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Old 02-09-2014, 05:49   #16
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Hi, and thanks for the response...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
A 20 degree Delta
T between plate skin temperature and box temp is good for refrigerator areas
but too large for freezer plate to freezer box.


I am almost sure refrigeration end of system has
reached an equilibrium between all components when these reported
temperatures were taken. To get a plate temperature of zero temperature
inside is generally 10 degrees colder.

Quite right. I'd specified that I did this with the reefer having reached
the setpoint, mostly to avoid having warm air pushing into the box with the
spillover fan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post

I do not know if you can reduce the Delta T and
break the equilibrium by adjustments but it can be done by circulating air
in box directly over plates. There is always natural air tumbling designed
into refrigerator freezers as cold air descends and warm air rises. In this
case conduction heat transfer is not good enough. By placing a 20 Cfm 12
volt muffin fan to blow air from top of freezer down across evaporator plate
you improve heat transfer by convection air flow. There is a test in book
demonstrating a 6 degree improvement by just tumbling air but if air were
directed across plate it might reduces box's temperature enough to solve
some of the hot climate troubles you are seeing.
I'd not thought of running it directly over the plates, but I do have a
small fan (~2.5" square or so) in the freezer, as part of my original
design. I used to have it on the bottom, in a corner, pushing into the
center, just for moving the air around. The ability to mix in the rest of
the box was through the gap created by the shelf arms' bracket (typical DIY
clip-in shelf brackets), a similar gap on the other side (arms not long
enough to reach entirely, and I didn't want to hit the evaporator) and the
holes in the shelf itself (plexi, with a dozen or so inch-size holes).

At this moment, when I've still not got it right, because I thought it would
be more effective, I have it in the corner next to the first plate, on the
shelf, pulling air from above and below the shelf, and from behind the plate
(and, of course, some of it blowing over the plate itself by general air
disturbance.

Regardless of what the indicated or IR readings showed the temperature to
be, in the middle of the shelf, open to all sides, a loaf of bread is not
hard-frozen, as noted when I removed it the previous evening. At this time
the only other thing we have in the freezer is some premade hamburgers;
their boxes stand up against the plate, and are satisfactory on removal.

So, I infer that it would be better for me to align the fan so that the air
blows directly over the plate? A similar fan in the reefer is in the
corner next to the spillover, on the bottom; I use it to mix the air around
in the box but also to blow over the six-pack or less of beer and coke,
each, right in front of it, figuring that will be the coldest spot. It
seems to work, as the veggies on the other side (fan on left, veggies on
right of the box) shelves, and the eggs on the bottom, never freeze unless
the freezer is cold enough that convection alone is more than sufficient for
the reefer (we currently have a warm enough freezer that our spillover fan
does the work to reach the setpoint).

So, to the freezer, should this be moving cold air up or laterally (I can't
imagine a benefit to make it move down)? If I were to position the fan I
now have such that it blows directly across the coldest plate (normally -
note the temps actually getting colder the further we go, so apparently I'm
adding heat to the first plate by what I'm doing), instead of moving air by
suction over the rear of it, and by swirl over the front of it, would this
change matters?

An aside, apparently we're good again on the valve, as the frost extends an
inch or two beyond the last plate suction line, but not all the way to the
box wall; it appears all the action is happening before it gets close to the
exit. However, I'm not thrilled that I have constant bubbles in the sight
glass. Should I be concerned?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:25   #17
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Yesterday, as I'd identified a problem with the gasketing in the freezer,
which resulted in very heavy snow on the plates, I defrosted and redid the
offending gasket.

One big plaudit for Sea Frost. Defrosting is a piece of cake, if you'll
pardon the expression. The smooth SS sides of the plates makes the part you
can't get to, the one between the freezer wall and the back of the plate,
much more willing to shed the load. Defrost time with SF is probably half
of what it was with Frigoboat, and most of my cleanup is scooping up slush
and ice from the bottom, rather than having to evacuate all the water via
scoop and sponge.

