Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-07-2009, 21:54   #1
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Seeking Fridge / Ice Box Advice

I recently purchased a used 88 Hunter 30 that I will be using mostly for Bahamas cruising of cruises to 3 months duration. The built in ice box is enormous and had been converted to a fridge with a norcold unit. However, the compressor was broken and seems to be not worth fixing. In addition, the icebox has not been reduced in size and appears to have little or no external insulation (can't get at it, but there is clearly little room.).

Having at least some refrigeration or cooling ability is fairly important to me, so I'd love to get some feedback on options I may have.

It seems to me, it's not worth replacing the norcold unit unless the icebox is reduced in size and properly insulated.

My current thought is to keep using the ice box as an icebox, adding some interior insulation and also add a small cooler/compressor stand alone unit such as the one at the link below. My thought is when I hit town, get some ice and live it up for a couple day with all sorts of fresh stuff, but once the ice melts, just keep the basics cold in the cooler/compressor.

Considering the boat will only be used for a maximim of 4 months cruising per year, I'm also a bit tempted to just go with ice., but I really do enjoy having a minimal amount of refrigeration capabilities, even if it's just cream for coffee, a little ice and a few cold drinks. I'm frequently away from ice purchasing ability for 7 to 10 days at a time.

Energy - I currently have no solar or wind. The only charging is from the alternator. Unfortuanately I don't have it's output available at the moment. The boat has two batteries I believe with 120 AH each, but one will be reserved as a starting battery at least at night. I have room to add another. My cruising style is so that I don't sit long at anchor and move and use the engine most days, but unless I have energy needs, my engine time is often minimal.

When I read some of the literature on the compressor/cooler unit, it said typical energy consumtion was 2 AH. However, I have no idea what this is based on. I don't know if this means when it runs, but doesn't run all the time or this is an average per 24 hours of running in moderate climates - makes a big difference.

The shelf I would put this on would allow good ventilation of the compressor into the cabin. Exterior ventilation would be difficult. I have room to add some additional exterior insulation and still allow the vents to vent properly.

I'm experienced with epoxy work so could do a reasonable job of reducing the interior space in the current icebox to convert it to a refrigerator, but I'm not sure I'll have the time prior to my first big cruise. A mentioned previously one side wall would be difficult to add insulation to. In addition the cooler/compressor meets my space needs for about half the price. I should note that the top door to the ice box is right on top of one of the sidewalls, making it impossible to add any significant insulation to that side wall without a major countertop and door project.



Any experiences with these cooler/compressors or this in general are greatly appreciated.



The unit type I'm considering though I may go smaller:

West Marine: Compressor Cooler AC/DC Product Display
__________________

__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2009, 23:23   #2
Registered User
 
mesquaukee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Caribbean & ocassionaly inCanada
Boat: Mesqua Ukee, Buccaneer 40 (Salar 40)
Posts: 480
The unit uses 45 watts of power or 4 amps at 12 volts ( 2 amps at 24 volts)
According to the manufacturer at an air temp of 30C or 86F it runs 35% of the time with the interior being 5C or 40F.
What this means is just keeping things cold, ie not making ice you will use 35 AmpHrs a day of energy. Without knowing your current energy budget it would be difficult to sy if you needed to expand you battery bank. My gut says you will as your sole source of electricity is the engine.

COOLMATIC CF-50 50L PORTABLE FRIDGE/FREEZER Specifications
  • Temperature range: +10C to -18C
  • Thermostatic control
  • 50L capacity
  • 360mm W x 480mm H x 630mm D
  • Weight: 18 Kg
  • Power input: approx. 45 watts
  • Running time per hour at 5C interior temp: 20C ambient temp = 25%
  • 30C a.t. = 35%
__________________

__________________
mesquaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-07-2009, 23:24   #3
Registered User
 
Portobello's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hobart
Boat: Portobello - a Walter Knoop designed "DOVEN 30"
Posts: 231
Images: 5
I will be interestes in this thread also - I have a large ice box also and have contempleted adding an electric eutectic sysyem to it. My alternative is also to buy one of those portable Engel units and use that. A mate of mine installed one of those compressor type units to his ice box and was very happy with the results.
I can afford 2 or 3 amp over 24 hours with my set up but would have to charge if it isnt sunny.
__________________
Love the journey!
Portobello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 00:04   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesquaukee View Post
.[/SIZE][/FONT]

