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Old 11-08-2018, 12:37 PM   #61
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I just defrosted my Nova-Kool, RFU8000 12vt. Put everything back in its "place", turned on the fridge and could not detect any movement in the DC amp meter needle. SHRUG
I still want to add some insulating boards to the sides if the box and increase the airflow across the coils.

I should point out, I have 2 solar panels incase A/C goes out for a bit as it did in Irma. We were without dock power for maybe 1.5 days. I could have started the gen but, the temp was okay and I didn't want to attract the folks from the neighboring condos. LOL
Last time I sent my boat to the yard, they pointed out, they are not responsible for the food in the fridge. No problem. The solar panels kept the batteries charge and the fridge running as necessary.
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Old 11-08-2018, 01:08 PM   #62
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When I installed my NovaKool 5.8 cu ft fridge, I spoke to their engineer about adding insulation and improving ventilation. I was advised to cut a 4 inch hole into the cabinet toward the top and remount the condenser fan there to exhaust the heat from the cabinet. I also have a large full-width opening underneath for circulation.

I asked where's the most effective place to add insulation. He said that adding to the top is most effective but sides help, too. I added 2-3 inches of rigid Styrofoam to the top only since the sides had no space available.

I'm considering adding a Stainless Lobster Fridge Optimizer to improve the performance further and provide auto defrosting.



Here's a link to an earlier discussion on this modification by TF friend, Windmist (RIP).

Fridge Optimizer
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:16 PM   #63
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I am not sure I want the fridge to auto defrost if I am not around.
There is no drain inside the box.

It really doesn't take long to defrost, with a hair dryer. The time consuming part is removing and putting the stuff back into the fridge.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:37 PM   #64
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A little background:

I had a Norcold DE/EV 0061 7.0 cuft AC/DC refrigerator. The gasket on the freezer door didn't seal completely necessitating that I defrost it every one to two weeks. The gasket isn't sold separately, but you can buy the whole door assembly for a princely sum. I had my suspicion that it was an energy hog, but never did an extensive consumption test. This is an older unit, and I'm led to believe the newer ones have Danfoss compressors, are more efficient. Also, I felt that if there were 4 of us cruising, the size was a little small.

So I started looking at other marine / RV refrigerators. They start around $1,500 for similar size and go up from there. No information is available for how good the insulation is or real power consumption numbers such as the standard USA Energyguide. Simply, you spend a lot of money and hope the salesman / brochure aren't lying too much.

Decided it was time to start looking at alternatives. There are quite a number of apartment refrigerators that start around $350 and have the USA Energyguide, so you have some idea of how efficient they are. While doing my research, I found that some units are FROST FREE.

Going with an apartment refrigerator adds several hurdles. Most RV / marine refrigerators front surface mount and are less than 24" wide. Most apartment refrigerators are free standing and are 24" wide or greater. Almost none of the apartment refrigerators are designed to be built into a cabinet. Then there is the power supply issue. Didn't find any apartment refrigerators that used 12 volts DC. Last issue is locking doors. Apparently apartment refrigerators aren't subject to pitching and rolling. Pulling out the Norcold and replacing it with an apartment unit wasn't going to be plug and play.

You probably guessed by the title of the thread that I found one and made it work, and you would be right. Did a lot of research and made a ridiculous amount of measurements. Looked at lots of units, formulated remodeling plans, and then started all over again. Here's what I bought:

Summit Appliances FF1119B

It's a 10.0 cuft FROST FREE refrigerator with a "Most Efficient" energy rating for 2017. Now the fun starts. Put a 10 cuft refrigerator in the same place where a 7 cuft unit was.

Here are the only 2 pics I have that show the Norcold. Notice the drawer underneath the fridge, about worthless.

Attachment 82440

Attachment 82441

Removal was pretty easy as I'd had it out during my refit project. Too get the new one in, the drawer had to go. New rails to set the unit on had to be fabricated (cut and mounted some 2 X 4s).The trickier part was cutting 3/8"+ off the teak trim on the left side of the cabinet and peeling some laminant off the inside to make it wide enough.

Attachment 82442

Attachment 82443

In this last pic you can see the Starboard stops at the end of the rails that limit backward travel. Also, you can see the airflow path in the front. Air goes under an original wood piece in the front, up over the bottom of the cabinet, between the rails, under the refrigerator and compressor, and then up the back across the condenser. Using rails instead of a solid piece of plywood was critical for airflow and cooling.

