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Old 19-05-2021, 11:49   #1
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Air conditioning brand

I am going to be purchasing and installing an air conditioner next month, and was curious to see if there was recommended brands or systems. i didn't see a tell all issue thread or sticky for these. was hoping for something reliable, easy to maintain, and not a cheap POS.

I believe Marinaire is the one with gauges installed which should make things easier to troubleshoot and add refrigerant. not sure if that is the case in reality.

would a chill water system be better?

looking at 16-20k, but i still need to do the measurements and calculations as i have only done the rough calc. the 24K isnt much more but it looks like that puts it over 30 amps which isn't prefered.

Its a Passport 42 pilothouse monohull. running the vent is going to be a pain, was thinking about running the outlets to the top of a cabinet fwd. and another outlet roughly in the dash of the pilothouse. it may be better to run a 16k for most of the boat and a separate 7-10k for the pilothouse and master bedroom.

is there any best practices for installation? or multiple units?

Thanks you
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Old 19-05-2021, 13:29   #2
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Re: Air conditioning brand

No doubt in my mind that the new inverter type units from Frigomar are the way to go. There are more brands offering these new ones but not many.

They have chiller units from 50kBTU and self contained from 7kBTU. Power usage is 100W per kBTU and they are variable rpm so can do any setting.

They only use half the power. The 50kBTU chiller in ECO mode can do 18kBTU at
850W power consumption.
https://www.frigomar.com/en/products...inverter-bldc/
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Old 19-05-2021, 14:02   #3
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Re: Air conditioning brand

I have been researching this also and looking at the invertor units. I think you really have to decide if you are trying to run the AC off grid or without generator use. IMO if you have plenty of power than the added cost of the units (almost 3x) will not be made up from the efficiency. If you are hoping to run the ac off batteries then it is another story.

Saying this I admittedly know just enough to be dangerous. Hoping some of the smarter ones will respond with their opinions.

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Old 19-05-2021, 14:15   #4
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Re: Air conditioning brand

Like my ocean breeze made and sold in Florida.
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Old 19-05-2021, 17:03   #5
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Re: Air conditioning brand

We have a good friend in the business. He calls the big player "Demonic" for a reason.

We have Aqua Air units in our boat, but they are out of business. We've heard that the Ocean Breeze products are very similar. I've been a bit put off in talking to the owner of Ocean Breeze - he badmouths his competition.

Jedi: Where can you buy those units? They look cool, but any decent tech can repair the typical marine A/C unit. That one...
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Old 19-05-2021, 17:12   #6
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Re: Air conditioning brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by bstreep View Post
We have a good friend in the business. He calls the big player "Demonic" for a reason.

We have Aqua Air units in our boat, but they are out of business. We've heard that the Ocean Breeze products are very similar. I've been a bit put off in talking to the owner of Ocean Breeze - he badmouths his competition.

Jedi: Where can you buy those units? They look cool, but any decent tech can repair the typical marine A/C unit. That one...


Demonic.....thatís funny, and how I feel about them most of the time.

Iíve only seen one of the vfd units....very nice, but m not convinced for the average user itís worth the price.
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Old 20-05-2021, 10:00   #7
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Re: Air conditioning brand

I am always tickled by the VFD debate. Power is power if you run a compressor half speed or half it's rated btu output for 30 minutes and regular unit for 15 minutes you use the same amount of energy. Where VFD units shine is in start up current and putting less of a load all at once on a generator.
As to whether you should go with a chiller system, unless you are going over 60000 btu or about 5 self contains it is not worth it to put a chiller system with insulated water lines, surge tank, expansion tank and two pump circuits. Flagship Marine makes very good units and Steve is more than willing to help you configure what you need.
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Old 20-05-2021, 11:39   #8
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Re: Air conditioning brand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw7 View Post
I am always tickled by the VFD debate. Power is power if you run a compressor half speed or half it's rated btu output for 30 minutes and regular unit for 15 minutes you use the same amount of energy. Where VFD units shine is in start up current and putting less of a load all at once on a generator.
As to whether you should go with a chiller system, unless you are going over 60000 btu or about 5 self contains it is not worth it to put a chiller system with insulated water lines, surge tank, expansion tank and two pump circuits. Flagship Marine makes very good units and Steve is more than willing to help you configure what you need.
Did you see their power consumption graphs? Are you suggesting they are false?

