Author Topic: Engine Driven SeaFrost system.  (Read 250 times)


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Engine Driven SeaFrost system.
« on: April 26, 2019, 05:06:45 pm »
This has been a very reliable system. a couple of years ago we were switching out the engine and replaced the dryers and the engine drive compressor with new. Also switched to a serpentine belt which has been a major plus.
I am surprised that engine drive systems don't seem to be in fashion anymore. They are powerful, rock solid reliable and generally repairable anywhere with air conditioned cars. Most days you are running the engine anyway and it stores a lot of energy quickly. In moderate climate with a well insulated box it only takes 30 minutes to an hour ( generally split into morning and evening runs ) to maintain the freezer and refer. If that was 2 DC units drawing 7 amps each with a 50% duty cycle that's 168 amps per day that would need to go back into batteries.
If you couple the engine drive with a separate AC / DC driven circuit for shore side its a redundant and robust system. If it were DC instead of AC not sure what I would do to improve it except for independent temp control in the refer and freezer sides.
Turns out the biggest change was not equipment but getting serious about insulating the box; wish I had appreciated what a massive difference it would make sooner.


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You are correct about engine driven refrigeration it is the best in the right application. They are powerful, rock solid and repairable. Few armchair sailors venture below Latitude 28 or plan on living a board. Because of the improvements in on board boat Direct Current power grids. The average boats with a limited size refrigerated box are generally satisfied with 12 volt refrigeration. The trouble with a few of the new 12 volt ice box conversion units is they are not considered repairable by most local refrigeration mechanics.
 A true eutectic holding holdover plate system like your SeaFrost unit in non tropical climates may require only 15 minutes engine running in the morning again 15 minutes at night. Your engine driven compressor I one hour, running at low Rpm, can produce 8 to 10 times the cooling capacity of a Danfoss BD running one hour.

The most popular ice box conversion refrigeration in the Caribbean and West Indies charter boat industry is still engine driven with true eutectic holding holdover plate.