Attachment 82444

Next part is cooling a unit that isn't designed to be built in. The manufacturer is emphatic that this unit can't be built in! I like a challenge! Above the back of the refrigerator is the seat back in the pilothouse. An air conditioner vents through a slotted board atop the back of the seat. I opened the slots up for the AC and put a divider in so I could use some of the slots to vent the refrigerator.

Attachment 82445

In the space below the slotted board, I bored a hole to mount a 4"+ fan to provide ventilation.

AC Infinity Fan

This fan is very quiet (18 dBA) and uses 1.6 watts of electricity.

Attachment 82446

End of 1st post. I need to get to bed as I'm getting underway at 7am tomorrow, moving my trawler to FL. Will try to post the second half tomorrow evening.


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Old 11-09-2018, 05:15 PM   #65
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Thank you for this wonderful and informative post. I have a 1983 Kenmore (Sears) 12.1 cu.ft. refrigerator freezer to replace. So far I have found nothing to slip in. But, I am not giving up. I do have a height limitation which is solid.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:04 AM   #66
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Ted
First - thank you for the post and detailed info. Very nice write-up. Second - what accessories do you typically run/operate while on inverter power? We run a 42' Chris Craft (I know, not a Trawler - don't hate). Similar galley set-up, a few lights, stereo, coffee in the a.m. and that's about it. I don't have an inverter, current battery bank is insufficient for any of that, so we run the generator full time while away from the dock.

Just wondering what is dependent on your 120v system that is satisfied by the 900ah battery bank.

Thanks and travel safely.

Mike
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:05 AM   #67
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"insufficient" is a variable. How many amps is your house battery bank and do you have room to expand it? Or perhaps, add a couple of solar panels?

I have an electric stove 120vt so I either use shore power or run the generator.
My 1500 watt inverter will support my microwave. I can switch the inverter over to support a couple if 120vt outlets. Via load management, you can support a number of things ie coffee pot. Just keep an eye on the house battery amp meter.
Of course, you cannot hope to support the hot water heater. LOL
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:07 AM   #68
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Ted
First - thank you for the post and detailed info. Very nice write-up. Second - what accessories do you typically run/operate while on inverter power? We run a 42' Chris Craft (I know, not a Trawler - don't hate). Similar galley set-up, a few lights, stereo, coffee in the a.m. and that's about it. I don't have an inverter, current battery bank is insufficient for any of that, so we run the generator full time while away from the dock.

Just wondering what is dependent on your 120v system that is satisfied by the 900ah battery bank.

Thanks and travel safely.

Mike
Hi Mike,
Welcome to the forum!
What you run or can run is dependent on bank size and how many amps you can produce underway or through solar and wind at anchor. Normally I have rhe refrigerator, microwave, a PC, laptop charging, bow thruster battery charger, coffee maker, and a couple of other small electronic devices. Less frequently I use, crockpot, rice cooker, electric blanket, vacuum cleaner, heat gun (for heat shrink material), TV, electric drill, and a Dremel tool.

If I wanted to do some more wiring and or add another inverter, I could run the following underway because of my 220 amp alternator: washer dryer, stove, pilot house air conditioner, and water heater. Between the alternator and the inverter underway, I basically have a 3KW generator. It's really about how much effort you want to go to for that power. Recently met an infrequent TF member with a large solar array, twin engines and 1300+ AH battery bank. While underway or ar anchor in the Bahamas, they use the stove through the inverter and also make hot water with it. Lots of possibilities, depending on what you want to do.

Ted
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:39 AM   #69
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Very impressive research and execution!
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:27 PM   #70
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Ted, curious what you draw (amps) with just the fridge, fan and inverter on. My 12v danfoss unit draws about 3.5a while running.

I’d consider going apartment size if it’s anything close to that.
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Old 11-10-2018, 04:53 PM   #71
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Screaming....bear in mind that you need to also look at cycle times, not amp draw alone. So for example, a 12v Danfoss drawing 3.5A with a 50% cycle (typical) is no worse than a 7.5A draw under a typical 25% residential fridge cycle.
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Old 11-10-2018, 05:27 PM   #72
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Ted, curious what you draw (amps) with just the fridge, fan and inverter on. My 12v danfoss unit draws about 3.5a while running.

