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Old 25-10-2012, 15:32   #31
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

I had a similar deal. Large ice box with lousy built-in insulation. I filled the inside with about 3-4" of insulation (blue board) and lined the inside with heavy aluminum foil.

A frozen 2.5 gallon "box" of water would stay frozen for ~3-4 days, and cold for ~5-7 days (depending on the weather). If I added a reasonable sized block of dry ice, it would sublimate in ~4-5 days. This stretched the cold out to just under two weeks.

Finally, I installed one of those Norcold ice box conversion units. It was something just over $600 from Defender. It draws ~3amps or about 36ah/day. At the same time, I put in new batteries (simple lead acid). I upped the bank size by ~100ah, or one battery, to accommodate.

I love the extra space and the lack of hassle. The total extra weight is about ~100 lbs.

I also added a 130W flexible solar panel. Cheap thing (I forget how much, maybe $350?). It's so light, it sits on top of a non-reinforced bimini, secured by 4 bungee cords. It goes down below when I don't need it. It actually fits under the quarterberth cushion.
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Old 25-10-2012, 18:29   #32
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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Ice is expensive when you're cruising.
Yep and maybe hard to find or not available at all. Refrigeration and solar is one of the best things we did to the Mac and I'm sure it will also hold true for the Endeavour.

Has the solar detracted from the boats looks? Yep, but that doesn't bother us one bit considering what is more important to us, efficiency trumps looks,

Sum
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Old 25-10-2012, 18:33   #33
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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Yep and maybe hard to find or not available at all. Refrigeration and solar is one of the best things we did to the Mac and I'm sure it will also hold true for the Endeavour.

Has the solar detracted from the boats looks? Yep, but that doesn't bother us one bit considering what is more important to us, efficiency trumps looks,

Sum

I don't do extended cruising -- may, but not yet. It wouldn't be worth the expense for one trip. But that may change, ya never know. I don't even use my built-in ice box. It's in an awkward place and badly shaped -- narrow and very deep; I've filled half of it with styrofoam. i'm using a portable cooler and keep my pots and pans in the built in ice box. That's part of my dilemma. I just don't know where I'd put a fridge but I wouldn't want it there.
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Old 25-10-2012, 19:51   #34
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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Originally Posted by Tia Bu View Post
A spec sheet on the unit. Thoughts? Experience?

http://www.solarpanelstore.com/pdf/SunDanzer50L.pdf
Thanks. I bookmarked this for when/if we decide to step up to refrigeration. Never had it on a boat before, even in almost 5 years of living aboard. We had a little Coleman portable plug in on our Bristol 24, but that was as close as we ever got and it only worked when hooked up to shore power.
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Old 26-10-2012, 06:41   #35
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

Hey, I am not sure if this is the place but here goes. My boat has 2 battery banks. 24 volt for refrigeration and a big 12 volt for every thing else. I dont like this as would need 2 solar arrays and wind generators.
Is it possible to have 2 12volt battery banks and a 12 to 24 volt transformer?
If so how would I figure out what size I would need?
Where would I find such a unit?

Thanks
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Old 26-10-2012, 06:53   #36
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

Yes it is possible but transformers don't work at DC. You would need a 12 V DC to 24V DC converter sized so it could supply the starting current for your 24V fridge. You would need to get that measured and specify a DC-DC converter that will deliver that with a margin.

While you could have 2 house banks, general view is that having one house bank has advantages. Having the same total battery capacity in one 12V house bank will mean that the batteries are cycled less deep and simpifies charging. I assume that you also have a separate engine starter battery which is essential.
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Old 26-10-2012, 06:56   #37
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

Tia Bu

For an informed opinion about cruising without refrigeration, read Beth Leonard

http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/Livi...rigeration.pdf

We're talking about a couple who circumnavigate and otherwise sail the entire world without refrigeration.

Don think I would want to do it - but it works for them

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Old 26-10-2012, 07:09   #38
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

Rapanui, Thanks for the reply. It does not have a start battery at this time but am fitting one. How do I figure out how big a converter I would need?
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Old 26-10-2012, 08:34   #39
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

If you measure the maximum starting current with an analogue ammeter when the fridge turns on, you should size the 12V to 24V DC converter to deliver that plus a margin, say + 30%. Or a digital meter with a max hold facility but they may not respond fast enough. Best would be a scopemeter which will display the starting current profile which you could take forward for determining what converter you need. Probably worth getting a marine electrician to do the measurement and spec the converter. First its worth checking the fridge is not specced already at 12-24V. Some are.
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Old 26-10-2012, 09:15   #40
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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..First its worth checking the fridge is not specced already at 12-24V. Some are.
Yep, do that first,

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Old 26-10-2012, 11:22   #41
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

Had a quick look on the web and a Victron 30A 12V-24V converter is ~130 in UK. Unless you are running an exceptionally large fridge, I would think that would eat it. Victron are good quality. I would keep away from the cheaper stuff designed for use in running truck 24V stuff in cars
Buy Victron VICTRON ORION DC/DC CONVERTER 24-12V 30A DC-DC Converters at Marine Megastore Chandlery 15% off orders over 300!*
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Old 26-10-2012, 12:47   #42
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

We lived aboard with cruising to the Bhamas for twenty years with a large poorly insulated ice box. In Florida we got ice cheap and paid much more in the Bahamas. Sure, it was dificult,- hauling ice, soggy food, running out. We didn't have a generator...diesel, wind or solar, but it was a great liveaboard cruising life.

We've lived aboard cruising Maine to the Bahamas the last twenty years with a 12VDC Danfloss Compressor Refrig/freezer with our smaller well-insulated box. We have the diesel, wind & solar generators & it's a great liveaboard cruising life.

I sure new technology could make things better, but I likely won't change with it soon. 'never thought my wind generator or solar panels were ugly.
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Old 04-11-2012, 22:24   #43
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I hear all these ice boxes and refrigeration system, but what about just a small compact fridge you can buy at your local electronic store? They're cheap cost less than $200. What's the difference between say a Norcold marine fridge and a $200 compact fridge? Do they draw more power compare to Norcold? What am i missing?
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Old 04-11-2012, 22:45   #44
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Re: Refrigeration versus ice box

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Originally Posted by captainUni View Post
I hear all these ice boxes and refrigeration system, but what about just a small compact fridge you can buy at your local electronic store? They're cheap cost less than $200. What's the difference between say a Norcold marine fridge and a $200 compact fridge? Do they draw more power compare to Norcold? What am i missing?
There are two main factors in how much power a fridge needs, how well the area being kept cold is insulated and how efficient the system itself is. As a rule a $US200 refrigerator has very poor insulation and is not very efficient. It is made to be used in places like dorm rooms or RVs where there is a constant supply of electricity produced at cheap prices.

Most threads about refrigeration on boats have at least a few posts about where to place the unit, how to increase the insulation, and how to reduce the power consumption. None of these things are normally considered with the units bought at a big box store. If you were hooked up to shore power at a dock they would probably work fine, but for cruising they would most likely demand too much of the house batteries.
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Old 04-11-2012, 23:29   #45
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That's what i thought. So if i only use it at the dock with shore power hooked up, i would image it would be ok. For me, i don't do extended cruising only day cruise so power consumption wouldnt be an issue since my boat's receptacles go out when shore power is disconnected, unless i run it to an inverter then it will be a different story. Thanks for your input.
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