I also removed the water from under the shelf, as it was suggested that
despite its thermal mass, it also had a significant effect on recovery each
time the system started up again. At this time the freezer has only two
each packages of BubbaBurgers and veggie burgers, 1.5 loaves of bread, and a
small freeze-pack as for lunchboxes or drink carriers, so it's vastly mostly
air. Unlike before, the bread (now) is firm-frozen, rather than merely
"very cold" - but it's not leave-it-there-for-a-month frozen.

I also moved my circulating fan, still mounted on the shelf, to right angles
to the first plate, and against the outside wall, making some of the air
blown go to the rear of the plate, and the rest horizontally, directly
across a point about 2/3 down the plate, in hopes that this would be
superior to my previous 45° mounting in the same location.

I followed my usual post-defrost routine, which was to remove the magnet on
the reefer box door, which controlled the fans. One is to swirl the air
inside, and the other is to force freezer air into the box, displacing warm
air over the same-size-as-the-fan-area slot on the top of the divider
between the boxes. That magnet removal keeps the heat load of the reefer
from slowing the freezing of the plates.

I then set it to high, to make the temps come down as quickly as possible.
We left the boat to go to the FWC meeting in Vero Beach; when we returned,
the freezer section was cycling (at a very high amp load; we'd added 50AH to
our deficit, despite there being brilliant sun - which should have
contributed some 10s of AH - in the 5 hours or so we were off the boat).
So, I replaced the magnet on the door, and started up the spillover and
circulation fans in the reefer. It took a couple of hours, but the reefer
also reached its setpoint just before we went to bed.

I left it on high for an experiment, and got up this morning to record
results.

It looks a bit like this unit needs high compressor speed for air cooling,
aided by the water cooling, as, despite the high Amp load, we begin to
approach the specified objective of 32 minutes of runtime per cycle.

Cycle times this morning were, on/off, for both reefer and freezer:

Freezer 39/18, 35/14 and 38/didn't notice exact time of "off", but under 20
Reefer 7/23, 6/28, 6/35, 8/29

So, average runtime for the freezer was 37.33 minutes, and average cycle
time was 53.33 minutes. The reefer short-runs suggests that the level of
cold it receives is adequate; too much colder and all the spillover would be
convective, with our low point being exceeded (reefer too cold) on occasion.

I waited until we had both units off, in order not to have disruption in the
readings, and again read box, pipes and plate temps.

Ambient, start: 79@11:07
Box @ probe (spillover divider, above center fan): +4
Regulator and line: +8
Plate 1: -9
Line 2: -7
Plate 2: -9
Line 3: -8
Plate 3: -11
Return line @ plate: +6
Return line near exit: +8
Box: +8
Ambient, finish: 75@11:09 (cold spillout?? dying IR gun battery??)
Indicated box temp at finish was 17.1, a 9 degree variance from the probe
temperature

This is probably a much more valid representation of what's happening in our
system than the first one, above...

L8R

Skip

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Old 06-09-2014, 12:20   #18
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Our water portion of the system continues to be a big deal nuisance problem. It had packed up again, fouling faster than we can keep it clean, leading to cavitation of the pump, leading me to believe that we had a leak somewhere. That proved untrue.

Removing the entire input to the through-hull valve revealed the elbow/nipple at the valve was pretty firm with mud or equivalent, even after I'd done some ramming with a SS wire (like a snake) (before removal) and pumped several times, and the open valve trickled.

I left it open and reamed it until it flowed again. Put it all back together, again, with no clamps, even, as we'd suspected one of the joints or the saltwater washdown into which the pump was teed of leaking to make all the bubbling which came out of the pump, and it's projecting out from the side of the boat. Apparently, if there IS any backwash from the hoses when the pump turns off (set point reached), it's not doing any good in keeping things open with chlorine tablet-infused water supposedly being pushed out. It's so muddy that it doesn't matter if everything's dead, it still packs up.

