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Old 11-15-2017, 09:37 PM   #1
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Lp fridge??

Have yet to meet anybody on a midsized livaboard that is real happy with their refrigeration freezer setup
I was happy with my $300 9.9ft fridge/freezer when in the slip, and my 60 cu ft norcold 12v dc cooler when we weren't. However! The Norcold died halfway through its warranty, then its new replacement died after the same amount of time but. the replaement didn't come with its own warranty so now its dead and i have no confidence in the local Norcold dealer because they told me it was just a cooling fan problem, replaced the fan for $135 and it still doesnt work. Worse, I no longer can afford to live in a slip zo I'm on a mooring ball. Then my vintage Westerbeke 7.7kw genset died and I'm looking at around $2000 to fix that. Not an option as a cab driver on ss... Then my $300 Home Depot ac fridge died after just 3 years.. So I'm back to buying a bag of ice everydsy if the ice machine is working. I bought a little honda 2000 generator equivalent and I did get a few bucks from FEMA to get things back in order but I'm not sure which way to go. I'd fix the norcold cooler if I thought it would stay fixed.. Considering an ewuivalent Engel but its $1200, and I'm also thinking about trying the Home Depot Magic Chef replacement version for the one I have, on size for $200. If I can keep thst one running with my little generator for less than the $2 per dat I'm spending on ice, I'll be happy with that for now. Its just me on the boat... The amp draw on the magic chef says 1.5 amp on the label which seems way low to me. Any thoughts?? My counter top ice maker also died and I miss that and want another one..
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:05 PM   #2
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Buy the Engel and never have a thought again about fridges.

I have an Engel and Waeco -both 50ltr models.
The Engel uses less power (but makes TWICE the noise - you can hear an Engel across the camping ground at night,LOL) than the Waeco.

The Engel compressor will be in operation less than 50% of the 24 hour cycle.
The Waeco compressor will run for MORE THAN 50% of the 24 cycle. (up around 65%)


The Waeco's Danfross compressor takes a lot more power to kick into action than the Engel's Sawafuji.


All I know is the Waeco uses more power and have tested this lots of times in both my truck and boat in direct sun / covered and shaded.


I don't know if the Engel has superior insulation to the Waeco or the Danfoss compressor is inferior to the Sawafuji. (I have the Engel with steel case)


Remember that most other fridges have the Danfoss compressors and only Engel has Sawafuji.


So you have a trade off - more power used or more noise created.

I don't own Engle or Waeco shares or have any interest.


P.S. around an 80watt solar panel and 100 amp/hr battery will run a 45 ltr Engel well after we all become just dust
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Old 11-15-2017, 11:27 PM   #3
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Thank you.. Probably the way I'll go!
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:30 AM   #4
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We installed a large RV unit on LUCY about 20 years ago.

The unit was purchased used and is perhaps 40-50 years old.

It is mounted upright in a weather proof box and is on out after deck.

This is so any loose propane could simply drain out the scuppers , overboard .

A propane reefer could be installed inside a pilot house , it would need a deep tray , with venting overboard.

Our antique reefer ran the loop and is still keeping ice cream hard and working well.

It eats a tank of propane every 3 weeks or so , which includes the propane range .

Traveling the bottles are simply exchanged most anywhere , but they could be taken to a refill place to save about $5.00 a refill.

Figure a max of a dollar a day , and absolute silence 24/7/365, and its a good deal compared to fueling , maintaining , wearing out and listening to and smelling a noisemaker.

IF I were purchasing a new unit , I would investigate the same unit , but with a house style construction , much better insulation , as made for the AMISH, a Servel .

Here are two concepts, The sun frost folks make big DC expensive units that are hard to get aboard, but are very efficient.

Non-electric propane gas powered refrigerator freezers

https://www.thenaturalhome.com/gasappliances.htm


Servel LP gas refrigerators have been a household name in propane refrigeration since 1925. Known for their reliability, we constantly hear of Servel LP gas ...


Off Grid Refrigeration: Solar Electric Vs Propane | Sun Frost Blog

Off Grid Refrigeration: Solar Electric Vs Propane | Sun Frost Blog


Jul 25, 2014 - Off Grid Refrigeration: Solar Electric Vs Propane ... Sun Frost manufactures high efficient electric refrigerators which are an excellent .... toilet composts all of a households organic waste; both human manure and food scraps.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:08 AM   #5
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We second Engel. Ours is on year ten, second boat. Used as fridge and back up freezer when needed. Extremely eneregy efficient, although ours is quiet. Maybe look for a used one.
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Old 11-16-2017, 08:14 AM   #6
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Here is a link to sister site with a great deal on them...

