higher power usage due to the poor insulation, not all boaters leave the dock enough to even notice. Lets admit it...most boats are marina/shore power boat and for them...heck this is an easy drop in solution rather than building a more "properly insulated" cruising boat box for off the grid living.

The problem with these is the R-value of the insulation and there is a reason that is not in their published specs.
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Old 22-08-2016, 04:04   #3
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

Though solar has become dirt cheap and we have quite a bit of space on our catamaran to install it, it would still be nice to have efficient refrigeration. Do you think building a well insulated box to drop the Isotherm top loader into would make up for their lack of insulating? But I guess if I go that far I may as well build a completed box.


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Old 22-08-2016, 05:23   #4
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

I have a similar item CB 40 from Dometic, I use it as a second/spare freezer and dropped it into a cutout under the salon settee. The insulation is really thin and I am sure the power usage is very high on 12v, though I don't care. Have it on an inverter to 110v most of the time. Works well. A lot easier than the separate custom fridge and freezer built ins I constructed, which were a huge pain in the ass.
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Old 22-08-2016, 06:12   #5
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

It's my understanding that even the bag for an Engel decreases consumption and I assume they are a quality product, so surely adding insulation to the outside of the box would help.
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Old 22-08-2016, 08:27   #6
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

I rebuilt top loading the reefer and freezer on our Westsail 43 using Isotherm. I used 4' of the very efficient blue foam all around, except for between the two units. I only used two inches there. The system has been great! the only problem I've had was not putting enough insolation between the freezer and fridge. Some times the wall between the two actually gets too cold on the fridge side.
The system I used is the SP. The heat exchanger for both units is installed in the through hull for the galley sink. No fans blowing hot air inside the boat.
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Old 22-08-2016, 13:39   #7
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

Rourkeh - running off the inverter will use more energy than running off 12 volts. Most inverters waste 6-10% of the energy.
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Old 22-08-2016, 15:54   #8
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

I bought "ńspen Aerogel SPACELOFT Insulation" and wrapped it around my existing Isotherm fridge freezer. It dramatically improved the running time and reduced the temperature inside the box so much so, I was able to turn the settings down. You can buy this from "Bem Energy, Ebay". Best improvement I made on our fridge freezer allowing us good refrigeration in the Northern tropics of Australia!
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Old 22-08-2016, 17:19   #9
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

Thanks for the feedback. I wasn't able to come across any feedback or reviews on the internet, so that tells me it's a new product or maybe not very popular. I think it may be a viable option, but will probably need some added insulation.


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Old 22-08-2016, 17:41   #10
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
Though solar has become dirt cheap and we have quite a bit of space on our catamaran to install it, it would still be nice to have efficient refrigeration. Do you think building a well insulated box to drop the Isotherm top loader into would make up for their lack of insulating? But I guess if I go that far I may as well build a completed box.


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I would recommend not adding insulation to that isotherm unit due to the condenser coils being molded into the shell.
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Old 22-08-2016, 18:20   #11
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Isotherm top loading refrigeration

I have a 2 cu ft model Isotherm top loader, setup as a separate freezer/backup mini fridge. It has a BD-35. I have had zero problems with it in 5/6 years and came across it used. I added insulation as the shell is metal and it was cold (wasting electrons) during the initial trial of the unit.

Edit: My Isotherm compressor and condenser were able to be remotely mounted outside insulation. It came screwed to the bottom of box...was removable and has maybe 4' of soft copper tubing.

I also have a 4 cu ft 3/1 fridge/freezer, custom formed evaporator, that was properly built using polyiso insulation, bagged, thermal reflective barrier, lights, fan...Frigoboat Capri 50 (BD-50) about 10 years old.

When it comes time to replace, I will be talking to Rich about a Cool Blue System...all about Customer Service when the dealer/manufacturer is not just down the road....been there...




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Old 23-08-2016, 05:32   #12
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Re: Isotherm top loading refrigeration

I also had the remote compressor which is a big bonus, as you can place it in an area where best air flow is. I mounted it near the main bulkhead where air flows from the anchor well through a deflected hole. I added large a/c flexi hose from the hole to direct air to the condenser, adding an extra fan to blow across it and the compressor beyond. This also helped with compressor running time, however the "Space Loft" insulation made the biggest difference.
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