So, it's not a good option, but the best I have. I'll buy a tee and plug one, or if I can actually get a junction-T, plug two ends, thus making a cleanout available to the line, and a very short (right at my plug) turn to get down the valve, or a direct line to both the hose and the valve (if I can get a -|- Tee.

Initial appearances are that the very vigorous flow now makes the cycle time much shorter than even before with water.

I'm still having to use SOMETHING to avoid this cleanout being a daily affair, so the chlorine tablets go in every 10 days; I don't know how long they actually last, as it was gone in a week on our first two checks of a week each.

While I'm not the least bit happy about its being required, this will allow me to do the cleanout without a painful disassembly.
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Old 07-12-2014, 17:01   #19
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Here's what's happening at the moment:

The air and water are notably cooler than before. The freezer now cycles on low alone.

The raw water line got so fouled that when I removed it, there was less than a pencil-sized path for the water to go through. I modified the system so as to allow easier cleaning, and got it empty.

That was 8 weeks ago; 6 of those were off, with the through-hull closed, and so the real time to cleaning this time was about 2 weeks. Clogged again, but not nearly so bad, and the filter was in reasonable shape.

I again reamed the lines and put another chlorine pellet in the filter, and water flies out of the exit through-hull.

So, cooler water and cooler air (no surprise) allows energy consumption more in line with what I'd known previously with the Frigoboat in high temperature environments.

I'm still having to muck around with the constant pressure valve, as, two weeks later, we STILL don't have fully frosted plates; the third is about half unfrosted.

So, the takeaway for me on this system is that it can't keep up with hot weather other than at a horrendous cost in amphours. It will, barely, at high, with air and water cooling, keep food frozen, and the reefer cold, at about 150AH/day. In temperate times, that diminishes considerably, but still likely close to 100AH/day, based on about a 45+% runtime with air and water (7A on low) cooling.

I'm not very happy, but I'll just have to live with it, unless Cleave warrants it for an examination here in Vero before we leave (we fervently hope and have reason to believe we will leave in a few weeks) which miraculously makes it eat about half of what it does - which from commentary here in this forum, and others, would make it only a little worse than most others' consumption cited.

L8R

Skip
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Old 10-12-2014, 14:40   #20
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
Our water portion of the system continues to be a big deal nuisance problem. It had packed up again, fouling faster than we can keep it clean, leading to cavitation of the pump, leading me to believe that we had a leak somewhere. That proved untrue.

Removing the entire input to the through-hull valve revealed the elbow/nipple at the valve was pretty firm with mud or equivalent, even after I'd done some ramming with a SS wire (like a snake) (before removal) and pumped several times, and the open valve trickled.

I'm still having to use SOMETHING to avoid this cleanout being a daily affair, so the chlorine tablets go in every 10 days; I don't know how long they actually last, as it was gone in a week on our first two checks of a week each.

While I'm not the least bit happy about its being required, this will allow me to do the cleanout without a painful disassembly.
How many more water cooling disaster posts from Skip and others are needed before people will listen....

Sure I have a financial stake in being an "air Cooled Refrigeration Pusher Pimp" so ignore me, but Richard Kollmann has been advising against using water cooling on these boat systems for years with great credibility and experience to back up his position.

Pumping sea water through heat exchangers for a small marine refrigeration system is a disaster waiting to happen, or unfortunately in this case...it happened and can at least serve as a real life warning to others. I'm horribly sorry for your heartache Skip, a efficient and maintenance free refrigeration system makes full time cruising so much easier and less stressful.
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Old 10-12-2014, 15:47   #21
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

For what it's worth our salt water cooled fridge/ freezer was replumbed years ago(10+ years) to run thru our fresh water tanks. All the problems we had with having to check zincs, clean the salt water filter and worry about the system corroding thru were eliminated. Skip now that you are stuck with the water cooled system you may want to consider switching to fresh water.

