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Old 02-22-2016, 11:01 PM   #21
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the frig that caught my eye is the Vitrifrigo! Fits exactly in the same hole as the Norcold but has 8.1 cubic feet! (1 cubic foot more than the Norcold) Another thing that really impressed me is the "seal" around the doors. My friend has had his Vitrifrigo for two weeks and there is no evidence of it even being close to needing a defrosting.( MY Norcold needs one about every week.) So far my vote goes to Vitrifrigo!
sure is a nice looking unit. would look great on your boat
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:11 PM   #22
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HiDHo"Norcold uses a 110 VAC compressor and inverts 12 VDC, not frost free.
Why not buy a 110 Ac frost free refrigerator and use a inverter on 12 VDC ?"

Exactly!
Norcold is for RVs. They get to the campground and plug in. The only DC usage is while on the road, so inverter load doesn't count. In my boat, I count everything. My old Norcold drew more on DC than could be justified.. Far more than the batteries could keep up to. Got rid of it, put in the Danfoss, and the load dropped so much that I was able to cut my battery bank to 1/2 what it had been, and I added a freezer (also on a Danfoss DC only).

So put in a DC only if you want to be able to hang on the hook for a few days. If you put in a 110v, and use your inverter you suffer the greater draw of the frost free fridge PLUS the 5 amps of inverter draw for the whole time the inverter is turned on. That puts you right back where you were with the old style Norcold. The poorest efficiency of all. No chance of hanging on the hook for more than a quick one nighter. Plus an extra $1000 of batteries.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:30 PM   #23
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A few years back the old Norcold was dying slowly, 12 VDC inverter quit and door seals worn out. We installed a Summit frost free 110 AC unit, when underway or anchored we run our sound shielded NL 5KW generator and feel like the pint or so of diesel an hour it uses is worth having all the conviency of dockside power.
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:06 AM   #24
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I will confirm the new Norcolds do use a Danfoss Compressor. I bought one 2 years ago. I looked at it. Right there on the compressor...."Danfoss". With that said, the Norcold is still a pile of crap. I would highly recommend anything but Norcold. So Walt, your initial intent in the original post is a good one. The quality of the hardware(hinges, latches, etc) is horrible. It still keeps things just kinda sorta maybe sorta cold. Anyway, I bought it because it fit the hole in my interior. I looked around and couldn't get good info and similarity of sizes of other units. Norcold continues the legend....of sucking!!!
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:27 PM   #25
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Exactly what model Isotherm is that fridge?
I believe it is the CR 219. The CR 271 was taller and I would have had to raise the top of the cabinet. I had to take a little out of the bottom drawer to get it to fit.
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:35 PM   #26
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I'm not aware of any marine refrigerator that has a automatic defrost feature. But, I read on Panbo about a new product that may accomplish automatic defrosting. At the Seattle Boat Show I had the opportunity to talk to the developer at the Sure Marine booth about the "Fridge Optimizer" and it looks like something I may try on my boat.

It does the defrosting by mounting a fan in the refrigerator that is strong enough to really move the air around. However, the water that develops from defrosting stays in the drain pan and must be mopped out. The developer told me the freezer section does not defrost because the moving fan air does not reach that area. This unit also does much more to make the refrigerator more efficient.

You can read much more on their web site:

Fridge Optimizer | Stainless Lobster | Creative Marine Products
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:25 AM   #27
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The main defrosting a fridge needs is the water in the insulation trapped in the box walls.

Very thin insulation (bigger interior) can not stay frost free .

Most house fridges have a weekly insulation defrost period with heater elements n the box walls and door.

K street bought this energy use NOT to be included in the annual Watts required sticker.

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Old 02-24-2016, 09:13 AM   #28
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I had the same refrigerator as yours, this year I replaced it with a Nova cool. fit in the same space it is more efficient and is much easier to keep the box temperature below 40
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:17 AM   #29
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Still no Novacooler's that can explain how a bottom freezer is efficient all things equal?
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Old 02-24-2016, 11:04 AM   #30
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I am considering the NovaKool with the bottom ventilation and freezer due to easier access to the compressor and because we use the fridge way more than the freezer and the fridge on top is more convenient. I am wondering though about where the water drains when the lower freezer is defrosted.
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Old 02-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #31
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any thoughts on bottom freezer efficiency?
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:15 AM   #32
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any thoughts on bottom freezer efficiency?
I found some info online

"Units with a top-mounted freezer consume 10 percent to 25 percent less energy than models with bottom- or side-mounted freezers, according to the U.S. Department of Energy."

