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Old 08-06-2010, 00:39   #1
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Which Fridge / Freezer ?

The time is right to start fitting Boracay with a fridge/freezer.

My basic options are:-
1) Construct an icebox of up to 120litres (4.3ch ft) using 5" polyurethane insulation and fit a compressor/condenser and evaporator. Use a spillover system between the freezer and the fridge. Materials cost maybe $1,800 and lots of man hours (200?).
2) Fit one or two 40 litre (1.4cu ft) portable 12V chest fridge/freezer units. Basic cost of $1100/$2200 and not many man hours (50?).
3) Fit a 40 litre 12V upright fridge and maybe a 40 litre chest freezer to back it up. Cost maybe $850/$2000 and maybe 60 man hours. Most of the time only the fridge would be needed.

1) has the potential to give the best result (lowest energy requirement, largest storage), might need only 100 watts of solar, but is tricky to design and build and would have no warranty back up if anything went wrong.

2) and 3) give a fair bit of redundancy and 3 year warranties. Might need 120/240 watts of solar. It could be done in stages by allowing for the second chest freezer in the initial build but not installing it right away.

I'm also wondering just how much fridge/freezer capacity is necessary. It's hard to fit more than 120 litres.

Any thoughts?
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Old 08-06-2010, 00:59   #2
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We would be delighted to have a freezer.
There is no doubt it would change our lives.
Good quality meat and fish are very seldom found at affordable prices.
Frozen steak bought in Australia, the USA, central and South America is the best and cheapest in the world. Everywhere else is hideously expensive for sub-prime crap used as speed bumps.

If one is able to catch a fish ( ) then one may be able to catch two. Anything caught trolling is bigger than one meal for two, so shove one in a freezer. (This post is for the mathematically challenged)

There must be a chicken war in the Turkish supermarkets because the cost of beef is over 30 lira/KG but chicken is less than 10L/KG but gets put on special for 6.00; 4.99 and now 3.99l/kg = AUD$3 or USD$2.50. So its a bargain to be shoved in deep frozen storage.

Then there's ice-cream and ice tinkling in drinks....

The freezer is the important one. The fridge is just a freezer with the thermostat turned warmer.

I dream of a freeeeezzzzzzzer.............. Nicolle dreams of Ice-cream.... I SCREAM!!!!!!!!!




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Old 08-06-2010, 06:56   #3
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Check out this thread:
Coleman Stirling Power Coolers

Its rather long but you may find the info you seek in it. Breifly, what it boils down to is using a stirling cooling unit to cool a freezer space which then spills over into an adjacent refrig space and, depending on variables, possibly spilling over into another refrig space.

Good luck!

Edit: The conversation in the thread moves from the cooler units to using the "guts" of the units to build 12v refrigerators. The business end of these units can be purchased from a supplier and utilized in end user fabrications.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:32   #4
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Go for the efficient solution, You'll be much happier in the long run! I am still agonizing over not completely redoing my freezer. It is going to be a lot of work, and even more $$$ to do it correctly. The savings in frustration and overall energy usage would make it well worth it however.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:04   #5
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I always say the freezer and spillover upright fridge is why I bought the B393. We keep about 3 months supply of meat in the freezer when we leave the States. The Waeco (Adler Barbour) set-up has worked very well over the past six years with the one compressor and large evaporator plate that covers three sides of the freezer.
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:19   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
The time is right to start fitting Boracay with a fridge/freezer.

My basic options are:-
1) Construct an icebox of up to 120litres (4.3ch ft) using 5" polyurethane insulation and fit a compressor/condenser and evaporator. Use a spillover system between the freezer and the fridge. Materials cost maybe $1,800 and lots of man hours (200?).
2) Fit one or two 40 litre (1.4cu ft) portable 12V chest fridge/freezer units. Basic cost of $1100/$2200 and not many man hours (50?).
3) Fit a 40 litre 12V upright fridge and maybe a 40 litre chest freezer to back it up. Cost maybe $850/$2000 and maybe 60 man hours. Most of the time only the fridge would be needed.

1) has the potential to give the best result (lowest energy requirement, largest storage), might need only 100 watts of solar, but is tricky to design and build and would have no warranty back up if anything went wrong.

2) and 3) give a fair bit of redundancy and 3 year warranties. Might need 120/240 watts of solar. It could be done in stages by allowing for the second chest freezer in the initial build but not installing it right away.

I'm also wondering just how much fridge/freezer capacity is necessary. It's hard to fit more than 120 litres.

Any thoughts?

As is usual with our little holes in the water, the right solution is to spend the money and do it right, namely your variant 3.

Your freezer doesn't have to be separate, necessarily -- our old boat had a freezer compartment in the main, top-loading reefer box.