Our water tanks are in the bilge and against the hull so what ever the sea water temp the fresh water temp is the same. even if there is only 5 gallons of water in the tank it's always at sea temp. Next unit will be a air cooled unit for sure!

Richard I echo the others in sending you a hearty thank you for all the excellent advice and time you give the members of this group. two thumbs up!!!

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Old 11-12-2014, 08:16   #22
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Rich Boren, post responce of Technautics marketing Cold Blue units have an excellent product for small boat ice boxes cruising in local waters. What Skip is looking for is a real solution to a new systems performance problem.
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:21   #23
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Chuck, There are some conditions that might help reduce some of the negative problems of water cooling by transferring heat and electrical discharge into fresh water tank. After two bad experiences with using fresh water tank as a condenser cooling medium I now recommend against it.



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Old 11-12-2014, 08:56   #24
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
Here's what's happening at the moment:

The air and water are notably cooler than before. The freezer now cycles on low alone.

The raw water line got so fouled that when I removed it, there was less than a pencil-sized path for the water to go through. I modified the system so as to allow easier cleaning, and got it empty.

That was 8 weeks ago; 6 of those were off, with the through-hull closed, and so the real time to cleaning this time was about 2 weeks. Clogged again, but not nearly so bad, and the filter was in reasonable shape.

I again reamed the lines and put another chlorine pellet in the filter, and water flies out of the exit through-hull.

So, cooler water and cooler air (no surprise) allows energy consumption more in line with what I'd known previously with the Frigoboat in high temperature environments.

I'm still having to muck around with the constant pressure valve, as, two weeks later, we STILL don't have fully frosted plates; the third is about half unfrosted.

So, the takeaway for me on this system is that it can't keep up with hot weather other than at a horrendous cost in amphours. It will, barely, at high, with air and water cooling, keep food frozen, and the reefer cold, at about 150AH/day. In temperate times, that diminishes considerably, but still likely close to 100AH/day, based on about a 45+% runtime with air and water (7A on low) cooling.

I'm not very happy, but I'll just have to live with it, unless Cleave warrants it for an examination here in Vero before we leave (we fervently hope and have reason to believe we will leave in a few weeks) which miraculously makes it eat about half of what it does - which from commentary here in this forum, and others, would make it only a little worse than most others' consumption cited.

L8R

Skip

Skip, I an sorry to hear that the SeaFrost 30% larger water cooled BD80 compressor system is not performing as well as, or better than, the BD50 Keel cooler system. The question now is why more than 300 Btu of refrigerant flow cooling capacity isn’t the new system’s performance 30% better than the old system.?
The simplest questions first:
Is Refrigerant pure 134a and is there enough refrigerant?
Is it possible Insulation R value is reduced do to out gassing of closed cells and now moisture is forming in open insulation cells?
Systems components not in balance?

System shows no operating performance improvement cooling with condenser pumped water or cooling by fan only or with both fan and water pump running at the same time. The fan cooled condenser is extra large. This then rules out any question about liquid refrigerant pressure too high causing this poor performance problem.

Trouble could be with refrigerant flow control device. There are several types of refrigerant flow devices used with Danfoss BD compressors, fixed orifice long capillary tube that changes flow based on evaporator pressure and liquid pressure/volume. The second flow control device is a Thermo Expansion Valve with a very wide range of evaporator temperature control based on state of saturated gas temperature leaving final section of evaporator coil. The expansion valve generally has a control range from -30 to +40 degree F and is used with more than one evaporator or with eutectic holding plates.

