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Old 02-08-2018, 21:21   #31
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

I installed Frigaboat 24 volt units in the fridge and freezer two years ago from the boat show">Annapolis boat show. Working well from my solar farm.
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Old 02-08-2018, 22:29   #32
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
no its not the same 1.5A is an instantaneous measurement and denotes no timeframe.


Thanks newhaul and hazcruiser - although still some disagreement, good to get the insights.

Iím sailing a 30 year old english boat in Greece in summer, so I doubt the fridge insulation is any near designed to handle the heat. Having said that, I wired an hour meter into the fridge last season to confirm and logged once a day. From May to Oct, fridge ran on average 13.2hrs a day drawing 6 amps - in other words, crap!

Thatís why when I saw this fully contained Evakool unit drawing so much less in similar ambient temp conditions I was amazed!
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Old 03-08-2018, 08:33   #33
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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I donít believe there is any system as long as itís components are correctly matched to each other that is really much if any more efficient than any other.
Remember all these claims of efficiency are closed systems at equilibrium, no door is opened no cold beer removed and replaced with hot beer etc.

The secret to efficiency is insulation, and that doesnít come in an ice box conversion system, you have to supply that.

In real world use, my duty cycle is way up there, probably close to 90%, reason is throw in a case of beer and a 20 lb water melon in the fridge side, and or a few steaks in the freezer side, and itís going to run all day and night cooling that down.
But if I let it sit without ever opening the door and cooling nothing down, well then I could quote some good consumption numbers.
So for real world use, donít use those marketing numbers to plan your energy budget, if you do, your going to bust it.

I think you need excess capacity, so that when you put that case of beer or that watermelon in and itís 90+ degrees, your fridge doesnít come up to 60f until it cools down, you want it to stay cold, and that takes excess capacity, and or some nice big cold plates that can absorb all that excess heat and not let the box get warm.
I am truly impressed with your correct understanding of how the use of Judi mind tricks or just plain smoke and mirrors can convince boaters to buy unnecessary reliability compromising refrigeration gadgets.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:04   #34
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

I realize they are different animals from what I think you are looking for but I am very happy with my two Engel portable fridge/freezers. One is "installed" somewhat via one of my cabinet customizations and the other gets taken off the boat if I want to lighten up. They are excellent devices for my purposes.
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Old 03-08-2018, 15:52   #35
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

If it draws an average of 1.5 amps in over a period of one hour--that rate will not change no matter for how long it runs, unless something changes..

Consumption is measured in watts--which is amps per hour times number of hours times the supply DC volts--which will give you the answer that actually means something.
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Old 03-08-2018, 16:33   #36
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Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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Originally Posted by benzy View Post
Thanks newhaul and hazcruiser - although still some disagreement, good to get the insights.

Iím sailing a 30 year old english boat in Greece in summer, so I doubt the fridge insulation is any near designed to handle the heat. Having said that, I wired an hour meter into the fridge last season to confirm and logged once a day. From May to Oct, fridge ran on average 13.2hrs a day drawing 6 amps - in other words, crap!

Thatís why when I saw this fully contained Evakool unit drawing so much less in similar ambient temp conditions I was amazed!


You know honestly thatís not that bad, not for an honest real world use. 50% duty cycle is good.
What is the box like, did you build it new and insulate it very, very well?
See this is the thing, if your box is X big and has an R value of X, then itís going to take a set amount of BTUís to keep it cold.
There is no one system that is really, really efficient and the rest of them being inefficient, that doesnít exist. A swing compressor isnít really any more efficient than a reciprocating one, and all the recip compressors are pretty close to each other in efficiency.

In fact Iíd bet lunch if you put a Cold Eh and a Cool Blue in an Engles box, they would be more efficient than the stock Engel, due to the thermal expansion valve, maybe not so in test conditions, but in real world they would be. But it would cost more and be heavier.
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Old 03-08-2018, 16:49   #37
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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I am truly impressed with your correct understanding of how the use of Judi mind tricks or just plain smoke and mirrors can convince boaters to buy unnecessary reliability compromising refrigeration gadgets.


Richard, you've generously mentioned a few systems which are up to snuff. As someone just beginning the process of looking for a replacement for my 30+ year system, and who is already confused by the offerings out there... Which systems do you recommend I NOT look at?

I need nothing fancy. Reliable and easy DIY is my priority.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:05   #38
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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Richard, you've generously mentioned a few systems which are up to snuff. As someone just beginning the process of looking for a replacement for my 30+ year system, and who is already confused by the offerings out there... Which systems do you recommend I NOT look at?

I need nothing fancy. Reliable and easy DIY is my priority.
Selecting the Best Replacement

My short answer to your question is describe in detail the system you have and how well it performs in various weather conditions as well as your likes and dislikes. I will then recommend more than one companies above average refrigeration unit.

Long answer, I know of no Icebox conversion refrigeration unit that is not suitable for some application. With over one hundred pleasure boat refrigeration options to select from choosing the correct unit requires a number of questions answered:
1. What is size of box to be refrigerated?
2. Is this a single box to be used a 40 to 50 degree F cooler, or a 33 to 36 degree refrigerator?
3. Is this box required to also have a freezing section?
4. What size 12 volt electrical power grid is on boat for generating and storing electrical power?
5. Normal persons onboard?
6. Planed cruising areas?
7. Describe planed use of boat Blue water or Live aboard?
8. I always leave insulation as the last question as it is the least important, but must be evaluated especially if it is 30 years old. I assume the present refrigeration unit is still running. Now today with old unit running can you detect any box exterior cool spots or condensation after cycling for over 24 hours? How much insulation in inches do you believe surrounds the box?

