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More on Hold Over/Cold Plates
October 13, 2011
2:41 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Billy~

I believe I linked your options in your thread that you started here...

To answer this question...
The Adler Barbour 12 volt (or any 12 volt) unit will not have the horsepower to pull down a holding plate of that size...Once pulled down a 12 volt system MAY be able to keep up but it won't be efficient doing so...

As far a a contact for Grunert...I am one...And I'd love to help...
Please check the options in the link I posted and we can talk about those...

Steve~

October 12, 2011
12:08 pm
Staseadawn
Hernando Beach, Florida
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I have  a Pearson 365 hull 193...it had a grunert unit driven by a 90 amp electric motor.  I have discarded it.  I have a cold plate that looks good.  Can I hook a different unit, maybe an adler barbour to my cold plate?  Does anyone have a contact number or email for Grunert....Billy
June 18, 2011
4:27 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Kurt~

With water cooling available…It could be as simple as opening a thru-hull & flipping a switch…I warned of this…

But as I remember you & the Admiral opted to not go with another thru hull…

It is what it is now and you will likely need to add refrigerant in cooler temps...Then it makes you wonder if you have a leak Confused

Best of luck & enjoy your stay here in Sunny Fl  Cool

 

Steve~

June 18, 2011
3:53 pm
mixman
Maryland
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I installed a kit to bring air from outside in to cool the unit.  The unit was designed to use a way over-priced dryer duct to do such (I ordered the official kit for $100 and sent it back since it contained $4 of items from Home Depot!).  I know you're right about heat and such, but I never had this problem with the original system which didn't have access to outside air.  Plus, other than this past week, it's been much hotter in MD than in FL (we've been enjoying that issue :-).  It's quite normal for MD to get into the upper 90's and even the low 100's at times (although it's a little early in the season for such temps there).

 

Perhaps if things can vary so greatly I better go and get one of those semi-professional gauge sets.  When I had the guy in Baltimore check it the outside air was probably upper 60's to low 70's.  At least I know enough to keep the thing running!  Thanks for all your help and for your forum.

 

--Kurt

June 18, 2011
3:10 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Hi Kurt….Glad you are having some fun on the boat~

 

This could go back to the ventilation thing we discussed way back when ?  Laugh

It's much hotter down here than in Baltimore….Higher Temps = Higher Pressures…(as I have been teaching all along)

It didn't make refrigerant, but it is operating in a higher heat load condition that without water cooling it can''t efficiently operate in….The only option then becomes…Adjust the charge to the conditions… 

That air cooled condenser enclosed in that space is no where near as efficient in tropic climates as it is up north, and this is surely where the water cooling we spoke of would be doing it's job .

 

Steve~

June 18, 2011
2:05 pm
mixman
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Hi Steve,

I love to bring this thread back to life from time to time :-)

 

I didn't take your advice on buying a real set of gauges because I don't feel I know enough to need/require them.  Sears does have them at affordable prices, but I wanted an expert to double-check my work, so I hired one.  Woody, as he goes by came highly recommended.  We pulled our boat in front of his in Baltimore a few months ago and he checked things out.  He said the levels were perfect.  He then made a suggestion that instead of the "O" evaporator I installed, I would have done better with a plate evaporator.  So I took my "O" apart and did this:

 

** you don't have permission to see this link **

 

I was also able to add 1" of additional insulation around the 3 side the evaporator is now located (on the outside of the box).

That worked out great, until a few days ago.  We're in Florida right now (Fort Lauderdale at the moment) and a few days ago in the Keys the system stopped working.  I caught it just in time as the evaporator was cool, but thawing.  Being a 1-year old system, I was amazed, but decided I'd give it a "shot" of coolant to get through the rest of the trip.  To my surprise the low-side of the system was showing almost 30psi!  How did it "make" coolant?  I took it down to around 6psi and it's been running fine.  I'm happy, but confused.

 

--Kurt

October 23, 2010
11:10 am
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Steve Pooler
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Also...Since you didn't add much...It probably had refrigerant in it but either some leaked out thru the quick connects during shipment, or maybe one of the guys at the factory bumped into the scale/jug while filling that unit...That would throw off the process & I have seen it happen...

Steve~

October 23, 2010
10:55 am
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I take it your"little gauge" does not read inches of vacuum ???

If you are going to dabble in this refer thing (and you probably would prefer something that just works without dabble) you really ought to go to Sears or somewhere & get yourself a real set of gauges as they are not very expensive...Those little automotive kits with a gauge are really only meant for one usage & toss it...They are not very accurate...

