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Old 11-11-2013, 12:38 AM   #41
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But that costs about $1500 for the new fridge
Come on, they arent that much in Australia and this is pretty close to being the most expensive country on the planet

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plus another $500 for removal of the old unit and installation of the new.
Pulls out plug, plugs back in? Or maybe you have it built in with fancy timber-work surrounds?
Mine certainly wont be - easy change out.

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But the only semi-flat horizontal surface I have for the array is the top of the lower salon
Looks at roof of flybridge



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How the hell do you get a 1,250 lb battery out of the boat? I'm assuming it comes out in pieces.
Like most if not all battery banks.

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Old 11-11-2013, 06:26 AM   #42
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IF you are on a budget the best solution might be the old sail cruisers solution.

Build a BIG well insulated ( 6 inches of the best) top opening fridge freezer and install an engine driven compressor with huge eutetic plates.These are just a welded tank with brine inside .

Assuming you move every second or 3rd day no noisemaker or anything else will be required.

Used to be very common for distance cruisers that required independance.
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Old 11-11-2013, 06:50 AM   #43
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IF you are on a budget the best solution might be the old sail cruisers solution.

Build a BIG well insulated ( 6 inches of the best) top opening fridge freezer and install an engine driven compressor with huge eutetic plates.These are just a welded tank with brine inside .
Read the bit I posted earlier about marine refrigeration causing problems and not wanting a built in unit for ease of swapover.
I have seen many many many eutectic systems binned over the years due to failure and I have been to many BBQ's where we have feasted on a eutectic owners rapidly defrosting supplies.

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IF you are on a budget
I am not on a budget, but I do want value for money.
$25 to $30,000 for 300 litres of refrigeration and a generator does not look like value for money when compared to a 3rd of that for an efficient 240volt fridge ,solar and battery bank
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:22 AM   #44
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[QUOTE=Parmenter;190869


I am not on a budget, but I do want value for money.
$25 to $30,000 for 300 litres of refrigeration and a generator does not look like value for money when compared to a 3rd of that for an efficient 240volt fridge ,solar and battery bank[/QUOTE]

Are the costs that much higher in Australia than North America? At the Annapolis boat show there were several vendors offering diesel generators for $7,000/$8,000 US (6-8kw). Installation couldn't be more than $10,000, likely less.

Marty
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:50 AM   #45
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Pete,

I'm not sure why you take my posts as suggestions for you. All my comments are directed to Parmenter who has expressed an interest in avoiding installation of a generator. In other words, he is looking for an alternative solution to keeping the fridge cold. The fridge is typically the largest continual draw on a boat's electrical resources (short of air conditioning, which almost demands a generator away from the dock - almost...).

I'm sure you have no intention of spending thousands of dollars to rework a system on your boat that works perfectly. I wouldn't either. But, I feel much of what you have suggested is a bit off the mark - and a bit disrespectful?

Building a Lithium battery is no more a "hobby" than installing a diesel generator could be called a hobby. It is a part of boating (which actually IS a "hobby") and every bit as productive and viable as navigating, installing a radar, replacing an aging fridge, etc.

Solar plus Lithium does not need to cost more than a diesel generator installation. You do NOT need "unlimited money" any more than you need "unlimited money" to go yachting in the first place. Each of us has a budget and finds a way to get out on the water within that budget.

Here's a quick budget:

1. 1,000 watts solar panel - $1,000.
2. 4,000 AH lithium LiFePo cells - $4,400. (Enough for a 12v/1,000 AH battery)
3. 2,500 W Pure Sine Wave inverter - $1,500.
4. 60 A solar controller/charger $500.
5. Battery Management System $700.
6. Shore power charger $600.
7. Misc bits and pieces $500.

Total $9,200.

This is "real" money, but less than a diesel generator installation. It can be scaled up or down, depending on desired use and budget. Battery weight about 315# (could be made of 4 each 1,000 AH cells or multiples of smaller cells). My battery is 16 each, 1,000 AH cells, each weighing less than 80#, not an impossible task to handle. Building a battery is not dissimilar to using 6v golf cart batteries to build a 12v or 24 v battery, something many here do as a matter of course, not as a "hobby."

A 1,000 AH battery will keep a 50w fridge cool for a week or more w/o ANY sun replacing energy into the battery. If one is confident in the amount of sun charging available, then the battery could be sized smaller.

