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Old 04-03-2019, 18:39   #1
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keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

Im in Mexico at the moment and will be hauled out for four days to get some work done on the boat.

I have a keel cooled freezer that currently half full, if I leave it running while out of the water will it work/ be damaged?
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Old 04-03-2019, 18:44   #2
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

It won't work. It will overheat the compressor and cut out.
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Old 04-03-2019, 19:08   #3
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

If you could set up a fine spray of water onto the keel condenser then you may be able to keep things frozen. If you know what % of time the unit normally runs then you may be able to operate the spray / compressor in stages of a similar run time.

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Old 15-03-2019, 10:17   #4
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

Vesco Frigoboat believes running keel cooler refrigerator while boat is out of the water has been the cause of more than one complete system to be replaced. Experience also has proven compressor overheating temperatures will not stop a running compressor. The system does not fail until days or months later as a result contaminated material in oil.
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Old 15-03-2019, 22:35   #5
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

For what it is worth.

Keel cooled fridge, can I use it on the hard
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Old 16-03-2019, 07:45   #6
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

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Originally Posted by coopec43 View Post
The answer is exposure of short term reword or extensive grief and great expenses later.

This is what other boaters experienced after operating Frigoboat keel cooler systems while on the hard. Refrigerator seemed to perform OK while out of the water. If poor performance was reported shortly after boat was back in water manufacturer suggested overheated cylinder head gasket in compressor was loosing pressure. In one case after weeks of local trouble shooting and ten months of trouble shooting that included replacing three evaporator assemblies the complete system was replaced. Total cost had to be more than two thousand dollars.

The problem with these over heated compressors is oil contamination that does not show up until refrigerant flow is reducing system performance. First technician will replace evaporator. Problem occurs again Tech overcomes flow restriction by over charging refrigerant in system allowing compressor to run at a higher than normal amperage and so on until a different manufacturers system is installed.

These are just two of the many examples I would think twice about before allowing compressor and its oil to overheat.
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Old 16-03-2019, 10:23   #7
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

This is why they make a dual keel cool/air cool option like we have. We have been hauled out for quite a while with just the air cooling and its been working like a champ. You would need to run a hose or something over the sinter otherwise - it says so right in the directions.
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Old 16-03-2019, 13:41   #8
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

The Frigoboat keel cool system is a water-cooled system. Period. If you run it out of the water, you will over heat and shrink the seal between the keel cooler and your hull and risk eventual water ingress. However, this dubious risk aside, what you will do, unquestionably, is eventually kill your compressor, as it works over time with ever increasing hot refrigerant that is not getting enough heat removed from it due to the lack of water to remove that heat. Sure, people have said they've ran theirs out of the water with success, but they really haven't in the long term as down the road, maybe a year later, they experience troubles with their system and have to replace the compressor. A more expensive endeavor than purchasing Frigoboat's Air-Only condenser, or hauling ice for a short while.
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Old 16-03-2019, 14:53   #9
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

Excessive heat is not good for compressor and its oil but it is a big stretch to believe this small amount of non consented heat could cause hull water seal damage. I believe there are conditions where no harm is done when compressor's temperature never reach 130 degrees F. This might be true for some drink cooler but unlikely true for freezer temperatures.
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Old 16-03-2019, 18:53   #10
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

What is the draw to keel cooled?
I understand it for a motor, if you can dry stack, but why for a fridge?
I can think of several reasons not to, but no compelling reason to do it?
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Old 16-03-2019, 19:48   #11
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

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What is the draw to keel cooled?
I understand it for a motor, if you can dry stack, but why for a fridge?
I can think of several reasons not to, but no compelling reason to do it?
No pumps or fans required and it keeps the heat out of the boat.
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Old 17-03-2019, 06:15   #12
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

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No pumps or fans required and it keeps the heat out of the boat.


Iíd counter that by saying heat wise itís equal to one half a person, so if you have a guest, they add as much heat as two fridges to the boat, or put the evaporator in the lazarette and dump the heat in there.
A computer fan is cheap and readily available, as compared to holes in the boat and metal in salt water.
Iíve just heard of real, expensive problems with keel coolers, like stray current corrosion
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Old 17-03-2019, 07:17   #13
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

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Iíd counter that by saying heat wise itís equal to one half a person, so if you have a guest, they add as much heat as two fridges to the boat, or put the evaporator in the lazarette and dump the heat in there.
A computer fan is cheap and readily available, as compared to holes in the boat and metal in salt water.
Iíve just heard of real, expensive problems with keel coolers, like stray current corrosion
That's why the Frigoboat installation instructions say to attach the keel cooler to your battery negative. It also says to attach your keel cooler to your boat's bonding system, and if your boat is not bonded, to purchase a keel cooler with zincs to provide its own bond. I can't say what the instructions are for Isotherm's in-drain keel cooler, or for any others that may be out there, which can be the problem when reading in general about keel cool systems. Frigoboat's is the original, and the one others have tried to copy.

Using a fan as your heat exchanger is classic; it also uses 25% more energy than a pumped-water or keel cooled system. Sure, it's simpler to install, and usually less costly, but if energy conservation is important, as well as peace and quiet, little maintenance, and consistent performance in weather conditions from Maine to the Tropics, then the keel cooler is a better choice, in my humble opinion.
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Old 17-03-2019, 07:43   #14
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

From the manual:

"NOTE: Never operate a Keel Cooled system while the boat is out of the water without having first rigged some form of temporary water cooling on the Keel Cooler. If a Capri air cooled condensing unit or an Air Add-On air cooled condenser is installed together with a Keel Cooler, ensure that the fan is operated only when the boat is out of the water, and then switched off when the boat is launched."

and

"Never operate a Keel Cooled or pumped-water cooled compressor when the boat is out of the water without having rigged temporary water cooling or installing an Air Add-On air cooled condenser. Failure to do so may cause irreversible damage."
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Old 17-03-2019, 08:18   #15
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Re: keel cooled fridge and freezer on the hard

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Originally Posted by Anna Sail View Post
That's why the Frigoboat installation instructions say to attach the keel cooler to your battery negative. It also says to attach your keel cooler to your boat's bonding system, and if your boat is not bonded, to purchase a keel cooler with zincs to provide its own bond. I can't say what the instructions are for Isotherm's in-drain keel cooler, or for any others that may be out there, which can be the problem when reading in general about keel cool systems. Frigoboat's is the original, and the one others have tried to copy.

Using a fan as your heat exchanger is classic; it also uses 25% more energy than a pumped-water or keel cooled system. Sure, it's simpler to install, and usually less costly, but if energy conservation is important, as well as peace and quiet, little maintenance, and consistent performance in weather conditions from Maine to the Tropics, then the keel cooler is a better choice, in my humble opinion.
A well designed air cooled and correctly installed maintenance free small 12 volt refrigeration system has no equal when compared to any version of water cooled units. Anyone selecting pleasure boat variable speed compressor boat refrigeration today deserves reliable friendly air cooled refrigeration. A penalty of 5% not 25% more energy over water cooling is not worth discussing.

Stray electrical low voltage discharge is a result of these systems but has had no affect on air cooled systems. With water cooled refrigeration any boat that has an AC generator or spends time running refrigeration from shore power should have isolation transformers and still routine Zinc inspection checks. As to the question of grounding and zincs on Keel cooler systems recommendations have changed as to grounding and whether zinc are needed. The last advice I remember is if you are concerned about your units low voltage discharge have a qualified electrician check your boat.
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