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Old 11-02-2018, 10:14 PM   #41
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Moonfish and Crusty, an option you might consider is having your existing AC refer converted to DC. I just did this with my 12 cubic ft Kenmore AC power hog that was 15 years old. Sea Freeze in Bellingham converted it at a cost of about $2k. Haven't used it on these hook yet so actual power savings are unknown at this point.
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Ken,

Thanks for the tip, but we have 12VDC now and it sucks, big time. And as far as Sea Freeze is concerned, they quoted me over 4.5K and wouldn’t guarantee that it will properly cool in 85-90 degree weather. And that was just for the unit, another boat buck or more to install as they recommended the compressor be installed elsewhere. It is a nice unit, but we are looking at being in the south for the next 4-5 years. I like the Summit fridge because if it goes south on me, its an easy replace.
The “New” Norcold that we installed a year and a half ago has never worked right and we have been cruising the PNW, wife isn’t happy and I’m tired of “Expensive Marine Refrigerator” that just dont work. She allready calls me the “Power Nazi” so if the fridge works like a real fridge should, then Ill just run the Genny a bit longer to keep those Rolls batteries charged up.
Cheers Bud, but I’m going the AC route!
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:40 PM   #42
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Now if I can only figure out how to get my solar panels to charge the batteries at night. LOL
Maybe if I put a 120vt lamp on the solar panels at night to charge the batteries or dock near a street light??
Just dock near Ted's boat. There's enough reflected energy to keep your batts on a trickle charge.
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Old 11-03-2018, 05:49 AM   #43
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Excellent install, Ted. I still have my old Dometic 110/Propane unit that I simply can’t fault, but the previous owner fab’d a rather complex ventilation setup that will come in handy when I copy your project. Thanks for being so thorough about the details.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:49 PM   #44
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Excellent report, and kudos for breaking out of the mold!


With the massive improvements in home style refrigerators power consumption, available everywhere, at a cost less than many of us fill the boat fuel tank for a day's outing...


And the cheap availability of reliable inverters...



Why would anyone, in 2018, purchase that CRAP that masqueraded as refrigerators from the past?


Box store 120 AC volt refrigerator that fits down the hatch please!
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:04 PM   #45
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Great job Ted!

Those who want to copy this improvement should also note that Ted was going from the infamous Norcold AC/DC to AC domestic.

Those who have a Danfoss style DC unit will not see a savings in consumption like Ted will see.

I had a look at the owner's manual for his old Norcold,

manualslib.com/manual/1313103/Norcold-De-Ev-0041.html?page=12#manual

The Power unit is the same as the one originally in my old Norcold. I measured DC consumption at over 10 amps whenever it was running. Throwing that power unit away and putting in a Danfoss DC unit brought consumption down to 2.7 amps. The time of running didn't change, as that was determined, as Ted has pointed out, by the frequency of opening the door and the quality of the insulation.

Looks like the power unit in Ted's old Norcold is an inverter, powering the AC only compressor when on DC, which is what my fridge guy told me mine was.

I understand that some newer Norcolds have a proper DC setup, but mine and now Ted's were the old technology.

Ted, is there any way you can get an accurate measure of the total power consumption of your new setup, counting inverter use, when only the fridge is running? That would be interesting.

Ted, as my fridge is really old, the plastic door hardware has failed and I had to make replacements out of aluminum last year, but I didn't get around to fabricating a new door latch. My experience so far has been that the only direction that could cause the door to be flung open is if I was able to accelerate forward very quickly. That hasn't occurred, even though I have been out in conditions that turned me back twice, rolled so that had to re-secure my kayaks, my fridge doesn't come open without a latch and on original magnetic strips in the seal. I think yours will be OK without any latch.
Your installation is in exactly the same position in the boat as is mine.
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:45 PM   #46
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To many of us that have equipped our boats with both a solar system and an adequate battery bank, power consumption may not be important; it is not important to me. The benefits to us offered by a domestic refrigerator far out weighed what currently available marine refrigerators offer.

Those benefits that inspired us to move to a domestic refrigerator were cost, available physical size to minimize cabinetry rework, self defrost along with an interior light. A puny interior light may not be a factor to others but it was added consideration to us.