From the above answers I can project your daily conceptual energy needs.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:40   #39
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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If it draws an average of 1.5 amps in over a period of one hour--that rate will not change no matter for how long it runs, unless something changes..

Consumption is measured in watts--which is amps per hour times number of hours times the supply DC volts--which will give you the answer that actually means something.
Average AH per 24 hours at nominal 12V, noting the temp differential conditions, is a good standard.

Some systems have longer runtimes, so AH consumed in a single hour is not enough, and in the tropics an early AM hour may vary a lot from afternoon.

I agree that insulation is the biggest factor for energy efficiency.

The compressor used is not a major concern, even the Chinese-made ones are very reliable long-term.

The portable unit market is completely different from custom icebox conversion systems.

With the latter, good design help and aftermarket customer support is for me by far most important.

RO and Coldeh are the two top contenders for that factor in the NA market IMO, but Richard obviously knows his stuff too.

Engel would be my choice for portables, and I'd choose a design that let me insulate their install spot as much as possible.
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Old 04-08-2018, 19:01   #40
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

Before buying a refrigeration system it is essential to know what the system has to achieve and this requires some considerations starting with the most important issue: cabinet size and insulation qualities.

As a marine refrigeration system manufacturer, may I make the following suggestions to assist prospective refrigeration equipment buyers:

1: Establish the following information about your project like:
1a Interior cabinet dimensions, including if top or front opening.
1b Cabinet wall thickness if possible and insulation type if known.
1c Cabinet interior lining materials. (Is it conductive like metal, or non conductive like FG or plastics)

2: Decide if it is to be all fridge, all freezer, a combination of both and at what proportions, or able to operate as either all fridge or all freezer.

3: Determine in what environments the system will operate in using the most extreme for computations. (This may be hotter than the ambient, for example if unit is located in an engine room.)

4: Decide how the refrigeration condensing unit will dispose of its heat, and the distance the refrigeration unit will be from the evaporator.

Now armed with those factors, contact prospective suppliers and ask for a heat load, duty cycle and power consumption estimate for your project. This information is paramount as a foundation to making an informed refrigeration equipment decision and for planning power supply requirements.

Give preference to suppliers who are manufacturers you can actually speak to, as they will know about these issues, and are not just some brochure reading expert relaying puffery in order to clear whatever is on their shelves!

Below is our Heat load, Power consumption and Duty cycle estimator that we apply to all of our client’s projects.
This estimator allows an individual’s cabinet details to be added for an instant report.
(We offer this service free no obligation to any member who wishes to email us their relevant cabinet details as listed above, regardless of equipment choice.)

Click on image to expand...

Click image for larger version

Name:	Estimator 18 Pic.png
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ID:	174910

Having the above estimates relative to your cabinet and expectations, will allow selection of a system knowing it will cope in the most extreme situations, it’s duty cycle (% run time) and importantly it’s 24 hr power consumption.

Also as the OP mentioned, back up support is a major factor especially for those cruising and we certainly agree.
Now to suggest you can dock in some obscure part of say the Pacific and bingo, the local sari sari type marine store has a motor driver module for your BD35 or whatever, is pure fantasy stuff.
We have thousands of systems all over the world and we have also found that relying on the ‘local wire twitcher’ to fix your fridge is the last thing you need.

Our answer is firstly a user friendly DIY product with a 24 page service manual backed by seven days a week technical support available from our qualified refrigeration technicians on-line or via phone.

Next.. a complete range of spares at all times and when needed dispatched AusPost express same day (Except Sunday) worldwide.
Suggestions that marine refrigeration parts of any brand are readily available locally world-wide is sadly laughable as any cruiser will agree.

Bottom line is to search the forum for unsolicited verification or otherwise of a manufacturers service / support.

Start here: Ozefridge Reviews

Cheers OzePete Ozefridge | 12 Volt Refrigeration Systems
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:33   #41
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

(Following on from previous post regards service...)

Interestingly today (Sunday) we received two service enquiries from new clients in the USA regards their Ozefridge systems.

One from LW in the mid south with a 110VAC converter wiring question and the other from Sean in the north with a question regards location of the sensor probe.
Both issues were responded to and resolved within an hour, thanks to the internet and good back up service!

Cheers OzeFridge Ozefridge | 12 Volt Refrigeration Systems
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:46   #42
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

Did not realize you sell into the NA market Pete.

Good to know
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Old 05-08-2018, 10:33   #43
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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Did not realize you sell into the NA market Pete.

Good to know
John Pete sells world wide I like the specs but the shipping was the deciding factor on the cool blue system on the Spencer. (I had to count every penny on that one.)
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Old 05-08-2018, 14:13   #44
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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Did not realize you sell into the NA market Pete.

Good to know
Yes John, we send some systems to the USA but most of our export is to SE Asia.
With the difference in the $ exchange rate we are very competitive, able to land complete system packages into a USA address from approx US$1400 including UPS cost. (Local tax not included).
This is one reason why we are exploring the opportunity to establish a presence there in the USA.

Click on picture to expand.. (Complete package pictured is a Model A480 12VDC unit and P53-35-6 Eutectic plate. Portrait)

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Cheers OzePete Ozefridge | 12 Volt Refrigeration Systems
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Old 05-08-2018, 14:22   #45
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Re: Wo provides the best 12 volt refrigeration systems?

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John Pete sells world wide I like the specs but the shipping was the deciding factor on the cool blue system on the Spencer. (I had to count every penny on that one.)
It's OK Newhaul, sometimes we have to settle for second best! (Don't tell Rich I said that!)
Not really and all that aside, you have made an excellent choice.

Cheers OzePete
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