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phantom51...
phantom51...

Posted: Tue May 03, 2011 6:47pm

Post Subject: Boat Fridge

Hello Tony.. I have an electrolux 3 way fridge on my narrowboat - I use the lpg connection to run it. My wife would like an under counter fridge with a good sized freezer compartment. I have a 3kw inverter which is rarely used, 1 starter battery and 2 110 amp leisure batteries. Would you recommend a 12 volt, a 12/240 volt or a 240 volt replacement and could you suggest a suitable brand/model please? The boat is mainly used as a long weekender at present.many thanks..Dave

Tony-B...
Tony-B...

Posted: Tue May 03, 2011 7:05pm

Post Subject: Boat Fridge

A 12v fridge/freezer is likely to use around 50 amp hours of electricity per day. For reasonable battery life this implies a battery capacity of just under 200 Ah JUST TO SUPPLY THE FRIDGE. Assuming your batteries are not sulphated that only leaves you 20Ah per day to power the rest of the boat. Using a mains fridge via the inverter is likely to be slightly more power hungry but will give you a greater choice at less cost but it is vital you buy an A+ rate unit. This is only one side of the equation. We must also consider the recharging of the batteries. A rough calculation suggest that you will need to run the engien at a speed that allows the maximum available charge for at least 3 hours each day just to supply the fridge. I assume about a 50 Amp alternator. If you go down the new fridge/freezer route I think you need another domestic battery and possibly an alternator unless you are willing to accept short battery life. The exception would be if you have a mooring with power and you use a multi-stage battery charger when you are away from the boat. However this may well lead to battery problems if you are away for more than a couple of days or so. If the inverter is a modified sine wave one there is also a chance that a modern fridge may not like its output and refuse to run. My advice would be to stick with gas as long as you can. There are a number of makers of 12V fridges but probably the best known one in inland circles is Shoreline. There are more expensive ones that claim less electrical demand but I suspect they will use just as much wen cooling down at the start of the weekends so may not be worth the extra to you. Tony Brooks

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