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Ice Box Conversion

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by MikeHoncho, Feb 3, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Project_Mayhem

    Project_Mayhem

    Joined Sep 24, 2018
    231 posts, 50 likes
    O'Day 25
    US Waukegan
    That's pretty impressive
     


  2. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,933 posts, 2,977 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    Yep... 24 hour period average. But I have a pretty ideal set of conditions.
    I have a rather small icebox, well insulated for its size.
    Top opening.
    I keep it full of beer. OK, some water
    I'm on shorepower while at the dock, so its in ISEC mode when we push.
    The compressor is below waterline in the bilge and has a huge vented locker to exchange air
    We're very good about quick open/close. No hanging around with the top off.
     


  3. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho

    Joined Dec 28, 2015
    233 posts, 96 likes
    Laser, Hunter H30 Standard
    Un Tacoma
    How does having the compressor below the waterline help? Is it water cooled?
     


  4. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    9,933 posts, 2,977 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    No it’s Air cooled, supplemented by a DC fan. But the cooler the ambient air is, the less hard the system has to work to exchange heat. Being down in the relatively cooler air helps.
     


    MikeHoncho likes this.
  5. RoyS

    RoyS

    Joined Jun 3, 2012
    455 posts, 180 likes
    Hunter 33
    US Bay Pointe, Quincy
    Typical 12 VDC BD35 compressor draws about 3 Amps at low speed when running and up to 7 Amps at high speed. Most conversions of old ice boxes should expect about 50% running time. While there are many variables, it is best to plan around these values. Your fridge will probably be your largest battery load when you are anchored. Daily Amp/hours likely will be about 36.
     


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  6. NotCook

    NotCook

    Joined Dec 29, 2008
    652 posts, 171 likes
    Treworgy 65' Custom Steel Pilothouse Staysail Ketch
    US St. Croix, Virgin Islands
    We deinstalled our 110V Grunert and replaced it with a 12V SeaFrost a little over a year ago. We are exceedingly happy with the results. We added 300 watts of solar at the time. The boat sits on a mooring and the fridge is always on and sitting at 39 degrees. It sips energy, only running occasionally. Installation was straightforward. Solar powers it during the day and batteries at night. And our batteries: 2xDeka 4D gels, going on 11 years old and due (!) for replacement...
     


  7. AndreNJ11

    AndreNJ11

    Joined Feb 22, 2010
    33 posts, 13 likes
    Oday 322
    US Delaware River
    Hi all,
    I concur with other posters here that the modern systems are MUCH more efficient. I installed an Isotherm system with the energy saving module. See my youtube video for the installation (press pause for the explanation screens) and the video comments for an extensive discussion on how it works, consumption, DIP switch settings etc. Very happy with it.

    Based on watching the amp meter when it runs in 'economy mode', (2.5 amps) and estimating it runs 1/3 of the time per hour, that would be about 20 amp hours per 24 hour period.

     


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  8. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho

    Joined Dec 28, 2015
    233 posts, 96 likes
    Laser, Hunter H30 Standard
    Un Tacoma
    I'm prepping to install 2 100 watt panels feeding a controller. Anyone have a good reference for the design side of the wiring? I'm needing input on how the controller should be wired up to my already existing system of 4 battery house bank with a 1000 watt inverter/charger and 55 amp engine alternator. From what I have come across it looks like you just wire it to the batteries.
     


  9. sesmith

    sesmith

    Joined Jul 1, 2010
    639 posts, 127 likes
    Seaward 25, Catalina 350
    US Ithaca, NY
    Yes, however you need to choose your wire size based on the maximum current your controller can put out and your desired voltage drop between it and the batteries. Then you will need to fuse the wiring at the batteries with a fuse sized to protect the size wiring you chose. If you have multiple banks you are trying to charge, you'll also have to have a combiner or isolator between the banks. I believe Maine Sail has a lot of info on this on his Compass Marine site.
     


  10. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,438 posts, 1,579 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    There is a maximum number of connections on each battery post, that number is 4. With the alternator, house wiring, inverter, and parallel/series wiring you are at that limit. Time to add positive and negative bus bars to the system to free up room on the battery posts. Check out MarineHowTo.com that's MaineSails site and also check his forum here on SBO.
     


  11. sesmith

    sesmith

    Joined Jul 1, 2010
    639 posts, 127 likes
    Seaward 25, Catalina 350
    US Ithaca, NY
    In addition to what was said in the above post, where are your current charging sources attached. Directly to the batteries? Or do they all go to the common post on a 1, 2, both switch, or a combination of both. This will help determine how you want to connect your solar charging. You might find that it's time to rethink how everything is wired. Again, lots of info and discussions on this on the Maine Sail forum here, and on his Compass Marine site.
     


  12. dlochner

    dlochner

    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,438 posts, 1,579 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    Rule # 1 in boat repair, maintenance and upgrades: It is never as simple as it sounds.
     


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  13. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho

    Joined Dec 28, 2015
    233 posts, 96 likes
    Laser, Hunter H30 Standard
    Un Tacoma
    I'm going to use 8 awg which is way over sized for the two panels and length of the run but the controller is 40 amp so I want to plan ahead for expansion. Fuses will be installed appropriately. I have a 4 battery coach bank and a single starter battery that has a isolator. I'm heading to the Maine Sail site to take a look see. Thanks for the input!
     


  14. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho

    Joined Dec 28, 2015
    233 posts, 96 likes
    Laser, Hunter H30 Standard
    Un Tacoma
    I'm heading to the boat tomorrow to trace everything out. I'll get back to you with what I found out. Mapping out the electrical system has been on my list for a while. This gives me a good reason.
     


  15. Doug4bass

    Doug4bass

    Joined Jun 9, 2004
    614 posts, 67 likes
    Catalina 385
    US Marquette. Mi
    You forgot to mention 50dg Lake Superior water....
     


  16. 907Juice

    907Juice

    Joined Apr 7, 2016
    161 posts, 49 likes
    Beneteau First 305
    US Seward, Alaska
    Lol, get a mesh bag and hang it over the side. Beer is never cold...
     


  17. 907Juice

    907Juice

    Joined Apr 7, 2016
    161 posts, 49 likes
    Beneteau First 305
    US Seward, Alaska
    I may get laughed out of here for this... as a mostly day/weekend sailor, just spend a couple hundred dollars on a dorm fridge and maybe an inverter if needed. Unplug when you leave the dock with a full rack and/or cool a few drinks a day while you’re running your engine charging your battery at anchor.
     


  18. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho

    Joined Dec 28, 2015
    233 posts, 96 likes
    Laser, Hunter H30 Standard
    Un Tacoma
    If I was going to just day sail and use it as a cooler when of off 120vlt.
     


  19. 907Juice

    907Juice

    Joined Apr 7, 2016
    161 posts, 49 likes
    Beneteau First 305
    US Seward, Alaska
    Yeah that is what I meant. But after a day or so it will be warm. Thus the inverter to cool it back down when you’re charging your batteries.
     


  20. MikeHoncho

    MikeHoncho

    Joined Dec 28, 2015
    233 posts, 96 likes
    Laser, Hunter H30 Standard
    Un Tacoma
    Day one the install complete. Total time of approx 3 hrs. Evaporator installed in the ice box, compressor mounted in the lazaret. Cooling circuits connected, control mounted on the bulkhead ( not in the icebox). Tomorrow is install the power circuit to the panel and 15 amp breaker, seal up the hole then enjoy cold refreshments.
     




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