This is in reference to 110 home appliances but seems the same would apply to 12 v? I'd think a modern bottom freezer would do better than my old not cold though. This same article said a fridge can account for up to 1/6 of a home'so energy use. I'd think that fraction would be even higher on a boat. No washing machine (perhaps), for example.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:21 AM   #33
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I found some info online

"Units with a top-mounted freezer consume 10 percent to 25 percent less energy than models with bottom- or side-mounted freezers, according to the U.S. Department of Energy."

This is in reference to 110 home appliances but seems the same would apply to 12 v? I'd think a modern bottom freezer would do better than my old not cold though. This same article said a fridge can account for up to 1/6 of a home'so energy use. I'd think that fraction would be even higher on a boat. No washing machine (perhaps), for example.
Makes perfect sense. The cooling elements in my fridge/freezer are in the freezer portion of the unit. And since heat rises and cold air sinks, one would think that a freezer on top would be the more efficient configuration???
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:19 AM   #34
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Greetings,
I agree that the bottom freezer configuration is most probably less efficient for the above mentioned reasons. I suspect manufacturers went to the bottom freezer style for more of a consumer convenience since one tends to open the "fridge" section of the appliance much more frequently than the "frozen" section, unless one has an ice cream fetish, so bending down is minimized.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:18 AM   #35
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If the bottom freezer has a door , it probably sucks as storage and recovery are not easy.

The home units with a DRAWER are fantastic as they probably hold 2x the food as the stuff it behind a door model.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:33 AM   #36
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That's what I was guessing...I always find it interesting when posters talk about efficiency and yet buy things that seem to be less efficient from an engineering standpoint.


If a desired charachteristic is there that outweighs efficiency then by all means go for it.


If it truly is up to 15% less efficient...in my mind, convenience wouldn't be enough to outweigh keeping the freezer on top so now the Vitrifrigo is the leading ouster of another Norcold...I'll have to see if I can see/feel the differences in door seal and hardware everyone is mentioning.


They are about $300 different in price...I can live with that, another $600-$1000 for a fridge that is already $800 too much (over household versions) seems hard to justify for a cheap boat.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:11 AM   #37
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If it truly is up to 15% less efficient...in my mind, convenience wouldn't be enough to outweigh keeping the freezer on top so now the Vitrifrigo is the leading ouster of another Norcold...I'll have to see if I can see/feel the differences in door seal and hardware everyone is mentioning.
Think it's very easy to get misled by that statistic. My nevercold has the freezer on the top but likely is much more of a power hog because of the old style compressor. Likewise, the Nova Kool could have better insulation than the Vitrifrigo and end up using less power even though having the freezer on top is a more power efficient design.

This stuff drives me nuts because there should be a simple test required to sell these products in the USA. Load the fridge with 30 half liter water bottles. Put 3 half gallon boxes of ice cream in the freezer. Have it in a temperature controlled room. Adjust the refrigerator till it maintains 35 degrees with a room temperature of 75 degrees. Wait 24 hours and then measure power consumed over the next 24 hours. Repeat the process for room temperature of 85 and 95 degrees.

Sundanzer used to have this graph on their website for there different models of refrigerators and freezers. Seems a pretty simple concept.

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Old 02-25-2016, 09:19 AM   #38
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This stuff drives me nuts because there should be a simple test required to sell these products in the USA. Load the fridge with 30 half liter water bottles. Put 3 half gallon boxes of ice cream in the freezer. Have it in a temperature controlled room. Adjust the refrigerator till it maintains 35 degrees with a room temperature of 75 degrees. Wait 24 hours and then measure power consumed over the next 24 hours. Repeat the process for room temperature of 85 and 95 degrees.

Ted
Your test is a bit flawed....maybe....depending on what you were getting at. A fridge full of water is easier to keep cool(less energy demand) than an empty fridge. SO an empty fridge would be a more demanding test is all I am saying.
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Old 02-25-2016, 09:35 AM   #39
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Your test is a bit flawed....maybe....depending on what you were getting at. A fridge full of water is easier to keep cool(less energy demand) than an empty fridge. SO an empty fridge would be a more demanding test is all I am saying.
It's about having a standard test. Don't think it really makes a difference as it's a test of insulation and compressor efficiency.

Besides, I don't usually keep an empty fridge cold.

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Old 02-25-2016, 09:43 AM   #40
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Problem with many comparison tests just recently done, they could already be out of date.


Even when presented with recent info, some still believe Norcolds have something other than Danfoss compressors. Even when repair shops are posting the change....but ...it is a relatively new change.


Sure efficiency depends on a lot of things...that's why I kept asking if anyone had info that could dispute what to me seems like a pretty significant efficiency handicap. That's just by having a bottom freezer...basic thermodynamics.


Seems like they all have gone with poly insulation over stuffed glass...so for me...my guess is they are getting closer with same design characteristics, same compressors....so not like a lot of things, quality of build and general construction might be the tipping points.
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