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Old 28-06-2008, 08:01   #1
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Need Refrigeration Advice

In my boat I have a big top loading freezer that works wonderfully.

I also have a front loading refrigerator, where I struggle with temperature consistency. It has three levels. The cooling plate sits in the back of the bottom level. What I'm seeing now is if the temperature in the bottom level is -1 C, then the middle level will be around 5C, while the top level will be around 10 C.

How can I make this more consistant? I'd like to have the same temperature on all three levels. Ideally at 4 C.

I was thinking about installing a small 12 volt fan, but then the fridge will draw even more amps than it already does. Hopefully some of you have had a similar problem and have solved it in a clever way.
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Old 28-06-2008, 08:19   #2
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Move the cooling plate to the top of the refrigerator and you'll have the same temperature everywhere.
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Old 28-06-2008, 08:22   #3
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A small fan will work and the draw will be minimal. Get one of these fans.
JAMICON - Fans / DC Fans
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Old 29-06-2008, 15:09   #4
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Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Move the cooling plate to the top of the refrigerator and you'll have the same temperature everywhere.
I had a good look inside the fridge and it looks like moving the cooling plate will be very difficult. It's screwed into place and the screws are now part of the insulation, so there's no way I can get to them. It'll be a tough move.
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Old 29-06-2008, 15:10   #5
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A small fan will work and the draw will be minimal. Get one of these fans.
JAMICON - Fans / DC Fans
I'm going to look closer at installing a fan unless I get another great suggestion.
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Old 29-06-2008, 17:40   #6
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Andreas, there are small fans made for exactly thast purpose, which run "forever" off one D-cell so they don't need ship's power. They run very slowly, don't move much air, but that's enough to circulate the air in a box, and do it for a long time form one very economical battery. A set of rechargable "D" cells and a small solar charger, and you'd be in business. (With a note, many "D" rechargeable batteries are just "C" cells in a larger shell, caveat emptor.)
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Old 30-06-2008, 01:03   #7
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Andreas, there are small fans made for exactly thast purpose, which run "forever" off one D-cell so they don't need ship's power.
This sounds perfect. Thank you very much. Now I need to do some quick research, so that I can find and buy one. Do you know of any brands/makes that are better than others?
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Old 30-06-2008, 10:08   #8
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No, I don't know the brands offhand. Probably all of the usual suspects.
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Old 08-07-2008, 21:38   #9
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A small 12V muffin fan (the smaller the better) works great. They can be had cheap at Radio Shack, online, or scavenged from that old PC in the garage. It would take years to drain a house battery. At about .07 amps it's not even worth the electrical calculation to worry over.
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Old 17-07-2008, 04:08   #10
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After some deliberation and careful work, I was able to move the cooling plate to the top of the fridge and for now it seems like the problem is solved. I need to monitor the temperature on the different shelves in the next few weeks, if I'm not totally happy with the temperature range, then I'll add a 12V fan. Thank you for all your input.
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Old 17-07-2008, 05:03   #11
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Originally Posted by SettingSail2009 View Post
After some deliberation and careful work, I was able to move the cooling plate to the top of the fridge and for now it seems like the problem is solved. I need to monitor the temperature on the different shelves in the next few weeks, if I'm not totally happy with the temperature range, then I'll add a 12V fan. Thank you for all your input.
Cool! (I guess there is a pun there)

Convection will now keep the fridge at a uniform temperature - all without extra power.

But, being front-loading, you will still have all the cold air fall out of the door when you open it up, having to be replaced by the cold plate. At least the temps should be uniform now.

Make sure you leave "spaces" on each shelf to allow air to flow up and down the refrigerator now, as you will have a good flow rotating from top to bottom and to top again.
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