Refrigeration Help - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Refrigeration Help

I will be cruising in the Caribbean for the next year or so and am building a new Freezer box for my 34' Seafarer (didnt have one before).

I was back and forth between a Frig-o-boat compressor/evaporator system and an Adler Barbour system - both run on 12v DC current. Both systems costs about $1500 + insulation, etc. This will be a Small Freezer only - about 3.5 Cubic Feet.

During my research I came across this :
EdgeStar 80 Quart 12 Volt DC Portable Fridge/Freezer - FP861

I found it online for about $600 all-in. My thinking is that I can remove the outer shell and build up the insulation to make it more efficient for the higher temps of the Caribbean. All for about $800 instead of close to $2000 with the other systems. It only pulls 80W! of power or, 5.7 amps DC - same as the Adler Barbour. Am I crazy or does this sound like the way to go...?

All my electronics are supported by 300W of Solar and a 400w wind turbine. I also have a genset. The Freezer will definitely be the largest power draw, but this seems like a no brainer to me. What am I missing?
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-12-2012
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Not a bad idea but you would be much better served by an Engel - it uses half the power of your choice - or less. More expensive but the most energy efficient fridge of its type available. I have had a smaller one for over a year and they perform exactly as advertised.

I wouldn't remove the shell but would insulate around the unit - or purchase one of the insulated covers that is optional.

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post #3 of 4 Old 10-12-2012
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Not sure why you started another thread with the same question...

In case you lost the last one, here it is!

Refrigeration conversion help

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post #4 of 4 Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Refrigeration Help

Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
Not a bad idea but you would be much better served by an Engel - it uses half the power of your choice - or less. More expensive but the most energy efficient fridge of its type available.....

I wouldn't remove the shell but would insulate around the unit - or purchase one of the insulated covers that is optional.
The Engel is a great portable fridge and it is true that it runs on fewer amps than a danfoss type compressor but that doesn't necessarily make it more energy efficient.

It uses a different type compressor/motor, what is called a 'swing motor'. It uses fewer amps than the danfoss, but from all that I've read runs longer to cool the box. Most sites say usually more than twice as long to cool an equivalent size box to the same temps. In reality they are very close to each other in energy used.

Here are two links to some comparisons and the second has the most info, but takes the longest to read through.....

and ...

Ray's Caravans, Campervans & Motorhomes - Portable Fridges 1-

On the first they list daily amp/hr usage for the Engle at 50 and 42 for the Waeco but I think the Engle is a slightly larger box to be fair. Anyway pretty close to each other.

We have a 63 quart EdgeStar that has a Danfoss copy compressor/condeser and is like what the OP is looking at. It lists at about 5 amps, but that is start-up and we usually see 3 1/2 after a few minutes.

We have used it about 3 months out in Florida. One in the cool fall/winter and 2 later in the late spring when we were getting 80 deg cabin temps. It was using in the 30-40 amp/hr range on the trip and we would add a few hot drinks every day. I'd say it is right in there with the ones in the report.

Saying that if I was to put a fridge in the MacGregor again I'd make one like we did for the Endeavour....

Endeavour 37 Interion Mods Index

....It is larger, has a small freezer section and uses less than 1/2 the amp/hrs that the portable does due to the increased insulation. It would be hard to insulate the portable since you have the openings on the end for the compressor cooling. If I remember right they also want the exterior walls to not be up against anything.

The insulated top cover would help and we put towels on ours, but the bottom is actually where more insulation will pay off as that is where you have the biggest temperature differential between the inside air and outside air in most cases.

My suggestion to him has to make a well insulated box and...

..... buy a good compressor/condenser/evaporator if he wants low energy consumption,



Our 37 Endeavour --- Our 26 MacGregor --- Trips With Both

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