Engel fridge/freezer deal!!! - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 11-16-2017, 09:57 AM   #7
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Whilst searching the web for propane refrigerators rated for marine use, I found the following manufacturers description of their product:

Quote:
General Introduction Absorption refrigerator due to high technology of advanced scientific and technological content, although there are many hotels in heavy use, but not really specific works for the general user to understand, ammonia poured into the system,according to a certain proportion of helium and water. Refrigerant ammonia, water absorbent, helium diffudion agent. The driving force behind the movement to promoted the direct heat source refrigerant cooling cycle to achieve the purpose, the system makes use of the principle of the principle of thermal siphon cooling system continuously without any mechanical transmission case.
Think I'll pass on that one...
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:21 AM   #8
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"Think I'll pass on that one.."

Why ? the owner just hooks the LP up and loads the box, the complexities of the function hardly matter , except it requires NO electric.
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Old 11-16-2017, 10:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"Think I'll pass on that one.."

Why ?
Oh, I don't know...maybe it's because if they don't care enough to translate properly, maybe they don't care about critical design and/or manufacturing details either.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:07 AM   #10
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Thanks! I think...
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Old 11-16-2017, 12:43 PM   #11
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There are lots of propane refrigerators out there. Most rvs have them and Dometic and Norcold both make them. The big issue I see on a boat is the mounting so the guts are vented properly. The good ones aren’t cheap and they don’t drain the batteries.
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Old 11-16-2017, 01:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurrayM View Post
Whilst searching the web for propane refrigerators rated for marine use, I found the following manufacturers description of their product:



Think I'll pass on that one...
You know how many of those fridges are out there in RVs and off grid applications?

Millions and more...

I loved mine in my 5th wheel trailer...vastly superior to electric....just with boats needs to accomodate propane leaks whete RVs it isnt as scary.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
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You know how many of those fridges are out there in RVs and off grid applications?.
Sure, I get that...my point was towards a specific manufacturer.
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Old 11-16-2017, 03:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Sure, I get that...my point was towards a specific manufacturer.
Because of litetature or quality control?
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Old 11-16-2017, 06:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by psneeld View Post
Because of litetature or quality control?
Language. It suggests to me they have little presence in North America, so getting help from a service agent or ordering replacement parts might be problematic.
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Old 11-16-2017, 11:10 PM   #16
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As always, I am with FF on this one, as usual, on being a yachtwright he stands on firm ground. A propane/electric in calm waters on propane and electric underway seems a good way.

I have 3 each Engles and they are great, stay away from the plastic one, poorly insulated. 2 swing door I use as refers and a lift door for the freezer. Less than 3 amps@ 12volts when running. Still I think (suspect) the propane/electric is a better way though

Sun Frost$$$$$$. Ouch.
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:26 AM   #17
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Propane appliances in a trailer can drain their fuel leaks out the door (most of the time). A boat collects the propane in the bilge. The leak and the ignition source are only a matter of time. I didn't take the pics, but seen the aftermath several times. I think propane inside the hull is stupid. Owners install stuff and then forget it forever. The people in the car survived. Just moving the grill when the wife decided to smoke.
Some of my favorite propane users:
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Old 11-17-2017, 12:49 AM   #18
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Now I want to get rid of my propane stove!!
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:04 AM   #19
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"The big issue I see on a boat is the mounting so the guts are vented properly."

This is usually the same reason many reefer systems require excess power.

"Now I want to get rid of my propane stove!! "

Most folks simply install a sniffer that shuts off a solenoid.

I prefer the alarm setup, as the solenoid may eat an amp to be held open.

Not a big deal for a propane range , but 24AH a day defeats one of the joys of propane , no electrical requirements.

Our outside cockpit mount does not require a solenoid (tho we have one for the range) as any leak would simply flow overboard.
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Old 11-17-2017, 07:29 AM   #20
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The age old debate about propane on boat goes on. There a millions of homes with natural gas and propane. Many sit on basements that could collect the heavy gas just like a bilge. I am sure there is a picture of an exploded house that could support not having gas in a house. A properly installed and maintained system is safe.
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