Ice Box Refrigeration Conversion Units
Lugging a cooler around filled with ice is still common and boats fitted with old-school ice boxes are still around. A question to be asked is, why? Let's take a look at a better way--ice box refrigeration conversion units.
For most folks, the concept of refrigeration does not go beyond opening a door or lifting a lid to retrieve a chilled something. So, being confronted with trying to get refrigeration onboard a small vessel that can’t accommodate a typical household appliance can seem like an uphill battle fit for the marines.
Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the case because there is a far better option for adding refrigeration aboard. And boat DIYers can breathe a sigh of relief, because it doesn't have to be professionally installed. Frigoboat has made installing ice box refrigeration conversion units as easy as possible.
With the cooling options available nowadays that use little power, are available from tiny to large and don't require expensive professional installation or even advanced DIY skills (at least with Frigoboat), one would assume the ice chest or ice box would be obsolete. Perhaps the problem lies with the notion many people have of needing a professional installer and the whole experience being a royal pain.
But unlike other types of retrofits, the most challenging part of a refrigeration retrofit is the location of the refrigeration box and the type of refrigeration system to install. Frigoboat makes the rest easy.
The Frigoboat compressor is prefilled with the correct amount of refrigerant and is available for an air cooled, water-cooled, or keel-cooled installation. Frigoboat carries a variety of compressors, and every Frigoboat evaporator can be mixed and matched so you can have a truly unique refrigeration system to suit you and your boat. But before we continue, a note on compressors.
The air cooled refrigerator in your house has a compressor that circulates the refrigerant throughout the system. It also has a condenser that cools down and condenses the refrigerant. These are the ignored and extremely dusty things sitting on the back of your fridge that we refer to as coils, and we could all do better when it comes to vacuuming back there more often.
With Frigoboat you'll have no such nasty chore, as they've worked their marine magic to combine the two. This is why they refer to their compressors as compressors / condensers, and others simply refer to them as compressors or compressor units. No worries, no matter how you dust it, you'll be getting two in one.
An air-cooled refrigerator on a boat relies on the circulation of air to cool the hot gas exiting the compressor in the condenser, whereas the water cooled refrigerator relies on a pump. That is, unless you choose the darling of many boaters, the keel cooled refrigerator. If you're new to boating or are just beginning to look into ice box refrigeration units, you may well wonder what in the name of Captain Hook is a keel cooled refrigerator?
Just the greatest thing since the fridge, according to boaters who have them. Frigoboat keel cooler fittings are basically a through-hull fitting, as the tubing and the throat are run through the hull within five inches of the compressor and a nut is then threaded onto the shaft and tightened. The tubing is imbedded into a sintered bronze piece, which is the part that is firmly attached to the outside of the hull.
Keel cooled refrigerator
The keel cooler is the condenser for the system. Rejoice--this is one refrigerator condenser you will never have to dust or vacuum, guaranteed. The R134a refrigerant is circulated by the compressor down through the tubing, where the heat is removed from the refrigerant.
But this keel cooled refrigerator system seems to be missing something. A few somethings, in fact. Ah...must be a pump, fan, and their maintenance; not to mention, noise! What's not missing is its uncanny ability to keep ice cream frozen solid (for those who choose to have freezers), even in tropical locations.
You can get the keel cooler with zincs (E50361Z) or, if you're able to connect the keel cooler into your bonding system, get the model without zincs (E50361).
There's no doubt a Frigoboat evaporator to fit your refrigerator box, as they are available in three models and quite a few sizes. Those with well-insulated fridge boxes could even opt for either a B or H model; these can double as mini-freezers. Why not have the best of both worlds?
Another must-have for your setup is a good thermostat, and Frigoboat offers a few different digital models such as the MK2 and the MK3. Many boater prefer the mechanical type, and these are available for both refrigerators and freezers. Those who opt for a spillover system can even choose a digital thermostat and fan or the mechanical style.
Frigoboat has for many years been the pace setter when it comes to ice box refrigeration conversion units. A breeze to install, the modular design of these units allows the DIYer to choose the location of components and match different components to suit, thus customizing their own system, resulting in virtually the most economical and highest quality refrigeration one can imagine.
Here at Go2marine, we have everything you need for your refrigeration conversion project, at fair prices that won't send you overboard.