If one already has an inverter/charger that works OK, then one need not replace. LI batteries are very tolerant to charging, needing only on/off. The battery management system can be wired to disconnect the inverter should any cell get of spec and also, disconnect the charger, should any cell get out of spec. If purchasing a new inverter and a new charger, then chose units that can communicate with the BMS (battery management system) and either throttle up/down or turn on/off as necessary.

Pete, I feel the need to reiterate, I am NOT trying to convert you nor give you advice - as an old salt (who prefers Bowditch to "cute" iPhone apps), you have the experience and knowledge to discuss intelligently electrical issues that pertain to daily use, battery size and generator use. Respectfully, without knowing you better, I make the assumption you don't have the same experience with solar and Li-Ion batteries? If so, I stand corrected.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:18 AM   #46
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Photos of Sunshine's Battery

Here is a photo of Sunshine's 48v/16 cell/1,000 AH battery - wires lead to the BMS (battery management system). The BMS has a remote panel (photo also attached) that:
1. Turns the battery on/off with a key switch
2. Displays battery status - % of charge - highest and lowest cell charge - highest and lowest cell temp - BMS temp - rate of charge/discharge - total AH - total voltage.
3. Allows for manual on/off of charging devices (solar and shore charger)
4. Allows for manual on/off of loads (inverters and DC/DC power supplies)
5. Automatically turns off charging devices should cell(s) be out of spec
6. Automatically turns off loads should cell(s) be out of spec
7. Automatically turns off battery if after turning off charge and/or load any cell(s) remains out of spec.

The battery is located under the master queen berth. The BMS, at the helm.

For a 1,000 AH/12v battery, only 4 of these cells are used.

There are Li-Ion batteries being marketed ready-to-use, in cases similar in size to GRP 31 or 8D with built-in BMS - essentially as easy to use as a standard AGM battery. They tend to be more costly per AH and less versatile, but a lot less intimidating.

One last thing, if you intend to use the battery a lot, the cost of ownership for lithium is LESS than AGM due to the extreme number of cycles.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:53 PM   #47
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Hi Reuben,

I rechecked my price on the side by side refrigerator/freezer. Home Depot has units of about the same size as my old fridge for prices ranging from about $900 to $1850. I picked one with the features my old fridge had and it came out close to $1500.

The cost of removing and replacing the fridge is high because the old fridge has to be disassembled to get it up the 24” wide companionway between the lower and upper salon. Once in the upper salon one of the rear windows has to be knocked out to get the fridge out of the upper salon. Once on the aft deck a fork lift picks it up and places it on the back of a pickup truck. The new fridge must then be partially disassembled, put on the forklift and placed in the upper salon. Then, three men and a boy, carefully maneuver the fridge through the 24” wide companionway into the lower salon and then into the galley where it is reassembled, hooked up (water and electricity) and slid into its niche. Finally damage to the companionway trim is repaired and a new window is installed in the upper salon. I think $500 is a conservative estimate. Yard labor starts at about $80 an hour. Not sure what the fork lift costs.

The flybridge has no roof. That’s a canvas bimini top with a radar arch.

Yes, as I thought, the battery bank comes out in pieces. But even in pieces there isn’t room for a 1200 lb. battery in my bilge. I can barely get the four 8Ds (600 lbs.) I am presently using in. To be fair, however, I’m not sure (based on your pictures) how big the Lithium battery bank is. If it is smaller than the current 4 8Ds I could trash them when they go bad and replace them with lithium batteries. But that probably won’t happen for at least 5 years. And also the lithium batteries hey would have to be somewhere near the same cost as my present batteries(about $0.80 per AH).

Building a Lithium battery is a hobby only because I have no use for one. If you need one it’s not a hobby. However, you are correct when you say I have no experience in Lithium batteries. But I do have some experience in designing solar arrays for satellites.

BTW, small diesel gennies start at about $4,000. With installation figure $5,000. That’s a lot less than $9,200.

Hi FF,
As I said to Reuben, my Connie’s bilge is already chock full of permanently installed stuff (like 7,000 lbs. of engines, 1000 lbs. of generator, 600 lbs. of batteries, battery chargers, 200 gallons of fuel tanks, etc., etc., etc.) There’s no room for anything new that’s described as “BIG”. However, I am interested in a refrigeration system using eutectic plates but I’m not sure where I could put it.

