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Old 29-03-2010, 11:15   #1
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Engel Portable 12vdc Fridge - Work Inside a Closed Space (Large Icebox)?

Hi Folks,

My huge icebox (top doubles as a nav desk) is roughly 12 - 16 cu ft.
It had a holding plate before I bought the boat, but was dead, and cut off, so I removed it and have just been using it as an icebox. I am in a northern climate, but in the summer three 5 gallon containers of ice will keep it cool for a week, so it is reasonably well insulated.

I am trying to decide between investing in a new compressor and holding plate (or evaporator plate) to make it a fridge again.. OR.. buying a portable model like an Engel, and having the option of keeping it if I ever sell the boat.
I realize that the Engel (35 or 40 quart) for example would have much less volume, but i really only need to keep the meat, milk and a few drinks cool. I can add more drinks as I take them out.

If I buy an Engel, I would like to just set it, or mount it inside the existing icebox. I could then store other non-persihable food (like beer) next to it as well.
Would it run OK and efficiently in a closed environment like that. I would think that it would give off some heat, as it runs. Would it be enough to cause damage to itself, or make it inefficient?

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 29-03-2010, 12:06   #2
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These portable refrigerator/freezer combos need lots of air circulation. I don't think it would last long in your scenario.
We have a Dometic and it works fine as long as it has plenty if airflow.
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Old 29-03-2010, 12:49   #3
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We have one of the little Waeco CF18 fridges as well as the normal built in fridge. Current draw is about the same at 2-3 amps although the portable is much smaller. However it does have the advantage of being cooled by the car on the way to the boat at the weekends. Only down size is the cost, same as the built in fridge kit and a full sized house fridge over this side of the pond for that matter.

If you are sure you only need a small space then fine, but our portable wasn't big enough so we fitted the built in fridge.

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Old 29-03-2010, 13:01   #4
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We have one of the Engel portables and really like it. However, it uses a Danfoss compressor and therefore requires generous airflow. I wouldn't put it inside the freezer.

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icebox, refrigerator

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