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Old 05-21-2008
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Adler Barb Owners... want a freezer?

I have a stadard Adler Barbor refrgeration unit on my boat. I suspect most production boats (and many non production boats) have the same. The temperature is controlled by a analog knob, with 1 being warmest and 7 being coldest.

It has worked well as a refrigeration unit, but I always wanted a freezer too. The freezer space is really limited to the inside of the evaporator.

Now... want a freezer too but not install the extra equipment?? Here is how I did it and I bet it would work on many other boats.

I removed the evaporator (four screws) and placed it in the bottom of the refrigerated area (the box) and screwed it in there. I then went to Lowes and bought a $8 pack of styrofoam (it is with the insulation). I then double insulated the entire fridge and taped it with aluminum foil tape (HVAC tape, also at Lowes). I did NOT do the bottom of the fridge because water has to drain there.

I did this because most (if not all) fridges are highly under insulated. I then built a shelf to divide part of the evaporator - with 25% sticking above the shelf and the bottome third below. Now, on my fridge, I have a door. I sealed in (after the styrofoam) everything so that the bottom part could only be accessed by the door. I then cut out thick sheets of platic that hung in strips from the door opening, so that when you open the door, you will have to stick your hand through this plastic sheets to get to it. I also cut out a square piece of styrofoam to insulate (in addition to the door and plastic) the freezer area.

Cold air falls, hot air rises. Using that principle, the enclosed area you made at the bottom will become a freezer. The top part will become your fridge. You need a way (either by holes or fans or something) to increase or decrease the amount of cold air in the refrigerator section. Every boat/box is different so you will need to play with this some - but it should work well.

I also went to radio shack and bought two large CPU fans (about 2"X2"). They draw only milliamps. I put one high in the fridge and one in the freezer. These circulate the air in both.

I then set the temp dial to 6 (of a possible 7). I draw 54 amps/day (not all of it is refridgerator and freezer, but most) from about 46-48 amps day. My temperature in the refrigerated section is 36-38 degrees F. The freezer is in the upper teens to low 20's. Everything in the freezer is solidly frozen.

I will try and post pics of this next week. Forgot to take pics to show. But it is a simple and inexpensive way to have a freezer and fridge on your boat. The key is moving the evaporator to the lowest area and really insulating the box well. Do not use duct tape to tape up the seams, use the foil tape. It seems to be more moisture resistant and a better product.

Hope this helps some of you.

- CD
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