Their smallest chiller is 50kBTU max and 18kBTU in eco mode, drawing 800W or so...
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Old 20-05-2021, 11:52   #9
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Re: Air conditioning brand

Jedi, do you have personal experience with the Frigomar BLDC self contained units? I'm looking to instal a 16k BTU unit but I'd love to hear from someone with first hand experience with them.
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Old 20-05-2021, 12:02   #10
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Re: Air conditioning brand

My thinking and possible justification in the inverter unit is....I am cooling just the rear cabin on my boat. Less than 400 square feet. It would be feasible off a relatively moderate sized bank to run a Frigomar SCU07VFD in eco mode. In eco mode it is 3000BTU which is about 150 watts (1.3 AC amps). While this might not make this cabin cold I think it would help in the heat of the summer to kill some of the humidity and drop the temp to a point that would make sleeping comfortable. So this means roughly 20 DC amps per hour for AC and raw water pump. 8 hours of sleep for about 160 amps from the batteries.

The above is as much a question as a statement. Does this sound about right to the smarter/more experienced?

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Old 20-05-2021, 12:02   #11
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Re: Air conditioning brand

Jedi,
I am in the Marine HVAC business so I have looked at the Frigomar and yes they have impressive numbers on paper. However physics is physics. It takes x amount of power to convert heat to cool and that figure has not changed. Do the math in eco mode they say the use half the power, they are also using half the BTU;s but they have to run longer to maintain the temperature. Also for most people the savings in diesel is not enough to pay for the unit. The second thing is that they need a considerable amount of expensive printed circuit boards to operate. Check with the shore side AC techs about how the technology stands up on shore where power is consistent. Tell me of a boat that has consistent ac power. It is my opinion that they are overrated and to expensive at this time.
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Old 20-05-2021, 12:31   #12
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Re: Air conditioning brand

Outlaw,
Do you have any direct experience with the Frigomar units. Do the "expensive printed circuit boards" actually fail, or do you just expect them to? How many of these units have you installed and how many have failed. I'm interested in actual experience, not speculation.

BTW, the physics behind kinetic energy haven't changed, but in getting my car up to speed, my 2022 Chevy is a lot more efficient than my 1969 Chevy was. Just say'n.
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Old 20-05-2021, 13:33   #13
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Re: Air conditioning brand

I don't but having friends in the industry who have and yes they do fail however they are so few and far between in actual use, I don't think any one has enough data to say. I just know what issues there are on the shore based systems by what my counter man tells me where we get parts from and what my marine friends tell me of their experience. I agree efficiency has changed however at the heart of the either conventional or VFD driven units is a very similar rotary compressor, so until I see what actual physical energy their compressor requires I still say power load is equal.
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Old 20-05-2021, 13:52   #14
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Re: Air conditioning brand

All the new mini split systems are inverter based and they hardly ever fail. You donít even hear them start up and they cost very little.

I donít have a Frigomar yet but there have been members in previous threads raving about them and confirming the low power consumption.

I have a CruisAir 16kBTU at 240V (reliable but noisy and huge startup surge) and it uses 1,700W. The Frigomar 16kBTU equivalent uses 1,050W and in ECO mode 200W for 3.9kBTU. I believe itís startup current is 2A.
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Old 20-05-2021, 14:08   #15
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Re: Air conditioning brand

Jedi,
Call Cory at Sealand Mechanical in Houma LA. Very large Marine HVAC company and check with him on the failure rate of mini splits systems. I agree on shore they are very good however used in a marine environment they have reoccurring board failures. And again the eco mode uses less power but runs longer if not indefinitely keeping temperature constant. At the end of the day I will bet the total KW used if metered would be about the same, possibly a little less based on the inrush difference. Again I don't see the economical advantage of spending twice as much money for the insignificant difference in diesel saved. By the way with a Micro air soft start you get almost the same efficiency at start up which by the way is only milliseconds.
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