SeaFrost is the only pleasure boat refrigeration company using the Low Pressure Regulator to control Refrigerant flow based on a fixed manual adjustment. The object of this low pressure regulator is to provide a fixed evaporator pressure/temperature. This regulator is no more than a pressure relief valve attempting to deliver a fixed pressure inside evaporator refrigerant coil. Liquid refrigerant high pressure when sprayed into evaporator coil will phase change to a saturated vapor absorbing heat volume based on amount of low and pressure in evaporator coil. Example, If evaporator coil low pressure regulator is set at valve to 8 psi then there is high refrigerant flow and in theory temperature will drop to around +4 degrees F. If this low pressure were12 Psi then evaporator coil is trying reach a low temperature of +10 degrees F. Say the thermostat is set to maintain zero degrees F box temperature, the exterior surface of evaporator must reach temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below zero to achieve desired box temperature

Skip, you indicated you have tried to adjust the Low Pressure Regulator You need to know what is occurring in low pressure side of your system to make regulator valve adjustment the readings on valve knob have no relationship to pressures down stream. There are no two boats or systems where the low pressure losses are the same. As refrigerant gas vapor makes its way through evaporator and the return lines friction results in pressure losses. Another problem, the plate coil temperature/pressure needs to be adjusted in order to produce a desired normal operating box temperature. Although suction pressure regulators are not as common in pleasure boat refrigeration as capillary tube or thermo expansion devices Sea frost has used them for at least 20 years successfully. My experience is limited to only a few systems where the freezer refrigerant flow was controlled by an expansion valve and to prevent refrigerator section from getting too cold a low pressure regulator was used to direct flow to both refrigerated areas at the same time. To assist in adjustment of pressure regulator the manufacturer provided a gauge service port on low pressure side of regulator valve. By comparing low pressures between saturated vapor interring evaporator and suction at compressor the super heat across evaporator or evaporators can be regulated. Super heat can be defined as a way to determine if the phase change of liquid refrigerant to vapor is confined within the evaporator and there is sufficient volume of refrigerant flow.

Skip, I do not know the configuration of your SeaFrost components but if there are more than one plate and only one low pressure regulator all plates are in series the flow resistance of that length of evaporator tubing may be too much to maintain vapor velocity when attempting to reach your low freezer desired box temperatures. Do you know what the temperature of each of the plate lines are with system stabilized after operating for more than one day? These temperatures converted to pressure on 134a chart will help determine performance in each plate.
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Old 11-12-2014, 09:24   #25
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

It is true that the world is a smaller place than it once was, but I'm not sure I would classify the Sea of Cortez, Caribbean, and Tropics as "local waters" since that's where our clients having been cruising with Technautics units for longer than I've been alive...

But this thread isn't about my Technautics system and not am I trying to market/hype/promote them here. That doesn't help Skip and frankly, I can barely keep up with the volume of orders to fill as it is, so lets not get sidetracked. Lets keep this thread about about Skip's water cooling nightmare and how he can improve the system he has.

To that answer...I say ****-can the raw sea water cooling. Forget the higher than wanted or expected daily power usage for now, ya that sucks. But if you can't turn your boat refrigeration system on and leave it alone for at least 30 days without maintenance of the condensing unit, then in my view you don't have a functioning marine refrigeration system...you have a disaster.

So the first priority I would deal with is ****-canning the raw water cooling...but how. Well that's where I think chuck hit the nail on the head. Now as Richard K said, using your water tanks for water cooling may not be the choice you would make with a new designed from scratch system and I agree, water cooling sucks. But we are not starting from scratch here...we are stating with what we have. So in Skips case, I say he should stop messing around with his current raw water cooling maintenance disaster and re-plumb his system to use the tanks fresh water for cooling.

This will get him a functioning system that he doesn't have to rip apart and clean damn near weekly. Only then when he has some consistancy of operation and condensor cooling/operation can you then start the real trouble shooting to figure out what is wrong with the overall system. I see this all the time in troubleshooting. With more than one problem going on at the same time and then that problem changes (like is his sea water cooling clogged today or not) making other tweaks is a waste of time because you have no baseline to collect data and make rational decisions. It's then easy to chase a squirrel up the wrong tree. If your water cooled condensing unit isn't functioning how is tweaking the expansion valve going to help you? You gotta get the condensing unit working first and then go down the flow tree in a logical A, B, C progression. With our air cooled system for example, if someone told me that the fan on his air cooled condensing unit wasn't working or was 1/2 blocked, I would say Whoaaa...Partner. We have to get that fixed first before we go onto the next step.
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:08   #26
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
How many more water cooling disaster posts from Skip and others are needed before people will listen....

