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Old 17-09-2013, 16:31   #1
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Marine Refrigeration Classes

Where does one learn the profession of marine AC/Refrigeration? Is there a technical school that specializes in marine systems?

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Old 17-09-2013, 18:50   #2
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

Most vo-tech schools have a basic refrigeration course. It would apply to marine as well. Main thing is it takes a license to buy refrigerant in small lots. Well other then R134A and that will be restricted one day too.

A book on basic refrigeration, a gauge set, vacuum pump, small brazing system would be enough for basic repairs. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Repair: Roger A. Fischer, Ken Chernoff: 9780830628810: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 17-09-2013, 19:10   #3
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Most vo-tech schools have a basic refrigeration course. It would apply to marine as well. Main thing is it takes a license to buy refrigerant in small lots. Well other then R134A and that will be restricted one day too.

A book on basic refrigeration, a gauge set, vacuum pump, small brazing system would be enough for basic repairs. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Repair: Roger A. Fischer, Ken Chernoff: 9780830628810: Amazon.com: Books

You can still find and purchase the stuff on Ebay. Sellers get around the license crap by having the purchaser sign a statement that he is purchasing it for resale. Good gosh, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling at all!

And they may indeed make R134a expensive...maybe even require a special permit from the demigods. But there is always reliable propane available on the cheap and the stuff does work. Yes I know---baboomb. Now maybe Chicken Little has something after all.

Before I close, Chic's book recommendations are solid. Also a good understanding of thermodynamics is a big help.
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Old 17-09-2013, 19:56   #4
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

Propane does make a great refrigerant and actually much safer then most. Think one of the newer blends has propane in it.
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Old 18-09-2013, 00:38   #5
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

think cruiseair do a sort of class for experienced/ licensed techs with regard to marine A/C work other than that it's the old school of hard knocks, propane I've found does work well as a refrigerant and in the danfoss systems you'd probably find a filled system refrigerant volumewise would be either less or pretty close to the amount of propellant in a CRC can which is.......yep .......propane, and we all carry a few of those on board without a care regarding either stowage or relative locality to ignition sources. Propane works with mineral as well as polyolester oils and a thorough vacuum before filling will ensure no oxygen for the boom factor
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Old 18-09-2013, 01:36   #6
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

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Propane does make a great refrigerant and actually much safer then most. Think one of the newer blends has propane in it.
You're not actually suggesting using propane, right? If so, advise also for in case of decompression including evacuating the bilge. A blower would be beneficial here. Aren't systems designed for inflammable gas which by using propane you should at least place a placard on the system for the benefit of anyone who would work on the system in the future.

I strongly suspect, don't know, propane is vastly less efficient than R-134. Therefore, you have introduced a flammable gas into a system not designed for it and it operates less efficiently.

To the OP, I met some guys in the line-up while surfing. Both had just completed classes at a school in Arizona on the subject. They highly recommended it.
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Old 18-09-2013, 06:57   #7
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Propane does make a great refrigerant and actually much safer then most. Think one of the newer blends has propane in it.
Amazing refrigerant!! Compatible with old r12 systems, and their oils. And more efficient than r134 in the right circumstances.!!
I recently did this to a 1979 ford truck. The r12 was too expensive and the truck wasn't worth an upgrade.
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Old 18-09-2013, 07:17   #8
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

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Amazing refrigerant!! Compatible with old r12 systems, and their oils. And more efficient than r134 in the right circumstances.!!
I recently did this to a 1979 ford truck. The r12 was too expensive and the truck wasn't worth an upgrade.
Please elucidate the "right circumstances". This is risky business which deserves a full explanation.
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Old 18-09-2013, 07:28   #9
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Please elucidate the "right circumstances". This is risky business which deserves a full explanation.
I'll just say in small quantities and never on a boat.
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Old 18-09-2013, 10:55   #10
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

Zboss, When you say learn the profession of marine AC/Refrigeration is a major task over what others have suggested. There are trade schools that can provide fundamentals in general about HVACR but not enough on the various types of marine AC/Refrigeration to be competent in the profession to handle a service call on your own. Without experience and equipment’s detailed repair manuals in your possession you could not be successful. There are no two refrigeration systems in the marine industry the same and good manuals are un-common, Basic knowledge Fundamentals from a technical school are just not enough. These schools will teach you the answers to EPA questions to obtain licenses to handle refrigerant but this is not enough. To be qualified to do work on systems you would need a year or more working under an experienced technician.

If you are a boater I am sure you have heard sad stories about pleasure boat refrigeration problems and how difficult it is to get repairs done correctly the first time. I read every day where technicians do not have the slightest idea of how to apply refrigeration fundamentals of refrigerant flow on very small refrigeration system. If someone is truly interested in this profession they can spend time studying and building a refrigeration system from old parts, to gain experience. I spent two weeks training six charter boat company mechanics in the islands on refrigeration design, performance and repair. They assembled a complete operating system using compressor from Dorm refrigerator and 50 ft of copper tubing. A metal pail used for holding plate and fined tube for evaporator were the main components of system. With 41 boat refrigerators in harbor to work with each trainee got plenty of hands on experience.

It is possible to be a self made quality refrigeration technician with out formal school if approached with determination and a plan.

1. Digesting Fundamentals First.

One of the best training manuals to start with is a very large expensive book revised every couple of years by Althhouse/ Turnquest / Bracciano. { Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning} 1200 large pages of knowledge and forever reference material
You can buy a used copy on Ebay for $30 My own book is 1996 issue. I do no think you will not need the newest version.

2. Exposure To World Of Refrigeration and Its Problem Solving

As you go through your book review stay away from the more complex systems stay with basics first.
After you have the above book, go quickly through it so it can be used to understand where items are explained in detail for later reference.
Sign in to Refrigeration Engineering Forum .com on internet.
http://www.refrigeration-engineer.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?5-Technical-Discussions There are always subjects of interest and a separate forum on fundamental discussions at this web site.
Use internet U Tube to to find and watch videos on refrigeration and Air Conditioning servicing and repair.
And, Goole any questions or words you do not understand.

3. If you get to the next hands on next step Email me and I will advise tooling and parts needed to build and service a working system.
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Old 18-09-2013, 12:06   #11
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

Richard,

This is great information! Thanks!

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Old 20-09-2013, 10:08   #12
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Classes

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You can buy a used copy on Ebay for $30 My own book is 1996 issue. I do no think you will not need the newest version.
That's what i did in 2007, Great Book. I didnt know anything about refrigeration. After a salt water leak at the heat exchanger loop killed my cold plate and 12V compressor, i got a basic thin plate Danfoss BD50 kit from Rparts (back then they were in business). Spent few months reading and gathering parts. Got some tools (Service gauge set, Vacuum pump, Acetylene torch, etc), spare parts/fittings, and in about a day, I built my new fridge. Its been running ever since with just an occasional squirt of 134a at the service valve.
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