Id consider going apartment size if its anything close to that.
It looks like the draw for the inverter, refrigerator, and fan is around 11 amps. As mentioned by Aquabelle cycle times are shorter. One of the features I really like about the unit is the larger compressor. When adding warm items to the refrigerator or freezer, the compressor capacity and internal fans have the ability to cool them off in a very reasonable time period. While the smaller compressors seem efficient, it takes a looong time to cool off a new load of groceries.

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Old 11-10-2018, 10:24 PM   #73
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The Summitt site lists that model as drawing 1.6 amps at 115 vac, or 184 watts. That would be 15.3 amps @ 12 vdc. A Vitrifrigo 8.1 cu in marine refrigerator is listed at 65 watts or 5.4 amps @ 12 vdc. Assuming a 20 minute run time per hour for each unit @ 12 vdc the Vitrifrigo would use 43 ah, the Summitt 122 ah over 24 hours. If the Summitt ran for 15 minutes per hour it would use 92 ah. Of course, the Summitt is appreciably larger and half the purchase price, but based on the manufacturers specs it doesn't appear to be as efficient as a marine model.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:23 AM   #74
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The Summitt site lists that model as drawing 1.6 amps at 115 vac, or 184 watts. That would be 15.3 amps @ 12 vdc. A Vitrifrigo 8.1 cu in marine refrigerator is listed at 65 watts or 5.4 amps @ 12 vdc. Assuming a 20 minute run time per hour for each unit @ 12 vdc the Vitrifrigo would use 43 ah, the Summitt 122 ah over 24 hours. If the Summitt ran for 15 minutes per hour it would use 92 ah. Of course, the Summitt is appreciably larger and half the purchase price, but based on the manufacturers specs it doesn't appear to be as efficient as a marine model.
First, that's not the running amperage, that's the maximum possible amperage or even the amperage draw on the defrost cycle. Secondly, how could you possibly assume the same duty cycle or run time without comparing size, insulation, and BTU rating of the compressor? Why don't you call up Vitrifrigo and ask them for their federal Energyguide annual power consumption sheet so you can compare it to the one posted in this thread for the Summit refrigerator?

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Old 11-11-2018, 11:16 PM   #75
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Thanks, for getting those numbers. I can appreciate that the run time will be lower.
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Old 11-11-2018, 11:58 PM   #76
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Not for those of us that turn off our inverters when anchored for the night.
Have not read all the posts, however, onboard after the last meal of the day, we shut off the fridge after the last meal for the night and limit (No) entry. It will carry over till morning gen set startup or engine start up. While we have a 1800 Watt inverter, we just have conditioned ourselves to limited use of it.

Same here at home, when a occasional power outage occurs, we limit our opening and closing of the fridge. Contents will remain cool and freezer will hold for a good day plus. (We have a 2000 Honda standby which we employ during daylight hours when the power demand on the Honda is weak) We cycle the freezers and the fridge during the day as stated.
As our mean ambient temperature is around 45 degrees F. our solution may not fit your folks in the warmer climes.
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Old 11-12-2018, 12:03 AM   #77
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Al, if I lived where it was 45* avg, I'd just roll my fridge outside!

EDIT: We don't have bears here.
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Old 11-12-2018, 09:27 AM   #78
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Although defrost? How much power does that use?
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Old 11-12-2018, 01:28 PM   #79
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Although defrost? How much power does that use?
The refrigerator is frost free. The power consumption of the frost free feature is included by federal law in the Energyguide label.

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Old 11-12-2018, 03:33 PM   #80
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Not for those of us that turn off our inverters when anchored for the night.
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Get a better inverter....mine uses 0.7A/hour in standby mode overnight.
I have no idea what ours draws and don't really care but our Victron 5000 inverter charger has run 24/7 for over two years at anchor.

It continually runs the 240v 550L/19cf fridge/freezer, 2 x 120L/4.5cf bar fridge and 1 x 100L/3.5cf deep freezer.
Plus intermittent use of 40 inch TV, PC, pumps lights etc
Batteries are at 85% SOC at 6am

This time of year our 2250w of solar has our 800ah @ 24v bank at 100% by 10am
Flick on the 240v hot water system and its done by midday, most of the time with +amps coming in while running.
Genset usage is rare.

Add: some days are better.
6:30am now and batteries are at 92% with 35 amps coming in.
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