Propane Use - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 23 Old 06-03-2008
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My refridge is a Dometric which is propane 'powered' (i.e., a propane flame heats a alcohol tank which boils and then cools) - sounds funny but makes ice cubes and takes me off the electric grid entirely.
This is interesting. Why don't we hear more about people using gas powered fridges? (I think they are called absorption refrigeration?) There used all the time in RVs.

Does it have something to do with the amount of heel? (Yes chuckles, I know you're on a cat... )
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post #12 of 23 Old 06-03-2008
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Two tanks is the way to go. Its nice to have a spare when the tank goes empty in the middle of cooking dinner. I also plumb the tank to the grill at the transom.
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post #13 of 23 Old 06-03-2008
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The Dometic refrigerators don't like heeling much.

As for the composite tanks, be careful, since they're not approved in all countries... like Canada at the moment. If you're registered in those countries, having unapproved tanks might be a problem.

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post #14 of 23 Old 06-04-2008
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We have 2 20 pound tanks, and each tank lasts the two of us almost exactly 90 days, which is pretty close to the one pound per person per week rule of thumb. However, our tanks don't have the idiotic new valves which limit the fill to 80% of capacity....
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post #15 of 23 Old 06-04-2008
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Don,
Just curious, if your tanks don't have the "idiotic" OPD (Overfill Protection Device) valve, have you had any difficulty refilling the tanks?

Regs may be different on the west coast, but the old valves have been outlawed in our area. I had to swap out the ones on my two 10 lb. aluminum cylinders at 40. ea, since I couldn't get them filled anywhere.

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sold the Nauticat
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post #16 of 23 Old 06-04-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicAdventure View Post
Why don't we hear more about people using gas powered fridges? (I think they are called absorption refrigeration?) There used all the time in RVs.
By boat standards, they use a lot of propane, need external ventilation (opening a window is fine at home, or even in an RV, but not when waves might get in). Then there is that little aversion to fire, open flames and all. I think they are also very inefficient compared to compressor refrigeration.

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post #17 of 23 Old 06-05-2008
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No problem with refilling the tanks with the old valves this winter in the Caribbean. I also have a hose and a bunch of fittings to refill my tanks by decanting from locally available tanks when they won't fill mine or try to charge me too much.
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post #18 of 23 Old 06-08-2008
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My experience with the OPD is the same as TrueBlue's. DonRadclife better be prepared to install one when he returns to the States. Installing the new OPD is a piece of cake - don't pay someone to do it. Just remember to empty the tank completely before removing the old valve :-)

To add to the statistics, I have an Allied Mistress 39 and use 2x10 lb tanks. We use propane almost entirely for stove top cooking and occasionally use the oven. It lasts long enough that I have never measured usage. With 2-4 people on board, I get at least a months usage from a tank.
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post #19 of 23 Old 06-24-2008
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I have two 6kg Euro tanks (about 15#) with old fashioned valves and two 10# tanks with OPDs. I use the US-spec 10#ers now, but will take only one and both the 6kg tanks (that fit so nicely in my propane locker) the next time I leave the US.

I get about 2 months out of a 10#er cooking regularly but in batches (batches = cook with leftovers in mind which heat faster than cooking from scratch).
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post #20 of 23 Old 06-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idiens View Post
By boat standards, they use a lot of propane, need external ventilation (opening a window is fine at home, or even in an RV, but not when waves might get in). Then there is that little aversion to fire, open flames and all. I think they are also very inefficient compared to compressor refrigeration.
Not to hijack, but...
yes, they require ventillation; including a 12v fan (solar powered) that when running draws .25ah. On my Gemini it vents to the under the helm (I call it a chucknuts roaster for obvious reasons, but it's not that bad).

It uses a small flame to heat alcohol which condensates at low temps and draws off heat. Flame isn't a problem, it has a shut off just like every other other propane device on board. Heeling is a problem, these are not suitable for monohull use.

As to efficiency, I'll compare my 80% filled 20 pound propane tank for over 3 weeks to the gallons of diesel it takes to run a engine (or battery) powered 4 cubic foot reefer than can make ice. I don't need to run the engine for any reason, so I'm saving at least a gallon a day @ 4.80 a gallon or 115 bucks for 24 days in diesel cost, compared to 16 bucks a tank refill. Factor in diesel engine maintenance and hours of use...

Propane wins by my calculator for efficiency, hands down.
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