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Old 19-05-2018, 05:24   #31
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

This is the model:

https://orccgear.com/Engel_MB40_Drop...erator_Freezer

The model no longer appears on the Engel site so I imagine it isn't made anymore.
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Old 19-05-2018, 07:05   #32
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Just don't insulate the bits that get warm

Efficiencies will increase if you ventilate those.

I think Norcold may also use that Sawafuji style compressor.
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Old 19-05-2018, 07:24   #33
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Just don't insulate the bits that get warm

Efficiencies will increase if you ventilate those.

I think Norcold may also use that Sawafuji style compressor.
Thanks John. That much I had figured out. As the compressor unit is under the fridge, I thought I'd try to insulate all around the box itself, leaving the compressor exposed.

I suppose my doubts are more related to what material I should use to insulate the outside of the box (I can't find those pink or blue 3M foam sheets here) and whether I need to put a vapor barrier (and where) to avoid condensation. I had thought of using fiberglass pink insulation around the box with a plastic wrap over that (sealed with duct tape), but I don't know if it would get wet from condensation (and be rendered useless). As I have quite a bit of space around the box, it just seems silly not to insulate it and cut down on the power being consumed.
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Old 19-05-2018, 08:18   #34
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Any closed-cell rigid foam will do, but polyiso has greatest R-value per thickness.

Sealing corners and any gaps with some spray foam also gets closer to a vapour barrier, you could wrap all around the outside of the vertical sides with 6-mil plastic if you like, but IMO marginal

Just don't leave inside gaps where moisture can accumulate and corrode the steel, I would either Gorilla Glue and clamp to get a complete sheet lamination, or

if leaving it loose (less insulating) ensuring drips can exit out the bottom, some drying air circulation.

Tightest would of course be doing the whole job with 2-part pourable or spray foam, but IMO overkill.
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Old 19-05-2018, 08:29   #35
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

I follow a list of technical protocols when selecting pleasure boat refrigeration and this drop in unit would fail most of them. You own it now so how do you cope with its problems. Most home building and lumber company stores sell insulating materials. The type of insulation you should look for first is Extruded polystyrene sheet boards as they are moisture resistance and have a smooth surface. The smooth or slick surface is important because there needs to be a slight interference fit when installing and removing drop in unit for maintenance. If you have to use insulation material that is not moisture resistant then encapsulate it in plastic material.

Another performance problem you will have is cooling of compressor, condensing unit mounted under drop in box. Engle refrigerators are usually AC/DC, this unit is DC only and I am assuming it has a Swing 22 or 26 volt pulsating 60 cycle AC current vibrating compressor. There is a cooling fan on condenser, compressor and electronic voltage converter. Cooling this complete unit will require fresh air movement into area under refrigerated box and warm air exhausted elsewhere.
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Old 19-05-2018, 08:56   #36
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
I follow a list of technical protocols when selecting pleasure boat refrigeration and this drop in unit would fail most of them. You own it now so how do you cope with its problems. Most home building and lumber company stores sell insulating materials. The type of insulation you should look for first is Extruded polystyrene sheet boards as they are moisture resistance and have a smooth surface. The smooth or slick surface is important because there needs to be a slight interference fit when installing and removing drop in unit for maintenance. If you have to use insulation material that is not moisture resistant then encapsulate it in plastic material.

Another performance problem you will have is cooling of compressor, condensing unit mounted under drop in box. Engle refrigerators are usually AC/DC, this unit is DC only and I am assuming it has a Swing 22 or 26 volt pulsating 60 cycle AC current vibrating compressor. There is a cooling fan on condenser, compressor and electronic voltage converter. Cooling this complete unit will require fresh air movement into area under refrigerated box and warm air exhausted elsewhere.
Thanks Richard. I was hoping you'd chime in ...

As you noted, I can't glue anything to the sides on the box as I won't be able to remove it from the counter if I do. The insulation has to be taped or fixed in such a way that I can remove it in case I have to lift the unit from the counter.That's the first problem...

I'll look for the extruded polystyrene boards. I'm sure someone makes them here. I just have to find a non-permanent way of fixing them to the box. Any suggestions? Also, is there any advantage of wrapping a heat-reflecting sheet around the insulation after? I could seal it all up with tape.

As far as the cooling of the compressor goes, I think I'm OK. The bottom of the counter area is open so the compressor has a constant supply of fresh, cool air.

