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Old 10-12-2008, 16:17   #1
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freezer/refrig space

Overall for crusising what do you consider more useful: higher freezer space or frig space? Seems to me that freezer is more useful as there isn't all that much the "needs" refrig and the freezer keeps stuff better?
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Old 10-12-2008, 17:38   #2
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I am designing my new reefer/freezer to be largely freezer, with "spill-over" cooling to the reefer box, via holes at the top and controlled by corks. The freezer will have 2 or three times the volume of the reefer. My toughest problems in design are how to make access to items in the reefer most easy. That includes the top-access hatch, some shelves, some lift-out boxes. I will keep the freezer full, at least with gallon waterjugs to freeze when supplies get low, which then transfer to the reefer for drinking water, and to keep the compartment colder. Everything will have space-gel panels and pre-fab access hatches, as well as LED lights inside (but will the lights go out when the door is shut? Hmmm). I'm using a Bitzer compressor, a high-draw 12 volt motor, and one (or two) coldplates. 24 hour cycle uses half the amp hours of conventional refrigeration units. There will be remote thermometers for each compartment, as well as alarms.
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Old 10-12-2008, 17:38   #3
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Well, you are kinda right becase even drinks could be chilled with ice made in the freezer.

We dont have a freezer and only use the fridge a bit.... like when we pop a few naughty drinks in to cool them.

When we grow up and spend squillions on solar, and a noisy wind farm.....



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Old 11-12-2008, 05:26   #4
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Roy, You wrote I'm using a Bitzer compressor, a high-draw 12 volt motor, and one (or two) coldplates. 24 hour cycle uses half the amp hours of conventional refrigeration units. Where did you get this misinformation? The only way to compare one compressor with another is to compare their Coefficient Of Performance (COP). The company that sold these 12 volt motor driven Bitzer compressors for boat refrigeration I believe has stopped marketing them.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:40   #5
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I can already sense my question is starting to branch out into other areas (that are worth talking about). But, this thread was only intended to be about whether it was better to have more freezer volume or more refrigeration volume.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:47   #6
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Don,

When we were cruising in the eastern Caribbean, where refrigerated foods and fresh fruits and vegetables were readily available, we consistently used more refrigerator space than freezer space. The divider in our reefer was set at about 40% freezer/60% fridge. The freezer held mostly frozen meats, plus ice for drinks, and was often only half full, while the fridge was almost always packed.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:03   #7
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...whether it was better to have more freezer volume or more refrigeration volume.
Which will depend on the anticipated duration between re-provisionings.
For any time duration of up to several weeks, Refrigeration is much more useful space than is the Freezer. Ideally, I would probably extend Huds 60/40% ratio to 70% Fridge -30% Freezer.
For a longer voyage, such as a TransPac, you might choose a more nearly equal division between Fridge & Freezer.

Use a bubble pac', or other blanket, to reduce the empty space in the cooled compartments, as supplies are consumed.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:57   #8
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Richard Kollmann, In the sincere hope of avoiding a "flame war" regarding expertise in refrigeration matters, I humbly beg your pardon and request permission to simply follow my own path. I suspect, as with many things in life, there exist multiple paths toward achievement of world peace, creation of ice cubes, and personal satisfaction.

I have built a few ice chests and refrigeration boxes in the past, and have always marveled at the physics that allow one to convert heat into cold and then back again. The systems to achieve this transformation have evolved in subtle ways over my life, but remain basically the same. I observed the systems installed by a friend, in my mind, a gifted marine HVAC technician, and made some observations that were supported by measured data. My personal opinion, and my individual choice for my own boat, have led me to select one path toward keeping my cool when things heat up around me. Whether another person feels strongly that their own views are superior, or even "truer", is inconsequential to my personal choice. I have seen an actual test between two identical insulated boxes, chilled by the Bitzer system, and an Adler-Barbour, operated for 24 hours with a counter that measured the amp hours consumed (after both systems had achieved the base level of cooling). It wasn't difficult to assess which system used far less total energy to keep things cold. There are probably other systems (which were not included in this minimal test) which approach or possibly exceed the results I observed. I chose this system because I like simplicity. I like using as little energy as reasonable to make my food cold. I like being able to obtain off-the-shelf components, in moderately remote locations, that allow me to maintain or repair my systems. I especially liked the Bitzer approach because it didn't break down anywhere near as much as other systems I have observed on the boats I have experienced, personally or otherwise.