Hi All,
Many of you must have very poorly installed generators because you refer to them as noisemakers. My noisemaker (genny) is in a hush cover and the hush cover is installed in a sound insulated generator room. About all you can hear is the slight noise of water gushing out of the exhaust pipe.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:32 PM   #48
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Hi Reuben,

I'm interested in the eutectic plate refrigeration system because it seems more efficient than an ordinary refrigerator. Do you have any reference on their construction and does anyone make an "off the shelf" model?

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Old 11-11-2013, 03:14 PM   #49
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Hi All,

I stumbled upon an old post by Klaus (Tinker/Guru) posted on 21 Jan 2013 talking about solar powered eutectic refrigerators. He has one on his sailboat. He references a company in Australia named "Autofridge" that makes them.
He says they work but only to a limited degree. Go to www.autofridge.com.au for further info.

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Old 11-11-2013, 05:08 PM   #50
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Reuben: Assuming that one or more cells might fall out of spec before others do, or perhaps there may be a defect of some kind causing the cell to loose its potential, what does/can the system do to account for it, assuming that each of the cells wired together contribute toward a voltage and amperage expectation programed into the BMS.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:44 PM   #51
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Are the costs that much higher in Australia than North America? At the Annapolis boat show there were several vendors offering diesel generators for $7,000/$8,000 US (6-8kw). Installation couldn't be more than $10,000, likely less.

Marty
The quotes I was getting in a few months back were $15,000 for 8kva PLUS fitting PLUS daily fuel usage.
That was a Kubota based model from a smaller local manufacturer who I have used before when buying diesels.
I would hate to think what the price would be if I priced a Cummins/Onan , Westerbeake, Fisher Panda etc

Sure buys a lot of panels.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:49 PM   #52
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Here's a quick budget:

1. 1,000 watts solar panel - $1,000.
2. 4,000 AH lithium LiFePo cells - $4,400. (Enough for a 12v/1,000 AH battery)
3. 2,500 W Pure Sine Wave inverter - $1,500.
4. 60 A solar controller/charger $500.
5. Battery Management System $700.
6. Shore power charger $600.
7. Misc bits and pieces $500.

Total $9,200.

This is "real" money, but less than a diesel generator installation.

A 1,000 AH battery will keep a 50w fridge cool for a week or more w/o ANY sun replacing energy into the battery. If one is confident in the amount of sun charging available, then the battery could be sized smaller.
Thank you kindly for that
Unfortunately it'll probably cost me double or more than that in Australlia , I may have to look at buying from the states and freighting it in myself for a massive saving.

Was there a supplier in particular you used that I should contact for pricing?
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #53
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Is it fair to add genset install costs and not some many piece, difficult to engineer solar system?

Where I come form...the genset would be cheaper if adding in both systems install costs...and if DIY..the typical 5KW genset still comes in below the prices being thrown around.

The absolute cheapest way to keep a boat self sufficient is with around 400 amp hrs of golf cart batteries a decent charger and a 1000 watt ($700) Honda generator.

Jump to $899 for the 2000 watt Honda and it will run most microwaves, single air conditioners, etc..etc..

perfect silence? neither is nature.....
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #54
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The absolute cheapest way to keep a boat self sufficient is with around 400 amp hrs of golf cart batteries a decent charger and a 1000 watt ($700) Honda generator. perfect silence? neither is nature.....
I've got a 4.5 Northern Lights Diesel Genset, two 85 watt solar panels and two 8D wet cells for the house. With a propane fridge, I guess that's about as cheap as you can get for on-the-hook power storage. But my Admiral finds genset vibration obtrusive in an otherwise beautiful anchorage. My problem is that she won't become silent about it till the genset does, and I want her to have her way.

One day she asked me to explain how the solar panel system would work, and I told her about the flow of electrons, and the wiring, then the controller, and the charge to the batteries which powered the various items on the boat. Then she said, explain to me how the generator would do the same thing. So I told her about the fuel and the air and the compression in the cylinders that delivered the power to a crankshaft, all of which was being lubricated by oil under pressure by a pump and then cooled from the sea water that was pulled in by another pump and flowed through a hole in the boat to a strainer and then through a heat exchanger and then the exhaust and back out of the boat and that turns a dynamo that is wound with coils of copper........., and about that time I abandoned the explanation and said, "OK, let's go with the Solar".
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:08 PM   #55
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Is it fair to add genset install costs and not some many piece, difficult to engineer solar system?
Ok, so still $15k plus fuel usage

Quote:
1000 watt ($700) Honda generator.
$1350 here

Quote:
Jump to $899 for the 2000 watt Honda
$1700 here

And they say this is the lucky country
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:23 AM   #56
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>I am not on a budget, but I do want value for money.<

Any house fridge with a couple of gal of water in the freezer and a 2KW Honda gas noisemaker will be the easiest .

