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Old 09-25-2016, 05:18 PM   #1
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Refrigerator

I have a GB 36 with an old Grunert Cold Plate refrigeration system on my boat that is just not working well anymore. Has anyone replaced a system like this with something more reliable/less maintenance?
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:42 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryant View Post
I have a GB 36 with an old Grunert Cold Plate refrigeration system on my boat that is just not working well anymore. Has anyone replaced a system like this with something more reliable/less maintenance?
Call Cleave at Sea Frost.
He is a buddy of mine and he makes some of the most reliable "existing box" refrigeration systems known to man!
Our little Sea Frost BD system hasn't done anything but work for 11 years now and I'm sure it is nowhere near its end.
Bruce

Seafrost Home
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:17 PM   #3
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How do you know it needs replacing vs fixing? Those are pretty simple and stout systems.
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Old 09-25-2016, 06:31 PM   #4
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Refrigeration

There is one person here who does that work and he is so overbooked it is impossible to get him. I need a new system that is low maintenance.
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:05 PM   #5
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If it`s an old system a defective compressor unit is likely. They are easily replaced if necessary, as a complete unit. The rest of the system is less likely to be the culprit. The advantage of preserving a cold plate system rather than junking it for 12v/110v is, if it works as designed, refrigeration is not a load on the batteries. Mine has been maintenance free for 6 years since I had the compressor unit replaced.
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Old 09-25-2016, 07:31 PM   #6
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HiDHo--

Please respond if you didn't get my PM

Thanks

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Old 09-25-2016, 09:16 PM   #7
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Got it, Thanks Foggy.
This our Summit FF 874 SS which was a direct replacement for a NeverCold, to bad Summit doesn't offer this model anymore.
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:45 AM   #8
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The advantage of a good cold plate system is the energy storage is in the cold plate, (not batteries) which with a large enough compressor can be brought down rapidly.

Should you switch to a DC tiny system , much of the advantage of the eutetic system will be lost ,
BUT you can remove the plates , making the box interior larger.

If you do not live aboard a simple test is to not power the unit and put a large block of ice in and wait 24 hours.

Remove the ice and weigh it , then put it back and wait 24 or 48 hours , and remove it and weigh it again.

IF the ice melt was under 5lbs in 24 hours a DC system will work.

If the loss was higher a more powerful setup is required.

A modern Large AC compressor which is sealed will have a long service life , although you may need the noisemaker to power it.

How are the cold plates now operated?

Grunert was an honorable company and did not wish to violate the Adler Barbour patents.

This lead to some real kludges , which can be easily cured .
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:05 AM   #9
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The convenience of a 12 volt system is that you have multiple charging sources that you can bring to the table. Engine, generator, solar or wind can all be used individually or in combination to refill the batteries.
We have lived with both types and although the engine drive, eutectic system is in fact more powerful, the convenience of the 12 volt is the factor that we loved.
No question, we'd choose 12 volt.
Bruce
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Old 09-26-2016, 07:27 AM   #10
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When we bought our '91 GB, the compressor and other components associated with the Grunert holding plates were not on the boat. Not sure what was in process as the PO had died. We installed Sea Frost DC units in the ER for the refrigerator and freezer. Both have performed flawlessly for 9 years; we can make our own ice in the freezer. My only regret is not considering the installation of drawer style units; easier on the knees.
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Old 11-10-2016, 11:05 AM   #11
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Hi every one , I am new to this forum . Im actually a sailor but love to chat about anything to do with boats and boating .
Just thought I would chime in , I have had sea frost systems on many of my boats , they are good and I deal with them often. I actually didn't find any system out there that satisfied my needs , quite frankly they are all junk and built to a price point . Im not going to go on a rant on my first post , LOL

So I built my own system using only the best components and not to a price point .

This is the link to a a thread I started when I built the freezer , I also built my on fridge using the same technology and it is working flawlessly !

Freezer Build - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

I can answer any questions or help with ideas if anyone is stuck with what to do ?

Regards John
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:47 AM   #12
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I replaced my broken out of date nevercold with a Vitrofrigo. I have to say , I do love it. It automatically switched over from a/c to d/c and vice versa.
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:54 AM   #13
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Our Grunnert cold plate system in our sailboat was trouble-free save for the cooling water pump which is a pretty standard item. We liked the way that we could cool the box and it would then coast down (up in temperature) for 24 hours, even on a Chesapeake Bay summer's day.

The Norcold in our trawler needs to be run several times during the day.
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Old 11-11-2016, 11:46 AM   #14
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We just put in Vitrifrigo fridge and freezer drawers. For some reason the fridge drawers won't cool below 42 degrees. Any ideas? I called Vitrifrigo and they said to call a local service guy, but no one I've found has a clue.
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Old 11-11-2016, 04:37 PM   #15
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I have espoused the virtues of apartment sized fridges for years now in lieu of expensive, usually junk marine stuff. For example, my 8.3 cf Summit provides self defrost which is a great feature. The best attraction besides performance is cost, $500 delivered in my case plus another $175 for a 2KW true sinewave inverter from EBay. Yes, you need an inverter that will either power the fridge 24/7 or as in my case only when AC is not available.

Now for an awe shucks! My unit that fits almost exactly into the space where our old Norcold resided is no longer available. And many other fine apartment size fridges are also fading into memory. Personally, I believe Summit should investigate marine applications for their fine fridges and at the same time offer them with an inverter. Just my humble thoughts--

Foggy

EDIT: With today's solar options, refrigerator power consumption such as for self defrost frees up the need for both large battery banks along with expensive chargers and generators.
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:36 PM   #16
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Salserenity, looks like you have DIY refrigeration build covered, but for the less expert Nigel Calder has a book on refrigeration, including building one from scratch. My copy came from Amazon.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:46 PM   #17
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Main reason we stepped away from sail and went to power was the ability to carry weight and run decent and considerably more affordable refrigeration.
Currently running a standard 240v 500litre two door samsung fridge freezer with ice maker.
An additional 90 litre dedicated freezer
180 litre 240v HWS
All running off of solar due to abundant roof space and no sail shadow.

Living aboard for several months now on the hook, genset use has been no more than 4 hours in all that time.
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:46 PM   #18
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Having lived with both engine drive/cold plate systems and 12 volt evaporator systems in odd sized sailboat boxes, both of which worked very well, all I can say is that we can't wait for a true fridge where you can actually find things!
Vitrifrigo DW-250 is what we chose for our boat.
Can't wait!
Bruce
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Old 11-11-2016, 07:58 PM   #19
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Just built a new freezer using a Norcold swing compressor (ac/dc) which are also made by Engle.

Far superior and much less draw than the ancient technology of the Danfoss sealed compressor
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Old 11-12-2016, 03:10 AM   #20
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When the eutectic cooled system in our old boat finally died, (yes, just after I had refilled the tanks with fresh refrigerant liquid - Murphy's law again), I felt the actual fridge was so good, and so well-insulated I'd like to keep it and just convert it to 12v. I obtained a Waeco conversion pack, installed the conversion myself, and replaced all the shelves with baskets from Bunnings that slide in and out of a frame, which just fitted neatly inside. This solved Bruce's complaint about finding things was nicely. I left the newly filled tank of glycol in there, as it helps mediate the temp by doing what is is supposed to, suck up heat. It all works well. Ok, all together now, rotate heads left..! Or computer right.

I can't figure out why it does that sometimes, and I can't be bothered mucking round trying to fix it. It appears the simple solution is to not take portrait type photos on the iPhone, and do landscape only maybe..? They are the right way up in 'photos' on the computer. There is a third quite deep basket below out of sight in the pic.
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