So a few weeks ago I ran into Cleave, the owner of Sea Frost Refrigeration, on the dock at our club. We got to chatting and I asked him if there was any possible way to convert our Shore Assist refrigeration system (120V) to 12V. He stood there, scratched his head and said, "Sure I don't see why not.". I could see the gears turning....
Our boat has a beautiful Sea Frost engine driven refrigeration system and also had the upgraded second 120V compressor system for when plugged into shore power. We are on a mooring and rarely if ever at the dock. When we cruise we anchor out. My wife actually dislikes docks and we cruise to get away, not be near........ As such the 120V Shore Assist system was sitting there doing us no good. I had actually removed it from the boat during the re-wire and never re-installed it.
Engine driven refrigeration relies on an engine driven, belt drive compressor and a massive aluminum holding plate that freezes to about -25F to -30F and acts like a massive block of ice. With one hour of engine a day we put some charge into the batteries and get cold food for 20 - 24 hours. The catch, is one hour of engine per day, every day.
There are times I would LOVE to flip on a 12V fridge and not have to sit there on the hook and run the motor for cold food..
Because our holding plate has two sets of coils in it, engine and 120V system, converting to 12V was as easy as a control module, Danfoss BD80 12V compressor and a new 120mm 12V fan. Because this new compressor is 12V I can run it at a dock or when off cruising and not wanting to run the motor in a beautiful anchorage.
The engine side will still be our primary refrigeration but this gives us an extremely "gourmet" package. If one side of the system goes down we still have the other, cold booze and grub is very important you know....
So the long and short is that I dropped it off at Sea Frost in NH on Wednesday and it was back on my door step this evening for a VERY REASONABLE price.. They did an absolutely gorgeous conversion and for a custom conversion this can't be beat.
I will never own any marine refrigeration system other than Sea Frost as long as Cleave owns the company. His customer support goes BEYOND tremendous..
12V and engine driven refrigeration, can't beat that! I just can't believe it took me this long to think of it......