After 2000 hours , but a new Honda.

Although the RV propane fridge would still be first choice with gas consumption of 20# a month , even if propane refill is $100 in Aus it would be most reliable and by far the easiest to live with.
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Old 11-12-2013, 06:35 AM   #57
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Ok, so still $15k plus fuel usage

$1350 here

$1700 here

And they say this is the lucky country
OK...now list the costs of a 1000 watt solar array down to the last bits of wiring, wire run mounting clips and screws...etc...etc..

In down under prices. I think opinion is driving prices and not reality in this discussion.

And I have no horse in the game...I don't care how my batts get topped off.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:30 AM   #58
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Pete - in the space now occupied by your 4 each 8Ds you could fit 8 each 1,000 AH LI cells for a total of 2,000 AH at 12v - at today's prices, the cells would cost about $8,800. Check Balqon Electric Vehicle Manufacturer for more info (sizes, prices, etc.). This is more than 2x the capacity of your current 8Ds.

Regarding plate refrigeration - I have no knowledge of "household" type unit using this technology - only custom boxes (way more expensive than store-bought fridges). I do, however, have experience using holdover plates - I had a 40' Penbo trawler with a 4-53 DD with a clutched compressor belted to the engine. The clutch had an on/off switch. The plate was mounted in a top-loading freezer with holes near the top opening into the refrigerator portion - the hole opening was controlled by a sliding piece of lucite. There was a temp gauge in the freezer. Also, in parallel, a 110v compressor. To control the temperature, the user (me) had to monitor the temp and turn the compressor on/off as needed. It worked fine, requiring about 1 hour/day. I would never want to go back to this technology!

Regarding your old fridge - have you thought of using a chain saw to disassemble rather than tearing your boat apart?

Regarding your Bimini top on the bridge - Solbian makes lightweight, flexible (within reason) panels using Sun Power cells (the best) that can be mounted on top of your Bimini. See: Bruce Schwab - Marine Energy Storage, Solar Power, and Management

Parmenter - not sure why you feel pricing is higher in Australia? You can buy a state of the art Mitsubishi fridge for about AUD 1,000 (Mitsubishi MRC375CSTA Refrigerator | Compare Prices & Save shopping in Australia). This is the type of fridge we have been using for years - very efficient - and high end interiors. Lots to choose from.

Ditto solar controllers - one of the ones I am considering for our next project is made in Australia by Aerl ( http://solarmagazine.com.au/news/sol...imizer/080286/) - about AUD800. I like this unit since it has CANBus communication and can interface with the battery management system.

Winston batteries are in stock in Australia at close to the USA price - see: EV Works Pty Ltd - About AUD1,100/1,000AH cell.

Solar panels are exactly the same price as in the USA (most are mfg in Asia) - see: Solar Panels - Solar Cell Modules - Solar Power Panel Price & Specifications - Solar Online Australia

These are only starting points that I quickly found using Google here in the U.S. - I'm sure you can find more.

Healhustler - In my battery of 48v, I have 16 cells at nominal 3.2v each for 51.2 v total. If a single cell were to fail, I could remove from the string, bringing my voltage down to a nominal 48v - still OK. If you have a string of 4 cells for 12v, then you'll need to replace the faulty cell unless your battery is made of of smaller cells (i.e. 200 ah each) wired in both series AND parallel. In that case, you can remove the faulty cell keeping voltage constant - replace the cell ASAP to assure even charging. Some of what I am saying may depend on the BMS you have installed and if it can easily handle changes like this on the fly. If not, then shut off the battery, replace the cell, and resume operation. The LiFePo chemistry is quite stable - the chances of a cell going out of spec is minimal. Some operators do NOT even use a BMS with these cells (I'm not recommending this).

Hope this answers some questions?

Right now I'm busy installing an HRO Safari 170 Gal/Day watermaker on Sunshine - once done, she will be truly independent.
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Old 11-12-2013, 10:37 AM   #59
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Responding to questions/comments

Pete - in the space now occupied by your 4 each 8Ds you could fit 8 each 1,000 AH LI cells for a total of 2,000 AH at 12v - at today's prices, the cells would cost about $8,800. Check Balqon Electric Vehicle Manufacturer for more info (sizes, prices, etc.). This is more than 2x the capacity of your current 8Ds.