Sure I have a financial stake in being an "air Cooled Refrigeration Pusher Pimp" so ignore me, but Richard Kollmann has been advising against using water cooling on these boat systems for years with great credibility and experience to back up his position.

Pumping sea water through heat exchangers for a small marine refrigeration system is a disaster waiting to happen, or unfortunately in this case...it happened and can at least serve as a real life warning to others. I'm horribly sorry for your heartache Skip, a efficient and maintenance free refrigeration system makes full time cruising so much easier and less stressful.
Fortunately I listened before I bought and went air cooled. Contrary to those who claim air cooled doesn't work in the tropics mine is great. August in FL, daily temps in the mid nineties, 9-10 cu ft box included 1.5-2 cu ft freezer section the max I saw was 58 amp hours per day. And that did not heat up the interior of the boat that I could tell.

From one Skip to another I also say do what you can with your system to ditch the sea water cooling. Would the vendor let you trade in some of the components for an air cooled system?
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:55   #27
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

I'll try to address the last several without doing multiple quoting replies...

Richard's questions were largely answered in the original go-round. As to outgassing, I suppose that's possible, but we encased our extruded polystyrene in epoxy before installation, so it won't have gone very far, nor have gotten wet. As earlier commented, the only holes in the system were plugged with epoxy as they were opened.

Operating efficiency is SIGNIFICANTLY enhanced with water. As noted, in the worst of times, even on "high" the air-cooled portion of the system was not able to keep up, let alone cycle. Adding the water allowed it to go to an ~75% duty cycle, 50-ish minutes per run, far from the 32 minutes SeaFrost ideal.

So, to the later question, I already have an air-cooled unit. Most of SeaFrost units are just that; you pay extra for the water-cooled option, and when the compressor's running, unless you were to muck around and install another switch, the fan's running. In fact, it's an enclosed box, pulling all that air over the compressor, too, addressing one of Richard's pet peeves about Frigoboat. In our case, the hot air is exhausted through a 4" pipe, so it can't even warm the ambient air in the engine room - which never had a running engine's heat to deal with in any of the measuring periods.

As to the viability of our water cooling system, already there is a notable difference in the local water. I have no question whatsoever that when we get back into the Bahamas and beyond, fouling will not be an issue.

The low pressure regulator has no markings on it other than a reference dot from my starting point. CW from top yields more ice, and vice versa. But EVERY time I've defrosted I've had to twiddle it to get the 3rd plate to frost, having backed it off from having the entire line out of the 3rd plate frosted.

I've not shot the plates and lines recently, but on 01-09-14 I shot and reported those here:

Just now, with the reefer off (setpoint reached), and indicated box temperature 21.3 with constant rising and falling bubbles in the sight glasa, using the IR gun; ambient indicated 80:

"Box probe at start 12
"Regulator and attached pipe -1
"Plate 1 -1
"Pipe 2 -5
"Plate 2 -6
"Pipe 3 -7
"Plate 3 -7
"Pipe 4 (exit, next to plate) 0
"Box probe at end 20
"Indicated temp 21.3"

This time:
15.5 Thermostat
5 Box at probe
-11 Line 1
-14 Plate 1
-15 Line 2
-15 Plate 2
-16 Line 3
-14 Plate 4
2 Regulator
1 Box at probe
15.7 Thermostat at end

You can get a good idea of the layout of our installation here, starting with the second row of pix; if you need to enlarge them, click the pic and choose your resolution; you can then move forward or back by clicking the bottom right:

Pictures: Flying Pig Shakedown 2013-2014/Refrigerator Gaskets/Gaskets Again - with Defrost

Relative to nothing, I've concluded that I will have to replace parts of my gasketing on a regular basis, as I can't find (yet) a way to have the bead compress as desired without having some point where it's too tight and deforms. But, overall, we're happy with the gasketing.

