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Re: Could a self-professed bafoon install 12V refrigeration?
I've done it, so you can. Did the freezer, part way through doing the fridge.
Clive at Seafrost is a great help. They will send you everything you need. The connectors are simple to use after you read the instructions.
I bought the double gauges and pipe cutter from the local Harbor Freight store. It has easily paid for itself. There's a great book on marine refrigeration by Richard Kollmann. Definitely buy it. Never be afraid to buy tools and instructional books.
Figure out how to power it. A fridge will need one 130w solar panel, at least wehre I am. That's assuming your battery bank can handle it. (We have 330 amp-hours, which is pleny for a fridge where we are.) The Kollmann book talks about how much juice you'll need, based on the surface area of the fridge and whether it's top loading or side loading.
I ran 30 feet of tubing (x2) and put the compressor back near the steering quadrant -- think under the swim platform. That was to keep the noise away. Once I get insulated, flexible ducts to the outside, I expect it will be untra quiet -- only thing you can here on the Tradewinds units are teh little "computer fan". So they are quiet. Compressor don't drip water. The part inside the box will attract condensation.
Dishwashing liquid and a small paint brush is your friend for finding leaks -- usually an indicator the your connectors need to be tighted a little more.
Use slightly oversized wiring to keep line-loss low -- especially if you have a long run.
This spring I'm connecting the fridge compressor. I have both copper tubes and the thermostat wires already run.
I'm also connetion thefreezer's thermostat wires to a relay driven off the solar panel dump load, and maybe a second thermostat. If there's extra juice, the freezer compressor will just run and run. It's my way of saving the batteries by reducing the load at night. If I do the freezer right, the holding plate (and maybe some homemade icepacks made from diluted, non-toxic antifreeze) will keep the freezer cold enough to last through the night. That and I'm reducing the depth of the freezer with white-painted, pink (or blue) foam from Home Despot.
Anyone know of a liquid container that is really flat. It would be for making home-made ice-packs made from diluted, non-toxic antifreeze. Somehting 1" thick that still hods a quart would be great.
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Last edited by Bene505; 03-18-2013 at 07:25 PM.