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  #1  
Old 12-18-2009
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Refrigeration on a 34

I have the Seafrost engine drive with 110 volt backup refrigeration on my 91 34. It is starting to give me some problems and I am considering replacing it with a 12 volt system. What do others have and how does it work for them?

I spend a quite a bit of time at anchor and while I like the engine drive system, the 110 volt system is of no use so I have to run the engine about an hour a day to keep things cold.

Does anyone know what the cu ft capacity of refrigerator box is?

Thanks
John
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Old 12-19-2009
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A number of years ago I installed the Technautics 12v holding plate system. It used quite a bit less energy than the factory system and kept the box perfectly cold on a setting of 2. It was easy to install. I highly recommend it.

Larry
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Old 12-19-2009
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Hi John,

The previous owner of our boat installed a 12V Frigoboat system. We have been very pleased with the performance and low power draw.

It is a keel-cooled system, which seems to help with the efficient exchange of heat. But one down-side is that it cannot be used when the boat is hauled-out. That is where an air-cooled system would be advantageous.

Also, ours is only a refrigerator -- i.e. we're not making ice or keeping meet frozen. Maybe that's why the power draw is so low?
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Old 12-19-2009
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I've got the factory Adler Barbour and it still works away keeping the box cold. But I plan to eventually replace it with a holding plate as I want more control over when electricity is being used. Practical Sailor had a good article on refrigeration in the past year.
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Old 12-19-2009
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The spec sheet for the Crealock 34 lists the ice box capacity as 6.0 cf. The insulation is not as thick as some of the literature claims, and I understand that in some of the older boats it has fallen apart and appeared in the bilge.

My boat has a Kollmann Marine refrigeration system with separate engine drive and shore power cooling systems. The engine drive system is seawater cooled R-134a and the 125v system is air cooled R-12. Both systems freeze a single propylene glycol – water filled holding plate in the freezer side of the box. A thermostat controlled fan transfers cold air from the freezer to the cooler side of the box.

When I bought the boat in 2004 only the 125v system worked. While Kollmann Marine is no longer in business, Richard Kollman maintains a web site and sells two boat refrigeration books. I bought the books and traded a few e-mails with him, then repaired the engine drive system myself. For a full description of what I did, just search the technical forum of his web site Kollmann-Marine.com for author “wsmurdoch”.

I am happy with the combined system, although if the 125v R-12 system failed I would replace it with a similar 12v R134a system. My wife and I have taken the boat from North Carolina to the Bahamas and back the last two years living aboard for four or five months with only ten or twelve days in marinas. We usually run the engine an hour a day to charge the batteries, heat water, and freeze the holding plate. On hot sunny days or if we put a bunch of beer in the fridge, we need another half hour running time. If we are moving the boat, it all gets done coming or going. The freezer keeps meat reliably frozen and makes a tray of ice cubes a day. One of my real joys was bringing to dinner aboard another boat at Conception Island a gift of a six pack chilled to that magic temperature where ice crystals appear in the beer when the top is popped. It is just pure heaven on a hot day.

Bill Murdoch
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Old 12-26-2009
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More refrigeration on a 34

Thanks for your responses. I think I can keep my current system working for another year and that is probably what I will do. In the mean time I will continue to evaluate my goals and try to decide what the optimal long term solution would be.

Primary goals:
1. A system with no 110v component that can take advantage of alternate power sources.
2. As energy efficient as possible.
3. Some capacity to keep frozen food.

Secondary goals:
1. Simplify. The 110v compressor is large and its location int the engine compartment complicates access to the steering and rudder systems. I believe a nice little 12 volt keel cooled system could be fitted under the waste basket next to the sink. This is wasted space as it is.

2. The holding plate and engine drive system works well for me and combined with a 12 volt system would provide a level of redundancy. However, a straight 12 volt system would simplify things.

3. I can currently keep some food frozen for short periods of time, but not cold enough for more that a week or two. The frig box is divided horizontally into two compartments, the bottom half serves as a freezer and the top the frig. A vertical division or freezer bin would probably give me a better freezer compartment but at the cost of less convenient access to refrigerated items.

Current options:
1. Keep the holding plate and engine drive and replace the 110 with a Seafrost 12 volt. The advantage is that it is straight forward with minimal changes. The disadvantage to this is that the Seafrost unit is larger than others and doesn't have a keel cooled option so it would need to remain in the engine compartment.

2. Replace everything with a Frigoboat keel cooled system with a freezer bin.

3. Replace everything with a Isotherm holding plate system with a cooler on the sink drain. This system runs the compressor harder to freeze the holding plate when the batteries are being charged. In theory, this system makes sense to me, but I would need to do more research to see how they work in practice.

4. Other options and/or combination of the above.

At any rate, I think I can put off the decision for another year.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment on my ramblings.

John
PSC 34, 1991
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Old 12-26-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnharch View Post
3. I can currently keep some food frozen for short periods of time, but not cold enough for more that a week or two. The frig box is divided horizontally into two compartments, the bottom half serves as a freezer and the top the frig. A vertical division or freezer bin would probably give me a better freezer compartment but at the cost of less convenient access to refrigerated items.
My 31 reefer is setup the exact same way, I have a Technautics 12v holding plate, I set it at the warmest level, I use a piece of Styrofoam on the upper compartment to prevent to prevent freezing. In the summer it runs about
twice a day, consuming about 20 Ah. The lower compartment stays frozen, but my reefer is smaller than the 34s.
TJ
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Old 01-09-2010
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We put a Seafrost BD refrigerator in Grace and have been very happy with it. It was much less expensive than most of the alternatives and draws little power.

We have an Aerogen wind gen along with 2 85W Kyocera panels and never need to run the engine for power. I think that's due to the small refrigerator and the LED's throughout the boat.

Sam
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Old 01-09-2010
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Sam, where is your compressor mounted and which evaporator are you using?

john
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Old 02-01-2010
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Our compressor is on a shelf in the aft-most portion of the port lazarette. I ducted cabin air into the intake and use air cooling on the unit. It works surprisingly well in hot and humid conditions (like the Gulf coast).
The plate is a standard 12x17". I built a small shelf for the bottom of the box and find that food stored beneath the plate freezes hard. I've also run 12v from the compressor to a PC fan mounted on 1 1/2" PVC tubing to distribute cold air to the back side of the box.

Sam
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