Regarding plate refrigeration - I have no knowledge of "household" type unit using this technology - only custom boxes (way more expensive than store-bought fridges). I do, however, have experience using holdover plates - I had a 40' Penbo trawler with a 4-53 DD with a clutched compressor belted to the engine. The clutch had an on/off switch. The plate was mounted in a top-loading freezer with holes near the top opening into the refrigerator portion - the hole opening was controlled by a sliding piece of lucite. There was a temp gauge in the freezer. Also, in parallel, a 110v compressor. To control the temperature, the user (me) had to monitor the temp and turn the compressor on/off as needed. It worked fine, requiring about 1 hour/day. I would never want to go back to this technology!

Regarding your old fridge - have you thought of using a chain saw to disassemble rather than tearing your boat apart?

Regarding your Bimini top on the bridge - Solbian makes lightweight, flexible (within reason) panels using Sun Power cells (the best) that can be mounted on top of your Bimini. See: Bruce Schwab - Marine Energy Storage, Solar Power, and Management

Parmenter - not sure why you feel pricing is higher in Australia? You can buy a state of the art Mitsubishi fridge for about AUD 1,000 (Mitsubishi MRC375CSTA Refrigerator | Compare Prices & Save shopping in Australia). This is the type of fridge we have been using for years - very efficient - and high end interiors. Lots to choose from.

Ditto solar controllers - one of the ones I am considering for our next project is made in Australia by Aerl ( Solar battery charging with the COOLMAX SR MAXIMIZER &mdash; Solar Australia &mdash; The magazine for Australia's solar energy industry) - about AUD800. I like this unit since it has CANBus communication and can interface with the battery management system.

Winston batteries are in stock in Australia at close to the USA price - see: EV Works Pty Ltd - About AUD1,100/1,000AH cell.

Solar panels are exactly the same price as in the USA (most are mfg in Asia) - see: Solar Panels - Solar Cell Modules - Solar Power Panel Price & Specifications - Solar Online Australia

These are only starting points that I quickly found using Google here in the U.S. - I'm sure you can find more.

Healhustler - In my battery of 48v, I have 16 cells at nominal 3.2v each for 51.2 v total. If a single cell were to fail, I could remove from the string, bringing my voltage down to a nominal 48v - still OK. If you have a string of 4 cells for 12v, then you'll need to replace the faulty cell unless your battery is made of of smaller cells (i.e. 200 ah each) wired in both series AND parallel. In that case, you can remove the faulty cell keeping voltage constant - replace the cell ASAP to assure even charging. Some of what I am saying may depend on the BMS you have installed and if it can easily handle changes like this on the fly. If not, then shut off the battery, replace the cell, and resume operation. The LiFePo chemistry is quite stable - the chances of a cell going out of spec is minimal. Some operators do NOT even use a BMS with these cells (I'm not recommending this).

Hope this answers some questions?

Right now I'm busy installing an HRO Safari 170 Gal/Day watermaker on Sunshine - once done, she will be truly independent. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:00 PM   #60
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Hi Reuben,

I'm interested in the eutectic plate refrigeration system because it seems more efficient than an ordinary refrigerator. Do you have any reference on their construction and does anyone make an "off the shelf" model?

Pete37
Pete: We had a DC5000 cold plate/ system made by Sea Frost, which they still make and is expensive. The system was on a thermostat but the 1/2 hp DC motor drew 35 plus amps when it was running and was noisy. DC5000 Pricing The system worked well for us and at the time, with 75-85 degree F water, the compressor would only run 2-3 hours per day.

Nigal Calder had been an advocate of cold plate systems for years. In his 3rd edition, he talks about the efficiencies of the Danfoss compressors such as the DD35 and BD50 compressors and compares them to the cold plate systems. At 4 times the cost of the new compressors with their efficiencies, it's pretty hard to justify the cost. A refrigeration compressor system that includes the evaporators that will cool to a 14 cubic foot box can be had for ~$1,200 US.

Nigel Calders book, Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems has a good discussion. Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems: Nigel Calder: 9780071432382: Amazon.com: Books

Also look at RParts; RParts - www.rparts.com

and Kollman Marine's web site: Kollmann Marine
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