Another refrigerator overhaul
Monday - August 14, 2006•Views: 6577••
After seeing all the different ways IPer's have rebuilt their refrigerators, I decided to tackle ours. An Adler/Barbour 12v unit, it worked ok, but it ran all the time and was obviously not insulated as well as it could be. I did not want to tear out the galley. I put almost an entire sheet of 2 inch pink foamboard in the box, 4 inches on the bottom and on two sides, sealed with expanding foam and tape, with Reflectix from Lowes on top of that. Under the freezer unit, on the underside of the top and on the cabin side is a couple of layers of Reflectix, since there isn't room for 2 inch foam. I added three layers of Reflectix in the engine compartment next to the refrigerator and covered the box lid. All glued in with weatherproof Liquid Nails. Then I added a muffin fan to tumble the air per http://www.kollmann-marine.com/ an excellent site for refrigeration questions. I also added a 4 inch Radio Shack muffin fan to the condenser, vented outside the cockpit locker, to cool the condenser. The foam also decreased the size of the box, which I wanted to achieve, to about 8.8 cubic feet, much more manageable with our system. I then lined the box with white plexiglass salvaged from a shower stall, taping the joints with white waterproof sealing tape. The drain is still accessable so the box can be washed out. A piece of scrap foam keeps cold air from flowing out the drain. An indoor/outdoor thermometer wired into the box lets me monitor the temp.
Now it cycles like it should, running less than 50% of the time in 90 temps, my wife can reach the bottom of the box, and my beer is ice cold. I'm ready to go cruising.
While I was in there I also added a duct to the engine compartment blower, run to the alternator. It still ventilates the engine compartment but now it cools the alternator as well.