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Boat Refrigeration / Re: Kollmann Marine Products Refrigeration System
« Last post by wsmurdoch on September 08, 2017, 08:40:28 pm »
Mr. Kollmann, I need to send you another thank you note, so here it goes� 

We still own Irish Eyes, a 1988 Pacific Seacraft 34 with a Kollmanm Marine Products refrigeration system; one with both an engine drive system and a 125V system both freezing a propylene glycol filled cold plate in the freezer with a spillover to the cooler side of the box.  The best thing about the system is that it works.  It keeps frozen things frozen and cold things cold.  It can freeze 20 pounds of fresh caught dolphin fish meat rock hard and keep it that way.  It keeps beer cold, and frozen food frozen.  It has served us well on ten, yes 10, six month trips from North Carolina to the Bahamas (  The next best thing about the system is that it is repairable; a novel in thing these days of throw away item.  And, the very next best thing about the system is your pair of books which have taught me to repair it myself.

This year in Miami the clutch coil on the compressor burned up while we were waiting on good weather to cross over to Bimini.  I then managed to break the shaft seal on the compressor when I was removing the drive pulley destroying the compressor.  I asked a refrigeration technician to replace the compressor, but after waiting ten days for him to arrive I decided to do it myself.  On the internet I bought a new compressor and a vacuum pump.  At Advance in Miami Beach I bought a gauge set and refrigerant.  Moving to Crandon Park Marina for electricity I replaced the compressor, swapped the filter/dryer for the spare I carry, evacuated the system overnight, and recharged it in the morning replacing the amount of oil I thought I lost.  For 24 hours work (much of which I spent sleeping) and $650, the engine drive system was working again.  During the time the engine drive system was down, we kept the freezer and fridge cold with the 125V system powered of the boat�s inverter, so we lost no food.  Your books gave me the knowledge and confidence to pull all this off and make this year�s trip to the Bahamas a success.


Bill Murdoch
Archives / Re: Seafrost BDxp
« Last post by Richard on August 17, 2015, 07:14:18 am »

What advice did SeaFrost give you for this refrigerant flow restriction? And how to prevent this from happening again? There is a very small short line maybe 1/8 inch OD between output of compressor cylinder head and 1/4 in outlet fitting on compressor. There is also a fine mesh screen on inlet of compressor pump cylinder. Either of these areas can be restricted.

If I were to offer a guess of what caused the blockage it would be oil sludge or solid material. Solution might be to install a larger than normal Solid core filter/dryer and a second filter on suction line. When installing filters they should be vertical with flow arrow pointing down to prevent oil traps in filters.
Archives / Re: Seafrost BDxp
« Last post by CaptnSteve on August 14, 2015, 12:40:22 pm »
Hi Richard

I wanted to get back to you on my Seafrost problem from earlier this year.  It turned out to be the compressor.  I hand carried the compressor unit back to Seafrost,  all the way from Antigua,  and when they checked it out,  the compressor was totally blocked and would not allow air or gas through.  So, I'll be carrying the new unit back to the boat in January and hope all goes well.

Thanks for your advice along the way
Boat Refrigeration / What about Book update and revisions
« Last post by Richard on July 30, 2015, 10:02:33 am »
What about your Book updates and revisions Could you please let me know when you last updated the books?   I recently purchased Nigel Calder's book on refrigeration and it was from 1970's!  It didn't help me much.

 Any printed technical document requires updating by some means on regular bases whether by revised manual additions or service bulletins. When you purchase a new automobile the person repairing it can purchase a shop manual that covers that manufactured year that vehicle. Updates to this manual are in the form of a service bulletins and typical repairs are both generally proprietary to auto manufacturer’s dealers only. No longer can we expect even manufacturer’s technicians to be qualified when it comes to today’s evolution into advanced electronic evolving equipment circuits.
I tried to keep up with the every new change and problem solutions in pleasure boat refrigeration by writing a new book or revised addition every four years, as I originally promised. The DIY Boat refrigeration book was last published in 2000 and the 12/24 volt book was published in 2003.  In 2004 I advised the industry it was no longer possible to keep these books up to date with all the changes and troubling problems now in this industry. In 2000 I started expanding my web site and refrigeration forum to help with small mobile refrigeration problems and a way to update and revise information in my books.  Unfortunately my forum is a victim of thousands of spam attempts and you can not post items there at this time.  I still spend 6 hours per day answering email, other book questions and forum questions about mobile refrigeration. 

