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  #1  
Old 04-20-2008
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coleman-stirling fridge/freezer

hey gang..

i just ordered a coleman-stirling (rebrand of a twinbird sc-c925) fridge/freezer. i have not seen a lot of posts about them, but the few i have seen have given it a big thumbs up. this is not one of the 'cooler-warmers' we have all seen for $49, it is a 26L unit that will cool up to 100 degrees from ambient, it draws about 80% what a comparable waeco/norcold/engel does in electricity, and has only three moving parts, and none that ever touch so lifespan should be good. it uses carbon dioxide instead of freon, so a bit easier on the environment.

at $372 it definitely is easy on the pocketbook.

one big catch is it cannot be used continuously at a angle greater then 12 degrees lengthwise (but is good up to 90 degrees widthwise, so i am mounting and/or storing it lengthwise with the boat).

anyway, i will post more when it arrives and then say all the usual things like: it is the best money i ever spent etc etc.., or cry publicly if it turns out to be a big POS.
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Old 04-20-2008
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A few points...

The FPSC system uses HELIUM as a working fluid, not CO2. Helium is a much smaller molecule than the refrigerant used in the Engel refrigerators, and is far more likely to leak out of the closed refrigeration system than the larger coolant molecules are. That's why mylar balloons that are helium filled deflate over time...the helium escapes.

Second, the Twinbird unit says it draws 4 Amps at 12 VDC... 48 Watts. The M27 Engel unit (22 liters volume) draws a max of 2.3 Amps. The MT35 is a bit larger than the Coleman, 34 qt. vs 26 liter, and draws only 2.5 Amps. So, exactly how is the Coleman more efficient???

Even the MT60-combi unit (64 qt. interior volume) which has separate refrigerator and freezer sections has only a max draw of 3.6 amps, and gives you a lot more space.

Finally, IIRC, the Engel swing compressor system only has ONE moving part... not three, so should be even more reliable than the Coleman system.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-20-2008 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Engel!

Right, 'what he (sailingdog) said'!

My son and I both have Engel MT 35 units. Both have been running 3 years straight only down 1 hour per year to defrost. We use them in our homes when not sailing. He took his to the Bahamas and back to Charleston, SC in all kinds of weather and seas up to 15 feet no problems. He had an amp meter on his and said it never reached 2.5 set on freezer..told me to use 2.0 as a working number.

We're taking ours on a 2 month trip to Chesapeake from SC and back. Leaving in 8 days, we'll report on performance. We keep 2 2lt bottles freezing and 2 more in the ice box in the galley. Each morning we switch them so we always have 'block ice' in the galley box. We take ours on long car trips and it will run 12 hours over night and I still have juice to start the car. We both have the insulating jacket...recommend it highly..better cooling and protects the box.
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Old 04-20-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
A few points...

The FPSC system uses HELIUM as a working fluid, not CO2. Helium is a much smaller molecule than the refrigerant used in the Engel refrigerators, and is far more likely to leak out of the closed refrigeration system than the larger coolant molecules are. That's why mylar balloons that are helium filled deflate over time...the helium escapes.

Second, the Twinbird unit says it draws 4 Amps at 12 VDC... 48 Watts. The M27 Engel unit (22 liters volume) draws a max of 2.3 Amps. The MT35 is a bit larger than the Coleman, 34 qt. vs 26 liter, and draws only 2.5 Amps. So, exactly how is the Coleman more efficient???

Even the MT60-combi unit (64 qt. interior volume) which has separate refrigerator and freezer sections has only a max draw of 3.6 amps, and gives you a lot more space.

Finally, IIRC, the Engel swing compressor system only has ONE moving part... not three, so should be even more reliable than the Coleman system.
yes the twinbird version uses helium, but the coleman uses carbion dioxide.

second yes the coleman uses max 48watts in maximum draw down (Max delta T 104'), however to maintain 32degrees with an ambient temp of 72degees it uses just 1.1amp.

if i had room for an MT60, i might a bought one. i am not on some 44' garden design, but an 29' islander.

your one moving part will wear out far before my three will. mine never touch anything.

most of this info i really had to dig to find, and the info posted is rather misleading.

here is a link over at cruisers forum:

Coleman Stirling Power Coolers - Page 2 - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Last edited by rrgane; 04-20-2008 at 10:03 PM.
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sheez guys.. hang on.

i haven't even gotten it yet, i was just putting an fyi out there. i even said i would tell you if i found it to be a POS..

i didn't mean to ruffle feathers.
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Old 04-21-2008
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rrgane-

I took a look at the cruiser's forum thread... and I would take anything a person from the manufacturer said with a large chunk of NaCl. By all means, let us know how it works out for you.
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yes.. i am tad unbelieving it will 'be all that' .. but who knows, occasionally a product comes out that actually performs.

i will let you know.
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Thumbs up My feathers are smooth

Our son is on a Watkins 27 and we are on a Watkins 25......no mega yachts here. I do research before I do anything on the boat too. But Murphy's law being what it is I find that frequently after exhaustive research then purchase, two days later I find a better one of whatever That's why I pay more attention to the reports of actual use and why I try to post our actual experiences. I like the info sharing on this site, it is invaluable to making decisions. That notwithstanding some people still go out on those 'foldie-wingie-thingies'!
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well turns out the one place i found that had this 'in stock' .. didn't ..so.. i guess i won't be able to do a real world test of it. i must admit i was a little nervous being a guinea pig..

guess i will go with an engel or waeco..
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I have been looking at engles at the boat show but had a friend give raving reviews of the coleman for its low power draw. My understanding is that in just cooling mode in 85 degree temps it will draw less than one amp.
at full freeze 0F in 104 degree temps it will draw about 4 amps. The engle type compressor turns on and off... the coleman runs continuously unless it gets below the target temp. Anyway... base line seems to be that you need to start at about 20 to 30 amps per day draw at 12 volts to keep the drinks cold and up to 100 amps per day to deepfreeze stuff to 0F.

however coleman no longer makes these. if your lucky you can call one of the coleman outlet stores and find one still on the shelves for 299.00 clearance. To buy the same model from the manufacture global cooling will cost 600 or 700 dollars.

I just ordered store display from an outlet in alabama for 250 +20 in shipping. It's the right price if you can find one and the right size for a small boat like I have.
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