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Old 05-27-2016, 11:38 AM   #1
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Nova Kool Refrigerator Installation

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!!
Attached Files
File Type: txt Fridge List.txt (805 Bytes, 29 views)
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:12 PM   #2
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Very nice. We have the similar job awaiting....the ref is cold but the freezer doesn't freeze....an old Norcold.
Hopefully we can fit a larger unit in the same space too.
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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Good work Al!
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:45 AM   #4
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IF you vent into a cabinet , that cabinet must also be vented,

Easiest is to vent to the galley floor.
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:51 PM   #5
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IF you vent into a cabinet , that cabinet must also be vented,

Easiest is to vent to the galley floor.
That's what I did. The vent is in the adjacent cabinet into which the fridge fan blows. It's best to have cool incoming air entering low and warm exhaust exiting high.
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Old 05-28-2016, 02:10 PM   #6
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Nice job Al. Now to stock it with liquid refreshments!
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:54 PM   #7
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Nice job Al. Now to stock it with liquid refreshments!
Yes, please don't be like a member of this forum (who will not be named) who has been chastised in the past for his un-stocked reefer.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:38 PM   #8
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Please don't remind me of that fateful day, David!

Naturally, that was the first thing I did after it cooled down. My bad for not getting a picture of that. I'll update next time I'm aboard.
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Old 05-28-2016, 05:44 PM   #9
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Cannot remember which one it was David.

This one?

Name:  ImageUploadedByTrawler Forum1464471721.380089.jpg
Views: 446
Size:  123.0 KB

Or this one?

Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByTrawler Forum1464471836.633819.jpg
Views:	96
Size:	128.2 KB
ID:	52464
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Old 05-28-2016, 06:53 PM   #10
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Cannot remember which one it was David.

This one?

Attachment 52463

Or this one?

Attachment 52464
The second one. But it wasn't Al's boat. And it didn't have Al or a bottle of JD in it. Just one poor li'l water bottle.

Love the T shirt match to his fashionable cap in the first one. Man's got style.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:22 PM   #11
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ROTFLMAO!

I never looked so good!!
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:28 PM   #12
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That sure was a puny fridge for such a nice boat, wasn't it David? It sure wouldn't have taken much to fill it up. No names, of course...
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Old 05-28-2016, 09:05 PM   #13
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Of course no screen names but do question the readiness of the fridge aboard Sandpiper in San Diego. Perhaps a spot inspection is in order?
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Old 05-29-2016, 12:30 AM   #14
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A while back there was a thread about improving the efficiency of a Nova Kool refrigerator. Someone mentioned putting an insulated pad on the bottom and someone else had installed a controller with interior fan tha was supposed to help. I have been looking for that thread but my search skills aren't any better than my docking skills. Anyone know which one that was?
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:48 AM   #15
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Maybe you're thinking of this thread. Replacing 8.1 cu ft Norcold Refrigerator

Windmist posts about it on Post #26.

Here's the Fridge Optimizer by Stainless Lobster.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:49 AM   #16
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Here's another thread started by Ron on the optimizer. Looks like a great product.

Fridge Optimizer
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Old 05-29-2016, 09:39 AM   #17
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Yes, please don't be like a member of this forum (who will not be named) who has been chastised in the past for his un-stocked reefer.
Very funny! I'm sure everyone got a big laugh out of it!
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Old 05-29-2016, 10:04 AM   #18
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Looks great Al! Good work!
fyi Canadian Rockies is our next hike in about six weeks! And our better halves are joining us on this one. But the boat looks more fun :-)
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Old 05-29-2016, 10:06 AM   #19
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Thanks Al!
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:24 PM   #20
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Very funny! I'm sure everyone got a big laugh out of it!
Were your ears burning, Walt?
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