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Old 29-06-2010, 15:44   #1
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Fridge / Freezer Management ?

I am just about to start a rebuild of the icebox on my boat, primarily to replace and enhance the insulation, but also to make the space work better. Current I have a single box that is about 6.5 ft^3 with a Adler Barbor SCM and a large vertical bin evaporator.

My plan is to convert this to a spill over system with a temperature activated fan built into an insulated wall. I will then have about 1.7 ft^3 of freezer with the remainder being fridge space. From the drawing, the lower hole will be a fan, the other one will be a return for the warmer air.

I know this system isn't perfect, but any general comments? The entire box will be R25-R30, with all areas around the freezer at R30. We will be living aboard in the tropics, hopefully using solar for most of the energy production.

My main question is what makes sense for organization on the fridge side? We currently have two wire baskets that hang in their, but because of the curved hull sides, there is a ton of wasted space, let alone the nightmare of finding something not on top. Any ideas as far as what has worked for people living aboard using similar spaces?
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Old 29-06-2010, 16:55   #2
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Check out - KollmannMarine Boat Refrigeration Specialist for basic information on how to build -put together the box. With proper insulation and waterproofing you do not need any fans inside. I have a 2 ft x 2 ft x 4 ft long box with two cold plate systems mounted along a specially built "ledge" which takes advantage of the hull curvature.
- - Between the two plates (one is set for freezer; the other for refrigerator) I made a temporary divider wall out of "R-Max" board put together for 2 inch thickness and sealed inside kitchen laminate material.
- - If one or the other cold plate system fails I remove the temporary divider and have a single large refrigerator. Partial failure of one system caused me to simply cut two round cores out of the temporary divider so that freezer cold could spill into the refrigerator side. When both system were back on line I put the "core plugs" back into their holes.
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Old 29-06-2010, 17:16   #3
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Thanks, I have been talking to Richard about this on his message board and I think we have a workable plan for the divider setup. I know it is not really necessary, but adding the temperature controlled fan is not expensive and give me the option for more granular control and will help in moving air around on the fridge side.

I am MOSTLY just looking for how people deal with using a wide deep and narrow box efficiently. That seems common in a lot of boats my vintage and I know there has to be a better system than the baskets I use now...
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Old 29-06-2010, 18:52   #4
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Two things I find help immensely. Vacuum packing and then group similar items in large ziplock bags. With the curve you have there, vertical storage of the bags with perhaps colour coded tape on the outer bags may help with organising things. I'm not keen on baskets, they rob you of a lot of space.
I'm not sure of the power economics but I make slabs of ice in sealed bags to take up any unoccupied space and use it for drinks when needed, plus cooling the picnic box for beach parties.

P.
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Old 29-06-2010, 20:15   #5
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We're going to turn off the fridge here for a month to get used to be fridge-less. I love it, but it's just one more thing and the less stuff we have the less stuff breaks. Besides it doesn't work when the water is warm. Those of you guys with good fridges: keep a beer chilled for me if I ever run into you!
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Old 29-06-2010, 21:53   #6
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"I am MOSTLY just looking for how people deal with using a wide deep and narrow box efficiently. That seems common in a lot of boats my vintage and I know there has to be a better system than the baskets I use now.."

-- When I build my freezer/refrigerator which is a deep narrow and long box the first thing I did was locate and purchase the plastic bins that were going to be inside the boxes. I purchased two deep plastic bins (12") and two medium bins (5") that fit on top of the deep bins. Each section has two deep and two medium bins and a left over 6" by full depth and width open space for odd things like ice bags and soda/beer/juice containers.
- - I built up the under floor with a drain and pipe to the front surface so I could open the drain and wash out/defrost the refrig/freezer with a hose and bucket. Stole the idea from a French production boat.
- - Then I put the bins in place on the floor and calculated the front and rear walls and end walls. I built a recessed ledge along the back to take advantage of the curvature of the hull and put the cold plates on the ledge. This allows the bins to be put in and removed without the cold plates interfering or creating/taking up "dead space."
-- The roof is a Glacier Bay insulated lid and frame. Then the rest is the counter top. I use two 12VDC refrig/freezer units from Technautics "Cool Blue" series. They are all on one pallet air cooled units. They provided the cold plates and set one for the freezer and the other for refrigerator. Evey thing came D-I-Y with self-sealing pre-charged lines and plates, etc.
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Old 01-07-2010, 15:56   #7
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Thanks eveyone, the staking bins and color coded bags for small stuff both sound like great ideas and I have seen some similar things in blogs I have been pouring over.

Cheers!
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