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Old 03-24-2016, 12:17 PM   #1
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Fridge Optimizer

A few weeks back I mentioned on another thread that I ordered a Fridge Optimizer unit for my NovaKool to improve its performance and a few people asked me to post my observations.

Well it was a very easy installation except running the one small cable into the interior of the fridge. I ran the cable with the other wires so had to remove the sealant around the existing wires. That was the hard part. I used butyl sealant to seal the new holes I made.

This product claims to keep the fridge defrosted and that seems to work well as I never see ice buildup on the cold plate at the top of the fridge. Better performance is hard for me to attest to as we've only used the fridge for a few weekends but I came across a review of the Fridge Optimizer that goes into great detail that you may be interested in.

http://threesheetsnw.com/blog/2016/0...dge-optimizer/

Here are a few more links that may be of interest:

SLFO-ACDC-122401 Fridge Optimizer - Programmable Thermostatic Control & Monitor AC/DC

Fridge Optimizer | Stainless Lobster | Creative Marine Products

One caution I would suggest is that you look at your compressor and note the model number before ordering to be sure the Fridge Optimizer is compatible. In my case, I have a AC/DC fridge but because my NovaKool was manufactured (12/03) before a AC/DC compressor was available I initially ordered the wrong model - a AC/DC rather than a DC only model.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #2
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Good Info,
Thank you.
It will go on the list.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:12 PM   #3
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Thanks Ron for the update. Looks like it may work out pretty well.
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:56 AM   #4
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Like the features. A happy fridge usually means a happy first mate. 😎
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windmist View Post
One caution I would suggest is that you look at your compressor and note the model number before ordering to be sure the Fridge Optimizer is compatible. In my case, I have a AC/DC fridge but because my NovaKool was manufactured (12/03) before a AC/DC compressor was available I initially ordered the wrong model - a AC/DC rather than a DC only model.

??

Our AC/DC NovaKools were manufactured on or before 2002, and NovaKool told me they have DC-only compressors. (When running on AC, there's a small power supply converting AC to DC.)

Where does condensation go when the Optimizer defrosts the fridge?

-Chris
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Where does condensation go when the Optimizer defrosts the fridge?

-Chris
From link above;

Quote:
When the fridge is defrosting, what should I do with the water?
Quote:

The process of defrosting is turning the frost that has built up on the coldplate/holding plate/evaporator into water. To minimize new frost build up and to avoid wet groceries, you should remove this water. ​​If your system has a drain, we recommend leading the water to the drain so it can drip out instead of accumulating. For a closed system we recommend a placing a sponge under the evaporator. This collects the water in once place. Squeeze it out over the sink now and then to keep it absorbant.
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Old 03-25-2016, 12:51 PM   #7
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Ah. Thanks, I didn't go through all three links... should have...


-Chris
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:35 AM   #8
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The RV folks have battery powered units that operate quite a while on a couple of C cells.

About $15 or so, Seconds to install.

Shop for refrigerator battery power... on Google

Valterra Fridgecool ...
$12.10
Google Trusted StoreRV Auto P...

Deluxe Fridge Cool Fan ‑ ...
$12.55
Adventure RV...




Camco Performance ...
$14.78
Jet.com




Valterra A10‑2606 ...
$16.49
eBay




Fridge Airator
$15.39
CampingWo
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Old 03-26-2016, 09:11 AM   #9
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I have used the small RV type air mover in my fridge for years. Seems to help.
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Old 03-26-2016, 10:44 AM   #10
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Quick glance at some of the FF links.. they all seem to emphasize air circulation, even cooling, etc... but I don't see where any address the frost build-up issue. Or does air circulation do that anyway?


-Chris
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:39 PM   #11
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Love my NovaKool, but it needs to be defrosted every other month.

This Fridge Optimizer will be my next fridge efficiency mod! Its claims are to drop my NK consumption from ~65AH/day to ~20AH/day!
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Old 04-01-2017, 03:20 PM   #12
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None of those devices seem to use the variable speed capability of the Danfoss compressor installed on virtually all marine refrigerators. A fridge is most efficient when the compressor runs at the slowest speed necessary to keep up with the heat load. The Danfoss compressor has the capability of running between 2,000 and 3,500 rpm

This Merlin device is a small circuit board that plugs into the back of the Danfoss compressor and does just that: See Frigoboat, Merlin II Automatic Smart Speed Controller for Danfoss 12v

I had a previous version on my former boat. With it plugged in. the fridge would first run at about 6 amps, the maximum. After a few hours the on period would extend and the current would drop, finally settling to about 70% on and less than 3 amps as the algorithm learned what speed it takes to keep up with the heat load.

Why does this work? Well its a combination of thermodynamics and mechanics that keeps the condensor delta T at an optimum point and also relies on the lower parasitic losses as a compressor runs slower, even doing the same work.

It works and is dead simple to install, just plug in to the appropriate terminals on the back of your compressor.

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Old 04-01-2017, 06:53 PM   #13
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That's very interesting, David. I like the simplicity of the installation.

Does it have an effect on the defrosting on your unit? That's a significant reason for me wanting to upgrade...well, that and saving electrons.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
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That's very interesting, David. I like the simplicity of the installation.

Does it have an effect on the defrosting on your unit? That's a significant reason for me wanting to upgrade...well, that and saving electrons.
No, it doesn't manage defrosting. I have never understood automatic defrosting as it just seems an unnecessary luxury that uses energy when it does defrost. When I was cruising full time, I shut down the unit once a month, scraped out the frost/ice and turned it back on.

David
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:23 AM   #15
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I could learn to love auto-defrost. Maybe.

OTOH, would think it could be on a switch, so it could become optional for periods when the user decides it's too much of a hit on the energy budget.

-Chris
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:56 AM   #16
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The apparent beauty of this optimizer is that it cuts energy consumption by 1/2 to 1/3 my present ~65AH load while also providing auto-defrost operation. Almost seems too good to be true, but our late friend and OP, Windmist, installed it and confirmed to me its promised function.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:10 PM   #17
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The 3rd and 4th connectors are doubled up with the comp and fan power.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
The apparent beauty of this optimizer is that it cuts energy consumption by 1/2 to 1/3 my present ~65AH load while also providing auto-defrost operation. Almost seems too good to be true, but our late friend and OP, Windmist, installed it and confirmed to me its promised function.
How does it cut energy usage? The website says nothing meaningful about how it does it.

It is the opposite of climate change which has both a sound theoretical basis (greenhouse gasses collect in the atmosphere and hold in heat) and a sound empirical basis (measurements of those greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere and measurements of global temperature warming). So without both to support this device, I am skeptical.

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Old 04-02-2017, 12:48 PM   #19
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My Summit apartment size (8.3cu ft) came equipped with self defrost feature. Even has an interior light. And better still, it cost less than 1/2 the bucks demanded by marine refrigerator manufacturers for their products. It replaced an overrated Norcold.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:58 PM   #20
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I thought the same, David. I can't explain how it works but this guy installed one in his boat and reports 50% reduction in power
in his 5/10/16 comments here.
He appears to be very satisfied with this upgrade after months of using it and Windmist was equally pleased after installing his on his NT.
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