After 30 years in aviation maintenance and engineering relying on defined and sometimes mandatory maintenance documentation I am concerned about outdated or no mechanical documented direction or advice about a pleasure boat’s refrigeration unit from manufacturers or dealers. After planning retirement 30 years ago I did the sailboat show circle from New Orleans to Chicago to Boston and Miami where I bought a new 32 ft sailboat without refrigeration. Back in 1983 electrical power grids on sailboats 40 ft and under without onboard generators required eutectic holdover refrigeration if operated in warm climates.

My final refrigeration choice was an engine driven compressor with one holding plate. The only problems in the first seven years had to do with the compressor drive belt this was solved by removing the belt tension device. 15 years ago I added a 12 volt Adler Barbour and two additional holding plates to convert my boat refrigeration to a Hybrid system 12 volt and engine drive. Both systems were capable of maintaining two plates in spillover refrigerator freezer and a four gallon eutectic plate in a drink cooler.

Boat Refrigeration / Chinese Electric thermostat Question
« Last post by Richard on July 28, 2015, 05:23:23 pm »

Chinese Electric thermostat  Question
I purchased a used old Isotherm 3000/3005 icebox conversion unit with a 4 pin 102N3017 module and a Danfoss BD2.5 compressor.
What do you think about buying this Chinese electronic thermostat instead of a standard manual thermostat?

I do not like to recommend electronic thermostats as they are more trouble and less reliable. I understand they are available as low as $15 US on the web and as costly as $300 from US companies.
The unit you are looking at reads in C and maybe not F. It also does not control module's thermostat terminals C and T, they would be connected with a jumper wire. It appears the 1 and 2 terminals in wiring diagram would operate a relay in power wire to module, when relay is activated by electronic thermostat starts compressor. This unit will come with a better electrical drawing I hope, and it includes the capacity of internal switch shown in sketch. If internal switch is rated at 15 amps or more you would not need an external relay.
Boat Refrigeration / Is Open Cell Insulation Wise?
« Last post by Richard on July 26, 2015, 10:49:31 am »
I know of no manufacturer that has been able to produce VIP insulation that will stand up to the dynamics of pleasure boat refrigeration. My position is if you must use open cell insulation of any kind even in Vacuum Insulation Panels or so called spaace age insulation make sure it can easily be replaced when it fails. These open cell insulations will fail if and when moist ambient air has acess to move in and out of open cells. Application of open cell versus close cell insulation is not the same when keeping heat dry air in a box versus cold inside a box with warm moist air outside box.
Boat Refrigeration / BD35 daily test Performance?
« Last post by Richard on July 26, 2015, 09:44:59 am »

How do I know if my BD35 compressor is operating efficiently?
The BD 35 amperage draw is determined by compressor speed and how often it cycles off and on in 24 hours. It is Desirable to see one complete cycle from compressor, start till the next time it starts, to resulting in compressor running less than 50% of the time.
The figures below are from my book 12/24 volt refrigeration small box poorly insulated at 80 degrees controlled ambient temperature.
Compressor Speed 2000 Rpm, amperage 2.4, compressor cycles per 24 hours 65,daily amp-hrs 33
Compressor Speed  2500 Rpm, amperage 3.5, compressor cycles per 24 hours 77, daily amp-hrs 43.3
Compressor Speed 3000 Rpm, amperage 3.9,  compressor cycles per 24 hours 86, daily amp-hrs 46.3
Compressor Speed 3500 Rpm, amperage 4.4,  compressor cycles per 24 hours 90, daily amp-hrs 49.2
Boat Refrigeration / Adler Barbour CU model with 5 flash code
« Last post by Richard on July 26, 2015, 09:14:08 am »
I’m getting 5 blinks on my cold machine. I have plenty of ventilation and have powered the system down and then up and the 5 blinks occur immediately. How much for a new module if this is what is needed. Thanks much.

Five flash LED code is generally not a sign of module failure. Adler Barbour  CU100 and CU200 models have an additional unnecessary poorly designed printed electrical board. These electrical boards have three troublesome problems the board itself is not structurally strong enough, and the 15 amp fuse holder overheats and its contacts burn. The third problem is with the thermostat’s connection to board using a phone jack instead of a hard connection. The First place I would recommend be checked on a CU unit with a trouble code of 3,4,5, or 6 LED flashes every four seconds is to visually look at back of circuit board inside add on stainless steel box for heat damage. See picture on  TECH TIP #1 at my web site front page.  Also check for lose or corroded connection at both ends of refrigerator ground wire. If there is some problem with printed circuit board read complete TECH TIP #1 for corrective action options.

My standard troubleshooting steps for Danfoss BD compressors are:

Three and Four pin Danfoss BD troubleshooting
If your refrigeration unit is over 10 years old and has a Danfoss BD 2 or BD2.5 or BD3 compressor then it has the older discontinued electronic 4 pin module.
Troubleshooting Danfoss compressors with 4 pin modules will consists of the following steps:

1. All of these compressors have a 4 pin module connector and their modules contain an external fuse. If this fuse is blown there are two reasons why either power wires to module are reversed or module has an internal failure.

