what's the word on marine fridges these days? - SailNet Community

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Old 06-21-2010
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Talking what's the word on marine fridges these days?

I've been out cruising for a while. My Glacier Bay fridge draws 34 amps and i am tired of running the generator every time i need to cool the icebox...anyone have any suggestions on the best, most efficient coldplate/compressor technology?
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We are huge fans of Frigoboat. We have had the keel-cooled version for about 6 years now. It is virtually silent and the compressor takes very little space. We have 2 LARGE fridge boxes, one of which includes a small freezer. We insulated them heavily including 2 layers of reflectix. We draw a total of only about 30 amp-hours per day in 70-degree water. Their website gives good tables & formulas to estimate your usage.

They're not cheap, we paid about $1500 (?) with a boat show discount back then. But we were able to do the install ourselves, and its been very reliable since. Wait for opinions from some others, we've heard there were some problems with Frigoboat a few years ago, don't know if its been resolved yet.
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Old 06-21-2010
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I'm a big fan of the Engel portable refrigerators. Most of them are dual voltage and will switch from 12 VDC to 110 VAC automatically if connected properly.
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Old 06-21-2010
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My 12VDC Technautics refrige/freezer draws less than 1/10th of the amps you describe. I think any of the manufacturers that use the Danfloss compressor with the small fan for air heat exchange would be the most efficient. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 06-21-2010
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I have an Adler Barbour Super Cold Machine and am well impressed with it. It makes 2 trays of ice cubes a day, keeps a large top opening fridge cold, all for about 40 amp hours a day.

I do not even use the water cooling option. Current Location the Windward Isles.
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Old 06-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallysailor View Post
I've been out cruising for a while. My Glacier Bay fridge draws 34 amps and i am tired of running the generator every time i need to cool the icebox...anyone have any suggestions on the best, most efficient coldplate/compressor technology?

Do you mean 34 amp hours a day, or is it really burning 34*12.5=425 watts? If the latter, any idea how much it's cycling on? 425 watts seems ok if it only runs for an hour or two each day. That much is supportable by a 170+ watt solar panel.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 06-21-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallysailor View Post
I've been out cruising for a while. My Glacier Bay fridge draws 34 amps and i am tired of running the generator every time i need to cool the icebox...anyone have any suggestions on the best, most efficient coldplate/compressor technology?
Two things:

I agree about frigoboat and the keel cooler. Our box was built new from the outside in with reflective barrier first (aluminum foil epoxied to the frame), air barrier (doorskin battens to the AL foil) and then 6" of extruded polystyrene which had been epoxy coated first, with laddered joints in bottom, top and corners to make air path even more convoluted in case any epoxy missed a joint space, epoxied as it went in. Very efficient...

Second, do you have cold plates, or do you REALLY pull 34A when an evap system is running?

The keel cooler (and the similarly acting one which can go in the sink drain) doesn't require a water pump or to run a fan for cooling, increasing the efficiency/cutting the AH costs significantly.

Frigoboat has a smart speed sensor which makes the Danfoss idle when it's not under a lot of new-heat load, but kicks it up to full when needed. Therefore, the compressor runs about 90% of the time, but the total AH is better than running full blast for a while and then off most of the time...

L8R

Skip
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Old 06-21-2010
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Thumbs up another vote for FrigoBoat

I did my own install of the Frigoboat system with keel cooler.
When it runs, and that's not too often, it draws about 3.8 amps. We have a well insulated box from the factory, and I have added some more external insulation.
One thermostat died, and the replacement was around $30. It keeps the box at about 37 to 38 degrees. If I turn the control above about "5" it can drop the temp to 20 easily.
We have two GC house batteries and can easily run the boat at anchor in the summer for two full days and still have ample power to start the diesel without invoking the spare "starting / emergency" battery.
I have install pics over at a longish refrig. thread on the EY.org site. Let me know if you want the URL.

L
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wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about wind_magic has a spectacular aura about
The newest insulation for refrigerators are the aerogels.

R value 10+, "frozen smoke", the next best thing to a complete vacuum.



Source: Aerogel (Wikipedia)

But they are too expensive!

No, not anymore, you can buy the stuff in rolls now, they are even putting it into clothing.



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Old 06-21-2010
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I prefer SeaFrost, easy for DIY installation and use the Danfoss 12 vdc compressors. Service, tech. advice, etc. is outstanding.

The 'quality' of the box/freezer insulation is the 'key'.
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