The Engel unit is actually very nice. It is absolutely silent, cools and freezes perfectly and doesn't seem to consume very much power (I'll quantify this later when I install my new solar controller with AH counter). It's just that with all the space around the box it just seems a waste not to insulate the unit better. BTW, it runs all day off two 45w solar panels (old panels, in parallel, often with one shaded and an Outback PWM controller). The panels keep up with the fridge draw during the day (and even feed the batteries some juice), but it's really close. After 2 days I have to run the engine to recover a bit. I'm about to install a big 265w panel with a Blue Sky MPPT controller (no shading on the panel), which will more than sufficiently cover my energy needs.

On a side note, the Engel fridges, while robust and somewhat efficient, are not all that cheap. I would have preferred to have bought a fridge kit (about the same price) and built a very well insulated box, but the lack of materials in Brazil, time and the thought of boat surgery dissuaded me. Plus, I was removing a Dometic gimballed propane/DC fridge and the Engel replacement was a perfect fit.

Cheers!
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Old 19-05-2018, 09:02   #37
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

OK, if the foam needs to be removable, can use a cheap hot glue gun or just use double-sided tape, then tightly wrap it around with 6-mil plastic and tape.
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Old 19-05-2018, 09:17   #38
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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OK, if the foam needs to be removable, can use a cheap hot glue gun or just use double-sided tape, then tightly wrap it around with 6-mil plastic and tape.
Thanks John. Do you think there would be a problem with the slight gap between the poly sheet and the fridge box if I use 2-sided tape? I imagine it could lead to condensation. Would an air-tight plastic wrap over this eliminate the condensation problem?
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Old 19-05-2018, 09:52   #39
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

I am never concerned about insulation until condensation shows up on exterior of insulation in this case metal cover over insulation as long as boat's power grid is adequate. It takes a Delta T of more than 5 degrees before moisture is present.

My main concern about your Engel unit is excessive damaging heat caused by poor condenser and electronics cooling. The voltage transformer and voltage pulsation items are prone to failure inside the wraparound wire condenser. There is a solution on my web site under the FANS heading A inexpensive snap action thermo switch fastened to condenser to control a secondary cooling fan.

http://www.kollmann-marine.com/fans....ion_thermostat
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Old 19-05-2018, 10:19   #40
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
I am never concerned about insulation until condensation shows up on exterior of insulation in this case metal cover over insulation as long as boat's power grid is adequate. It takes a Delta T of more than 5 degrees before moisture is present.

My main concern about your Engel unit is excessive damaging heat caused by poor condenser and electronics cooling. The voltage transformer and voltage pulsation items are prone to failure inside the wraparound wire condenser. There is a solution on my web site under the FANS heading A inexpensive snap action thermo switch fastened to condenser to control a secondary cooling fan.

Kollmann Marine
I've never seen any condensation on the stainless exterior of the box. I'm in the tropics, so I imagine there is a big difference between the temps inside and outside the box (not sure what a Delta T is, but I'll google that).

I don't remeber if the unit has a fan to cool the condenser. I'll check this week when I'm on the boat. The whole area around the fridge is open. It's not in an enclosed cabinet. I will check out the fan on your site. Do you ship to Brazil?
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Old 19-05-2018, 10:21   #41
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Delta-T is temperature difference.
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Old 19-05-2018, 11:25   #42
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

If you're not getting any condensation now, and air is freely circulating, then adding more foam to the outside shouldn't cause any.

NBD anyway as long as you're not trapping it against the steel wall.

Any increased ventilation of the electronics and condenser area will help efficiency, PC fans are very quiet and low consumption.
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Old 19-05-2018, 11:31   #43
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
If you're not getting any condensation now, and air is freely circulating, then adding more foam to the outside shouldn't cause any.

NBD anyway as long as you're not trapping it against the steel wall.

Any increased ventilation of the electronics and condenser area will help efficiency, PC fans are very quiet and low consumption.
Thanks John. I appreciate the advice.

I'll start looking for the foam boards and check if there is a fan on the condenser.
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Old 22-05-2018, 07:59   #44
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

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Originally Posted by Richard Kollmann View Post
Most home building and lumber company stores sell insulating materials. The type of insulation you should look for first is Extruded polystyrene sheet boards as they are moisture resistance and have a smooth surface. The smooth or slick surface is important because there needs to be a slight interference fit when installing and removing drop in unit for maintenance. If you have to use insulation material that is not moisture resistant then encapsulate it in plastic material.

.
Richard, I ordered 2 sheets of polystyrene foam (arrived yesterday), but I suspect it's not the right stuff. It looks exactly like regular styrofoam, but pink. It also says on the site that it's "expanded polystyrene" (not extruded) and that it's not waterproof. Should I just go ahead with this, sealed in plastic, or keep looking for better material?
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Old 22-05-2018, 08:00   #45
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Re: Upgrading Battery Bank & Refer Unit

Do not use Styrofoam. Locate some Dow "blue board."
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