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Old 06-27-2015, 08:11 AM   #1
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Refrigerator/Freezer

We are starting to think about replacing the refrigerator/freezer on Tuscan Sun. I have recommendations from the Krogen Cruisers forum of Vitrofrigo and Isotherm. Does anyone have thoughts about those two makes and/or other recommendations?

Thanks, Mike


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Old 06-27-2015, 08:13 AM   #2
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So far we are very pleased with out Vitrofrigo. The drop in battery use was amazing. Going on close to a year with no problems.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:23 AM   #3
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Just waiting fir my Nova Kool fridge to be delivered. I'll let you know by the end of the summer.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:04 AM   #4
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I'm on my fifth season with a Vitrifrigo drawer refrigerator/freezer. It works well. I had a Frigoboat system on my previous boat and had coolant leakage and hardware (door handle) issues.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:08 AM   #5
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I think Vitrofrigo and Isotherm are out of the same stable. In any event, I have used and very much like both. Of course, if you could accommodate a domestic 110AC model, this would be even better as they are more efficient (even after allowing for inverter losses) and their production volumes mean they are much cheaper per cu.ft refrigerated volume.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:13 AM   #6
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We have NovaKool, 13 years old, still working as new. (knock wood)


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Old 06-27-2015, 10:39 AM   #7
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Live aboard here. I have three Engles. 2 swung door and one top loader. Top loader in a roll out drawer. 2.5 amps each @12 volts. No complaints. Stay away from their plastic top loader. Not insulated well. I got rid of it.
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Old 06-27-2015, 01:03 PM   #8
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About six months ago I removed a Norcold and installed a Summit 110v only fridge. The storage space was almost doubled(some installation modification was required), it's extremely quiet and was about half the cost of a dual voltage refer.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:04 PM   #9
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I am not sure how you figure a 110v volt Refer uses less current. The Summit, on their website states that their 18 cu ft model draws 1.5 amps @ 120 volts. Convert that to watts. 120x1.5= 180 watts. Convert that to 12volt amps.
180/12= 15 amps, compensate for inversion and resistance losses at 10% you are at 16.5 amps at 12volts. Modern 12volt units run at about 1/2 that.

For instance. The Tundra 8.5 cu foot unit with Danfoss compressor, the normal marine standard pulls 4.5 amps@ 12 volts running. 2 would be the same capacity as the big Summit. 9amps vs 16.5.

Another consideration is how much of the time does it have to run. I have no idea, but when they are running my numbers are good.

A home refer may be the ticket for your boating style but there are vast differences in amps drawn while running.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:52 PM   #10
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We switched from two 110v Subzero units going through 400 amps (DC) per day (powered by inverter) to two Isotherm AC/ DC units burning less than 200 amps per day. These were actual measured numbers. Insulation and efficiency on the Isotherm is much better than the Subzeros.
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Old 06-27-2015, 10:07 PM   #11
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Mule,

I have only anecdotal info to contribute regarding this topic but I suspect the efficiencies gained between my 25 year old Norcold and the new Summit might be at play. Also, I'm sure the Summit is better insulated. I can say for certain the Summit compressor runs less often and for less time . Exactly how much less, or more, amps the Summit consumes doesn't really matter too much to me as I'm not on the hook awfully long and if need be I can run the genny. The larger space coupled with the increased performance( more even temp throughout) makes it worth it for me. The refer I have is here: FF1112BL | Summit Appliance
And the specs indicate 1.6 amps.
YMMV
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Old 06-27-2015, 11:30 PM   #12
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Interestingly, the modern compressors run almost consistently but are variable speed. This cuts the consumption as the motors do not need the large current inrush to start the motors each time, so their overall consumption is lower.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:01 AM   #13
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"Also, I'm sure the Summit is better insulated,"

Perhaps but most reefer mfg seem to use better insulation to be thinner allowing the inside to be advertised as larger.

Sun Frost is one exception that has good THICK insulation.

Get a unit that has the air blowing out under the unit into the cabin.

And if there is room add (glue on) as much insulation on the top and sides to extend battery life.
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:29 AM   #14
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Mike: On our KK42, we had a custom unit made by Sea Freeze, Bellingham WA. They've done several KK42's so there is some history. Not cheap but we have left Hobo unattended for 5 days with the refrigerator/freezer on and the battery bank was just 50% depleted. They've pretty much run continuously since 2007 with out a hick-up. Selene was offering their systems as an option vs 110 volt units. No connection. Just a happy customer.

Sea Freeze of America
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Old 06-28-2015, 08:48 AM   #15
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On our third year with Vitrifigo two drawer unit. Wife could not be more pleased. Easy access. Good capacity for the size. Very quiet. Efficient. Two 140W solar panels are sufficient to run it 24/7 and keep the house bank topped up. And it looks nice.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:00 AM   #16
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I looked up sun frost. VERY impressed. Without VERY MAJOR boat surgery their models would not work for me. They are all 34.5 in wide. Without downsizing a boat window, reconfiguring the sink and stove no way. Sure do like them though.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:37 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Gandee View Post
Mule,

I have only anecdotal info to contribute regarding this topic but I suspect the efficiencies gained between my 25 year old Norcold and the new Summit might be at play. Also, I'm sure the Summit is better insulated. I can say for certain the Summit compressor runs less often and for less time . Exactly how much less, or more, amps the Summit consumes doesn't really matter too much to me as I'm not on the hook awfully long and if need be I can run the genny. The larger space coupled with the increased performance( more even temp throughout) makes it worth it for me. The refer I have is here: FF1112BL | Summit Appliance
And the specs indicate 1.6 amps.
YMMV
A 110 unit is very often the most suitable unit for for one's boating style. The sun frost units FF referred to are in the $3500 range. Ouch, but the best of all worlds.

Your 1.6 running amp draw @120V is a major concern after inversion to 12V which is 16 amps +10% is 17.6. if you are not on the grid w/o running the generator, underway or have a robust passive charging system. If you are at the dock or running the main or happy running your generator and seldom stay extended on the hook then not so much.

I have 1125 amps of battery amp stowage, usable 1/2 of that 560 so I would be good for 30 hours before going below the danger 50%. With 735 amps of solar, 30amps of wind charging; the fact is I should have put in a 120v ac unit. This robust system came with the boat.

Most of all, the most important aspect of this conversation is to know your system and its strengths and limitations. In your case an auto start module for the genset that will start it up when your bank hits a predetermined state of discharge might be a consideration.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:37 AM   #18
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I have 2 Summit 3 drawer fridges on my sporty. They are adequate. Rust on the roller rails is a problem. They are expensive for what you get.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:38 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by dwhatty View Post
On our third year with Vitrifigo two drawer unit. Wife could not be more pleased. Easy access. Good capacity for the size. Very quiet. Efficient. Two 140W solar panels are sufficient to run it 24/7 and keep the house bank topped up. And it looks nice.
....and it looks nice? Hell, man, it looks great! I saw a similar unit(s) on an Ocean Alexander 42 and my wife loved them!

I now have a NorCold AC/DC that is 9 years old and am holding my breath to see how long it will last.
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:38 PM   #20
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I now have a NorCold AC/DC that is 9 years old and am holding my breath to see how long it will last.
Flywright and I should come to inspect it to ascertain whether it is better stocked than your previous Norcold. Those Norcolds are more efficient when kept full of the proper liquids.
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