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Old 14-03-2018, 08:44   #1
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Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

On our recently purchased Morgan OI ketch there is a creepy RV-type front door refrigerator. we use it for beer and it's adequate though bulky. However we also have a top-loading cold plate box that has an attached non-working ancient compressor. I'd like to replace the compressor and have a freezer, but am confused about air-cooled or water-cooled marine refrigeration. Seems to me water-cooled would be more efficient? Air-cooled is cheaper though -- will that be sufficient in Caribbean summer heat? Any advice on this, or other things we should know about this project, would be most appreciated.
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Old 14-03-2018, 08:59   #2
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

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Originally Posted by Mother1ship View Post
On our recently purchased Morgan OI ketch there is a creepy RV-type front door refrigerator. we use it for beer and it's adequate though bulky. However we also have a top-loading cold plate box that has an attached non-working ancient compressor. I'd like to replace the compressor and have a freezer, but am confused about air-cooled or water-cooled marine refrigeration. Seems to me water-cooled would be more efficient? Air-cooled is cheaper though -- will that be sufficient in Caribbean summer heat? Any advice on this, or other things we should know about this project, would be most appreciated.
There absolutely no reason to go to water cooling for many reasons. This is a very long standing discussion on the forums.

Watch this little video we made and you can see that air cooling will work even in the hottest climates .

And these blog posts

https://www.coldeh.com/blog/avoid-th...ystem-problems

https://www.coldeh.com/blog/marine-r...in-the-tropics



Regards John.
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Old 14-03-2018, 09:11   #3
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

John has given you great advice..

Personally I would never have water cooled aboard. 8 times out of 10 a cruiser down here has trouble with thier fridge or freezer, its usually the water cooling circuit (if a water cooled device).

We are air cooled an our freezer froze a whole turkey last month down here in Martinique.
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Old 14-03-2018, 09:21   #4
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

I had a unit that ran air or water, Eventually just shut down the water part. Seemed to be fine. Less to go wrong. Although some water units are simple too.
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Old 14-03-2018, 15:51   #5
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

THANK YOU to you guys for quick responses! I appreciate the time and your expertise. I guess now we just shop around for the least expensive or best parts availability, insulate the hell out of the box (thanks John at ColdEH Marine!) and get it installed...anything else we need to consider?
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Old 14-03-2018, 16:07   #6
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

Built a freezer last year using a Sawafuji swing compressor (bought from Norcold). Very pleased with the results. Lower power usage than the Danforth in our fridge/freezer and dead silent.
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Old 14-03-2018, 22:18   #7
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

We do about 5-6 holding plate recycle projects a month, putting a new air cooled CoolBlue compressor unit on an older holding plate. It works like a charm.

Shoot me an email if you want some details and pricing.

Info@TechnauticsInc.com
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Old 15-03-2018, 09:36   #8
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

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We do about 5-6 holding plate recycle projects a month, putting a new air cooled CoolBlue compressor unit on an older holding plate. It works like a charm.
Can anyone recommend a similar service/source for replacing compressor units in New Zealand?

I've had it with our old WAECO Danfoss BD35F units. The cost of repairs in various exotic locations over the last 3 years alone would have paid for new ones, maybe twice over.

No more!
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Old 15-03-2018, 09:50   #9
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

Even the water cooled compressors dissipate heat internally from the compressor. So the suggestion that air cooled is as good as water cooled is valid. We also have an Engel running. It's air cooled and introduces no more heat than our water cooled units.

We have 2 water cooled danforth k35? compressors running our fridge and freezer. While they work well there are some issues:

1) those older mechanical thermostats are junk. Fridge variability is wide and the feedback loop lags. I will replace both with solid state thermostats as the older ones fail.
2) basic coldbox insulation must be good enough. Don't expect any system to work well if your insulation is not up to scratch.
3) Same goes for seals. Poor seals on your freezer will result in icing up and needing to defrost
4) You want to minimize the duty cycle of your compressors. Less power consumption, less wear and tear and less heat dissipation in the cabin.
5) We find that when left not running one or the other will need a gas topup (usually an ounce) on restart. Tightening the multiple connectors and replacing orings helps. Those damn precharged lines, evaporators and end fitting introduce many leak points.
6) you need to be very pedantic about recharge hygiene. These units have small gas charges and the small orifice designs easily block requiring evaporator replacement.
7) Often the components are assembled with excess loctite? which will eventually break off and block leading to expensive evaporator replacement. I evacuate for many hours when rebuilding.
8) I use high and low pressure gauges to fault find. So add those ports. The advice to listen to the gurgling stream to confirm correct operation is IMHO bs. I'm half deaf and experienced no change in noise with an intermittent blockage. Gauges let me isolate and solve the problem in minutes. Again you must purge with gas.
9) If starting from scratch I'd use multiple Engels built in. Much better in all cases than the built in systems.
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Old 15-03-2018, 10:12   #10
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mother1ship View Post
On our recently purchased Morgan OI ketch there is a creepy RV-type front door refrigerator. we use it for beer and it's adequate though bulky. However we also have a top-loading cold plate box that has an attached non-working ancient compressor. I'd like to replace the compressor and have a freezer, but am confused about air-cooled or water-cooled marine refrigeration. Seems to me water-cooled would be more efficient? Air-cooled is cheaper though -- will that be sufficient in Caribbean summer heat? Any advice on this, or other things we should know about this project, would be most appreciated.
The simple answer is the ambient air and water may be the same temp. but water is a better conductor and getting rid of the heat is easier.
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Old 15-03-2018, 12:39   #11
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

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Originally Posted by Mother1ship View Post
THANK YOU to you guys for quick responses! I appreciate the time and your expertise. I guess now we just shop around for the least expensive or best parts availability, insulate the hell out of the box (thanks John at ColdEH Marine!) and get it installed...anything else we need to consider?
If you are going to use this box as a freezer in the tropics , you are right , you will want to "insulate the hell out of it "

This is a thread I started about what to insulate it with, for best results . You may find it helpful.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...st-193232.html

Regards John.
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Old 15-03-2018, 16:46   #12
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Re: Marine refrigeration, new compressor question

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9) If starting from scratch I'd use multiple Engels built in. Much better in all cases than the built in systems.
Just wondering, do you mean Engel "drop-in" ? As in the portable Engel fridges?
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