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Old 03-27-2015, 03:58 PM   #1
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REFRIGERATION plan B

I am no fan of killing the house batts attempting to keep the beer cold and ice cream solid , so what works for me is propane.

The new units light off when cooling is required , which might calm the fears of some.

But I remembered in the Windwards some folks (mostly multihullers with no heal) used kerosene.

This was cheap , easy to get and seemed to work for them

I took a look and Servelle is now owned bu Dometic , but indeed they make a kero unit.

Sure it is a bit of extra work installing a proper vent , but for no dead batts ever , it might be worth the effort.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-3505-domet....aspx?show=all
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:21 PM   #2
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I am no fan of killing the house batts attempting to keep the beer cold and ice cream solid , so what works for me is propane.

The new units light off when cooling is required , which might calm the fears of some.

But I remembered in the Windwards some folks (mostly multihullers with no heal) used kerosene.

This was cheap , easy to get and seemed to work for them

I took a look and Servelle is now owned bu Dometic , but indeed they make a kero unit.

Sure it is a bit of extra work installing a proper vent , but for no dead batts ever , it might be worth the effort.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-3505-domet....aspx?show=all
That's a very interesting product; never knew there was a kerosene fridge.
I have a multi fuel fridge: 12v/230vac/ propane, but I hate having propane onboard and don't like leaving it running at night time.

Does it keep things cold well?
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:51 PM   #3
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If they make a kerosene unit it seems a diesel unit would be feasible?
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:01 PM   #4
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When I was a kid many years ago some of the old timers talked about the kerosene refrigerators, this was prior to electrification of rural areas. The routine was to lit the kerosene burner for one hour usually in the am and that would regenerate the ammonia used in these early absorption type refrigerators. The one hour regen would last for 24 hours of refrigeration.
Many RV refrigerators use this same absorption cycle and the heat source is 120 VAC or 12 VDC.
Modern usage, litium bromide absorption plants on Navy vessels providing massive cooling in small packages for air-conditioning, etc.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:58 PM   #5
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I am no fan of killing the house batts attempting to keep the beer cold and ice cream solid , so what works for me is propane.

The new units light off when cooling is required , which might calm the fears of some.

But I remembered in the Windwards some folks (mostly multihullers with no heal) used kerosene.

This was cheap , easy to get and seemed to work for them

I took a look and Servelle is now owned bu Dometic , but indeed they make a kero unit.

Sure it is a bit of extra work installing a proper vent , but for no dead batts ever , it might be worth the effort.

https://www.lehmans.com/p-3505-domet....aspx?show=all


Isn't kerosene like 8 bucks a gallon?

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Old 03-27-2015, 11:56 PM   #6
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We have an off-grid house up in the sticks in VT and have 2 propane fridges. They work great, and use very little fuel.

The down side is that they are small compared to a electric fridge, they throw off a fair amount of heat, and they are very expensive to buy. Plus the propane leakage risk, and the monoxide risk if it's not burning clean.

On a boat, I personally wouldn't use one. Between the propane leakage risk, the monoxide risk, and the heat, I'd stick with electric. A few solar panels, LED lights, and some generator time will go a long way. And if you shop carefully for a good energy star rating, an electric fridge can be pretty efficient.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:57 AM   #7
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Isn't kerosene like 8 bucks a gallon?

Here inland Fl its priced about the same as regular gas , used for heat in poorer areas.

With 15 lbs of propane at $17.95 , there would be way more BTU per buck in kero than in propane.

The kero would probably be more work as the wick needs to be trimmed at times.

ALL of this style refrigeration propane or kero MUST have a proper built in vent system , similar to what is done on a RV.

No big deal, follow the plan, and the heat and any moisture from combustion leaves , just as engine or furnace exhaust do.

There is very little difference in Kero and off road (no tax) diesel pricing.

But kero is far cleaner , just ask the folks with truck heaters how they start with diesel or kero.

The point is to find a solution to cold food and a freezer , that doesn't require a few hundred DC amps to be stored or produced daily.