2. Check to see that there is actually power at the refrigerator control module.

3. Place jumper wire across thermostat terminals on electronic module, Compressor still does not run go next step.

4. Disconnect black fan wire from electronic module, Compressor runs, replace fan. Compressor still does not run after fan ground wire is disconnected, go to next step.

5. Run correct size and correct polarity jumper wires direct from a fully charged battery in order to bypass all boat’s wiring. Volt meter readings are of no value when looking for voltage spikes. Compressor still does not run electronic module needs to be removed and tested on another unit. If there are no other units available to test your module on I will test all 12 volt Danfoss control modules free except for BD80 compressor modules. Small 12/24 volt boat refrigeration using Danfoss compressors manufactured after 1996 will have a BD 35 or BD 50 variable speed compressor with a troubleshooting computer chip built into their control module. Trouble shooting LED will only flash if electronic module sees a voltage or amperage problem. In each case problems of compressor’s failures to run are identified by Counting number of flashes of LED:
•   No LED flashes would indicate either thermostat is open or no power to module.
•   One LED flash and a 4 second pause indicates a boat wiring electrical resistance problem or low batteries. Because of modules sensitive to milliseconds of a voltage spick they cannot be detected by a voltmeter. Solution is to bypass boat’s wiring till problem is located. To isolate trouble follow instructions above in item number 5.
• Two LED flashes indicates fan over current cutout. If fan circuit on these variable speed compressors exceeds ½ amp compressor start up will be aborted. This condition can be confirmed by disconnecting Black fan wire at module if fan runs replace fan.
•   Three LED flashes indicate excessive torque is required to start compressor. This is commonly caused by turning compressor off and back on too quickly or too much refrigerant or poor condenser cooling. Most people jump to the conclusion that there is a mechanical rotor lock up inside compressor and this is a mistake on Danfoss BD compressors.
•   Four LED flashes indicate compressor motor not reaching sustained controlling speed above 1,850 rpm quick enough.
•   Five and six LED flashes indicate a weak power or ground wire connection. On Adler Barbour CU models 3,4.5. and 6 LED flashes can indicate bad circuit board in stainless add on box.
I closed my shop but after seeing what is being charged by boat refrigeration companies  who will test modules charging $50 and charging as high as $385 for new 4 pin modules, I decided to test and sell modules for a fraction of what is currently being charged.

If your shipping address is in the US I will test your module on my Danfoss compressor refrigeration test stand.  This test stand will run at max compressor load for a one hour. I will then return your module to you only charging  a shipping and handling charge of  $20.

Four pin modules for BD2.5 and BD3   twelve volt compressors only:
Three pin modules for BD35 and BD50 non Danfoss are also $150 plus $15 shipping

New module non Danfoss    $150 plus $15 insured shipping. Modules will only be shipped to addresses in the US. If your address is in Florida add $9 FL Sales Tax.

Because your unit is old and if it needs a new electronic module there is a risk that something is wrong that caused module to fail so most companies will refuse warranty of these modules. This is my electronic module warranty:

If any module I sell fails to operate your unit it can be returned within 30 days for a full refund.
Any new non Dandoss module I sell 3 or 4 pin can be returned for full credit within 30 days. Because of my own risk involved for the next 11 months I will return only 50% of the new units purchase price if module is returned within the first year for any reason.

To have module tested or purchase a new three or four pin module send check to:

Richard Kollmann
2430 Sugarloaf LN
Ft. Lauderdale FL,  33312
Richard Kollmann

Archives / Re: Ok I need help!!
« Last post by Cahoots5 on June 27, 2015, 07:39:15 pm »
Hi Richard: Installed the 97" Cap Tube today and pumped the system down to 125 microns pit about 3 Oz by scale :) :) 134a started up the system it started cooling with about the last 3" of the cap tub starting to frost there, the plate was getting cold, I will go back tomorrow and play with the charge a bit more thanks for your advise Steve :)
Archives / Re: Ok I need help!!
« Last post by Richard on June 22, 2015, 02:17:59 pm »
The VD160 is used in small 4 cu ft boxes and as far as a holding plate it was a joke. Using an expansion valve and receiver would be expensive and because there is very little eutectic solution in plate no real advantage with the VD160 I would stay with a cap tube sized for 500 Btu capacity.

I would use a #5 Bullet cap tube cut to 97 inches long. One problem might be the newer VD160 power plates had no way to replace cap tube as it entered plate inside suction line.

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