Our new boat has a front-loading fridge and separate freezer, and it is the t*ts!! It massively simplifies provisioning to be able to load up a real deep-freeze with all kinds of goodies which are thus not on a short time fuse.

The eternal problem of ice on board is also thus solved.

Portable chest fridges will not make you very happy. They are very inconvenient, hard to stow, hard to lash down, always in the way, and not very efficient. The eutectic ones are altogether unsuitable for use on a sailboat (far too inefficient); the compressor ones are better but cannot by their nature be as well insulated as a good built-in reefer box.

Top-loading reefers are much more efficient than front-loading ones. Our front-loader is a bit of an extravagance in terms of lost energy and we probably would not have designed the boat that way, although I admit it is much more convenient.

I have seen reefer boxes with both top doors and front doors. If the doors are well designed and sealed, that would seem like an ideal solution to me.

Two separate reefer boxes -- one fridge, one freezer -- will cost you in amps of power used, well obviously, about double a single box, not to mention about double the money to install. Only you can calculate whether you can provide the amps or not out of your energy budget.

But man, is it ever nice!
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Old 08-06-2010, 08:53   #7
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I would lean towards #1 for energy draw and capacity. Your space is pretty small. You will be able to build much more capacity than any standard box shape and have much better insulation. Here's a nice planning guide:

Great Water, Inc. Ice Box Design

I'd also strongly recommend the Frigoboat keel cooler design. These are wonderfully efficient, reliable, and virtually silent. Other than scraping the barnacles off the keel cooler a couple of times a year, they are maintenance free. While a little more expensive, they are shipped pre-charged so you can install them yourself if you are moderately handy. They have worldwide distribution and - at least in the US - good support.

Carl
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Old 23-06-2010, 11:34   #8
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Another Stirling cooler approach which has been in use in Japan for a few years.
TWINBIRD Free Piston Stirling Cooler
and the U.S. distributor
Global Cooling
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Old 23-06-2010, 15:26   #9
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We have been very happy with our Frigaboat keel cooled refrig and freezer. We keep them going without ever needing more than our batteries and solar panels.
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Old 23-06-2010, 15:36   #10
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Consider looking at the Engel 12V/110V freezer/fridges. Extremely low draw (0.6 to 2.4 ah), alot of different sizes. Mine has been running 24/7 for 4 yrs without any problem. Am thinking about getting a second one, so that I have one exclusively as freezer, 1 as fridge... Peace and Fair Winds, Bill
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Old 04-07-2010, 13:28   #11
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Ah....this sort of thread is near and dear to my heart! lol We are big-time "foodies" and to be honest I've been a little concerned with provisioning vs. the size of boat we are likely to be able to afford. We've always been interested in getting off the grid here on land, so it seems a natural extension that we should want to use energy/petro-conserving methods aboard.
I know that fridges and freezers for home use are notorious energy hogs - our fridge uses about 2.48kW hours/day and our old freezer (which really should be retired) uses 3.55kW hours/day - but we know relatively little so far about marine versions of these appliances.
We found plans for converting a chest freezer (of whatever size) into a super-efficient fridge, found here: Chest fridge
We've not done enough research yet, though, to figure out if this would be applicable to a marine setup or, if it were, if the returns would be worth the effort and (relatively little) expense.
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Old 04-07-2010, 17:30   #12
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Engel is a taiwan, or japenese brand. Mine is not a good unit. I would hesitate to rccomend them
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Old 04-07-2010, 17:36   #13
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Your needs will of course correlate to your use of the boat. My opinions are based on ocean crossing and associated non-stop offshore passages of three days to two weeks.

I find freezer space to be at a much greater premium than refrigeration space. There are all kinds of easy ways to deal with absence of refrigeration - it's tough to eat really well without a freezer. As it happens I have a refrigerator and a freezer that can be switched to run as a fridge; I'd rather have a dedicated freezer and a dual fridge/freezer.

I concur with the advice to get a system that isn't seawater cooled - either a Frigoboat keel cooler or an Isotherm SP.

sail fast and eat well, dave
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Old 04-07-2010, 18:17   #14
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Boracay, since you are in Australia, forget about all the portables and contact Mal Betts at Betts Boat Electrics in Brisbane. He has a number of drop in units (fridges, freezers and Fridge/Freezers) all running on Danfos compressors. Used on alot of production boats and very good quality.I would suggest (space permitting) separate fridge & freezer units
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Old 04-07-2010, 20:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post

Portable chest fridges will not make you very happy. They are very inconvenient, hard to stow, hard to lash down, always in the way, and not very efficient.
Sorry. Life got a lot easier when I added my Fridge Freeze unit. Very convenient in it's dedicated spot. Nice handles meant for lashing it down. Very efficient. And a great company to deal with.

When the food supply is low enough, everything gets transfered to the stand alone unit and the big box gets shut down.

It all depends on how you're set up.
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