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Old 29-11-2006, 00:43   #1
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Which Refrigeration Unit to Buy?

I'm upgrading my refrigeration and would like some advise. I just pulled out my old Crosby. It was pulling about 28amp and not doing a very good job at that. I have two boxes (freezer: 2.2 cubic feet and refrig: 9.2 cubic feet). My intention is to purchase a water cooled unit. I want to put evaporator plates in both boxes. Since I'm looking at compressors that can cool a 15 cubic foot box I'm wondering if I can have the one compressor share both boxes which make up 11.4 cubic feet total? I also intend to isolate the two boxes with a switch - which should mean I can run one box and not the other depending on how much food I need to keep cool. Given all these intentions my question is: which unit? (reliable, good service, low amp, etc) and do you think my idea will work?
The two units I've be looking at are the Alder Barbor SuperCold Machine and the Frigoboat Refrigerator. I'm open to any and all suggestions.
Thanks for you time. John

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Old 29-11-2006, 04:16   #2
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Understanding boat Refrigeration

A general comment from the information you provided. The old Crosby 12 volt drawing 28 amps per hour might need to run 6 hours per day to adequately refrigerate both boxes, if their insulation is good. If two Danfoss compressor systems were used to cool the same boxes the daily amp-hrs would be from 111 to 130 depending on the efficiency of ice box conversion units selected. The above figures can be reduced bases on how long it did actually take daily for the Crosby system to cool refrigerator to med thirties and freezer to 15 degrees or less.

To install a single 12 volt unit that would be efficient and have dual temperature controlled boxes you would need to install a system similar to what you had. Sea Frost does have a larger BD80 compressor system with dual plates that could be engineered work in two boxes.

Your best solution would be two separate systems like the Adler Barbour or Frigoboat for refrigerator and a Nova Kool twin plate for the small freezer.

If you have not seen my slide show it will help you understand what is needed to refrigerate with 12 volts


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Old 29-11-2006, 06:56   #3
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Another option

I have a similar set up and went a different route.

We have a 2.4 cf freezer and an 7.6 frig and one A-B air cooled Cold Machine. The two boxes are seperated by an 1/2" wall. I drilled 3 - 1" holes in the wall and mounted the evaporator coil on the wall in the freezer side. Over one of the holes (on the refrig side), I mounted a computer fan that is controlled by a seperate thermostat in the refrig. Basicly it is a spill-over system aided by the computer fan.

Initially, the frig was not getting cool enough, so I drilled 2 more 1" holes (now have 5) and turned up the freezer slightly. The system works very well for us. A few things to consider: ~ items must be placed inside the evaporator coil to become frozen ~ items place in the freezer but not in the evap. coil become extremely cold (drinks get a little ice in them but don't freeze) ~ it took some tweeking to get it where we wanted it. ~ the unit draws around 6 amps and runs 8-10 per day.

Just another way to consider. Good Luck!!!

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Old 29-11-2006, 09:11   #4
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We use a Glacier Bay with holding plates. It is a 24 volt system with water cooling. It seems to run twice a day for 35 minutes when we use one freezer and the fridge. If we run both freezers it runs 3 to 4 times a day. Our amperage consumption is about 120 to 220 amps per day depending on outside temps, how many freezers we run, how full the boxes are, and how often the kids open them.

No real problems with the unit. I recharge annually using small 134a automotive supplies and have gages. I think we have some refrigerant loss through the compressor seals.

Good system but no longer available.
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Old 29-11-2006, 13:30   #5
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Ultimately, Iíll defer to Richard K on this one; but I donít think a Glacier Bay should ever run more than once a day, under any ďnormalĒ circumstances.
The length of run time might depend upon box, but a properly insulated box (as deserved by the significant investment in a G.B. system) should certainly hold for 24 hours (unless your kids are in the box every 10 min.).
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Old 29-11-2006, 14:23   #6
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We installed an Isotherm unit, 12volt for a 9cubic box it keeps the box 34 to 39 degrees. It draws 4.5 amps three times and hour/ four minutes each cycle. very user friendly and easy to install. They come with quick disconnect fittings so if the unit needs to be serviced you can do so with out loosing your refrigerant.
The unit we purchased cost us under a grand with rushed shipping.
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Old 29-11-2006, 15:00   #7
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Gord, that is once a day roughly. There are 3 boxes and 4 cold plates. They don't all call at the same time.
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Old 08-12-2006, 21:47   #8
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I don't want to be *that guy*, but threads like these make me glad that I leave my fridge disconnected.

I have enough stuff to fix on my boat. You people with fridge systems totally freak me out.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:39   #9
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I don't want to be *that guy*, but threads like these make me glad that I leave my fridge disconnected.

I have enough stuff to fix on my boat. You people with fridge systems totally freak me out.
I have not had any problems with my fridge/freezer.

Been running my 12 volts system for 6 years with no maintenance and no head-aces. The compressor runs both fridge and freezer using a spillover system with minimum fuzz and amps. In fact the solar panels powers most of the juice going into the boxes.

In the past I sailed with only ice-boxes, but after having lived with my converted boxes and 12 volts system over the years, I would never go back.
I have other things to fix on my boat, but not the fridge/freezer system, so far 7,600 hours on compressor and fans and no problems.
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Old 09-12-2006, 06:26   #10
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We have a 2004 Jeanneau SO49 in the BVI. It came with a frigoboat refrig/freezer. Two compartments and it works great. It keeps the food frozen and it can freeze food. The refrig. can get so cold that it will freeze food if you are not careful. It has frozen liquids as well as vegetables when placed low in the refrig. It works off the 12 volt batteries and we have a battery charger when at dock side to keep the batteries charged when the compressor kicks in. There is also a safety that turns off the compressor when the voltage drop gets near 11.5 V. We found that we need to run the engine when at anchor or motorsailing. At anchor we run it when we are off the boat once in the morning and once in the evening at least 1 hour each time. If you can run it 3 times a day for an hour each time that works out even better.

When we run out of ice, we can freeze water in cubes or blocks in plastic containers
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Old 09-12-2006, 18:33   #11
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Originally Posted by rebel heart
You people with fridge systems totally freak me out.
Glad i'm not your crew rebel heart, the idea of no fridge freaks me out.

No cold beer, or ice for the rum !!!!!

How about pulling that nice steak out of the freezer after a month of eating fish out the reef.

Think i'll slit my wrist's now and be done with it.

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