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Old 03-08-2014, 00:49   #16
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

You did not mention where your fridge was located. Our fridge has one wall on the starboard side hull. When in the tropics the insolation struggles when the sun beats on the boat's hull. We find hanging a car windscreen sun protector along the hull cuts out the sun and helps keep the fridge colder. So possibly this tip may help in the short term.

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Old 03-08-2014, 02:16   #17
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

It's on the starboard hull as well yes.

I think I need a battery monitor to start working out how much is coming in (from solar) vs how much is going out.

I'll see if I can pick up one of those head guns as well.

I like the idea of throwing some frozen meats into it also.

Will let you know how I get on.



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Old 03-08-2014, 02:51   #18
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

Simon, we have a couple of sets of cloth beer mats from e bay which we alternate every 3 or 4 days although a small towel would do. They absorb all the condensation and keep the fridge dry and add to the insulation at the bottom. You could try one on top with a space for the often used stuff like milk if you are English and drink lots of tea.

Might be a bit tricky in Spain but we added two layers of that house hold radiator foil backing polystrene stuff and taped the edges. There wasn't really room to add anything thicker but I am sure it made a difference. Also added a vent in the cupboard to increase air flow.

During the last two weeks in Dartmouth it has been 30.c and the fridge (danfloss air cooled) coped well, running for a minute every 15 or so.

Battery monitors are essential in my view to see what is going on. Before we would charge using the engine or honda genny for hours but didn't really know what was happening. Now with 180w of solar and monitoring the batteries we only use 20% of the battery capacity with fridge, lap tops and tv etc.

Nice blog btw, love all the photos

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Old 03-08-2014, 04:23   #19
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

Thanks Pete,

Good idea with the towel, I'll give this a try. I'm going to have a good look around the back and sides today when it cools off to see if there's any way to add insulation or improve airflow.



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Old 03-08-2014, 05:21   #20
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

Our fridge is massive. We find that freezing a few water bottles and lining the bottom of the fridge with them helps keep it full AND cold. The trick is to not drink the cold water when it has defrosted, it all helps keep the cold in!
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:49   #21
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

I've just bought my second ENGEL refridge/freezer so I will now have both a freezer and refrigerator on board. But, for the past few years I operated one ENGEL only in freezer mode freezing one liter water bottles and moving them into a plain cooler as needed. That worked pretty good. I found that keeping the freezer full seemed to help keep things frozen. Also I put a boat cushion on top of the unit for insulation where it also provided a convenient seat for doing chart work too.
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Old 03-08-2014, 06:25   #22
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

I know from 4WDriving (in Central Australia) where temperatures in the car can reach 60C, that keeping the fridge full means it runs better. Put bottles of water in it so that they cool at night and then during the day they can assist keeping the inside cooler.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:19   #23
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

That's a great idea. We've just picked up two of those ice packs so will try freezing them overnight (when it's cooler) and then using them in the bottom of the fridge during the heat of the day.



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Old 03-08-2014, 10:21   #24
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

Whether you open the front loading door, or not, it is probably leaking a lot. Also I suspect an inadequately insulated box/lid.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:51   #25
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

An unfortunate fact with front doors is that for an equal open period they will lose more cold air than a fridge with a lid only.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:56   #26
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

Ok so I thought I'd defrosted the fridge today to see what was going on. I think I might have found the issue.

Once defrosted I noticed some blue I've under the freezer section. I think what I've done (like an idiot) is cut into the blue ice blocks under the freezer (outside) when chipping away at the ice some other time.

I'd never noticed them before but after turning upside-down to get look there they are.

Are these just like the standard ice blocks you get when camping say? Or have I nicked something important that's going to cause the fridge damage? It's freezing back up again now but I can still notice the odd drip of blue stuff.

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Old 09-08-2014, 12:18   #27
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

It is possible to dye the refrigerant any color you want. Mine is yellow because that's the color the mechanic had in has kit when he was pressure testing.

Get some of the blue on your fingers. Liquid refrigerant feels oily.
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Old 10-08-2014, 00:25   #28
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

Feels a little oily I guess. It's leaking from this blue thingy..

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Old 10-08-2014, 05:12   #29
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

I smeared a tiny it of silicon into the little nick and it's stopped leaking.

The recommendation of putting absorbent mats in the bottom of the fridge is helping keep the moisture down in there also.

Lastly we reorganised the fridge so our most used items come from the top opening. This means our front door hardly opens now. This has also made a big difference.

Thanks all!

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Old 10-08-2014, 05:46   #30
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Re: Tips for Keeping the Darn Fridge Cold

Simon:
Your fridge looks a lot like my Isotherm, if so, the blue thing under the freezer is a cold pack filled with a glycol solution that freezes and helps efficiency. It is replaceable, not part of the compressor system. Al of the above items will help, use the Mylar bubblewrap and duct tape on the backside, do not cover the compressor or block airflow. Also, all refrigerators work based on the differential between box temp and ambient. Adjusting the box temp higher will allow it to work less, maybe an acceptable compromise.
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