Having just had to go through the refrigeration
exercise, I found that the answer is not in what system is best in general. The answer is in what system works best with your current
Mark and I (the guy I'm buying
my new refer from), have opposite existing systems aboard our boats. Mark has an enormous DC generating capacity with a sizeable battery
bank. He's got so much power, he has actually let others plug
into his boat to recharge while rafting... ha ha
Well set up.
Since he has all this DC power, he can run an Alder Barbour all day long without any hassle or having to worry about it eating through his batteries. No problem. The advantage for him also is that he doesn't need to constantly attend to the system and it will work.
My situation is the reverse. I have substantial AC power from a genset that I will be running daily to keep up with power needs while living on the hook. I also have a tiny little DC system. The Alder Barbour I have installed as original equipment
can't even run 24 hours on my current battery
setup. Then... charging
the batteries back via genset would also take several hours. My anchorage neighbors would not be too happy with that.
So for me, a very high power AC system with holding plates is the only solution. I run it while the genset is on, and the both the batteries and daily refrigeration can be "topped off" in a couple hours.
All use a similar amount of engergy (based on calculating heat loss of your icebox
and efficiency of the refer unit). The real difference is when and how they use that engergy, and what you want to sacrifice to keep your food
, genset, batteries, etc....)