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Old 10-10-2012, 13:40   #1
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Refrigeration Help

I will be cruising in the Caribbean for the next year or so and am building a new Freezer box for my 34' Seafarer (didnt have one before).

I was back and forth between a Frig-o-boat compressor/evaporator system and an Adler Barbour system - both run on 12v DC current. Both systems costs about $1500 + insulation, etc. This will be a Small Freezer only - about 3.5 Cubic Feet.

During my research I came across this :
EdgeStar 80 Quart 12 Volt DC Portable Fridge/Freezer - FP861

I found it online for about $600 all-in. My thinking is that I can remove the outer shell and build up the insulation to make it more efficient for the higher temps of the Caribbean. All for about $800 instead of close to $2000 with the other systems. It only pulls 80W! of power or, 5.7 amps DC - same as the Adler Barbour. Am I crazy or does this sound like the way to go...?

All my electronics are supported by 300W of Solar and a 400w wind turbine. I also have a genset. The Freezer will definitely be the largest power draw, but this seems like a no brainer to me. What am I missing?
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Old 10-10-2012, 17:35   #2
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Good question. You might want to try Richard Kollman

Kollmann Marine

Good luck, insulation is the key to any successful installation.
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Old 10-10-2012, 17:53   #3
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Another posible solution is the Engle refrig/freezer, they make a self contained unit that is very well insulated that is ment to be mounted inside your ice box. It is 3-4sq/ft, and draws a little over 1 amp. I bought mine about a year ago and love it. It is the secondary unit to the large one, and I use it as a freezer. It was around $1200,00. you can mount the compresser on the bottem or remotely. Check out engle.com for info.
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Old 10-10-2012, 19:29   #4
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Re: Refrigeration Help

yes, there are a lot of choices.

when i had to make mine, i went with adler barbour, mostly because they have a great reputation. that was seven years ago and it's run flawlessly. i also added insulation to an existing box, which made it smaller, but it was probably too big to begin with. with 300w solar and 400w wind, i think you'll have no problems with power as long as you have sufficient battery banks - i have four golf carts and it does the job.

but eight years ago they didn't have the engle style stand alone fridge freezer. waeco also makes good ones. i have no personal experience with them but my neighbor does; when his adler barbour died (after fifteen years!) he decided not to replace it but to use a waeco stand alone, which sits on a quarter berth. he claims it uses much less power than his old a-b and he's been happy with it for the past two years. they're also about half the price of an a-b plus adding insulation.

so, if you want quick and easy and less expensive, and you have room for it, go with the engle or the waeco. if you want built in, i like the adler barbour. in any case, check out richard kollman - he spent most of his life installing and fixing fridges on yachts and pretty much knows it all. now that he's retired he gives away the information he used to charge for. he also has a website and a really good book for sale...
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Old 13-10-2012, 22:38   #5
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Re: Refrigeration Help

If you are looking for maximum effeciency I'd stay away from the portable fridge/freezers. We have....



Macgregor 26S Inside Mods page 22

...a 63 quart Edgestar in our MacGregor and love it. It runs on about 3 1/2 amps and uses 35-40 amp hours a day with cabin temps in the 80's. That is pretty good and I think comparable to any of the other portable fridge/freezers. I'll bet it has the same hardware as the 80 quart Edgestar and the power requirements would be more with the larger box and running it as a freezer (we use ours as a fridge -- 34-40 deg F.). It is 2.3 cu. ft. inside.

We made a 4 cu. ft. fridge with a 1/2 cu. ft. freezer that is almost twice as big as the portable but uses less than 1/2 the amp hours per day. My best guesstimate is about 15 amp/hours a day or less with similar cabin temps.

The reason is that it has much more....



...insulation vs. what the portables have (3 in. top/4 in. sides and 7 & 9 in. bottom). We have to run the thermostat on a very low setting to avoid turning the whole box into a freezer. The ...

Coolmatic 84

...same compressor/condenser...




... with a flat evaporator would easily create a 3-4 cu. ft. freezer. Their specs say up to 2.5 cu. ft. if used as a freezer, but that is for a box without the insulation shown above.