Sure, solar is claimed to have limitations during shading, clouds and rain. I have not found that to be a concern, our panels continue to provide charging current in those conditions, just not as much as provided with uninhibited sun shine. If there is illuminance which there always is during normal daytime, the panels will provide charge current.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:23 PM   #47
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..My experience so far has been that the only direction that could cause the door to be flung open is if I was able to accelerate forward very quickly. That hasn't occurred...
Yes Keith, little risk of that with our beloved trawlers.
A very informative post, thank you.
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:35 PM   #48
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Yep, our 'new to us' boat came with a brand new 10ft Hisense 120v fridge/freezer with it's own inverter! works great - cold beer and cold wine (white). And yes Al, no one lets a friend drink warm beer

And if I could post a photo , I would post a pic of our son 4 weeks after his accident - sitting on a bench (after he walked there) in front of Methodist Rehabilitation Center (Jackson, MS - wonderful facility) with his dog that came to visit. With over 20 fractures, and a TBI (traumatic brain injury), he may be released to out-patient care in a few days Chief neurologist met with him and us a week ago when he entered the rehab center and talked with our son for an hour. Then said 'before this I only looked at your CT scans, your exrays and your injury files - I fully expected to come into this room and find someone in a semi-vegatative state, instead we have just had a 60 minute coherent conversation - with your injuries this should not be possible'. And today he explained to me in detail how I can install a wifi network on our boat. He plans to be back at work within a few weeks (employer previously agreed to pay his full salary for 6 months) Yes, miracles do happen
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Old 11-06-2018, 03:33 PM   #49
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Great job Ted!

Those who want to copy this improvement should also note that Ted was going from the infamous Norcold AC/DC to AC domestic.

Those who have a Danfoss style DC unit will not see a savings in consumption like Ted will see.

I had a look at the owner's manual for his old Norcold,

manualslib.com/manual/1313103/Norcold-De-Ev-0041.html?page=12#manual

The Power unit is the same as the one originally in my old Norcold. I measured DC consumption at over 10 amps whenever it was running. Throwing that power unit away and putting in a Danfoss DC unit brought consumption down to 2.7 amps. The time of running didn't change, as that was determined, as Ted has pointed out, by the frequency of opening the door and the quality of the insulation.

Looks like the power unit in Ted's old Norcold is an inverter, powering the AC only compressor when on DC, which is what my fridge guy told me mine was.

I understand that some newer Norcolds have a proper DC setup, but mine and now Ted's were the old technology.

Ted, is there any way you can get an accurate measure of the total power consumption of your new setup, counting inverter use, when only the fridge is running? That would be interesting.

Ted, as my fridge is really old, the plastic door hardware has failed and I had to make replacements out of aluminum last year, but I didn't get around to fabricating a new door latch. My experience so far has been that the only direction that could cause the door to be flung open is if I was able to accelerate forward very quickly. That hasn't occurred, even though I have been out in conditions that turned me back twice, rolled so that had to re-secure my kayaks, my fridge doesn't come open without a latch and on original magnetic strips in the seal. I think yours will be OK without any latch.
Your installation is in exactly the same position in the boat as is mine.
Hi Keith,

We are in agreement regarding the part about my old compressor and how it's powered. Theoretically the same freezer with the Dan Foss compressor will do better on power consumption. Where I respectfully disagree with you is the insulation. IMO, the base power savings (amount of energy used to maintain temperature without opening the door) will be greater because of the insulation. If you look at the Sun Frost line, efficient compressors only get you so far. Insulation is what gets their home size refrigerator down to a half a kilowatt of energy consumption per day. Simply, Norcold's insulation sucks. If nobody ends up taking my Norcold, I'm going to dissect it to see how bad it really is.

I'm going to be on a mooring tomorrow night and out to dinner with a friend, so will see what the Victron SOC gauge measures.

Ted
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:57 AM   #50
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"Insulation is what gets their (Sun Frost) home size refrigerator down to a half a kilowatt of energy consumption per day.

The off grid folks that will pay for low power consumption are willing to have a larger box with better (expensive) insulation and a smaller interior.

Small fridge interior is not what sells for home use.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:06 AM   #51
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This discussion has centered around electrical refrigerators.
An alternative just might be a propane refrigerator.

https://www.gas-refrigerators.com/un...e-refrigerator

I am not recommending one or even considering one but, it is an alternative to electric.
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Old 11-07-2018, 08:16 AM   #52
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Per the NovaKool fridge..... Standard equipment on the American tugs
On another board, people are suggesting the addition of insulation foam board, on the sides, and increasing the air flow across the condenser coils via the installation of a 12vt fan that runs with the compressor, increasing the exhaust of the heated air via the installation ducting and of a vent out the back of the fridge cabinet.
I have yet to read a definitive statement of success but, the suggestions are headed in the right direction.

