Join Date: May 2006
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To make my reply easier, most of this reply is from my posting on Anything-Sailing.
Dump the engine driven system!!
When I bought my Freedom 32 it had a Seafrost engine driven holding block system, it was an R12 system and had lost it's refrigerant charge due to lack of use. The holding block had 2 circuits so I had considered a 110v compressor on the spare circuit while at dock and repairing and upgrading the engine driven system to an R134a system.
Well, speaking with Cleave at Seafrost he proposed replacing the engine driven system with one of their 12volt BD systems. I was nervous about this as Freedom 32's only have space for 3 group 24 batteries and so I only have about 160 to 170 amps of house capacity and to increase it required loosing storage space and the starting another project, neither of which I wanted at the time. As the boat was only used to day sails and weekends away, I decided to go with the advice and give it a try, it was going to work out cheaper than my original plan anyway!!
So I ordered a 12volt pre-charged BD system along with a evaporator plate style freezer bin that was sized to fit my reefer.
Installation was complete within a couple of hours, the hardest part was removing the old holding block, damn that thing was awkward and heavy, installing the new freezer bin also took as much time again. The installation, plumbing and wiring of the compressor unit was easy and took probably 30 to 35 mins.
I installed this system in September/October last year and to date I am very pleased with the performance. The boat is now being used as a live aboard during the week and I have really cold beers and can can store frozen meals for the week. The system runs 24/7 off the batteries which also have sufficient capacity for day sails so far and I think may also be ok for weekends based on how the unit has performed so far. However, the heat of summer may have me reviewing my battery capacity, but I have a well insulated reefer and remain hopeful based on current performance plus I have eliminated several items from my engine room and adjacent lockers with the removal of the engine driven, sea water cooled system.
During the winter months while maintaining cabin temperature at 68 degrees the unit is operating about 40% of the time, I am expecting this to 70% / 75% during the summer. Maybe the addition of the variable speed controller for the Danfoss BD compressor could reduce the runtime!
Disclosure, I do not work for or have any commercial interest in Seafrost, I do however work for a company that does on occasions supply Seafrost equipment, when requested, for customer use with our products.