1.16.2011

Marine 12 Volt DC Refrigeration | Cool Blue™ Marine Refrigeration | Westsail 32 Mary Rose V

One of the things we learned on our 2010 extended cruise was that our refrigeration system used way too much energy out of the battery bank. We have a 440 amp hour capacity and 330 watts of solar panels and we could not keep up without running the engine to top off the battery bank. Our old refrigeration unit used about 125 amp hours per 24 hour period. The Cool Blue Marine refrigeration unit by Technautics, Inc is up and running with a consumption rate of less than 30 amps per 24 hour period.
We purchased our unit at the St Petersburg, FL boat show in December of 2010. Randy was very helpful in explaining the unit and giving us consultative services on how to rebuild our refrigeration box so the cold plate would fit properly. We showed up at the boat show with detailed drawings of our current refrigerator box and Randy gave us excellent advice.
We cut out the bottom 2/3 of the fore and aft sections of the outboard end of the fridge box.
We also cut wood off the forward side of the fridge box behind the dinette settee. All of the old insulation was removed so we could install the highest r-value per inch of any insulation commonly available. We also used lots of canned foam insulation to make sure that everything was sealed well. The main insulation was Rmax, a rigid polyisocyanurate foam insulation that is lightweight, easy to handle and easy to cut. It has a foil barrier on one side and a plastic paper barrier on the other. We used ¾ inch material which has an R rating of 5.0. We were able to reach the bottom of the box by removing the water tanks in the bilge and placing additional insulation under the fridge box in the area of the drain plug. We filled the drain plug and glassed over the opening to prevent loss of cold air from the box.
We then used the pieces of the fridge that we cut out as a pattern to make new side pieces and a new wider bottom piece. The old sides made matching the radius quite simple. The local fiberglass supplier was extremely helpful with the tools, supplies and technique to build the fiberglass replacement parts for the fridge.
I made each of the three parts a bit larger and trimmed them to fit. The bottom had to be split down the middle and installed in two pieces and then glassed back together. The bottom was simply glassed and screwed into place since the old box bottom was still in place.
The sides were slid into place and held tight with screws and then glassed to seal it up and make a smooth finish. The wood that was removed from behind the settee was not replaced as this allowed for an additional layer of insulation. The hole was covered externally with ½ inch black Starboard.
We painted the interior of the fridge with Signature Finish™ paint. http://www.signaturefinish.com
We then insulated the top under the counter on the outboard end and the box was ready to install the cold plate, divider ,freezer racks, compressor and thermostat.
We cut a new access hatch in the inboard compartment under the settee next to the fridge box to make the installation easier.
We are very happy with the ease of installation of the unit. We could have easily installed the unit in less than a day if we did not have to enlarge the fridge box. My thanks to Randy for all of his .consultative help. Visit the Cool Blue web site for more information. http://www.technauticsinc.com
Another benefit of the Cool Blue system is that the divider allows you to increase your freezer capacity.

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