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Old 17-06-2013, 17:43   #31
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Mark,
In looking at your pictures it appears you cut the hole for the refrigeration lines to enter the refrigerator right through the vacuum panel(s).
Is that correct?
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Old 17-06-2013, 18:30   #32
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Re: Vacuum Panels

First off, Mark Johnson speaks the truth, is an accomplished and exquisite craftsman, and, though sometimes longwinded (because he provides incredible detail), he knows of what he speaks. So, for the detractors, back off, because you are only going to be revealed as unknowing in the end.

My reefer uses VIPs from Nanopore, a company in Albuquerque, NM. The ONLY downside to their product is that there is a $1000 minimum. I used only about $350 of that for my reefer. I will use about that more for my freezer, and I'll use the balance to work on someone else's system. Nanopore was the supplier for Glacier Bay. They are a dream to work with. RParts was a great disappointment, and more expensive. I sent Nanopore my paper templates and they sent me my panels, which fit perfectly. RParts sent me apologies for not being able to use paper templates because their Chinese suppliers used only drawings. I still used RParts for other supplies, though.

As for the tube hole, you can't cut holes in VIPs, so what you do is to cut off the angle where the hole would be, and fill the remaining void (after installation of the fiberglass tube) with spray foam. Here are some pics: The first shows the interior of the box, sans the lid, and the three layers of foam (polyurethane, VIP, polyurethane) in the upper left hand corner. The second shows the detail of handling the hole with the VIPs. The piece on the left has merely sprung from its position. The lid seals all of the internal insulation in an hermetically sealed unit, eliminating the access to further humidity. Since this box was built in San Diego, it has had little exposure to high humidity during construction.

Due to a recent haulout and some other interruptions, progress on completion of the box has been temporarily interrupted. I'll be happy to show more pics, shortly.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:15   #33
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Here's the contact for Nanopore: NanoPore Incorporated.

My reefer is about 6.5 cubic feet, and single layer with shelves to accommodate the bilge curves where it lives. The 6.5 cubic foot freezer will be located in a cabinet at waist level in another compartment, with two levels of stacking. Both are top loading, with RParts lids (with VIPs) and 3+ inches of top insulation. The reefer has a single cold plate, the freezer a double. LED lighting and pancake fan air circulators are included. Both units are being supplied with refrigerant by a Bitzer compressor and 1/2 HP DC motor with direct drive shaft to the compressor.
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Old 17-06-2013, 19:52   #34
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbanker View Post
Mark,
In looking at your pictures it appears you cut the hole for the refrigeration lines to enter the refrigerator right through the vacuum panel(s).
Is that correct?


No.
As Roy said, you can not cut or puncture the vacuum panels in any way. What he did in leaving a corner bevel in one panel, allowed him to make a much larger box, which was his goal.

In my case, for maximum efficiency, I intentionally wanted to limit my box to just 2 cu/ft. That is larger than you think! Imagine a large picnic cooler, without the ice... That is about the size.

I had enough space "length wise" to spare, so made the entire "small" end wall out of the most efficient foams available, and omitted putting a vacuum panel here. (See the photo).
Into this one all foam wall, I spray foamed (and then glassed in the ends), of a small 1" PVC pipe, through which I later passed the refrigerant tube and the outside recording thermometer's sensor wire. This glassed in PVC pipe was then internally spray foamed in on both ends, after the tube & wire went through.

After I dropped in my completed pre/fab refrigerator's box and screwed down it's flange, I wrapped the exterior of the box with layer after layer of "Reflectex" bubble wrap foil insulation, for an EXTRA couple of inches of insulation.

Bear in mind, that I just "started off" with a SUPER insulated box.

I made it VERY small, with a TOTALLY air tight lid, REALLY!

I put it in the MOST convenient location... the floor of the Searunner's sterncastle, as designed. This area is mostly sealed, below the boat's WL, and it's at least 10 to 15 degrees, cooler than if it was in a counter top.

The small little Sea Frost AIR cooled compressor is in there too, in it's own double hose "vented" but otherwise sealed box. The vent hoses (with 2 muffin fans), are insulated too, so no compressor heat is transferred to the refer box. In effect, it makes the compressor mostly "water cooled", because of it's location, without the complication of hoses and pumps.

