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Old 15-05-2013, 06:59   #1
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Refrigeration Education

I prefer to be able to fix things myself whenever practical...handy for cruising and I also live off the grid ashore.

One area where I want to increase my knowledge/skills is refrigeration. Looking for suggestions on texts and/or online classes.

Also a suggestion to the mods: a seperate forum category for fridge/AC would be handy...not clear to me where this fits in the existing scheme.
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Old 15-05-2013, 09:11   #2
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Re: Refrigeration Education

The classic text (now 7th edition) is Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technology by Whitman - Johnson
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Old 15-05-2013, 12:12   #3
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Thanks.
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Old 16-05-2013, 15:43   #4
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Re: Refrigeration Education

If you can find a copy of 'Refrigeration for Pleasure Boats' by Nigel Calder for free (or nearly so), pick it up. While well done, it is out of date and a little too technical for practical use. (And, I'm a BS MS PE Chemmical Engineer.) Try www.kollmann-marine.com . Work your way through the web site especially the slide show, then buy Richard's two books. They are a bit amateur in layout, but are exactly the sort of useful practical information a journeyman marine refrigeration tech would pass on to his apprentice. Then keep your eyes out for a set of gauges and a vacuum pump. Follow a refrigeration man around, be observant, look at gauges, feel temperatures, and ask questions.
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Old 16-05-2013, 15:56   #5
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Re: Refrigeration Education

Keep in mind that within the USA and other developed countries it is illegal for a non-licensed technician to work on some aspects of refrigeration, particularly R12 systems. I realize this does not necessarily pertain in some parts of the world.
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Old 16-05-2013, 16:13   #6
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Originally Posted by wsmurdoch View Post
If you can find a copy of 'Refrigeration for Pleasure Boats' by Nigel Calder for free (or nearly so), pick it up. While well done, it is out of date and a little too technical for practical use. (And, I'm a BS MS PE Chemmical Engineer.) Try www.kollmann-marine.com . Work your way through the web site especially the slide show, then buy Richard's two books. They are a bit amateur in layout, but are exactly the sort of useful practical information a journeyman marine refrigeration tech would pass on to his apprentice. Then keep your eyes out for a set of gauges and a vacuum pump. Follow a refrigeration man around, be observant, look at gauges, feel temperatures, and ask questions.
I second that book from Calder. It is very technical but it did allow me to engineer the new boxes very accurately. It even made me check the boxes with block ice, scales and timers etc. Feels very good when it all comes together.

For working on systems with the Danfoss compressors I learned most from reading instructions and doing it, but that was after years of servicing the old Glacier Bay beast.

I had already sold my vacuum pump when I needed one again and bought the new one from Amazon.com for a good price on a small pump. Small pumps are okay for the small Danfoss based systems. I believe R134a may be self serviced anywhere but I'm in Panama where anything is allowed so...
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Old 16-05-2013, 16:16   #7
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Re: Refrigeration Education

Both books mentioned are good, but the Refrigeration and A/C book is around $80 I think, and it covers a lot. It's the priamry text used in most classrooms. And the Calder book is also good, but dated (R12) as mentioned.
I highly recommend Kohlman's books Kollmann Marine. He is the best on the topic and always good advice in designing a refrig system or troubleshooting- and his website has a good forum too.

Refrigeration is actually pretty simple and it pays to learn about it. I carry refrigeration tools, manifold and a 2 stage vacuum on board. I built my own 134a system and maintain it, and also troubleshoot and recharge other cruisers refrigeration. Saved me a lot of money.
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Old 16-05-2013, 18:59   #8
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Thanks for the info guys...something else to occupy my time in the off season.

I live and cruise outside the USA so hyper regulation is not a concern in my case.

When reasonable I prefer to able to resolve maintenance issues on my own and not be stranded waiting for the tech to show up. Most common refer issues seem pretty straight forward. I dont have any desire to become a tech but just not to be totally reliant on one.
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Old 16-05-2013, 20:04   #9
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Re: Refrigeration Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
Keep in mind that within the USA and other developed countries it is illegal for a non-licensed technician to work on some aspects of refrigeration, particularly R12 systems. I realize this does not necessarily pertain in some parts of the world.

Yes... and licensing is just plain out of control. Sure, good arguments are used when in reality the goal is to limit numbers in particular fields. Too much Big Brother! And before someone challenges with something stupid "would you want your garbage collector to do your dental work?" That would be a reach.

To become a licensed plumber around here it requires 4-5 years of apprenticeship and a notarized letter from God to run pipes. Also a home owner is limited to changing faucet washers. Beyond that he needs a plumber but the home owner can do his own wiring. Out of control!
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Old 17-05-2013, 05:32   #10
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Re: Refrigeration Education

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cranston View Post
... I highly recommend Kohlman's books Kollmann Marine. He is the best on the topic and always good advice in designing a refrig system or troubleshooting- and his website has a good forum too ...
Indeed √
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