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Old 22-01-2009, 10:21   #1
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Supercold Refrigeration

HI All,
I've been spending too much time in port due to work so running my engine every day is annoying the neighbors. After to looking a several options I thought I'd just get some feedback from the old salts.
My system now is compressor driven only. I considered ripping it out and putting in a couple of the Engle Refrige/Freezer coolers that run off 110V or 12V. the amp hours are more than acceptable though cobbing up my current refrige area isn't especially asthetic but very simple for a do-it-yourselfer like me with no refrigeration experience.
The other option is to have a local contractor install a12v Adler Barbour ColdMachine or Supercold machine. Bottom line between $2-3500 depending on which one and what options. Bad side, if something fails I'll have to rely on a contrator to fix it.
Does anyone have experience with the Engle "potable" units or the AB Cold or Supercold?
Opinions are greatly appreciated and always very informative.
Thanks,
John
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Old 22-01-2009, 10:53   #2
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FWIW: The Adler Barbour ColdMachine or Supercold machine are very simple to install , and donít require professional set up. Any moderately handy owner could DIY, without special tools or skills.
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Old 22-01-2009, 12:18   #3
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The Cold machine is most common. SuperCold machine uses water cooling. It's fine as long as the water isn't saltwater. They seem to have problems in salt water more often. One hint of salt water in the system and it's pretty much trashed.

The basic Cold machine with the evaporator or cold plate can be purchased for about $1000. You could DIY. Building the box takes a little skill since you want lots of insulation and an inside that is easy to clean. Be nice to line it well and add a drain so you could use Ice if needed. A shorter passage could then use ice and save the power.

The average lifespan seems to be 16 to 20 years. There is almost nothing you can do to service them so they tend to live long. It's nice if you can set up a space for the air cooled compressor. The last two I've had were in lazerettes and both lasted the expected time. I just happened to buy the boats at about the end of life. They tend to work well until the day they don't. They don't seem to go down bleeding your money as they go.

It's insulation thickness that matters maybe the most. Add a good tight sealing lid and it's a lot of fridge space compared to the drop in boxes.
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Old 22-01-2009, 12:22   #4
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engel coolers

I know of 3 boats just this year that have ripped out their refrigeration systems and installed Engels. One boat installed a 65L for the fridge and a 35 for the freezer and another a pair of 40's. You give up a lot of space if you are going to use it as a fridge, their just isnt that much room compared to a built in. One of the boats converted the origonal fridge space to house the 65 and then moved the 35 (freezer) to the quater bearth.
All of the owners have been very happy with the AH usage of the units compared to their origonial systems.
We will be instaling a 35 for a dedicated freezer next season. By doing so we will not only gain a much larger freezer, but we will gain quite a bit of room in the icebox that was dedicated to freezing.
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Old 22-01-2009, 13:20   #5
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Very happy with my AB Coldmachine. Keeps ice cream hard in the freezer. Simple, not much to them but they do work well.
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Old 22-01-2009, 15:31   #6
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Thank you all again for your input and advice. I am researching availability of parts and comparing to my current system.
One thing I didn't ask was, if I install a Coldmachine should I install it in addition to my engine drive unit or should I pull out the old compressor system? It seems that it should work, but I'll loose some box space. But maybe it's redundant.
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Old 22-01-2009, 15:37   #7
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I'm not entirely sure, but I believe that the Super Coldmachine can be run with or without the cooling water, depending on the ambient temp...
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Old 27-04-2009, 14:13   #8
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Thumbs up Thank you and Followup on AB Refrigeration

Thanks everyone for all the input. I'm glad that I was encouraged to do it myself. It's always better to know your equipment rather than have to rely on experts who may not be available where you may be cruising.
The installation went well on my AB SuperCold, although the right kind of space was the difficult thing as usual. I had to cut and set up venting, etc. Also, torquing the fittings turned out to be an issue. I lost the refrigerant the first week and had to pay $100 to an AC Mechanic to fill it and tell me it wasn't torqued enough.
Nevertheless, I saved some bucks and learned some leasons. Don't get much better unless it's free.
It's been running great since January. It makes ice cubes for my adult beverages and keeps everything else fresh.
Thanks again.
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