COOLMATIC CF-50 50L PORTABLE FRIDGE/FREEZER Specifications
  • Temperature range: +10C to -18C
  • Thermostatic control
  • 50L capacity
  • 360mm W x 480mm H x 630mm D
  • Weight: 18 Kg
  • Power input: approx. 45 watts
  • Running time per hour at 5C interior temp: 20C ambient temp = 25%
  • 30C a.t. = 35%
Great info - can you tell me where this came from? I'd like to see the specs on the 35L model as well. I can live without making ice and the power use seems reasonable.
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 00:06   #5
Registered User
 
mesquaukee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Caribbean & ocassionaly inCanada
Boat: Mesqua Ukee, Buccaneer 40 (Salar 40)
Posts: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portobello View Post
I will be interestes in this thread also - I have a large ice box also and have contempleted adding an electric eutectic sysyem to it. My alternative is also to buy one of those portable Engel units and use that. A mate of mine installed one of those compressor type units to his ice box and was very happy with the results.
I can afford 2 or 3 amp over 24 hours with my set up but would have to charge if it isnt sunny.
If your primary energy source is solar do not use eutectics or a cold holdover plate system. They use about twice as much AmpHrs/day for the same box temperature. They are also heavy and take up a lot of space.

The only reason to use eutectic or cold holdover plates are if you have a genset or regularly run your engine which has the compressor on mounted on it.

The most efficient systems are ones using evaporator plates and a TX valve.
__________________
mesquaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 00:09   #6
Registered User
 
mesquaukee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Caribbean & ocassionaly inCanada
Boat: Mesqua Ukee, Buccaneer 40 (Salar 40)
Posts: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
Great info - can you tell me where this came from? I'd like to see the specs on the 35L model as well. I can live without making ice and the power use seems reasonable.
It is at Buy Cheap COOLMATIC CF-50 50L PORTABLE FRIDGE/FREEZER - Reviews UK
__________________
mesquaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 00:50   #7
Registered User
 
Portobello's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hobart
Boat: Portobello - a Walter Knoop designed "DOVEN 30"
Posts: 231
Images: 5
I was always under the impression that the evaporator plate ones were very slow to cool and struggled to maintain low temps. Cruising around here I would run the motor every day and keeping the batteries topped up does not seem to be a problem- it has a big alternator!
__________________
Love the journey!
Portobello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 00:52   #8
Registered User
 
mesquaukee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Caribbean & ocassionaly inCanada
Boat: Mesqua Ukee, Buccaneer 40 (Salar 40)
Posts: 480
Found the CF 35 and others its, Waeco Coolmatic CF Cool Freeze Compressor Coolers Fridge & Freezer Cool Boxes 12 24 Volt

Coolmatic CF 35
Average power consumption: 45 watts Average running time at 5C: 15% at 20C ambient temperature 19% at 32C ambient temperature

Coolmatic CF 50
Average power consumption: 45 watts Average running time at 5C: 10% at 20C ambient temperature 15% at 32C ambient temperature

The numbers are different than the other site. Also the CR35 runs longer even though it is smaller.
I think the numbers for the cf 50 are a missprint.
__________________
mesquaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 01:11   #9
Registered User
 
mesquaukee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Caribbean & ocassionaly inCanada
Boat: Mesqua Ukee, Buccaneer 40 (Salar 40)
Posts: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Portobello View Post
I was always under the impression that the evaporator plate ones were very slow to cool and struggled to maintain low temps.
It all depends on the care taken in the design of the system, the selection of the size of the compressor and the placement of the components.

There are a lot of misconceptions about 12 volt systems. The smaller, inexpensive (relative to other 12 volt systems) do it yourself kits have unfortuantly perpetuated this belief.
__________________
mesquaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 01:28   #10
Registered User
 
mesquaukee's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Caribbean & ocassionaly inCanada
Boat: Mesqua Ukee, Buccaneer 40 (Salar 40)
Posts: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesquaukee View Post
Found the CF 35 and others its, Waeco Coolmatic CF Cool Freeze Compressor Coolers Fridge & Freezer Cool Boxes 12 24 Volt

Coolmatic CF 50
Average power consumption: 45 watts Average running time at 5C: 10% at 20C ambient temperature 15% at 32C ambient temperature

