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Old 03-07-2005, 17:50   #1
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New types of Boat Refrigeration

When we visit boat shows year after year it is always interesting to check out the new state of the art refrigeration equipment. After seeing and hearing creative advertising are you as interested as I am to find out how these new items really work? Did you ever notice how the so called top of the line units show up at flea markets couple of years after you see them at the boat show?

In the last fifteen years we have seen many new products come alone promising more reliable and better performing refrigeration, some have worked but many do not live up to the buyer’s expectations. I keep a library of boat refrigeration equipment problems and solutions that I use for material for my books. I also have a boat refrigeration forum to answer questions on the subject.

I hope by posting this it might encourage people to exchange experiences they have had with some of the new types of boat refrigeration equipment such as; Vacuum Insulating Panels, Variable speed compressors, Keel or through hull condensers, Danfoss’s new BD 80 compressors, or Glacier Bay’s new System. Danfoss has a new line of electronic modules, one with an extra external aluminum heat sink cover and another with a fan and automatic compressor speed control.

If you do have time to offer your refrigeration experiences, please include how often your system is used and your cruising area.

Richard Kollmann Marine

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Old 24-07-2005, 21:29   #2
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Hello Mr. Kollman

Mr. Kollman, great to hear from you. Thanks for jumping in. For those of you that don't know him, he has got to be the foremost expert in Marine Refrigeration. I'm in the process of building my own refrigerator/freezer. Mr. Kollman's book and expertise and willingness to answer the questions that come up are invaluable to Do It Yourselfers. Regards,

Peter and Shar
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Old 26-07-2005, 03:21   #3
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Question for Richard

I want to change my icebox to a fridge, would like to use a 12 volt only unit. Have determined that the Danfoss 35 or 50 would be suitable. The box is 2 feet deep, 2 feet long and 18 inches wide. It is slightly narrower at the bottom. It has a top lid of about 12 inches square. The insulation is about 2 inches ( have not measured accurately yet ) but I can and will add more to get it to about 4 inches. I have two large 12 volt batteries and can add another battery for starting the engine only. So far the solar panel is only 15 watts. We get hot here around 100f but the water is cool so the bottom of the boat stays cool. Later I will add a bigger alternator and smart regulator. Am I on the right track and do you think the 35 is large enough or should I get the 50. Thanks in advance.
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Old 27-07-2005, 15:07   #4
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Peter, I too am building a new refrigeration system from scratch. If you like, let's stay in touch and compare notes:

Two years ago at the Annapolis show, I bought a Frigoboat system (the largest they offered), which is a dc keel-cooled system. A friend who had this system gave rave reviews re low power consumption; they had a pretty attractive show price, so I went for it.

Two years later,we're finally getting into the nitty gritty of the galley, and sudenly it seems that my original evil plan of using the system's thermoplate to create a top-access freezer box that trickles the cold air down to a larger front-access fridge area below won't all fit below the counter, at least with any kind of useable fridge space. My carpenter suggests looking into a separate freezer unit; I do have a good location for a freezer, in an otherwise dead space on the nav area.

My Refrigeration For Dummies questions are: 1) can a system that was intended to create a combo freezer/fridge be turned into an efficient fridge-only system? and 2) What's the best way to create a freezer-only system, and what kind of energy usage can I expect? Is it as simple as throwing another $1100 at the problem, acquire a second Frigoboat system, and only making a freezer box out of it?
"Give a man a fish, and he can eat for a day. Give a man a boat, and he can't afford to eat for the rest of his life."
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Old 27-07-2005, 17:21   #5
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If you have a system that you were going to use for Fridge/freezer combo, and now want seperate systems, you will have to check the size of the units versus size of the compressor. The benefit of the combo unit is that you can bleed some cold from freezer into the fridge area and basically achieve the fridge unit for very little extra energy expenditure.

unit size recommendations for keel cooled Danfoss systems are:

Keel Cooled 35f compressor and condensing set for fridges up to 1800 litres and freezers up to 70 litres

Keel Cooled 50f compressor and condensing set for fridges up to 350 litres and freezers up to 80 litres

Superfrigomatic keel cooled 50f compressor and condensing set for fridges up to 400 litres and freezers up to 120 litres

Details of the capacity of the full range and appropriate evaporators for size of installation seehere
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Old 13-08-2005, 19:31   #6
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Geoff, yes let's stay in touch and compare notes. I am thinking we could do this on this thread. I would like to keep what Mr. Kollman has started going. As he listens in to our conversation I'm sure he will provide more valuable information. Do you have his book, Do It Yourself Refrigeration? This is an incredible resource for what we are going to do. Others, hopefully, will gain information from this thread as well as provide assistance. You can also reach me at

Peter and Shar
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