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Old 03-06-2016, 08:01   #1
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Small A/C unit for v-berth

So I've been looking into this for quite some time, heres what I've found:

There are not many small A/C compressors and the ones there are have pretty large power requirements (i.e. 40-50 amps at 12 volts). I have a mini-DC fridge that only draws 4 amps at 12 volts.

Is there any reason the compressor for the mini fridge can't be used to cool the small v-berth (only about 45 cubic feet)?
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:07   #2
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

BTU thats the killer . Your little fridge probably generates around 200 btu per hour , a small v berth area may need around 4000 btu to cool the space on a hot day.

Take a look at these guys. This is probably what you are looking for .

12 Volt Air Conditioning | Boats, Trucks, Hot Rods | Cruise N Comfort

Regards
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Old 03-06-2016, 08:45   #3
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

Well thats the thing. I'm not looking to make it 65 degrees on a hot day, just looking to go from like 85 to 77 at night, just to make it sleepable.

I just ran the calcs at an online BTU calculator, and thats actually 211 BTU/hr, for my 45 cubic foot v-berth with a change of 8 degrees F.

So it might work?? Maybe I could just get a fan to put over top of the portable DC fridge?
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Old 03-06-2016, 09:37   #4
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

Don't forget that a refrigerator also produces heat.....
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Old 03-06-2016, 13:43   #5
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

check out small standalone room ACs. ours is 800w and will cool our small saloon down 6-7 degrees. We had to put in a 150mm sealable outlet to get the heat out. If we did use the batteries, it would flatten them in 2 hours. Boats get fairly hot and need plenty of energy to get that heat outside
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Old 03-06-2016, 16:37   #6
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

Why not use this approach??
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:50   #7
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

Have you checked out the units that pump sea water from a hose that you put deep below the boat thru a set of coils that has a fan. Cheap and would probably provide the small amount of cooling you want.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:08   #8
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

I suspect your comparing apples to oranges. Your refrigerator only draws 4 amps because it is only running a fraction of the time to maintain the temperature in a small insulated container. A better comparison might be to look at your power consumption when you leave the door wide open.
I also think your refrigerator is not designed for the much greater utilization and will tend to fail.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:24   #9
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsta_Rebel View Post
Why not use this approach??
I have no idea how well they work but at $2.50 to $3 for a 10 lb bag of ice if you're a liveaboard the cost starts adding up.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:20   #10
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

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I have no idea how well they work but at $2.50 to $3 for a 10 lb bag of ice if you're a liveaboard the cost starts adding up.
Agreed. We live on the hook and don't require any more that Caframo fans and open port lights, but for someone who wants comfort in the way of AC, what could be cheaper than this? 3.00 a bag of ice seems pretty cheap for a night of AC if you require it.
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Old 04-06-2016, 16:04   #11
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

Who needs all that extra humidity
from ice?
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Old 05-06-2016, 00:14   #12
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

I made one of the small portable ones shown in the photo. Simple to make, but gets its cooling from a frozen 1 gal. milk jug, and doesn't last more than an hour or two, It cools OK initially, but I didn't find it a viable solution.
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Old 06-06-2016, 13:56   #13
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Re: Small A/C unit for v-berth

Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoon View Post
BTU thats the killer . Your little fridge probably generates around 200 btu per hour , a small v berth area may need around 4000 btu to cool the space on a hot day.

Take a look at these guys. This is probably what you are looking for .

12 Volt Air Conditioning | Boats, Trucks, Hot Rods | Cruise N Comfort

Regards
my question is: if you have a solar array that is capable of generating the 30-40 amps required to run this little device.... what will this do to your batteries in terms of heat and gas generation and also in terms of life expectancy of the batts?
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