The numbers are different than the other site. Also the CR35 runs longer even though it is smaller.
I believe based on box size etc. the above is a misprint and should read as in an earlier post as,
Average power consumption: 45 watts Average running time at 5C: 25% at 20C ambient temperature 35% at 32C ambient temperature
__________________
mesquaukee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 03:47   #11
Moderator
 
Dockhead's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Cowes (Winter), Baltic (Summer) (the boat!); somewhere in the air (me!)
Boat: Cutter-Rigged Moody 54
Posts: 19,750
That ought to be a great unit. Note that it is a conventional compressor and evaporator based system, and not a power-hogging thermoelectric system like most picnic coolers. See: http://www.dometic.com/3c285831-c021...02c1ac02.fodoc

It has temperature readouts and sophisicated controls. Needs no raw water supply or plumbing. Other than the fact that air-based condensors are less efficient than water ones, this should be about as efficient as you can get, besides a totally no-hassle plug-and-play installation.
__________________
Dockhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 11:00   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
That ought to be a great unit. Note that it is a conventional compressor and evaporator based system, and not a power-hogging thermoelectric system like most picnic coolers. See: http://www.dometic.com/3c285831-c021...02c1ac02.fodoc

It has temperature readouts and sophisicated controls. Needs no raw water supply or plumbing. Other than the fact that air-based condensors are less efficient than water ones, this should be about as efficient as you can get, besides a totally no-hassle plug-and-play installation.
Those characteristics fit my situation well. Thanks for the link.

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts about the drawer unit on the bottom of the above linked page? It would fit my space prefectly and appears to be run by the same compressor and have a similar energy draw to comparible cooler style units. I image one looses more cold air when opening a drawer, but are there any other trade-offs I should be aware of?
__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 11:30   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Cruising
Boat: Jeanneau 38 Gin Fizz- Rhosyn Mor
Posts: 331
A couple of thoughts;
keep your ice box as an icebox, get some very high quality insulation and use double the recommended thickness, Ice should keep for 5/6 days.
for milk/ cream use NIDO.
a mesh bag hung over the side and dropped 10 feet down will keep soda pop cool, and white wine . if you run the drain from the ice box into a bucket you will have ice cold water to flash cool drimks.
__________________
Rhosyn Mor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 11:56   #14
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
You could add insulation to the inside of the fridge since it is so large. If you then made a liner for it it would then be a suitable well insulated fridge. You can also then add a divider and make a spill over fridge and while not a great freezer it could keep items frozen that were already frozen.

A do it yourself fridge kit is about $1100 more like $1300 for a cold plate unit. They come with a 15 ft refrigerant line that can be led to the compressor where it would be properly connected up. That would make 6 to 9 cubic feet or about 170 to 250 liters. That is enough to go places.

I've done the past two years with ice and it is fine for short trips of 4 days or less. It does get to be a problem when you go longer and want to carry more food. Long term the cost of ice is significant given you get so little back. Having had a fridge previously I'm convinced. The fridge parts arrived this morning.

FWIW, you don't usually fix an old fridge at least for very long. The modern ones if well installed can last maybe 18 years. If you have the batteries and the charging system then adding a fridge makes good sense.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-07-2009, 12:40   #15
Senior Cruiser
 
nautical62's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Live Iowa - Sail mostly Bahamas
Boat: Beneteau 32.5
Posts: 2,264
Images: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesquaukee View Post
I believe based on box size etc. the above is a misprint and should read as in an earlier post as,
Average power consumption: 45 watts Average running time at 5C: 25% at 20C ambient temperature 35% at 32C ambient temperature
Thanks - great comparison chart there. The 50 clearly looks off.
__________________

__________________
nautical62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
refrigerator

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Building an Ice Box pressuredrop Construction, Maintenance & Refit 21 18-06-2009 03:44
Insulation material for fridge box MV Construction, Maintenance & Refit 10 04-09-2008 15:46
ice box with refrigeration upgrade wolfenzee Construction, Maintenance & Refit 5 29-08-2008 13:59
refrigerating an ice box Rhosyn Mor Provisioning: Food & Drink 3 16-04-2008 08:14
Ice box conversion? johneri1 Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 6 23-12-2007 06:54



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:06.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.