You may make whatever observations and pronouncements you wish. I am merely saying that I liked what I have seen, and have plunked my money down to follow that pathway to personal coolness. I wish you the very same satisfaction in whatever path you prefer.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:33   #9
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Roy, if you would like to start another thread on box and compressor issues go for it but this is not fair to the original poster.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:44   #10
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Which will depend on the anticipated duration between re-provisionings.
I agree wholeheartedly with this answer. Right now in a marina we are 90% refrigeration. When we take off for the Bahamas in a few months it will probably drop to 60% or less refrigeration.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:47   #11
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One important factor in freezer space is -

How keen and successful are you as a fisherman?

Another is the need for special ingredients.

I am allergic to dairyand gluten, and thus will need to take availability into account, which will probably ramp up my freezer need.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:54   #12
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I agree wholeheartedly with this answer. Right now in a marina we are 90% refrigeration. When we take off for the Bahamas in a few months it will probably drop to 60% or less refrigeration.

Being able to adjust freezer/fridge space would be a big plus. We had a partition in Sea Treks box next to the Adler Barber freezer compartment/evaporator that we could move via U shaped tracks. When we needed more freezer space and less fridge we just moved it over. It is amazing what just a few extra inches of space will allow you to store.
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Old 11-12-2008, 13:36   #13
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Not sure how large and elaborate your system is/ will be. I found that the "freezer" space kept things marginally frozen unless I wanted to spend a lot of time etc keeping up with the power requirements. So we usually had maybe three-five dinner meats etc in there. The fridge was used a lot as I hate warm drinks in warm climates! We spearfished a lot though and weren't sailing 3 weeks to the south pacific etc either.
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Old 11-12-2008, 16:21   #14
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When we cruise we normally have 3-4 weeks between possibility of being anywhere close to restock and so usually stock for 5 or more weeks before departure. We also catch fish which we like to bring some home with us.

So we went for a freezer much bigger than the refrigerator and one powerful enough to hold at -18C and so freeze and hold fish, meat, etc safely. We carry frozen bread as well so that increases the need for freezer volume.

Refrigerator we only use for cold drinks, leafy vegetables, butter, cheese, opened pickles, etc which do not need much space (and the leafy vege's only last a week or so then we're on to frozen vegetables) so while a reasonable size it is only about 1/4 to 1/3 that of the freezer. We use powdered milk (which we all like, some do not) as well.

These things all hold ok at 8C so to avoid running two refrig plants with more moving parts, etc we just put a solid state peltier effect unit on the refrigerator - not wonderful efficiency wise but this not a problem to us and also not so bad as we run it at top end of refrig temps. If we want a quick knock down for some reason we just drop frozen 2 litre containers of water in from the freezer - 2 of those will knock the frig down to 3C for a couple of days. Just mention that to give a better idea of how we manage the freezer and refrigerator with their respective sizes and refrigeration capacities, not as any sort of recommendation.

Another matter which influenced the size of the refrigerator is we do not keep any spoilable left overs whatsoever after meals so as to reduce the risk food poisoning while not close to medical assistance or just putting a person out of commission (usually only my wife and myself on board) - so no refrigeration space nor low temperature in it for such spoilable things is needed for us.

Yet another thing that influenced our decision, is that unless one has a boat big enough or stable enough (eg a cat) to have a front opening refrigerator getting stuff in and out of a top loading refrigerator is a real pain in comparison unless you have a lot of spare volume (and higher energy demand for that) to allow easy access to racks and lift out baskets. Whereas in a freezer things can be tumbled around in a search with no harm coming to them.

Very much a personal view and very dependant on ones own habits.
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