Onboard refrigeration that works!

I installed our new Engel fridge/freezer today and tested it out. The advertisement says that it pulls .6 amps on average. That was the main selling point because I guestimate our solar panels put out just under 2 amps after being broken in. With all the normal stuff running stereo/VHF/Depth Sounder/Chart plotter we usually use just over 1 amp. I had it running on A/C and switched it over to D/C battery power and closely monitored the amp meter (the cabin temp was 91 degrees). It was pulling about 2 amps for the initial cool down to about 34 degrees. This sounds about right, because it shouldn’t have to run continually after that. I’ll update with a longer term test later. BTW it cost about $600 and $20 for wiring stuff. Our house battery consists of two 115 amp/hr batteries in parallel.

Cap’n Chris – We have an Engel. I think it is 45 quart- the medium-sized one- same one Bob Bitchin has. It kicks ass! Relatively inexpensive, and not an energy hog on the two house batteries. Two 20W solar panels keep the batteries topped off at sea. The best part- it runs on shore power and automatically switches to 12V when shore power is turned off. We had been toying with the fridge option for a while, and when you have a small boat, space is valuable. So, since the quarter berth isn’t used for much, other than storage, we measured and bought the max size that would fit. She freezes really well, which is nice for a long voyage where you need to make ice.

-UPDATE 2022

Still works!

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