Originally Posted by gbanker
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?
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.
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.
in style, but went small... simply and efficiently.
I recommend it highly!
PS: Thanks for the kind words Roy...