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Old 29-03-2016, 03:04   #1
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Attention Air Conditioner Experts - Please

Well, I’ve poured over the inter-web and this forum and see a number of folks installing air con on their boats. We did this as well in 1996 – with a Glacier Bay system. We have 2 Artic Air “air handlers” both rated at 6000 BTUs (not the Micro HPS system). These were intended to run in the “spare” down time when the GB compressor was idle with the freezer and ‘fridge pulled down. Well, in theory anyway. In practice, however, the GB system was poorly installed (glad I took their recommended installer), and never really gave us the Air Con we were wishing we had in the Sea of Cortez.

Artic Air unit
Now years later, we have replaced the ‘fridge” units with a BD50f and roll bond box, and soon will be installing a system from Rich (Third Day) in our freezer. The old GB freezer plates are junked at my stainless steel fabricator’s shop, and soon I will remove all the left over GB compressor, 1HP motor, etc. (may keep around a while though.)
This bit of background now brings me to the questions I have.

Window unit Picture

Does anyone have “Split system” experience on a sailboat? Seems like that is basically what GB was trying to do, use the High Back Pressure (HBP) TECUMSEH (reciprocating) compressor to run the Artic Air units. It was loud, and ate a million amps.
There are other compressors used in window and wall style units, that look interesting, and I thought of using a BD80f (or 2) but don’t think they have the range to make the Artic Air Units work satisfactorily.
BD80 Picture

Power is not an initial concern at this point, just getting pointed in a reasonable direction. This would be used dockside only (or on generator if under 2K load).
Using a window unit in the companionway while dockside makes summer at the dock bearable here in South East Asia, where we hit near 40C daily. If I could cobble together a DIY split-system to the Artic Air units – I would be a hero!
For details, the liquid supply from the GB compressor was ¼” and the suction ½”. I’m wondering is I could pull apart a window unit and run the lines – or ???
Any ideas out there?

Thanks for your thoughts in advance!

Cheers - Jim
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Old 29-03-2016, 05:09   #2
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Re: Attention Air Conditioner Experts - Please

A lot of the older Power boats used split systems. I would not do that to my worst enemy, self contained units are just too inexpensive to buy and just too easy to install and replace, that a split in my opinion just isn't justified.
A Webasto 5000 BTU unit at Defender is a little over $1,100. You just can't justify the cost and complication of a split in my opinion.
My little 5K Webast pulls 5 amps AC, but my 16K Webasto has three times the cooling, yet pulls only 11 amps, but it is hard to start though. the 5K isn't.
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