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Old 04-01-2014, 10:40 PM   #1
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Has any built an engine driven cold plate?

I wonder if you could take off the shelf componets and build a engine (genset) driven cold plate. Compressor, lines, fab a stainless box with copper coils (expansion) and voila.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:34 PM   #2
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I wonder if you could take off the shelf componets and build a engine (genset) driven cold plate. Compressor, lines, fab a stainless box with copper coils (expansion) and voila.
Yes, it is pretty simple. I have built a couple in the past. My last one kept me in ice all over the South Pacific. I ran the main 30 min. in the am and the pm.. also ran double alternators at the same time. It worked flawlessly for four years until I sold the boat.

I use the Sanden 505 wobble plate compressor (one of the most popular) it has a 12v clutch and is available at junk yards cheap.

build a cold plate from a restaurant serving tray, add copper coil for freon line, gasket and bolt together tray ( I TIG welded mine). weld ss coupling to top for fill port,

buy or build (I built a s.steel tube in tube) condenser.

add a copper line,sight glass, filter, expansion tank, adjustable thermostat to control 12v to clutch, and a super heat expansion valve.

You used to be able to get most the stuff at rparts.. minus the compressor.

Engine drive units work really well and pump out a lot of cold (remove heat actually).

I plan to build another one and possibly add it to the inside of the refer on my boat... but I may just build my own custom refer freezer.. have not figured it out yet.
I think Nigel Calder has a section in his book about engine drive systems.

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Old 04-01-2014, 11:58 PM   #3
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Hollywood, you da man. My other project is my water cooled ice machine. I want to try to recirculate the coolant into a 100 gallon tank so I don't waste my fresh water. I found a 800# ice machine on c.l. for about $800. If I can get it to run for 3 hours and make ice recirculation water and build this cold plate I'll be in business. Does the cold plate need to be filled with saltwater (saline solution). I wonder if I could test it on a 1hp electric motor. I would imagine there would be a lot of trial and error to get it right.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:20 AM   #4
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I worked for Adler Barbour for a while , and they had the patent on dual coil eutetic plates.

AB used a large cooling coil for the engine , and a second small coil for a small 120v d unit for when dockside .

Work great BUT there is a price.

The longer the desired holding time the larger the plate system must be , so the smaller volume left inside the box.

We have massive plates 4500btu and 5500btu and can go for 4 days with solid brick ice cream.

Usual inshore technique is to move every 3rd day for 2 hours of engine run time.

An installed remote thermometer is used for system control, 1/2 hour at -15F and its time to shut down.

With 2 alternators 2 hours of run time tops off the pair of Surettes , so the next 3 days are silent with a normal lifestyle.

There are books on the construction and operation of Eutetic Sustems,

Google Alan Lewis for an Aussy book from 30 years ago.

Like all refrigeration , the price and workmanship of the insulation is KEY! to success.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:17 AM   #5
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Yes, it is pretty simple. ...build a cold plate from a restaurant serving tray, add copper coil for freon line, gasket and bolt together tray ( I TIG welded mine). weld ss coupling to top for fill port..
We've done the same thing but with what we called steam table pans, (probably the same thing that Hollywood used). You can get them in 4" or 2.5 ". After we ran the copper coils we had a ss plate welded on the back (liquid tight) and then drilled the 2 fill holes for filling with the eutectic solution.

Allied Buying Corp CAST-2002 Steam Table Pan - 24 Gauge, Stainless Steel Full-Size, 2-1/2"H

I would also look at used cold plates. They are not the first choice in new refrigeration installs or upgrades. I see them at used marine stores.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:26 AM   #6
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Hollywood, you da man. My other project is my water cooled ice machine. I want to try to recirculate the coolant into a 100 gallon tank so I don't waste my fresh water. I found a 800# ice machine on c.l. for about $800. If I can get it to run for 3 hours and make ice recirculation water and build this cold plate I'll be in business. Does the cold plate need to be filled with saltwater (saline solution). I wonder if I could test it on a 1hp electric motor. I would imagine there would be a lot of trial and error to get it right.

yes, the plate can be made up with a couple different solutions. Salt brine or a glycol mix. There are tables around that show the % to use to hit a solid freeze at different temps. the restaurant trays are really easy to use and stainless.
It is a fun project.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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Second, Hollywood you da man. It's amazing what one can do with knowledge and a can do attitude. Refrigeration is not rocket science.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:56 AM   #8
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Salt is the most efficient as it displaces the least amount of water in the plate .
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Old 04-08-2014, 08:31 AM   #9
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I had a home made system on my sailboat that was installed by the previous owner.
It used anti-freeze and water solution in the cold plates. The compressor was an air conditioner compressor from a car for the engine driven part and an old refrigerator air compressor when 120V was available. The cold plates were really pretty stainless steel.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:52 PM   #10
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A diagram perhaps ?

Anyone know of a pictorial or diagram regarding the building of such a system ? I tried Googling Alan Lewis with not much result....
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:05 AM   #11
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IF I can locate the book , I will send it to you if you will pay postage , and return it after your system is operating.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:26 AM   #12
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Thanks FF, I would be happy to do that, much appreciated....
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