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Old 15-05-2009, 08:28   #16
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that matches our experience

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Originally Posted by TazW View Post
We had a top loading cooler up to last year. A friend had installed a Frige-o-boat system and had raved about it for several years. We installed it on our boat last year and have had no misgiving. Draws very little amps and is so quite that you never hear it.
We had a top loader in our previous boat, and I thought it best because of the theory that the air fall out of a front loader. But the new boat came with two Frigoboat front loaders, one of which acts as a freezer while the other acts as a fridge.

For what it's worth, ditch the theory and get the Frigoboat. It's far more quiet, consumes far fewer amps, and actually keeps things colder. And it has required no maintenance in two years, while at this point with the top loader I'd already replaced air struts, gaskets, a thermostat and a spillover fan.
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Old 15-05-2009, 08:28   #17
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We have a front loader fridge which gets it's cooling from a top loader freezer through a little fan that sucks the cold air in from the freezer. It works amazingly well. Would not go back to the top loading fridge/freezer for anything!! It's the only way to go. No pile of crap sitting in a jumble at the bottom of the fridge where you have to fish around to find what you want. And it works well at anchor. We are never at a dock. You do need sufficient batteries and some way to charge them when at anchor. We use a wind generator and a Honda when the wind dies.
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Old 15-05-2009, 12:11   #18
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I have had both top and front loading. as well as Engine drive, belt drive 12V, cold plates, small COld Machines, super insulation etc. I found no detriment to the front loading RV style unit at all. I know the theory is that all the cold falls out, but the reality is it generally didnt seem to take much longer or shorter engine running time with any of the systems. (It's till about 1 -1.5 hours per day!) Maybe if scientific experiments were run it would show up... but you'll be too busy snorkeling and spearing fish to be concerned....!
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Old 12-11-2009, 20:30   #19
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Actually, what's worse than the air that falls out is the air that gets in. That air is generally humid, and then the fridge has to freeze all that water back out of the air. The point about the extra time spent searching is a great one. That may negate the benefit of theoretical top loading efficiency pretty handily. Of course, the most effective way to improve fridge efficiency is to put a block of ice in it every once in a while
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Old 12-11-2009, 21:03   #20
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OK, let me blow all your minds... How about a front loader that opens like a drawer? When you slide the drawer out, the cold air sits mostly in the drawer along with your food. When you slide the drawer back in, it displaces the warm air and quickly cools back down. Now, was that so hard?

BTW, the holding plate should be directly above the freezer drawer. The fridge drawer above can be cooled by circulating air over the top of the holding plate...
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Old 12-11-2009, 21:36   #21
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OK, let me blow all your minds... How about a front loader that opens like a drawer? When you slide the drawer out, the cold air sits mostly in the drawer along with your food. When you slide the drawer back in, it displaces the warm air and quickly cools back down. Now, was that so hard?

BTW, the holding plate should be directly above the freezer drawer. The fridge drawer above can be cooled by circulating air over the top of the holding plate...
Like one of these?

Its a cheap Kmart 240 volt freezer, I have used it as a fridge out on site turned on its lowest setting and kept the beers very chilly.

I was thinking of gluing 100mm of foam around it and seeing how little power it uses





or these ones are from Waeco

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Old 12-11-2009, 21:36   #22
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We had a top loading refrigerator but when we remodeled our galley we added a door to the front and we're very glad we did.

Even while cruising in the tropics, we have found that opening the front door to the refrigerator has little to do with actually warming the refrigerator. After all, we all know that air holds very few BTUs whereas, say, a six-pack of beer can hold quite a few.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 12-11-2009, 21:42   #23
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We had a top loading refrigerator but when we remodeled our galley we added a door to the front and we're very glad we did.

Even while cruising in the tropics, we have found that opening the front door to the refrigerator has little to do with actually warming the refrigerator. After all, we all know that air holds very few BTUs whereas, say, a six-pack of beer can hold quite a few.

Fair winds and calm seas.
I would like to agree.

At a boat show one year waeco had a front loading 12 volt on display with a thermometer inside and display outside.

You could open the door for a minute or two and see the temp up a degree or 2 but it got temp back down almost instantaneously on closure.

Compared to having a basket of goodies out on the counter from a top loader, while rummaging around the bottom for that jar of whatever
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Old 12-11-2009, 21:47   #24
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So I think everybody agrees that a front loading fridge is much more user friendly, but you "spill" more cold for the same time it's opened. You can negate that by making a plexiglass "sill" (sorry for my English, I hope you understand what I mean ;-) at the bottom of the opening to keep the cold air from spilling out.

cheers,
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Old 12-11-2009, 21:57   #25
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Also have a front loader (with frigoboat) and would never go back to a top loader.

The key to a front loader is an absolutely air tight seal when the door is closed. Even a little leak will ruin efficiency. R-parts makes custom stainless steel magnetic gaskets that are very tight. My fridge also has a "stepped" door frame with two rings of gaskets.

Refrigerator Door Gaskets

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Old 12-11-2009, 22:49   #26
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The key to a front loader is an absolutely air tight seal when the door is closed.
I was wondering how good the double sided tapes on some of those seals was

I have used hatch seal tape for seals before and in the heat, the adhesive lets go or softens and the seals go out of whack.

What I had thought of this time was to possibly use silicone.

Use mold release wax, pva and tape where you don't want the silicone to stick, load up the hatch or door with silicone and close allowing it to cure.

Open and trim off excess and a perfect seal with no joins.

What do you guys think?
Sound like it would work?
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Old 13-11-2009, 07:43   #27
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When a front-loading drawer is pulled out, a vacuum is created as space opens up behind it. Something has to be pulled into that vacuum, and I'd bet it is the cold air from the drawer (assuming there's no baffle in the back) or else warmer outside air. When the drawer is closed, that air has to move out again. Back into the drawer, or the room.

So there still has to be more air "circulation" than with a top loader, but presumably less air exchange than with a regular front door, where all the cold air drops out to the floor.
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Old 13-11-2009, 09:00   #28
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Before anyone gets too excited about cold air falling out you might ask yourself
A: how much air is involved?
B: How much total heat from above? (enthalpy)
C: How do Boyle's laws relate?

Infiltration is the big problem. Top loader are just a PITA in an attempt to deal with infiltration. Modern gaskets make this point moot.
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Old 13-11-2009, 11:49   #29
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Like one of these?

Its a cheap Kmart 240 volt freezer, I have used it as a fridge out on site turned on its lowest setting and kept the beers very chilly.

I was thinking of gluing 100mm of foam around it and seeing how little power it uses





or these ones are from Waeco

Most of these little fridges use the cabinet or a part of it for the condenser. Make sure you don't insulate that (those) areas

I like the waco drawer but if they are too expensive for my budget. You might find this thread of interest Looking for Ideas on Improving the Old Ice Box
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