But problems do happen (as you know) in places where you can't get help, so it does help to have a bit of knowledge & the right tools for the job.

When you are measuring single digit pressures (not far from a vacuum) it's important to know you have a gauge that is fairly accurate...This may be why Indel is telling you to run at 8 psi.

I would say that as long as you have a frost line coming out of the plate (with the box cooled off) then you are probably OK...Just as I said before.. You want it to come out of the plate, but not frost all the way back to the compressor...Anywhere in-between should be acceptable, but closer to the plate is better because all you want to do is fill the plate while keeping pressure lower for a lower temp plate (without allowing it to go into a vacuum)

Steve~

October 23, 2010
9:35 am
mixman
Maryland
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Steve,

I hardly put any 134a in.  I can't quite remember since it was a few months ago, but it wasn't like I had to open the valve and let it rip.  I would describe it as putting in a few "shots" until I got the low end to go no further down than about 3psi.  Indel now has me keep it at around 8psi on the low side right before it cycles off. 

The thermometer I keep in the evaporator/plate shows it staying around 20F in there.  Stuff stays frozen easily, and below in the box everything is nice a chilled.  The evaporator/plate is iced nicely.  Not enough I need to defrost yet, but it's covered with a thin layer of frost from top to bottom.

That being said, let me back up.  When I installed the system and connected the lines, I heard the change in pressure.  I applied power, and got no cooling at all.  I put a gauge on it and read zero on the low end.  I gave it a few shots of 134a and it started to chill.  I called Indel to report what I found and they came to the conclusion that the system wasn't charged at the factory.  They'd swap it out for a new one, but I wasn't in the mood to go through the uninstall/re-install process again.  I've reported back to them a few times and they think the system is running fine.  However, if you think it's time for me to call a pro to check it out, I can do that.  My semi-retired HVAC friend that repaired my last system could always use the money :-)

--Kurt

October 22, 2010
10:01 am
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Steve Pooler
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Kurt~

I realized I may have not answered your question completely about running pressure when full of freon...But it's not really a simple answer...

Though some of it is repeated info...I have added to my answer above with more blue text...Hope it helps with the whole pressure temperature thing...

Steve~

October 22, 2010
9:39 am
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Kurt~

From your further description...I'm not so sure your new system was under a vacuum when it arrived...They always make that kind of sound when connecting the tubing to the unit...Yes they are pre-charged, but each component may be at a different temp, and what you are hearing is the refrigerant pressure "equalizing" from the unit to the evaporator when you connect the two.

Shipping that system under vacuum would not be good because of the chance of inducing moisture (vacuum sucking it in) while making the connections.

Again...Pressure & Temperature Correspond...The warmer component will have more pressure than the cooler one regardless of how much refrigerant each component is holding....

For instance...If the plate had only 4 oz of freon in it, but was warmer than the compressor unit that had say 10 oz of freon...The plate would have more pressure & when connected, it would flow to the compressor unit until all was equalized... 

If you don't see frost a few feet away from the plate then you probably didn't overcharge but I'm curious as to how much 134a you put in ???

Steve~

October 21, 2010
8:47 pm
mixman
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Steve,

Thanks for that information/education.  You're correct, the bulb is on the plate as per the installation instructions.  I'm glad what I'm seeing sounds like normal behavior.  It sure seems to be doing it's job well, and that includes through July and August.  I'll check suction line and see if it's frosting.  I know there's no frost a few feet away from the plate.  The plate itself is completely frosted.  I say the system had a vacuum because when I connected the lines I heard it for a second when the seals were pierced.  There was no time for the charge to leak out before I had the two sections sealed.  It seems somebody was missing on the assembly line that day.  I'm just glad I always have some 134a with me and my little gauge.  I would have been rather annoyed after going through the install otherwise :-)

--Kurt

October 21, 2010
8:17 am
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mixman said:

Hi Steve,

It's been almost long enough that I thought about starting another thread, but why clutter up your forum when this post is just a continuation?

I went with the Isotherm (Indel) 2501 system that has a BD50F compressor.  It's set up to pull "cooler" air from outside the boat (via the boat's factory installed forced air vent system through the anchor locker).  Just my luck that I get it installed and assembled and find that they forgot to charge it at the factory!  There was vacuum, but no coolant.  This was back in July.  I charged it myself and have been very pleased with the results. 

