After my Norcold fridge bit the dust a couple of weeks ago with a freezer full of bait (whew!!
) I decided to replace it with a Nova Kool model R5810 AC/DC. I compared three models from Vitrifrigo, Isotherm and Nova Kool. All three have the Danfoss compressor and are larger than the 3.1 cu ft Norcold. The Nova Kool fit the existing cabinet cutout with minor modification and was the largest of the 3 at 5.8 cu ft. Attached below is a poorly formatted comparison list.
Here's the Norcold that died...
..and here's the cavity.
Note the wiring mess which got cleaned up and the trim piece added to the top edge. The bottom of that piece is actually another filler piece for attaching the top flange. That small 3/4 inch piece was easily removed for the NK.
Here's the new beast powered up and cooling in my garage.
Giggitoni helped my transport the NK to the marina and hoist it aboard. Thanks, Ray!!
I need 30 sq in of vent at the bottom. The 2x3 platform box got modified to remove the front and back portions with the vent holes. I left the side pieces to serve as rails to support the fridge. They are firmly attached to the deck.
I also needed a 30 sq in vent at the top of the cabinet to allow for 'chimney effect' cooling. I spoke to a NK engineer about insulation and venting. I didn't want to cut a vent into the countertop where we do so much work, but I had an area behind the stovetop in the adjacent cabinet that could accommodate a vent. He advised me that the unit comes with a 5 inch fan attached above the compressor. If vent area requirement is an issue, just cut a 4.5 inch hole into the side cabinet, extend the fan wires as needed and attach the fan so that it exhausts into the adjacent area.
He also discussed adding insulation. He mentioned that these fridges are very well insulated, but if you have the room and materials, it doesn't hurt to add more. He said the greatest advantage is gained by insulating the top and bottom. I added 1 inch styrofoam to the bottom of the countertop which sits about 1/2 inch above the top. Maybe it'll help, maybe it won't, but I figured if it keeps some ambient heat out during the hot summer months, it can't hurt.
Here's a shot of the vent in place behind the old oven/stovetop. Normally it's covered with an almond cutting board that matches the countertop, so it doesn't usually look this bad.
I attached the fan as suggested by the engineer into the top left corner of the cavity. (I thought I had a picture, but apparently it didn't take.) This fan exhausts the fridge cabinet into the adjacent oven cabinet which has a large void behind the oven box. The new vent cover allows this heat to vent behind the stovetop.
The fridge slid into place like a tight glove until the very last 1/4 inch. As seen in the image below, the top right corner wouldn't seat properly. The screws on the flange ring were interfering with the near-perfect cutout.
After a little trimming, the installation was complete. The carpet, which was apparently stained from leaking water after the failure, came home with me for a thorough cleaning.
In the past few weeks, I've
1. Replaced 6x6V golf cart house battery bank
2. Replaced start battery
3. Replaced fridge
4. Changed oil/filters on both engines
5. Changed transmission fluid
6. Installed galvanic isolator
So now we're prepared for a summer of cruising! I'll be very interested in seeing how the new house bank and low-draw fridge improve my electron budget while on the hook for extended periods.
Bring on the heat!!