As to canning the water, it's easy enough to do an apples-to-apples by just turning it off. We probably could make do in this air and water environment, particularly since we currently are in the 60/40 range day and night, though the water still is in the high 70s. I have no illusions as to whether the Air alone will make it when it's warm again, let alone have our performance (AH used) come within a country mile of other, similar sized boxes' reports.

So, we come back to why is it that this system, which should have greatly more heat removal potential, does so at a doubling in AH (or so) from our previous experience, which NEVER had an issue about maintaining temps?

Does the above help or hinder the discussion?
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Old 11-12-2014, 13:56   #28
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
Just now, with the reefer off (setpoint reached), and indicated box temperature 21.3 with constant rising and falling bubbles in the sight glasa,
A site glass that looks like a coffee peculator...that's a sign of a unit low on charge. small bb type bubbles are normal and ok...but an old school coffee peculator...that's not ok.

I would forget about the site glass.
Find out what a full system charge is in terms of Oz.
Drain your system to ambient pressure on the low and high side (known as a vapor charge)
Then pull in the exact amount SeaFrost says is a full charge.

You will need to let your system reach room temp to drain off the refrigerant, but this will ensure you with 100% certainty that your charge is right. Then you can look at your site glass and know what a full and correct charge should look like and move onto other trouble shooting issues. Charge First....more rare problems second....at least that's how I would attack this problem if you were reporting this issue with one of my units.

Second...I would put a low pressure gauge on the system and see what it is reading when the system is "stable". The gauges will be worthless until the system is stable...but by knowing the suction side pressure at the plate you will know the temperature inside the plate...for me that's trouble shooting step No 2 at this point.

Your comments about seeing improvements after adding in water cooling to a system...doesn't tell me that water cooling is your solution...rather it tells me that from the start the system is not designed properly to run on Air Cooling! Rich...WTF are you talking about. Follow me here. If most of the SF systems don't have or need water cooling they are designed so that the air cooling condenser is large enough to dissipate the heat and matched properly with the BD80 compressor. The fact that the unit works better when water cooling is added tells us that your Air condensing unit isn't matched properly for the needs of your BD80 compressor. Water cooling is a band-aid here due to the overall air cooling system not being designed properly....

Or...
We could all be chasing our tails because there is a Charge issue or another issue that is going undiagnosed. As Richard K said...you don't have a cookie cutter system aboard but more of a custom system so lots of the advice from 4000miles away is bogus guess work. Here is what I would do if you had our unit. I would send you a complete NEW ONE. We test every single unit that leaves our shop in a test box, watch it, record the data for it and know just now it is working before it leaves. Ok...**** happens and it HAS happened to us too before, but when **** does happen you can't just wash your hands of it and leave it for the client to figure out on the internet chat rooms. You have to stay involved until you either make it work or take it back and give the client a refund. I'm just crazy like that I guess. But if my unit was having all these problems I would want it back at the shop and running in my test box while the client got a new unit that left here working great and as promised.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:36   #29
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

My follow up with Cleave is below, with his quick response following:





Flying Pig <skipgundlach@gmail.com>

8:25 PM (17 hours ago)



to Cleave


Hi, again, Cleave,

We have been fighting our refrigeration since we got it nearly a year ago, and since our last flurry in July.

Some of it you've heard, some may have gotten tangled up in detail.

My sight glass has full bubbling (glass only edges of bubbles) about half the time, otherwise it's well under the glass, and mostly smaller bubbles. Is that suggestive of anything?

I've not yet put a set of gauges on it because I didn't want to disturb my readings and modify my experience, let alone do something which would void the warranty.

