Astarte's Refrigerator Installation

(Frigaboat, K50-SSC)

The box itself was reconfigured last year, with teak runners high and low.  On the top runner, there are two medium sized pans, which slide fore and aft to provide access below them. 
The bottom runner has one large pan.

The pans are located and sized so that the standard milk container can fit in both the upper and lower pans.


The new evaporator plate lies on the outboard wall and bends onto the aft wall.
The control panel (to the right of an electric outlet) includes an electronic  controller that automatically manages the compressor for peak efficiency.  In addition, there is an electronic thermostat that maintains and shows temperature.
The compressor is in the bottom of the foul weather gear locker, just aft of the refrigerator.  The front panel of the foul weather gear locker was removed to provide access to the bottom of the locker.

The compressor sits at the bottom of the foul weather gear locker, with excess wire and tubes coiled up.  Just in front of it (left) is a fan.  At the (right) corner is a thermostat that turns on the fan when the air in the box gets too warm (around 100 degrees).

A plywood box fits over the compressor to protect it.  It is adjacent to the fan, so the compressor can be air cooled  it gets too hot. 

The gray paint is a sound deadening paint. 

Where the gray paint ends, a false bottom is installed, to further protect the refrigerator components.  The bottoms of foul weather gear are visible before the panel is screwed on.
We made a new, easily removable (4 screws) panel for the bottom half of the foul weather gear locker.  It matches the original carpentry quite well. It has ventilation slots in the bottom to match the vent opening of the box.

In the future, should any problems develop, there will be easy access to the compressor.

With the companionway in place, everything looks normal.
A "keel cooler" (actually a condenser) is mounted outside the hull, much like a "dynaplate." This unit cools compressed, heated refrigerant, without the power drain and noise of either a fan with air cooled radiator or an inside heat exchanger.


The unit is installed on the forward side of the aft cabin hanging locker, close to the bulkhead.  Two copper tubes come out of the unit and connect with other components.  I covered the tubes with a wooden conduit for protection (bottom part removed for visibility).

(Other hoses include emergency bilge pump, refrigerator drain, and engine coolant hoses going to water heater.)


To provide sufficient electricity, I have installed two 6 volt AGM golf cart batteries under the forward portion of the aft starboard bunk.  A shelf outboard, next to the hull,  supports a box with connections to bus bars and two circuit breakers.  There is a small battery charger for dock use or winter maintenance.

I expect most electricity will come from a second alternator I am installing on the engine (replacing an old refrigerator compressor).  Its voltage regulator is also on the outboard shelf.

This set-up will ensure that battery usage for the refrigerator will not impinge on all the other uses for electricity (lighting, navigation, autopilot, etc.).

The second alternator is on the starboard side (upper left in the photo).  The first alternator is on the port side (lower right in the photo).  They are large Heavy Duty Leece Neville alternators.  They've been aboard for roughly 40 years, either in service or as a spare part in case of failure (very rare).   They produce about 60 amps each.  The technicians at the alternator service shops say they are excellent, robust alternators, with their big bearings, fans, and ways to dissipate heat. 

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