We're in Mexico
and we have no cold beer
. That's how serious
this problem is.
We have an AC compressor
that runs two holding plates, one for the fridge and one for the freezer
. While we were living at the dock
, this system worked great. However, the first time we ran it through the inverter
away from shore power
and with the engine
off, we saw how much energy this thing pulls.
70 amps. Not 70 amp/hours a day. 70 amps of current
draw. That's the startup cost. According to the previous owner, once the boxes cool down, it will run at 30 to 40 amps. He told us he budgeted 200 amp/hours per day for this thing. Screw that.
Anyways, we've long since decided this thing needs to go. We probably want some kind of air-cooled 12V compressor
but are open to other possibilities that do not require drilling a hole in the boat
. We'd also prefer to not replace a through hull
if we don't have to. The current
compressor is water
cooled so we have a raw water
source if we want it but I'd rather go with the lower amperage requirements of an air cooled system if we can get away with it.
We want to be able to remain in an anchorage for a week or more without running the engine
which rules out engine-driven compressors. We're willing to add more solar
to our existing 240 watts or a wind generator
if that's what we need to do to get cold beer
. Just don't want to put no-load hours on the engine and don't really want to smell petroleum exhaust
while sipping my sundowners.
Our current situation looks like so:
* 6 cubic feet fridge box (probably reduced to 5 cubic feet after I beef up the insulation)
* 5 cubic feet freezer
box (probably reduced to 3.5 cubic feet after I beef up the insulation
and line the bottom with blue ice bottles)
* We want to keep the fridge cold: say 35 degrees. Freezer doesn't need to keep ice cream but should make ice for said sundowners. Say 25 degrees?
* 675AH house battery
* 100 amp alternator
* 240W solar panels
* Cruising area is currently Mexico
and will likely only get warmer from here on out. Hopefully the South Pacific
after our cruising kitty gets a boost.
I already understand the important of insulation
and will be boosting the R factor on the current boxes which are pretty slim at the moment. Here's the main areas we are looking for feedback on:
* How can I get this existing compressor out of the boat
? Do I need to get a reefer guy down to do that? No idea if the refrigerant lines have plug
and play fittings. Do they all? I have no idea...
* If I buy reefer brand X (Adler/Barbour, Frigoboat, Seafrost, Novakool), what value add am I getting vs. just buying
the components seperately on Defender.com and putting it together myself? Aren't they all using Danfoss compressors anyways?
* We already have two beefy stainless steel
holding plates. Is it worth it keep those and just replacing the compressor and refrigerant lines? Can I do that without leaking refrigerant everywhere? The guy at Kollman Marine
seems to recommend evaporator plates over holding plates. I didn't spend the time to really understand why.
OK, that's all for now. Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for any info.
s/v Hello World