A more complete discussion of what's happened can be seen here:
Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem - Page 2 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

Of course, everybody has chimed in, but that doesn't make any of them right. However, along the way, someone suggested a tech here in Vero Beach visit the boat to get it right. As this has been troublesome from the start, and took Clay a full month of tinkering while we were gone - in the late fall, yet, when it wasn't hot - to get it set up to his satisfaction, I think it's safe to assume that there are some issues which need resolution here.

However, back to the story, at best, in this pretty-cold weather (high 50s/low 40s-high 30s), in much cooler water, we keep up with water and air cooling at low. Our experience in the hotter weather didn't change after regasketing, fiddling with the pressure valve, and anything else we've discussed - it still is voracious for electrons, and, even on high, running full time, can't keep up on air cooling alone in the summer.

Right now, it appears that I'm pulling about 7A when running on low with the pump. It DOES cycle, but it still consumes 40 or more AH overnight, even in this cold, and more during the day, for a total on the order of 125-150AH. I've seen, in the course of this and other discussions I looked into during the failure of the Frigoboat system, many instances of folks with substantially similar systems - size of boxes, temps used, e.g. - staunchly maintain usages well under 100AH/day in 90's weather, air cooled only.

So, I can't believe that this is right. This system struggles to merely stay up with the high heat times, at temps higher than in our frigoboat system (RIP), at double or so the AH consumed, with a 1/3 higher capacity pump, and requires the water cooling to make it on low in very cool times. You can see the box itself here, clicking on any image to enlarge if needed:
Pictures: Flying Pig Shakedown 2013-2014/Refrigerator Gaskets/Gaskets Again - with Defrost
Other pictures in the refrigeration gallery (click the section at the top of the page to navigate upward) will show you the installation process, if you'd like.

So, how should we proceed? I can add 134a, but I certainly don't want to muck up the warranty - on which subject, as I've not heard from Clay since this started, can I accurately presume that I was one of his last customers - and that warranty now devolves to SeaFrost (which I'd expect it would in any event)?

What's next?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip

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Cleave Horton

11:04 AM (3 hours ago)



to me, Clay


Skip,

You didn't listen to me about the failures of a spillover system. You are trying to squeeze too much out of a 325 BTU/HR compressor. The compressor is essentially cavitating trying to get the differential you need to hold the freezer down and still refrigerate. Your freezer is under constant attack from the warm air returning from the refrigerator. The cold plates have a low temperature limit, that means they only get so cold no matter how long the unit runs. There is no way any other system would do this either. You should have an isolated freezer and a separate compressor for the refrigerator.

c

Cleave Horton
Sea Frost
148 Old Concord Turnpike
Barrington, NH 03825

603 868 5720
Fx 868 1040

Cleave@seafrost.com
seafrost.com


So, apparently the factory line is:

"You're screwed. One of our dealers put in a patently inadequate system, added a water pump to attempt accommodation, failed, mucked around with it for a month, including replacing three defective components including the pressure control valve, and declared a truce before the battle was won.

"Now that you have it, you'll constantly be screwing with it until and unless you duplicate the system to handle the refrigeration portion; our system can't keep up with the heat load, can't deal with a spillover, and has freezer temps varying by 10 or more degrees when it DOES cycle, even though your prior BD50-powered system sneered at hot weather while keeping the freezer hard frozen, and the reefer to your current temps, both in a very narrow range."

So, I'm stuck. I don't have much to lose by trying to make it better - I have 134a and gauges, in case the charge is too low; Clay indicated that the system was very tolerant, with the constant pressure valve, of overfilling (I'd still use the gauges and the sight glass). I also have a vacuum pump in case I have to start all over again.

Does anyone else read this differently?

L8R


Skip


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and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:55   #30
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Re: Skips new Seafrost poor performance problem

Have you tried blocking off the fridge spillover portion and running it as a pure freezer to make sure it even works well that way? If it doesn't, then Cleave's assumptions are bad.

And I don't know the specifics of the SeaFrost, but other holding plate systems work well as spill-overs.

Mark
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