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Old 25-01-2016, 12:16   #1
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12vdc/120 ac refrigerator

I have a 1991 beneteau 38. has a coldplate refridgeration system. can I take that out and put in one of those newer 12v/120 refrigerator?
advantages/disadvantages?? advice?
ray erwin

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Old 26-01-2016, 04:07   #2
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Re: 12vdc/120 ac refrigerator

In south Florida cruising area the decision on removing a large holding plate system and converting to 12 volt refrigeration will depend on box size and boat's on board DC electrical grid.

My advice is to leave present system as is and go Hybrid by installing a 12/110 volt evaporator unit in the same box. I have done this type conversion several times even putting a thin plate evaporator behind holding plate when space is a problem.

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Old 26-01-2016, 05:43   #3
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Re: 12vdc/120 ac refrigerator

Hi Ray and welcome to the forum.

First heed any advise from Richard. He wrote the book (literally) on marine refrigeration. However I would add a bit.

First, from your question I'm guessing the current holding plate system runs from an engine mounted compressor? If so I'll guess the reason for the inquiry is to reduce engine running time and not because the current system isn't working?

Before making any changes in the mechanics I would first consider the condition of the box and insulation. Not familiar with how Beneteau does in this regard but a well insulated box needs a good 4" around a fridge and 6" around a freezer unless the box was built with vacuum panels or some other high tech solution. Also, if the old insulation is spray in foam it could have absorbed moisture over time and lost its effectiveness.

If the box is good and the old system is working and you have the room, installing a second electrically powered system sounds like a good option. Be aware, as Richard referred to when he mentioned your onboard DC electrical grid, that you will need to have sufficient battery reserves and charging capability to keep an electric fridge running. Depending on the size of the box, fridge and/or freezer, and quality of insulation and seals that could be 20-30 up to 50-60 amp hours per day.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 26-01-2016, 05:55   #4
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Re: 12vdc/120 ac refrigerator

+1 on listening to Richard...he has been a great help to me ( in 2004, still running!)...Thanks Again Richard!
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Old 27-01-2016, 16:21   #5
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Re: 12vdc/120 ac refrigerator

Coming from days before inverters and generators were common, extra insulation if your design and installation allows can save considerable power.
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Old 27-01-2016, 18:41   #6
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Re: 12vdc/120 ac refrigerator

I got one of these to use in my motorhome because I cant stand them dang ammonia systems. So far it has served me well, though IDK how well it would stand up to salt air.

Whynter LLC

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