You might be able to do that with the Edgestar, but part of the interior is the evaporator so tearing the box apart to use the compressor/condenser and the evaporator wall is going to be a challenge. Then if you need parts and such down the road it wouldn't be near as easy as finding them for the Waeco/Adlor Barbour units which you would also have a choice of evaporators.

I'd spend the extra couple hundred and end up with something that would use far less electricity and be easier to service down the road.

Our fridge/freezer build and install is here....

Endeavour 37 Interion Mods Index

....and good luck,

Sum
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Old 14-10-2012, 05:41   #6
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I had a Waaco and it did not last. After a ICW cruise from Georgia to Riviera Beach with two outside short jaunts, the buttons would not work. I had to get a new control board $150 and then it still had problems. Made for truck use, not sailboat. I would not buy another one.
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Old 14-10-2012, 08:17   #7
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by SailingChance View Post
All my electronics are supported by 300W of Solar and a 400w wind turbine. I also have a genset. The Freezer will definitely be the largest power draw, but this seems like a no brainer to me. What am I missing?
I would stick with marine stuff. That cheaper stuff is cheaper for a reason. If freezer is your largest draw, you are all set. I kept icecubes in my rumdrinks and beers frosty throughout Bahamas with less total power generation. Had EZcold at the time. 12V Danfoss compressor and cold plate evaporator. Don't bother with water cooling.
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Old 14-10-2012, 11:14   #8
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Not sure my post above was clear. We liked how the portable has worked for our trailered boat, but would not recommend that route for what you are trying to do in your case.

In fact knowing what I do now if the portable quits I'll probably build in a box and use the better compressor/condenser/evaporator that I mentioned in the other post. A little more money but lots more efficient and better suited to the application like the guys above mentioned,

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Old 14-10-2012, 14:49   #9
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My Waaco was a marine one and for $700+ was an expensive portable since it did not last. A couple years use and it broke. Get a built in.
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Old 21-10-2012, 22:31   #10
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Re: Refrigeration Help

There are some much cheaper alternatives to the Adler-Barbour that are essentially identical - same Danfoss compressor, same Danfoss regulator, and the condenser tubes and evaporator plates are just made in different shops. Nova Kool in Canada and Vitrifirogo in Italy are two that are distributed worldwide, including the U.S. Depending on whether you get the BD35 or BD50 compressor and what evaporator you need, figure on $725-$925 for the mechanicals if you shop hard online, or add $175 for a local chandler.

If you're not heading to the tropics, and you are putting in plenty of insulation, the BD35 will save you some amp-hours in addition to $100, though both have adjustable speeds so you can tune them to your needs to some degree. Insulation, insulation, insulation, and that includes sealing the lid well.

I have run across many happy Engel owners, too. They have a Japanese compressor that I hope we will be seeing more of in the future, hopefully in a larger version.
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Old 22-10-2012, 09:03   #11
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by AbenF View Post
.. Depending on whether you get the BD35 or BD50 compressor and what evaporator you need, figure on $725-$925 for the mechanicals if you shop hard online, or add $175 for a local chandler.

If you're not heading to the tropics, and you are putting in plenty of insulation, the BD35 will save you some amp-hours in addition to $100, though both have adjustable speeds so you can tune them to your needs to some degree. Insulation, insulation, insulation, and that includes sealing the lid well..
Just to add to that the 35 comes in two different configurations and the one that will handle a little larger box is not that much more and is what we went with.....

Coolmatic 84

...the coolmatic 84, but they also have a 85 and 86 that just have a different layout for the compressor/condenser.

The prices for these fall within the price ranges given above. So far we have been very happy with this compressor/condenser,

Sum
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Old 22-10-2012, 09:10   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phorvati
I would stick with marine stuff. That cheaper stuff is cheaper for a reason. If freezer is your largest draw, you are all set. I kept icecubes in my rumdrinks and beers frosty throughout Bahamas with less total power generation. Had EZcold at the time. 12V Danfoss compressor and cold plate evaporator. Don't bother with water cooling.
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