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Old 01-24-2013
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Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

Looking to get some information on marine refrigeration systems... at the moment my boat does not have shore power or refrigeration. My original idea was to add shore power and add a 120V refrigeration system to my current ice box. After looking into systems available on defender among other sites it seems that they are all 12/24V systems. How are most systems set up, do they always draw power through batteries and the charger maintains them topped off? Or are their systems that use both AC and DC?

How does your system work, and what is the manufacturer.

If you could change something in your current setup what would it be?
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Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

The most common set up is a DC set up (either 12v or 24v.) Runs off the house battery bank. The benefits are that this can operate either at or away from the dock. It'll also operate under sail or when under power.

Another alternative is using an engine driven compressor, but it is less common and may not be the best alternative for a sailboat.

110v systems are also an alternative, and may or may not be an attractive alternative depending on how you use your boat. If you spend most of your time at the dock, and only go out for short day sails, it might be right. If you intend to do any cruising, then you may find it less of a deal.

We replaced our Adler Barbour ColdMachine a few years back with a Frigo-Boat Capri 35. It's been a good unit for us, and power consumption is reasonable.

I'd like to have more insulation around our box -- it's on the list for potential projects (although it's not near the top of the list.)
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Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

i have 2 adler/barbour 12v water cooled units for my boat that I'm going to replace (leaks) in the spring or summer of this year(20 yrs. old). Mine operates off the batteries which i keep charged via shore power or wind charger. Along with the compressor units and cold plates i have a water pump with a thru hull. It's a very standard set-up that they have used for the last 20 years.

I've been doing a lot of research as well. It looks pretty straight up to install or replace. The set up i have seems to be the standard for efficiency. They ain't cheap though! If i replace everything (separate fridge and freezer) i think my parts bill will be around 3.5k or more.
A lot of the suppliers actually give you step by step instructions to do the install. if you are fairly handy you should be able to do it.
I don't know the efficiency of keel cooled, air cooled and water cooled. I was told water cooled just make sense for the Caribbean. It makes sense to me.
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Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

Most of Norcold units are 120 ac/24/12 Dc. but the 120 isn't really needed because yes most of the time they run off the battery bank which is being charged when at dock anyway.
Battery banks are the answer. More amp hours = longer run time on the refridge before recharge via engine, solar or shore power.
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Old 01-24-2013
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

You can get AC/DC refrigeration systems from Norcold and Nova Kool, but if you have a built in battery charger for when you are on shore power you probably will be fine with a 12v unit. They draw very little power once they are down to temperature so even a small charger should be able to keep up.
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

I installed a Frigoboat system in my boat. It is 12 volts but also has a small transformer on it that powers the refrigerator if it senses 110 volts. It is automatic and works great.
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Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

I did a nova kool kit last summer. Works great and very low power consumption.
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

addict,
how was the price on the nova kool? Can you break it down a little?
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Re: Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

To answer your question , yes. Typically its either 12/24dc or engine driven.
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Old 01-25-2013
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Marine Refrigeration Systems always 12 volts?

I replaced my refrigeration last year with a new Adler-Barbour Cold Machine. While I was at it, I redesigned the ice box and put Reflectix space age bubble insulation on the walls for extra insulation. I did the project myself and felt it was very easy to do, particularly since I didn't have to drill holes in the box for the coolant lines since the holes were already there. The fridge units all come sealed with refrigerant loaded in both parts, install, connect together and you are done! All units, no matter what the manufacturer, use the Danfoss compressor which is industry standard. I would use the manufacturer's recommendation for size of box as you will find that an oversized unit for the box will be extremely inefficient because of the more frequent but shorter run cycles.

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