I wanted to check the following with you.  This week the ambient temp around the box has been in the low 60's.  Does it sound right for this unit to run for about 90 seconds, then shut off for around 10 minutes and then run again?…That depends on where the sensing bulb for the thermostat is mounted…If it attaches to the plate then the answer is Yes, I would think it fairly normal because it's sensing plate temp & not ambient air temp…It only knows what it senses, and that plate can get cold quickly (with a already cooled down box) when the compressor runs…If your box is maintaining the desired temp I would not be concerned… Also, I've gotten two different ansers from Indel about how to charge the system.  I was originally told that with the compressor running, I should be down to about 3psi and between 30-40 with the unit off for 10-15 minutes.  I was also told to be around 10 psi on the low side.  Which sounds correct to you for a BD50?....Both could be correct...But it depends on the heat load (temp of the box)...It could be full with 10 psi & a box temp of say 50 degrees, but with a box temp of say 30 degrees..3 psi may be the operating pressure with the system full of refrigerant...

The main thing is you want is a full evaporator (frosted bottom to top) with the box cold, and you never want the system to run into a vacuum before the thermostat cycles the compressor off. 

Thanks.

–Kurt


Hi Kurt~

As far as pressures…It's not the BD 50 that makes the difference… It's the refrigerant used which in this case is R-134a.

If you look at the below link to a pressure temp chart for differing refrigerants…R-134a is at about -8 degrees at 2.8 psi, and about 35 degrees at 30.4 psi….

** you don't have permission to see this link **

When looking at low side pressure on a gauge….This will give you a pretty good idea of what the temp of the plate is at any given time….Compressor running or not running.

You can even tell box temp this way if the compressor is left off long enough to allow the plate to get to box temp.

When charging or running…You never want it to run into a vacuum, and you are looking for a plate that is frosted completely from bottom to top…

Look for the suction (larger low side line) line to frost just as it exits the plate or the box…Frosting on the suction line all the way back to the compressor indicates you have too much freon…So adjust your charge accordingly… 

Systems are charged by frost line and not by pressure…Pressure is more of a temp reading than indication of charge level…Pressures change with box & outside ambient air temp…

Hope all this helps  Cool

Steve~

October 20, 2010
1:34 pm
mixman
Maryland
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Hi Steve,

It's been almost long enough that I thought about starting another thread, but why clutter up your forum when this post is just a continuation?

I went with the Isotherm (Indel) 2501 system that has a BD50F compressor.  It's set up to pull "cooler" air from outside the boat (via the boat's factory installed forced air vent system through the anchor locker).  Just my luck that I get it installed and assembled and find that they forgot to charge it at the factory!  There was vacuum, but no coolant.  This was back in July.  I charged it myself and have been very pleased with the results. 

I wanted to check the following with you.  This week the ambient temp around the box has been in the low 60's.  Does it sound right for this unit to run for about 90 seconds, then shut off for around 10 minutes and then run again?  Also, I've gotten two different ansers from Indel about how to charge the system.  I was originally told that with the compressor running, I should be down to about 3psi and between 30-40 with the unit off for 10-15 minutes.  I was also told to be around 10 psi on the low side.  Which sounds correct to you for a BD50?

Thanks.

--Kurt

June 30, 2010
1:22 pm
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Steve Pooler
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Thanks again Kurt~

But as I said earlier...My Dometic distributor does not stock the small refer systems...So I could not make your deadline anyway...

I was only posting what I see as an advantage to the Adler/Barbour and hoping you could find a local source...

Steve~

June 30, 2010
12:40 pm
mixman
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Well, the vent I might install actually would go to the anchor locker, so it sure wouldn't be exposed to the open.    Venting anything directly between the sponsons of a catamaran would be asking for a bath quite often.

Granted, the unit I ordered is on it's way, and I'd like to get started installing tomorrow, but since I could run a Grunert on air only when out of the water (or running the watermaker, which is only for a few hours at a time and only one month per year), I'll give it more thought.  The one I ordered is quite returnable.  Is there anyway you can get me a price by tomorrow (7/1) morning?  I'd need the smallest evaporator that would match with it.  As for the water kit, you can leave that out.  I'd use the pump I have for my watermaker (again, not at the same time as the watermaker) which means I can share the thru-hull.

I'm not sure if you post prices in the forum.   But if no, just send to the e-mail address I registered with.

Thanks!

--Kurt

June 30, 2010
6:42 am
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Steve Pooler
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Kurt~

I specifically recommended the Adler/Barbour because of it's Over-Sized Condenser & High Velocity Fan...

Adler/Barbour has been building Danfoss based units for many years & is very familiar with the installation location issues of their equipment over those years....I looked at your link to the Isotherm BD-50 and though it's hard to tell...But when comparing it to the Adler/Barbour...The condenser does not seem to be as large (comparing it the the compressor size on each)

If you go back to my link to the evaporator plates...They have smaller ones too, but I don't remember the sizes...