This kero unit is only modest size , the larger propane units have doubble doors and get HUGE!

Ali Baba sells new modest sized units for $365 , but in lots of 36 units, so it does not have to be a Dometic for almost $2K.

https://www.thenaturalhome.com/servel400k.htm for folks that want to read about the units.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:34 AM   #8
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If they make a kerosene unit it seems a diesel unit would be feasible?

Yep, wouldn't have deal with a whole different fuel type, separate tank storage, etc.

-Chris
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:13 AM   #9
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With today's very low energy 12/120 volt units equipped with a Danfoss compressor, why mess around with another way to stink up your boat by using diesel or kerosene? Or worse yet blow it up with propane.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:55 AM   #10
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My low energy Tundra w/danfoss is still my largest single daily load.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:45 AM   #11
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The absorption type refrigerators have to be fairly level to work, so that is why they are not often used on trawlers and never on sailboats, in addition to the safety concerns.

My buddy has an old CHB with a propane/120V/12V fridge. It works pretty good and uses roughly 20 lbs every couple of months. The 12V feature will only barely hold the inside temperature. There isn't enough cooling on DC to cool down warm beer added ;-). I believe that the DC wattage is a fraction of the AC wattage.

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Old 03-28-2015, 10:25 AM   #12
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After two No cold refrigerators we ordered a freezer/refrigerator from Summit Appliances that was sized to fit in the same space as the Nocold. Sadly Summit no longer sells the model FF 874 SS, it is quiet and chiils beer ice cold and stores ice cream solid. The price as I recall was about $700 and the freight company installed it in the boat. I added a 1000 watt inverter that uses the same 12 VDC plug that was there for the Nocold.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:33 AM   #13
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I would imagine $1900 would buy a whole lot of solar, batteries, and fridge!
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:10 PM   #14
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Thanks for the link FF
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:40 AM   #15
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"With today's very low energy 12/120 volt units equipped with a Danfoss compressor, why mess around with another way to stink up your boat by using diesel or kerosene? Or worse yet blow it up with propane."

With good modern DC units put in stock refrigerator boxes DC still requires at least 50A per day , and more normally close to 100AH (12v) per day.

Loads of solar helps , big sized batts help , but the energy demand is still there.

Propane or Kero might not be as "efficient" in terms of BTU required to cool, buy a month of no noise with cold food , would seem to be worth the effort.

Since solar will with ease handle the minor loads of simply living , the noisemaker would only be required for cooking if there is a huge fear of propane , or for air cond.

Perhaps if folks were willing to do what was required years ago,

BUILD a proper well insulated top loading reefer 12V might be possible to easily live with.

With a modern DC large compressor , and a modern eutetic system , going a few days of rainy weather could be done.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:24 AM   #16
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With today's very low energy 12/120 volt units equipped with a Danfoss compressor, why mess around with another way to stink up your boat by using diesel or kerosene? Or worse yet blow it up with propane.

That'd work for me, as does electric cooking, but...

Notice that Fred never calls his underway AC electricity supply system anything other than a "noisemaker."

-Chris
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:09 PM   #17
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Since we are on this subject, does anyone have any experience with the seawater cooled Danfoss compressor?

Does it save significantly or not versus air cooled?
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:47 AM   #18
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"Notice that Fred never calls his underway AC electricity supply system anything other than a "noisemaker.""

My battery powered inverter is pretty quiet.

Dockside there is NO 120 or 240 power hose , as there is only DC circuits aboard.

A single 85w solar panel keeps everything up if we stay anchored for a day or a month.

A solar shower is the requirement , if there is no boat movement to heat fresh water.

Not for everyone , but it sure cuts down on noise and maint.
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:04 AM   #19
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underway AC electricity supply system

My battery powered inverter is pretty quiet.

I was going to say "genset" -- dunno why I didn't

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Old 03-30-2015, 08:28 AM   #20
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There are claims of increased efficiency from the sea water setup , but mostly it gets rid of the heat outside the boat.

Be sure to get a unit with both air and water , as time spent on the hard is rotten time , worse with out a reefer.
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