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Old 03-10-2016, 16:36   #1
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Location: Akron, Ohio
Boat: Bristol 29(1967)
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FrigoBoat Fridge & Dedicated Battery

I have a Frigoboat with a keel cooler. It works great ... but

I have noticed that regardless of the outside weather, the unit runs 15 mninutes on, then 15 minutes off. When I turned up the temp slightly, it appeared to run about 15 minutes on and 25-30 minutes off.

I know it has a compressor, but I'm curious as to why it runs more based on time, rather than temperature.

Even though I have "greatly", increased the insulation(both inside & outside, the timing of the run/off never changed 15 on/15 off, except for my little experiment(a one time deal) ... things do freeze faster now, but still.

I don't need a freezer(freezer's very small anyway), I just want a good, VERY ENERGY EFFICIENT cooler.

Another issue with the 15 on/15 off(even with all the extra insulation), is the fridge has a dedicated large, 12 volt battery ... very large & very, very heavy and set in such a way I can't see the ratings.

The battery only charges when the boat is plugged in and I'd like to allow my 35 amp alternator to charge the battery(it "re" charges my engine battery within 15 minutes or so, and my house battery only has LED lights to power(so far it's never shown, that I can see, a needed charge).

I wonder if I can "buddy up", the charging of the FrigoBoat battery on long trips into the wind(under power), and what issues I should particularly address.

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Old 03-10-2016, 18:56   #2
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Re: FrigoBoat Fridge & Dedicated Battery

I have the same Frigoboat system with a keel cooler. Mine works well with the thermostat. From your second paragraph, it does sound like yours may be working OK. I would put a thermometer in and see what temperature it maintains at different settings. Could be an issue with the thermostat.

As to the battery charging question, you really need a way to charge the refrigeration battery while cruising and away from shore power. The reefer system will discharge it fairly quickly. It could be something as simple as a manual battery switch (though that will require you to remember to open it when not charging to avoid discharging the start battery) or something like an Automatic Charge Relay.

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Old 04-10-2016, 05:15   #3
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Re: FrigoBoat Fridge & Dedicated Battery

The compressors on these small systems are controlled by evaporator temperature so as to not over power the plate . That's why the thermostat is attached directly to the plate . The box temperature controls the plate temperature . Probably takes exactly 15 minutes of run time to get your plate temperature down .


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Old 05-10-2016, 08:09   #4
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Re: FrigoBoat Fridge & Dedicated Battery

You don't mention what type of thermostat you have - mechanical or digital. If it's an older Coastal Climate Control digital controller, your 15 on/15 off sounds like your sensor may be faulty and it's reverted to automatic running. However, that you were able to change the setting and therefore the on/off time would negate this.

You also don't mention if you have a compressor speed control device, whether a manual speed board, a Danfoss AEO controller, or a Merlin automatic speed board. The speed at which your compressor runs will make a difference to the amount of energy used.

Finally, bear in mind, it's the run time that dictates how much energy you're using, long and slow uses less energy than short and fast. So 15 on sounds good if your compressor is running at low speed. It's the off time that dictates how well your box is insulated. So 15 off is not so great (it implies your box temp went up 2 degrees after 15 minutes triggering the thermostat to call for cooling), 25 off is better.
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