The fridge on Naia, 1999 build, started losing gas and thus not work in
December last year. Naturally the timing was just before Christmas, the hottest
time of the year when everyone goes on holiday here in Australia. A fridge unit
of that age is not worth spending too much money on to repair, when the cost of
a complete new unit is not all that much more. (Here in Oz anyway). So I looked
for a replacement. To replace with a similar unit proved to be difficult as I
couldn’t get pre-charged pipes of a sufficient length, 6.5 metres, to connect
the compressor to the evaporator unit.
However, a local company, Ozefridge, could supply an electric eutectic unit
made to measure, so I ordered one. You can look them up at https://www.ozefridge.com/
I fitted has a 5 litre tank of 50% anti freeze in the fridge and a water and air
cooled compressor in the aft lazarette
The tank fitted perfectly in a portrait position in the fridge. I had to
make a new shelf, as the eutectic tank is much thinner than the old evaporator,
so more room in the fridge.
The water cooling option uses the aft water tank as a heat sink in very hot
conditions as well as air cooling. So far it has not been needed as by the time
I had everything working, we had a Covid lockdown in the area where the boat is
kept and by the time that was over, the weather had cooled down a bit.
Performance so far is excellent. The compressor is quiet and takes about 3
hours to take the tank from ambient temp. to minus 12 Celsius. from then on, it
comes back on when the tank reaches minus 7 which takes hours. At night it
doesn’t seem to switch on at all, but as soon as the sun hits the solar panel in
the morning, a voltage sensor switches it on. There is a small computer fan in
the fridge to circulate the cold air.
Beware if you replace a fridge unit. The 2 inch duct pipe for the copper
piping from the compressor to the fridge is NOT one piece. There is a gap of
about 700 mm or just over 2 feet where the aft hanging locker on the starboard
side is. They are also not in line, with the aft duct lower than the forward
one. I had to take out the floor of the locker to get the pipes through. You may
not have to do this if you know what to expect, which I didn’t.
If anyone is interested in this project and would like more info. I’m happy
to write more and give the details and pictures.
Naia C400 165