We have been using this Adler Barbour Super Cold Machine for 8 years now and it has run 15 years since 1994! We turn this unit on in April, and off in November and it runs 50% of the time. IT IS A ROCK! The question is...."Why spend tons of money on another unit?"
Here are the the facts:
Adler Barbour CU-200 Air/Water Cooled Condensor Price:$837.22
Adler Barbour VD150 Small Vertical Evaporator Price:$ 393.27
Total frig costs = $1,230.49
Add in some cheap insulation like reflectix foil or DOW Styrofoam and you are good to go! No need to spend big time money on fancy insulation, expensive refrigeration units when this one will run for at least 15 years. The beauty of this unit is that it does NOT need a thru hull or a water pump, it simply uses a cooling fan. So all that is needed is a 12 volt supply and you are good to go.
Radeen and I go off cruising every summer for 5-8 weeks, and we pack up the cooler with meals and we pack up the freezer with meals, where we can easily provision 30 meals inside our refrig. Everyone always worries about the ice box, and here we are, our living off the ice box/refrig and it is real simply and works so well. The key is, to add insulation to the ice box and to use a blanket of some type. Then. go off cruising and do not worry about it.
We use about 60 amp hours in 24 hrs (24 hrs, on 50% of the time, 12 hrs @ 5 amps on) for refrigeration, so even that is not that much!
So, do not worry about refrigeration, and DO NOT spend tons of money and effort on the ice box making a special freezer. This freezer will only demand extra power and who really needs it. Use the simple freezer that comes with the Adler and get out there, and go cruising.
Posted after a great salmon meal from the freezer while on a mooring in Booth Bay Harbor, Maine. Salmon loaded onto the freezer in Rock Hall, MD, on June 19th, eaten July 13th in Maine....see what I am saying?
Hayden - think you have misrepresented the refrigeration needs of a cruising sailboat. You do not have a fully functioning freezer so for a full time cruising boat you are not set up to do so. We are configured to keep 6 months of frozen food and a bag of ice cubes. Original ice box is divided into two compartments 60 reefer and 40% freezer. Insulation requirements are different, custom evaporator configuration required, even cruising area temperatures are different that you have experienced on Island Spirit.
You have described a reefer setup that works well for weekends and extended coastal cruising along a well populated coastline with lots of reprovisioning opportunities.
Somehow the evaporator in our 1996 IP40 developed a hole, allowing the refrigerant to escape. The only fix appears to be replacement of the evaporator.
Question: is the refrigerant in the evaporator separate from the refrigerant in the condenser?
The system worked well prior to the ice pick incident.
We too will be replacing our 1994 AB Super Cold Machine this Dec/Jan as a preventative measure. This system has worked so well we see no reason to change to a more expensive one. We also never want to have a large freezer because that simply demands tons of amps to keep the large area of food frozen. Radeen cooks fantastic meals and has since 2002. We have used this system now nearly 16 years. It works. I like it because it so simple. Our program on Island Spirit is to keep everything 12 volt adn keep it as simple as we can. The frig, simple and it works.
I completely agree with Hayden about the AB Cold Machine - air cooled. We have hand great luck with these units on two boats. The water cooled unit makes no sense. If you do the math you have to get a 20% boost in efficiency to just pay for running the water pump. Also, you buy in to the extra complexity. We were hauled out with a full refrig and spent two days in the travel lift with the solar panels and air cooled we hand no change in performance.
I have rebuilt the box in the IP40 with a complete tear out to the hull and 5+ inches of pink foam. Made the top circulation pump, and two layers of shelving. This results in about a 10 cuft refrig + .7 cuft freezer. The air recirculation pump, which keeps the box at uniform 39 degrees top to bottom. Our power consumption is about 50Amp hr in very warm conditions.
Just our experience but works for us. I will argue about having an additional freezer - - I think it makes sense.
WOW! That is really fantastic! That is a really good rebuild job. Thanks for sharing the photos. We are using about 75 amp/hrs a day and we simply have about 2" foam board and covered with the foil bubble wrap. It has worked well for us. We would like a freezer, and we have looked at those portable Dometic units, but for now, we are still working with the simple AB Super Cold Machine.