I know it's a dead issue but...As I said earlier & just to clairify for others reading too...A water pump could be shut off with a simple switch or breaker when not wanted/needed, and the unit would sill run on air only...

I think I might be more concerned about a open 4"- 5" air hole in the tunnel in high seas, than I would a 1/2" thru hull with ball valve that can be shut off  Wink

Steve~

June 29, 2010
6:57 pm
mixman
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Steve,

Thank you for that information.  Unfortunately, Port Supply has a very limited selection of refrigeration components (they're really going downhill, aren't they?).  I also can't fit that evaporator you recommend.  I'm limited to around 10" D, 13" W, 4-5" H.  So what I did was search for an evaporator that will fit along with a condensing unit with a BD50F.  I think I managed to find one at Defender:

** you don't have permission to see this link **

It's for up to 7 cu. ft. and my box exactly half that (I think the original system was designed for 3.5).  Hopefully, this will get me ahead of the game.  I'm also going to try and figure out a way to get some air moving around that condensing until.  It will be mounted next to the anchor locker, so perhaps I'll put a fan in to bring air from under the boat (it's a catamaran).  That air should be the coolest available.

Thanks again for your help.  Oh, and one more thing.  Another vote against a water-cooled system for my purposes is the fact that we trailer this boat sometimes.  And when we do, we're usually stocked full with food for a long trip.  So while air-cooled isn't the best, I think it's the best I'm going to be able to manage currently.

--Kurt

June 29, 2010
7:49 am
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Hi Kurt~

I'm sorry you & the Admiral feel that way about water cooling...So I did some research & I'm going to change horses a bit here and recommend you look at Adler/Barbour model "CU 100"...This unit offers the larger compressor Danfoss BD 50F condensing unit with a large Air Cooled condenser & High velocity fan...This combo should help your situation over the smaller Danfoss BD 35 with a hot area to run in...** you don't have permission to see this link **;

I would couple the Danfoss BD 50F with one of their 100 series evaporators...Specifically the VD 152 (if it will fit) since it is rated for boxes up to 15 cu ft...This will help with your lack of insulation...** you don't have permission to see this link **

I'm really not comfortable recommending or offering you something that we already know does not work well, and that burnt it self up in a relatively short amount of time...I truly believe it was due to heat in the area it's operating in, and the fact that the box was big enough with lack of insulation to keep the evap temp higher & never shut off...Not that not shutting off is a cause of failure...But not shutting off in a hot area is a definite contributor because it caused the compressor to work against much higher than normal head pressure...

As much as I would like to make the sale (and thanks for the loyalty) I don't believe I can meet your deadline, plus I would need to buy from another source to do so (at a lower discount) than my normal distributor who does not stock (but can get) these units...

It also all boils down to...I like to stand behind what I sell...If I don't feel comfortable about it, and that it will work...I will back out rather than have a dis-satisfied customer in a short time later...

I would still prefer to see you with a air/water cooled unit (Adler/Barbour CU 200) and if you had seen what a difference it makes in load & performance (on a set of gauges & a amp meter) when the water pump is switched on...You'd know where I'm coming from...

You may be able to get these items from Port Supply within your time frame...But I at least would hope you upgrade to one of these models as opposed to just a lateral change.

Steve~

June 28, 2010
7:57 pm
mixman
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Steve,

I know you're recommending the best set-up for my configuration, but after discussing with the Admiral, we want to stick with air-cooled.  I may add some ventilation to help it.  Our Waeco Chest Freezer suffers through the same heat and is easily able to maintain 9 degrees.  I spoke to Annapolis Cruisair and they said for my primary boating area, air-cooled is quite common.  Then we'll discuss the 85 degree water temps we're up to already....

That being said, what do you have that you could possibly get to me in the next few days?  I wouldn't mind sticking with Vitrifrigo as I know it will all fit, but I don't think anybody stocks them.  I need a boxed or O evaporator that's near this size:  Dimensions (H x W x D) In. 3.8 x 12.5 x 9.1.  I can go a little wider and a little higher, but no deeper.  It looks like Waeco makes one that's a bit smaller (I'm not sure if that's a good direction to go).  Isotherm/Indel has a 2301 that should fit.  I think you deal with Dometic, right?  Waeco is Dometic I believe?  I can use my Port Supply account for the Waeco, but I'll buy from you if I can since you've been so much help.

BTW, I am planning on changing out both the evaporator and condenser.  It would be foolish not to do both at the same time.

--Kurt

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