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Old 13-03-2016, 11:43   #1
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Freezer not a real freezer

I have a Adler barber fridge with tiny upright freezer unit inside. When I turn the thermostat to #3 the fridge temperature is 38 deg. but the small freezer is only 27 deg. I don't think that's low enough for steaks, I'm positive it's not for chicken. Our plan was to go down to the Keys and stay out two or three weeks to get a feel for what we would need next year in the Bahamas.

My question is, can I turn the fridge lower to get a better freezer temp. I don't want to run it to death. My only other option would to dinghy in for fresh meat every week because I don't have room to add a separate freezer.

Thanks, Woody

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Old 13-03-2016, 12:11   #2
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

Divide the box with a sheet of insulation board, maybe an inch or two in front of the little freezer box, to make a spillover refer system. Your goal is to try and get the freezer to work harder at keeping the refrigerator section at 38F. Your energy consumption will go up though.
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Old 13-03-2016, 12:27   #3
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

27 Dec F is -2.8 C which is not cold enough.

But -5 or -6C is fine for meat (not cold enough for Ice Cream). That's 21F.

Post above is correct with sectioning space.
I use some movable HD foam to make larger or smaller freezer depending when I have shopped
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Old 13-03-2016, 12:33   #4
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

Check to see of your fridge top is insulating properly. I also have AB system and a 12cf+ box and found out that by placing a folded heavy woolen blanket on top of my fridge I significantly lower the temps inside and it reaches the proper temp faster as well as allows the compressor to work less and less drain on the batteries. I realize that at some point I will have to bite the bullet and re-do the ice box or at least the top part. But I really don't want to replace it with a smaller box but rather make what I have work more efficiently.
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Old 13-03-2016, 13:06   #5
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

All good advice.

But, but, but...

You have a simple "Cold Machine" with an evaporator section (the thing in your picture) that is designed to keep the "box" of your fridge cool. It is NOT designed to be a freezer, although our unit, just like yours (from Catalina Yachts) can make ice cubes.

I run ours @ #7 to make ice cubes.

Your "box" (unless YOU or a PO significantly upgraded the insulation) is simply not made ("designed" is a poor choice of words to describe un-insulated fiberglass for a fridge box!!!) just won't "support" it as a "real" freezer.

Sorry to share this reality with you, but these "fridge" units have been installed in our C34s for the past 30 years, I've had mine for the past 18 years.

ITWMB, I'd at least try the sectioning idea, but know that you may have to rethink what your planning, 'cuz it just wasn't made to do that. A separate freezer may well be something for you to consider.

You could also contact WAECO, who now owns Adler Barbour and ask them.

Good luck.
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Old 13-03-2016, 13:19   #6
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Thumbs up Re: Freezer not a real freezer

Thanks guys, I have a tendency to reinvent the wheel at times. Home depot sells the ridged insulated board I need. Hopefully it will bring the temperature down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or so. The top has a 4 inch thick lid but I think its just air. I thumped on it and had a hollow sound. When I sounded the inside walls of the fridge I could hear that dull sound of insulation. I think ill pickup some spray from while I'm at it.

Woody
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Old 13-03-2016, 13:27   #7
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

We have the same setup. Wrap the freezer in foam insulation and make a lid also of foam. Keeps the freezer very cold and the fridge not destroying your lettuce. Also reduces run time on compressor.
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Old 13-03-2016, 13:43   #8
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

Stu,

#7 sound extreme, I get 38 degrees in the fridge on #3 with a run time of 6 minutes on then 11 minutes off. My hope is that with the foam partition and the foam in the top #5 will bring the little freezer section down. I only need to freeze a few steaks and some hamburger. My plan is to be a short range cruiser ( boats only 32 ft.) All the other meats we intend to use are precooked vacuum packed or canned. Plumrose has ribs that are every bit as good as what you get in a restaurant.

Woody

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
All good advice.

But, but, but...

You have a simple "Cold Machine" with an evaporator section (the thing in your picture) that is designed to keep the "box" of your fridge cool. It is NOT designed to be a freezer, although our unit, just like yours (from Catalina Yachts) can make ice cubes.as

I run ours @ #7 to make ice cubes.

Your "box" (unless YOU or a PO significantly upgraded the insulation) is simply not made ("designed" is a poor choice of words to describe un-insulated fiberglass for a fridge box!!!) just won't "support" it as a "real" freezer.

Sorry to share this reality with you, but these "fridge" units have been installed in our C34s for the past 30 years, I've had mine for the past 18 years.

ITWMB, I'd at least try the sectioning idea, but know that you may have to rethink what your planning, 'cuz it just wasn't made to do that. A separate freezer may well be something for you to consider.

You could also contact WAECO, who now owns Adler Barbour and ask them.