I also abstain from making ice, by NOT hanging my refrigeration unit's ice trays against the cold plate, as designed. I just skip the gin & tonics, and make due with cold beer. This too, cuts my usage considerably!

This "combination" of choices made my refrigerator's load, (80-90% of the entire daily load), as low as it is. I applied the same philosophy to the entire boat, btw.

I used Direct DC @ 12V, OR DC to DC transformers for running radios/TVs/stereos, or computers. This avoids the power hungry inverter.
I also used the smallest watermaker, LED lights, 9 efficient fans etc.

Spending money on conservation, (on boats or on land), goes MANY times further that just producing more energy. This is why for 12 years as liveaboards, (18 years total, cruising and sailing on Delphys), we were totally solar self sufficient, with just our 270Ws of solar panels.

We made water in the morning, yacked on the SSB, enjoyed our refrigeration, watched storms on RADAR, listened to music, watched movies, ALWAYS ran 2 anchor lights, and on a good day, had our 340 Ah batteries charged back up to 100% by about 11:00 AM! On a REALLY overcast day, I might have to tilt the aft panel, but we still completed a full 3 stage charge, by sun down. Btw... Light cycles and "total" battery charges, DAILY, extends battery life to > 10 years.

We cruise in style, but went small... simply and efficiently.
I recommend it highly!

Mark


PS: Thanks for the kind words Roy...
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Old 29-10-2013, 16:33   #35
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Looks like there is a new player out there, has anyone tried this company for panels?

http://www.thermalvisions.com

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Old 29-10-2013, 18:30   #36
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Re: Vacuum Panels

I communicated with Dwight Musgrave when I was investigating. They are good folks. I chose Nanopore because they were closer to me and I had to make a choice at some point. It is good to have competent American alternatives to the Chinese products.
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Old 30-10-2013, 18:05   #37
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Hi Roy , I was wondering what the lifespan on the panels you got were. Looking at Nanopores site , you can get different lifespans.

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Old 30-10-2013, 21:26   #38
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Re: Vacuum Panels

typhoon, I haven't the ability to forecast the future. I have heard good words about Nanopore and their VIPs, and have made the decision to go with them. I am willing to take the risk. You must make your own decision. Good luck.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:59   #39
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Contacted Nanopore , they sent me to a distributer , www.SealedAir.com but they have not replied to my inquiries ??


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Old 11-11-2013, 13:19   #40
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Just got a hold of them, ! Great ! www.SealedAir.com

Looks like there is a good source, they do custom sizes as well, vacuum panels here I come

Cost is around 10 to 15 dollars per square foot . Cost out Aerogel at R40 per square foot . I think it comes out to be around $40 per square foot

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Old 11-11-2013, 16:22   #41
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Re: Vacuum Panels

typhoon, does that mean they no longer have a $1000 minimum order? That would be very cool (no pun intended).
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Old 11-11-2013, 16:30   #42
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Re: Vacuum Panels

No they still have the $1000 minimum, but I can live with that if I can R40 around my freezer and fridge.
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Old 11-11-2013, 16:57   #43
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Re: Vacuum Panels

You are going to love this stuff. The shipping packaging is incredible to protect the contents. Be prepared for a large package, loaded on a pallet. I used Reflectex foam sheets to wrap the exterior of the finished box outer skin,just to give it an extra margin of heat reflection.

If you zoom in on the picture you will see that the top is independent of the bottom. This allows me to handle the weight of the main box without the holding plate installed. The block and tackle are attached to four small U-straps that normally hold bungee cords for the box's interior shelves, so that the milk doesn't slide around in rough seas. The top, with its RParts lids, slips over the bottom (where there isn't any Reflectex) and gets a sealant, inside and outside. The Reflectex square, on top (easier to see when zoomed in) protects the top edges of the VIPs and sandwiching polyurethane foam sheets. I made it this way in case I ever needed to do any repairs (Murphy's Law hasn't been repealed, yet).
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Old 11-11-2013, 17:03   #44
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Re: Vacuum Panels

What in the world are you building !! LOL

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Old 11-11-2013, 17:20   #45
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Re: Vacuum Panels

Quote:
Originally Posted by svinshallah View Post
I've had the panels for 10 years and they're great. But I think GB is now out of the panel business, unfortunately.

Wow ten years and still going strong? This is a good sign

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