Maybe it is just me but, I would also suggest a small LED, on the front of the installation, that turns on when the compressor is running. I dont hear to well anymore and it would be easier to watch.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:35 AM   #53
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I would also suggest a small LED, on the front of the installation, that turns on when the compressor is running. I dont hear to well anymore and it would be easier to watch.

Yeah Dan, takes the fun out of life when there is no drying paint to watch
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:27 PM   #54
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Yeah Dan, takes the fun out of life when there is no drying paint to watch
LOL, I am supposed to wear 2 hearing aids. They are usually 'somewhere else' and not in my ears.

I do have an LED for my F/W pump to detect a water leak.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:22 PM   #55
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LOL, I am supposed to wear 2 hearing aids. They are usually 'somewhere else' and not in my ears.

I do have an LED for my F/W pump to detect a water leak.
Yes, I have to wear them also. Got tired of spending big bucks for Siemen Pures (~$2K/pair) on EBay. Now enjoy devices for under $100, again Ebay that perform about as good as the expensive ones. Something you may want to checkout.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:34 PM   #56
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Yes, I have to wear them also. Got tired of spending big bucks for Siemen Pures (~$2K/pair) on EBay. Now enjoy devices for under $100, again Ebay that perform about as good as the expensive ones. Something you may want to checkout.
One would think there would be a iPhone app to use in conjunction with the new wireless ear pieces.
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Old 11-07-2018, 07:22 PM   #57
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...Why would anyone, in 2018, purchase that CRAP that masqueraded as refrigerators from the past?....
Yup, this thread is a great reminder that thinking outside the box (the ice box in this case) is a great way to gain access to new technology that old traditions haven't caught up with. Hell, even the guys over at the Wooden Boat forum are talking about structural PLASTIC framing members! We've seen the same with such things as paint and caulk and nav electronics; this stuff doesn't have to be from the marine store to work well!

The fellow that owned Kingfisher before us had a modern ARB (swing compressor) unit aboard. His "new" boat, an old Monk trawler of about 50 ft, is being remodeled in a way that honors its age and heritage but incorporates such new technology. In his case, he incorporated pull-out drawers in the galley for two ARB fridge/freezers, replacing the old energy hog marine fridge that was there, gaining greatly increased capacity at a fraction of the energy expended previously.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:30 AM   #58
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WE have used propane on out FL based boat and with a proper install can say it solves 99.9% of electric consumption problems.

A now 15lb ( used to be 20lbs) bottle does 3 weeks of good hard ice cream , in silence .

The range is also propane , we carry 4 or 5 bottles and the range use is not measurable.

If new boat buyers demanded propane it would be far more common.


****


For folks with what they hope is a good reefer box that want to measure its power requirements , its easy.

Place a large 25-40 lb block of ice that has been weighed on a shelf and close the door .Wait 24 hours and weigh the block as it has now cooled down the chest.


Then close the door for 2-3 days , open and weigh again. .
Under 5 lbs of melt per day usually is OK for electric battery refrigeration.

Haven't looked it up ,but I think there is 144BTU in each pound of ice melted, so a relatively accurate method of assessing cooling demands exists.

Block ice is better than a big bag of cubes for the test.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:38 AM   #59
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The main issue with propane frigs is flame. Every RV sitting on the side of the road on fire is caused by the propane frig, or so I have been told. The whole idea of having an open flame, not monitored, gives me the shakes. Can't pull over and jump out as easily as an RV.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:52 AM   #60
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An update:

So I haven't been able to get a reasonable test through the night for power consumption of the inverter and refrigerator only. The last two nights with inverter, refrigerator, NMEA 2000 network, AIS, anchor light, microwave standby loss, laptop & cellphone chargers, and who knows what else, drew my battery back down 4% in about 7 hours. This morning, with everything sitting at idle from the previous night, I was drawing a little over 6 amps on the Victron SOC meter. Turning everything off except the inverter, refrigerator, refrigerator venilation fan, bilge pump monitoring display, and the radio memory backup circuit, I was down to around 2.75 amps. For a 900 AH battery bank, I'm extremely pleased!


More to follow....

Ted
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