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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Refrigeration Conversion
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Thread: Refrigeration Conversion Reply to Thread

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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-04-2006 03:41 PM
kavakava I installed a Technautics cold plate system in my old Gulfstar. Installation was easy for this novice, an it worked great. After I reinsulated the box by drilling 40 holes and squirting in foam insulation, I used very little juice and managed to freeze the tomatoes. Never had such cold beer!!!
12-03-2006 02:14 PM
SVDistantStar Im working on rebuilding my ice box aboard my 36' Pearson. The current icebox is a massive cave with almost no insulation. Im planning to rebuild it into a 3.5cuft box with at least 5'' of insulation all around. The cold plate system ive chosen is going to be aabout $850 from West Marine and is made for 6.5cuft with 3'' of insulation. Im not sure if its going to be a really good icebox or a freezer.
12-03-2006 10:36 AM
sailingdog The "Pelletier" effect coolers are useless in really hot weather, as they can only cool a certain amount from the ambient temperature. They are also hugely inefficient. Using a "walmart" refrigerator and inverter is probably not a great idea, as the refrigerator is probably not insulated well enough for use on a boat—most small refrigerators make the assumption that they'll be used in a controlled climate area, and a boat is generally not one. A truck, like the one that Gregpecaut, can afford to run the A/C, which is often not the case on a sailboat, if it even has A/C at all.

Also, you have the inefficiency of converting the DC to AC using the inverter...if you don't think they're inefficient, just touch one that's been running a while and see how hot it is... that heat is electricity that has been converted.

Best small refrigerators for use on a sailboat are probably the Engel "Swing compressor" units. I've used one and they're very efficient. Most are top-loading designs, which helps keep the cold air inside the box when you have to open it.
12-03-2006 01:59 AM
Originally Posted by gforcepdx
i agree with faster on this but what about the wallmart fridge and the inverter ??? curious... too janky ???

The only experience I've had with the plug-in coolers is I've seen them run down a car battery overnight - So I'm assuming the power usage is too high.

These units usually use a "Peltier effect" cooler system, which is power hungry compared to conventional compressor based coolers (for equivalent cooling).

On top of that are losses factored in by the use of the inverter as well.
12-03-2006 01:32 AM
camaraderie Jones...sometimes I just decide to keep my mouth shut when I know people don't want to hear the answer...especially when it is a matter of beer money!
12-02-2006 10:40 PM
seeking reply from...faster...

i agree with faster on this but what about the wallmart fridge and the inverter ??? curious... too janky ???
10-14-2006 11:28 PM
Faster Any refrigeration specialist can add a cold plate to your icebox, plus the necessary compressor etc, but I doubt you'll get it done for less than the $700-800 that you mentioned as too expensive.Other than getting lucky at a marine recycle store, anything you cobble together may not be reliable in the end. Don't forget to check what your "cheap" alternative will cost you in power (electrical) consumption.
10-14-2006 08:18 PM
gregpecaut I drive truck and many add refidg to these. Many have tried marine, and RV units, but the ones that have the most sucess use an apartment fridg (from walmart) and an inverter. Cheap and it works! Adding insulation would make it even better.
01-16-2005 07:27 PM
Refrigeration Conversion

If I remember the story a guy put the cooling part of the refrigerator on the keel or on both sides of it. the lines ran back into the boat and to a standard refrigeration compressor and then into his ice box he said it worked great and was cheep. I would be a little nervous about anything through my hull but if you used mill spec copper with a thick wall I guess it would last a long time as long as the electrolisis did not get it.
01-12-2005 02:36 PM
Refrigeration Conversion

The Spring 2004 issue of boatworks had an article about using an inexpensive refrigerator to fit in an icebox.
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