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Old 05-04-2012, 06:24   #1
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Thinking outside the (ice) box

As I was searching for something or other, I came across these portable ice makers.

There are many different brands/models, but here's one example.

Amazon.com: Countertop Portable Ice Maker - EdgeStar: Appliances

I only have an icebox on my boat. I was thinking of spending $600+ for a conversion kit to turn it into a refrigerator and another $300+ to add a solar panel to keep up with it.

Then I thought, what if I just grabbed an ice maker and ran the motor for 10 minutes each morning while it makes enough ice to keep the box cold -- or for margaritas.

Of course, then I've got to run the motor a little longer for the blender.

Anyway, just a thought. I'm trying to figure out how to stay out for more than a day in the Texas heat without having to find a way to get ice each morning.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:42   #2
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

Specs for the machine say "up to 28 lbs per day"

Round that off to about 1 lb per hour. 1 lb of ice isn't going to last long in an ice box so figure on running the machine for a few hours each day to get ice.

Could not find the specs but figure an amp or so at 110V AC so maybe 10 amps at 12V dc from your battery and inverter to run it. So could draw 40-50 amp hours a day for ice.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:16   #3
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

Specs:

EdgeStar Titanium Portable Ice Maker - IP210TI

  • Input voltage: 120 V/60 Hz
  • Power: 310 W/2.7 A
at 12V:
310W/12V = 25.8A plus losses in the inverter
1lbs of ice (produced in one hour) would eat >=26Ah

how much ice do you need per day? 4-5 lbs?
what kind of alternator and battery setup?
I guess, it would take you several hours of engine runtime per day to make the needed amount of ice.

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Old 05-04-2012, 07:21   #4
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

The specs on similar icemakers say around 2 amps. 10lbs of ice cubes in a regular (not very good) icebox should last about 1-2 days. But you'd be using quite a bit of energy to make that. If you're using the motor for that energy, you'd be running it 10 hours a day.

Have you considered an Engel freezer?
They can go for under $600 occasionally on ebay and other places. And a $150 60W solar panel will support it just fine. They use less than 1amp on the lower settings (which is still cold enough to freeze stuff) for around 10-15 minutes per hour.

My built in ice box isn't very well insulated and I can easily go through a 10lbs bag of ice per day in the summer. Maybe every 2 days for block ice. So my idea, until I can afford an engel, is to get one of those 5 day coolers and build a cozy for it from insulation board to hopefully get around 7 days from a block of ice or a large bag of cubes. This will free up the built-in ice box for use as general food storage, and when I do finally get that Engel, it'll fit right in the same spot I'm using for the cooler
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:21   #5
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Should have done some math before posting

Yeah, considering I buy a 20lb bag of ice, and it's gone in a day, I guess this would not be too useful.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:26   #6
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

We cruised for 6 months in South Florida & the Keys with only an ice box. We would line the bottom of it with 2 liter bottles of frozen water, topped with dry ice wrapped in a towel. Then we added a large bag of ice. This lasted between 7 to 10 days.
We just invested in an Isotherm freezer & We are loving it!! As far as the power useage, I'm not sure, but their website has that information.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:38   #7
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

I agree with callmecrazy - an engel is a much better way to go. It fits anywhere and takes practically no power to run. Before that we would use the 2 liter frozen water bottles in the icebox, but you need a shore freezer if you plan to stay aboard for any length of time to replenish the water bottles as they melt
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:53   #8
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

Get the conversion or replace with an Engel etc and be much happier with it in the long term.

Far as needing the solar to keep up with it; it depends on how much you motor in a day anyway. For me I find just into and out of the harbor runs my engine enough to charge the battery for weekend uses.

I also figured out that running the engine for charging the battery enough to make-up for the frig was cheaper than buying ice, but am sure others will use enough buts/ifs to ague aganist.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:23   #9
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

I bought a edgestar fridge a few years back runs good and cheaper than engle. I put in a Isotherm SP in my 37 but still use the edge for camping / road trips.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:51   #10
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

My Newport 28 icebox, though insulated by the PO, is too big and much more useful for storage than use as an icebox. Since we use the boat mostly for long and short weekends, we bought one of those Coleman coolers (with wheels) that advertise keeping ice for 5 days in 90 degree weather. We freeze 2 or 3 half-gallon milk jugs full of water, load it with pre-cooled or frozen items and fill the balance with ice cubes. We will still have ice cubes after 4 nights out and the jugs are usually still 2/3 frozen in 90+ degree weather. I put the cooler under the drop-down table and are very happy with the results, especially not having to install and maintain a refer ( + upgrade battery bank) for the way we use it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 08:54   #11
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

Before I installed the seafrost, one 20 lb block ice would last a full week during the heat of the summer on the Cheaspeake. It's a small well insulated box.(around 3 cubic feet)
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:38   #12
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

“... Within 15 minutes or so you will see the first cubes of ice produced. It may take 60 to 90 minutes for the full batch of ice to be produced ...
... The unit will produce a bullet shaped ice cube with a hole in the middle ...”
Koldfront Ultra Compact Portable Ice Maker - KIM202W
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Old 05-04-2012, 18:50   #13
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We have the same Edgestar ice maker and we like it.It has worked flawlessly for over a year now pooping ice.
On a hot day,she struggles,seems not as productive as cooler days.
We use dry ice on the bottom of the cooler,and just keep adding the ice.
We don't run the ice maker off the batteries,just shore power or the Honda companion.
Engle is the way to go tho',
We have a couple of other needs first.
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Old 06-04-2012, 14:47   #14
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Re: Thinking outside the (ice) box

How much do the portable ice box's run for
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Old 06-04-2012, 16:39   #15
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We paid $129 if I remember at the Big "O",Overstock....
$2.95 shipping for our Edgestar.
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