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Old 18-05-2007, 14:20   #1
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Tropikool ???

I just removed a trouble plagued Frigiboat engine driven holding plate system from my boat and am looking for a 12V alternative, the Tropikool by Avxcel Buy Marine Refrigeration Products has my current interest. Does anyone have any firsthand or even secondhand info on this system.
Also if a water cooled ( keel cooler ) system is used any reason not to put it in the water tank">fresh water tank as opposed to another through hull? I sail down in Mexico - very hot / humid so the regular air cooled compressors may not cut it. I have a toploader box about 12 cu. ft. w/ +/- 4" insulation any other suggestions would be welcome. Money is no object - if I had some then it would be an object.
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Old 18-05-2007, 15:39   #2
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The issue I believe in putting the keel cooler in the tank is one of thermal capacity of the tank. The heat has to be radiated back out into the air. If there is sufficient circulation about the tank, then you will reach equalibrium with the air and have a great... ie, air cooled system.

I have given this issue a reasonable amount of thought. I have observed how much heat is displaced into the keel coolers. It is significant. If it were say 200 watts of heat (don't know the BTU equivilant) I know you can eventually have issues with heat build up in the tank. Eventually, you'll reach ambient air temp between the water and air. Unless you would have to put your compressor in your engine space and were worried about heat buildup in that space, the only benefit you get is in having a bigger radiating surface to disipate the heat. But, eventually it would not be much of a differential between a good air cooled system.

The benefit of placing that heat in the ocean is the amount of time it would take to heat up the ocean. You can't put enough energy into the system without it being able to disipate that energy.

I'd also be concerned with leaks into my fresh water supply. I have to change a zinc in my keel cooler every 4-5 months. One of the two is about half erroded at that point. There would probably be less errosion, because your not in a very strong electrolytic solution. But if you have any impurities in the water, you'll have want to have some kind of sacrificial zinc in the water. I would not want the refrigerant leaking into my drinking water. Heck, I wouldn't even want the zinc leaching into my water.

The keel cooler is not a through hull per se. It is a hole in the boat that has been resealed. No water is coming back into the boat. I put mine behind my keel. No very likely to be ripped off by some kind of accident.

I have a Frigoboat keel cooler system, I can't recommend them (enumerated in other posts). But, Richard kohlman has an excellent site for marine refrigeration. I suggest that, and his book as the first level of research. I don't remember the site off hand, but you can do a search on this site to find it.
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Old 18-05-2007, 19:30   #3
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Stryg has it nailed, you don't want to use your freshwater tank as a coolant tank. If you don't want an external keep cooler, you use an electric raw water pump and bring raw water into the boat to cool the AC condensor, with a drain or second pump to get that water back out again.

While the keel cooler may seem "exposed"...the alternative is relying on two pumps and pumping water INTO the boat, which upsets some people more.<G>
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Old 23-05-2007, 20:29   #4
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Thanks for the info, but back to the main question anyone have any info regarding the tropikool system - it is air cooled.
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Old 24-05-2007, 06:54   #5
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My applogy, I thought West Coast Cat asked the following:

Quote:
Also if a water cooled ( keel cooler ) system is used any reason not to put it in the fresh water tank as opposed to another through hull? I sail down in Mexico - very hot / humid so the regular air cooled compressors may not cut it. I have a toploader box about 12 cu. ft. w/ +/- 4" insulation any other suggestions would be welcome. Money is no object - if I had some then it would be an object.
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Old 24-05-2007, 17:54   #6
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How about strapping the condenser assembly to the outside of the (metal) water tank? That way you would be dumping the heat without touching the water. You could use electronic type grease used on semiconductor heat sinks. It is available cheaply at any electronic supply house.

Steve B.
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