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moiuk

Absorption vs Compressor Fridge

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Hi,

 

The fridge I I inherited on our boat is a 12v compressor coolzone.  The compressor is annoying with its noise when sitting or sleeping near it, so I am looking at replacing it. (The inside plastic is all broken too, so lots of reasons to replace it).

 

My understanding is that the absorption fridges are completely silent due to how they work. The one I am looking at will run on 12v or 230v.  So what are the downsides ?

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Absorption fridges are massively less efficient. Which is not a huge problem if running of gas or mains electricity. But is a massive problem if running off a 12v battery. An unacceptable power drain. And even then, many such fridges were designed to run off 12v  only temporarily, whilst connected to a vehicle. And as such, they don’t give adequate cooling for hot days.

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Hmm, so my best approach is a very efficient compressor fridge so that the compressor doesn't kick in very often overnight when the door remains shut ?

 

The current one is on about 30% of the time when the door remains shut. Is that normal ?

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1 minute ago, moiuk said:

Hmm, so my best approach is a very efficient compressor fridge so that the compressor doesn't kick in very often overnight when the door remains shut ?

 

The current one is on about 30% of the time when the door remains shut. Is that normal ?

Obviously it depends on the external (cabin) temperature but 30% on is perhaps a little high but not outrageous. But when our fridge is on, I barely notice it if there is silence, and definitely not when the TV etc is on, or if we are at the other end of the bathroom corridor in bed with the corridor doors open. So a modern fridge will benefit you from its silence rather than from its duty cycle.

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3 minutes ago, moiuk said:

Hmm, so my best approach is a very efficient compressor fridge so that the compressor doesn't kick in very often overnight when the door remains shut ?

 

The current one is on about 30% of the time when the door remains shut. Is that normal ?

 

New compressor fridges seem to run quieter than old ones for a start. But if you demand total silence a gas fridge is your only option.

 

 

I'm not sure the design of compressors has got quieter, rather that as they age, they get noisier. I repalced my house fridge a while ago with a new identical model to the old. MUCH quieter! 

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1 minute ago, TheBiscuits said:

Clean the fans and the coolant grill/radiator.

 

If it's making that much noise they are covered in dust.

 

Interesting suggestion, it never occurred to me that accumulated dust could make a compressor more noisierer. 

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16 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Absorption fridges are massively less efficient. Which is not a huge problem if running of gas or mains electricity. But is a massive problem if running off a 12v battery.

I disagree.  Propane is now £30 a refill and solar is cheap.  A good inverter lets you run a 3-way fridge on 240V  though, and they are much better at that than they are on gas.

 

No dispute that absorption fridges suck on 12V though :D

 

2 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Interesting suggestion, it never occurred to me that accumulated dust could make a compressor more noisierer. 

My compressor fridge went a lot quieter when I cleaned the accumulated dust off the leading edges of the fan blades, and ran less often when I cleaned the radiator grill.

Edited by TheBiscuits

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Just now, TheBiscuits said:

I disagree.  Propane is now £30 a refill and solar is cheap.  A good inverter lets you run a 3-way fridge on 240V  though, and they are much better at that than they are on gas.

 

No dispute that absorption fridges suck on 12V though :D

 

 

I've never tried running a 3-way fridge on 240Vac. Are you saying they draw less from the batts than running the 12v heater directly? This seems unlikely! Or by 'much better' you mean something else?

 

 

 

3 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

 

My compressor fridge went a lot quieter when I cleaned the accumulated dust off the leading edges of the fan blades, and ran less often when I cleaned the radiator grill.

 

Fan? What fan? My 12v Shoreline doesn't have a fan....

 

(I don't think!) 

 

 

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Just now, Mike the Boilerman said:

I've never tried running a 3-way fridge on 240Vac. Are you saying they draw less from the batts than running the 12v heater directly? This seems unlikely! Or by 'much better' you mean something else?

As I understand it, the 3-way fridges were designed for caravan use.  They expect mains hookup, so work best on 240V.  They can be run on gas for a few weeks so are not bad at that.  They expect to be connected to the car alternator all the time they are on 12V so just run flat out, and the thermostat is bypassed.

 

The ideal way to use them is drop them to cold on 240V at home before taking your caravan away, keep them cold with 12V while towing, and if there is no mains on the site then use the gas when parked at your destination.

 

"But boats are like caravans aren't they?" NO!  Most people who have solar and a 3-way fridge running on gas would save a fortune by running their 3-way on 240V from a cheap inverter supplied by solar!

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16 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

I disagree.  Propane is now £30 a refill and solar is cheap.  A good inverter lets you run a 3-way fridge on 240V  though, and they are much better at that than they are on gas.

 

No dispute that absorption fridges suck on 12V though :D

 

Well I suppose it depends on whether you have plenty of money, or not. Money buys you gas, but it doesn’t buy you electricity on your batteries without the inconvenience and nuisance of engine or genny running!

 

Yes a decent solar system will run a fridge in summer - but far more easily on a compressor fridge than an absorption one!

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37 minutes ago, moiuk said:

Hmm, so my best approach is a very efficient compressor fridge so that the compressor doesn't kick in very often overnight when the door remains shut ?

 

The current one is on about 30% of the time when the door remains shut. Is that normal ?

Our fridge is a cheap 240 v one. Hardly hear it. Seems to come on for 50 mins every 5-6 hrs.

Cant see you doing much better than that with the rest of your high power usage.....and much cheaper than a 12v one.

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I believe the absorption fridge was actually designed by a Mr Einstein who went on to bigger and better concepts. It was not his best idea as the 12volt compressor fridge is so much better that its not even possible to make a comparison.

 

..............Dave

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1 minute ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

I heard that too. He was a GENIUS... unlike his brother Frank, who was a bit of a monster.

 

 

 

Not sure about that, a Genius is a man who has at least two good ideas, and the absorption fridge was not a good one. :).

 

Relativity was quite clever but has still found no practical applications,

 

................Dave

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28 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Money buys you gas, but it doesn’t buy you electricity on your batteries without the inconvenience and nuisance of engine or genny running!

 

Yes a decent solar system will run a fridge in summer 

I'd rather pay £100 for solar than 3 bottles of propane ...

 

 

... and in winter you don't need to be running the fridge because it's cold outside!

Edited by TheBiscuits
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4 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

No visible label on it.

 

This one:

 

 

C3D1132F-4F64-46EA-9C15-054A836BBA89.jpeg

The label will be on the back next to the compressor ...  pull it out you lazy git :D

 

ETA: in fact, pull it out you lazy git and show us the dust on the fan blades!

 

Edited by TheBiscuits

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Just looking at the specs for a Dometic small  cabinet fridge, power consumption is 175w average. Way way more then a similar fridge using the Danfoss 12/24 v compressor.

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9 minutes ago, TheBiscuits said:

The label will be on the back next to the compressor ...  pull it out you lazy git :D

 

ETA: in fact, pull it out you lazy git and show us the dust on the fan blades!

 

 

Why should I? It runs quiet as a mouse!

 

All I said was, it doesn't have a fan....

 

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5 minutes ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Why should I? It runs quiet as a mouse!

 

All I said was, it doesn't have a fan....

 

Or you are going deaf ...

 

... have you considered a modern engine instead of those noisy old things?

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