Good luck.
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Old 13-03-2016, 14:12   #9
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

"We have the same setup. Wrap the freezer in foam insulation and make a lid also of foam. Keeps the freezer very cold and the fridge not destroying your lettuce. Also reduces run time on compressor."

Not overkill at all. Just use 1/2" flex foam. Have done this for 10 yrs and it is very efficient.
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Old 13-03-2016, 19:32   #10
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Delay View Post
Not overkill at all. Just use 1/2" flex foam. Have done this for 10 yrs and it is very efficient.
It may not be overkill to turn the small box into a good freezer, but based on the CF size of his box and quality of insulation (which we have been told could be poor) if you over-insulate the box it could have a negative affect on your refrigerator temp. The problem is that your compressor is turning off/on based on a thermostat mounted to the evaporation box, so you could be turning your compressor off when your overly insulated freezer box is cold, but that may not give you good temps in your refrigerator. The design of this unit is for the entire surface area of the evaporator to be in contact with the air in the refrigerator box to pull out the heat...so if you over insulate then how does the heat get from your refrigerator efficiently into the evaporator? This may not matter on a small box, but the larger the refrigerator box gets, the harder it will be to just wrap the evaporator box and get good reefer temps.

Could it work in some boxes of a certain size, insulation and ambient temp? Sure it can and that is how chat room rumors start, because what works in one person's situation then becomes fact without an acknowledgement that two different boxes can have two different heat loads and what works well for one may cause problems in another.
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Old 14-03-2016, 05:21   #11
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

Icebox conversion refrigeration units are designed to fit a typical ice box. The size of this chamber evaporator is sized for compressorís Btu capacity. When following Adler Barbourís installation instructions the end five inches of the thermostatís temperature sense tube is clamped under a bracket on evaporator. When temperature sense tube is correctly installed and thermostat knob is positioned on number 3 the inside temperature of evaporator is planed to be around +12 degrees F. With a typical chamber evaporator temperature cycling at +12 degrees F it would be desirable to have a box temperature of 38 degrees F producing a 26 degree delta T between freezer section and refrigerator area of box. In this complaint the delta T between chamber evaporator and box is only 11 degrees so insulating some of evaporator exterior heat absorbing surface area will decrease the temperature in freezing section.

Adler Barbour chamber evaporators have one inch standoff tubes allowing airflow up the back wall improving evaporator efficiency. By placing moisture resistant insulation behind evaporator the overall delta T figure will be increased. Another area to insulate is to attach insulation under bottom of evaporator.

After improving delta T it may be desirable to set thermostat knob to a higher number to improve ice cube production or extend frozen food taste quality longer. If delta T is not sufficient lowering chamber temperature may freeze items in refrigerator space. Remember lowering combined box temperatures will increase daily power consumption four percent per degree per day.
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Old 14-03-2016, 06:18   #12
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

By being careful with my spliiover, I get the below results




Now it's a cold plate, but by separating the freezer from the fridge, temps can be controlled independatly, the Freezer at 1 F is cold enough for most anything, and the fridge at 29 will have frost on the beer bottle and occasionally one will be super cooled, that is it's stays liquid until you "thump" it, then it lightly freezes. I keep produce etc on the top shelf which is just above freezing, temps are measured at floor

Now this is equilibrium, temps do come up some, depending on how often the door is opened, and new articles put in.
Only point is a spill over allows for separate control of temps
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Old 14-03-2016, 06:44   #13
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

I need to deal with this one step at a time. The first problem I need to address is the uninsulated lid, the evaporator is hard up against a warm top lid.
So it's off to Home Depot this afternoon and I'll put this good advice to work.

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Old 14-03-2016, 08:46   #14
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

This might sound mad but it works, try adding some 10mm closed cell foam to the inside of the unit. This is the same stuff camping mats are made from in case you are wondering. We did this in our "cold box" and have dramatically improved the overall performance to the extent that the compressor runs for 10-15mins then twiddles its electrical thumbs for 70 minutes before firing up again. Saying that we don't try to freeze anything in ours but you might find this simple trick gives you the desired result in your system.

Our unit came with zero insulation around it and with the way it is built in there is virtually no way to insulate the outside. Where accessible I have added what I can but realistically the only way to improve the performance in my situation has been to insulate from the inside. We now have 20mm of closed cell foam around the lower 2/3rds and 10mm everywhere else.

By the sounds of your set up adding extra insulation to the freezer compartment might be the solution so that it keeps the really cold air trapped in there while keeping the fridge section just chilled.

Worth a try at least

Keiron
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Old 14-03-2016, 09:10   #15
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Re: Freezer not a real freezer

a64, do you have any pictures of the inside of your fridge showing the divider setup? We currently have a large cold plate/block and will be diving our box as well. I'm still working through locating a good DC option as well, but your divider setup would be interesting.
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