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Old 22-04-2014, 14:43   #1
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Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

I'm in the market for a icebox conversion kit, and notice a new entry from Isotherm, which has rather than a plate evaporator, a plastic clad module with a fin evaporator, fan, and thermostat enclosed. It uses the Danfoss BD35F compressor.

One clear advantage is this seems the lowest priced icebox conversion kit on the market.

Does anyone have experience with this unit? Why are plate type evaporators more common, what in practical application is the difference?

I have a sailboat, in a hot southern climate (New Orleans).
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Old 23-04-2014, 09:01   #2
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Re: Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

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Originally Posted by Saqqara View Post
I'm in the market for a icebox conversion kit, and notice a new entry from Isotherm, which has rather than a plate evaporator, a plastic clad module with a fin evaporator, fan, and thermostat enclosed. It uses the Danfoss BD35F compressor.

One clear advantage is this seems the lowest priced icebox conversion kit on the market.

Does anyone have experience with this unit? Why are plate type evaporators more common, what in practical application is the difference?

I have a sailboat, in a hot southern climate (New Orleans).

I manufactured a line of conduction fan cooled fined evaporators in 1990 for boat icebox conversions. Adler Barbour later came up with their circulating air evaporators VD15 and VD16. What both of us found out was these were only practical in cooler applications because air fin evaporators need to be defrosted daily if operated at refrigerator temperatures in moist marine climates. Refrigerated cooler temperatures are expectable with a box temperature range of 40 to 50 degrees F, this allows evaporator fin frost to melt in compressor off cycles. Refrigerator evaporator temperatures are generally designed to extend quality of food by maintaining evaporator at +12 to +26 degrees F resulting in lower box temperatures mid thirties.

Waeco/Demitic now stilling selling Adler Barbour fan evaporators seen to indicate they can also be used freezers. Isotherm also indicates their VD 15 in one place it is OK in a 1.8 cu ft freezer, then in another it is not recommended in freezers. Once fins frost over air flow stops and box gets warmer.

The Freeze Blasters I sold were mounted high in the box and before holding plates to improve rate of box temper change while eutectic solution was freezing. Once the Blasters fins were frozen over box temperature and plate temperatures were in desired temp range.
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Old 23-04-2014, 14:24   #3
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Re: Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

Thank you Mr. Kollmann, your posts here and elsewhere are a great resource.

The higher "beverage cooler" temperatures would probably be sufficient for the majority of my needs; dockside entertainment, day-sailing, and extended weekend trips.

But these 12v systems are all rather expensive, so the added versatility of lower refrigeration temperatures (and with an O evaporator, maybe a tray of ice), is likely worth the somewhat higher cost.




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Old 23-04-2014, 15:11   #4
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Re: Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

also consider this. it's made by waeco (dometic). if you have an existing icebox and there is space to one side of it you basically cut a rectangular hole in the side of the box, push this thing in, secure it in place, attach two wires, and you're done.

i actually installed one some years ago. it appears that it would work very well in a small box, say under 4 cubic feet, but couldn't do the job in my nearly 7 cubic foot box. but it was easy to install. i don't know if it would function as a freezer but it should work as a fridge in a small box.

Dometic CS-NC-15 CoolMatic Cooling Kit
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Old 23-04-2014, 15:26   #5
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Re: Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

Thank you. An interesting option, but I think a split system would be easier for me to accommodate.
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Old 23-04-2014, 15:31   #6
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Re: Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

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Originally Posted by Saqqara View Post
Thank you Mr. Kollmann, your posts here and elsewhere are a great resource.

The higher "beverage cooler" temperatures would probably be sufficient for the majority of my needs; dockside entertainment, day-sailing, and extended weekend trips.

But these 12v systems are all rather expensive, so the added versatility of lower refrigeration temperatures (and with an O evaporator, maybe a tray of ice), is likely worth the somewhat higher cost.



I spent 1949 in New Orleans before air conditioning and yes it was hot and a refrigerator was a must. For day and week end sailing ice if available usually is a good solution for keeping a box cool. If you want to have true refrigeration and maybe ability to make ice there are good basic icebox conversion refrigeration systems available. Nova Cool has a good unit in both the BD 35 and BD50 compressor sizes. Technautics has a good unit for small boxes but for your use it is way overpriced. My advice if you have space on the boat is to consider an Engel portable unit it runs on AC or DC and temperature can be set any where from a cooler at .85 amp per hour to a -4 degree F freezer averaging 2.5 amps per hour. I tested Engels 45 Qt unit in 2002 in a controlled test room and was surprised at its overall performance. If you go with simplistic design then performance and last lowest cost you will be satisfied.
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Old 23-04-2014, 16:17   #7
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Re: Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

Richard, I actually have a Edgestar 43 quart portable fridge similar to the Engel. It works brilliantly, but there's unfortunately no good place for it aboard, without sacrificing a berth.

My wife uses it in the house to augment her freezer space, which presents another problem, as when I want to use it there's no place to put her frozen stuff. If I buy her a chest freezer she'd fill it, which I think is a bad idea in hurricane country.

(Now I think I'm on the wrong advice forum.)
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Old 23-04-2014, 16:54   #8
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Re: Isotherm VE 150 (merits of fin evaporator?)

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Richard, I actually have a Edgestar 43 quart portable fridge similar to the Engel. It works brilliantly, but there's unfortunately no good place for it aboard, without sacrificing a berth.

My wife uses it in the house to augment her freezer space, which presents another problem, as when I want to use it there's no place to put her frozen stuff. If I buy her a chest freezer she'd fill it, which I think is a bad idea in hurricane country.

(Now I think I'm on the wrong advice forum.)
Hi I have the waeco version of what you describe and find it to be quite effective and not too power hungry.
It cools quite quickly and doesn't cycle too often.
I am located in Sydney Australia
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