Author Topic: Archive 24  (Read 7786 times)


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Archive 24
« on: May 02, 2012, 06:38:31 pm »

Archive 24

Can you comment on the durability of the seals on this engine driven compressor? It is running POE oil with M66 refrigerant. Recently the system has lost all pressure and gas and I must leak test. Since the gas is virtually all gone, can I inject nitrogen in the compressor suction along with dye for leak testing. There are a large number of connections in the coils and piping and I don't think the bubble technique is practical. Any suggestions are appreciated. I have never had the need to use flourescing dye before. How is this injected?

Engine Drive Rebuild.
It sounds like you have covered all the bases. Make sure to turn the compressor over by hand several times before running it the first time to insure that oil has not accumulated in one of its cylinders. Keeping moisture out of POE oil is important so connect hoses to it last. Next year the Sanden SD508 compressor in my boat will be 30 years old and still freezing the plates maybe after the equivalent to thirty trips to the Bahamas. The secret to engine driven compressor longevity is to keep its speed down to match the capacity of holding plates. The pulleys I used on three cylinder Yanmar engines to drive compressor were only three inch in diameter.

spare elec.modules for BD 2,5 testing
I have been given several BD 2,5 electronic modules.Is there a way I can bench test these modules prior to taking down to the boat.They are the correct ones for my unit they read 102n3115 and 102n3111 Thanks D G Cook

Engine Drive Leaks
The seal on the compressor crankshaft is a spring loaded carbon plate held against a steel surface. When oil is present on carbon surface a tight seal exists preventing refrigerant loss. Shaft seal failures are rare but can occur if oil becomes contaminated. The common reason for leakage of carbon shaft seals is loss of oil on seal surface do to inactivity. The good feature of carbon seals is when compressor is restarted and oil is present it will reseat itself. The other sealing devices O rings and gaskets on a compressor seal two non moving surfaces and last for many years. If you are positive your unit has Ester oil (POE) it will be compatible with 134a a far more friendly, pure refrigerant, so I would not use MP66/401A as it is an unfriendly short term refrigerant. Nitrogen can not be compressed to a liquid at these pressures so it will not mix with oil carrying dye and move it to a leak area. If the dye comes in a ounce bottle it is concentrated and that is all that is needed, then with care it can be added to hose of gauge set before connecting refrigerant bottle. Some auto stores sell a one use plastic tube with dye in it to connect to gauge set for injection. Refrigeration techs have a special two ounce oil injector tool. There are also two ounce cans of 134a refrigerant containing ester oil and florescent dye. It is a good idea to first check all areas with a black light before adding dye to identify items that will provide false signals by appearing to glow under the light.

Danfoss Module Test
I do not know of any way to test these modules except by connecting them to a good compressor.

Just an update Richard: it was overcharged. I evacuated some to test it and the system is running like a champ now; cooling far better and n compressor stalling You probably gave me years more life and saved me a grand. Thx, Rick D.

CCI/York Compressor
Thank you very much for your reply. It seems I have a more complex problem. The CCI compressor is a reciprocating machine and is relatively new, but a Sanden was in service previously. The entire system was not flushed clean of oil before the CCI was installed using the POE oil. I am certain it is charged with the ester oil. Is the mixing of the previously used oil with the POE likely to be a problem? The system was evacuated before charging with MP66, but clearly all of the original oil was not removed. Since the current ester oil does not circulate with the refrigerant, would it be your opinion that enough of the original oil may remain and be effective as a carrier for the dye?

Preventing Compressor Failures
Ester and mineral oil are both listed as compatible with MP66/R401B or 134a although they do not mix well. It is a common practice to mix them in most auto air retrofits so I would not be overly concerned with the oil mix. I have two concerns with your system the use of MP66 and maybe compressor speed. MP66 is a blended HCFC refrigerant with the main component of R22. Blended refrigerants must be serviced as a liquid as they separate in a gas state. If blended refrigerants are used in a engine drive system which inherently leak refrigerant, they can not be toped off with more refrigerant do to fracturing of the higher pressure component gas out the leak. When there is a loss of some refrigerant all blended refrigerant must be replaced. These compressors were not designed to be turned at high RPM in low temperature applications. I would size the engine drive pulley so it will not allow the compressor to exceed 1200 RPM at max cruise power. The output of compressor from 500 to 1200 rpm is sufficient to freeze 10 gallon of holding plate solution in one hour. If the pulley can not be changed to slow compressor down then limit engine speed when compressor is running to a safe compressor speed. Most of these systems were designed with oversized expansion valves for the heat load of holding plates and without a suction line accumulator. To prevent compressor failures only start compressor at slow engine speeds and wait at least a minute before increasing engine speed.

Replacing thermostat
Adler Barbour's cold machine had a Danfoss #1 thermostat ( temp controller ). These refrigerator service thermostats sell for from $12 to $32. The unit you need has a temperature control range from approximately 36 to -5 degrees. has the inexpensive replacement without knob or cover and the universal replacement with knob. Just make sure you purchase a thermostat for refrigerator and not the one for freezers. This type thermostat senses evaporator temperature and not box temperature for best energy efficiency.

Big Unit Performance
You are correct, when you have a set of boxes that may require 5000 btu per day and a HP, 12 volt motor is driving a belt driven compressor and a battery bank under 1000 amp-hrs there is a battery problem. A system like yours with a large daily heat load needs an engine running when the compressor is running. I am not sure on what you mean on electrical wiring all loads must be fused and the proper size wire used. Suggest you talk to a marine electrician. Refrigerant 409a I consider an unfriendly refrigerant for a do it yourselfer? These blended refrigerants are not added to top them off they must be evacuated, recovered and fresh refrigerant put back into the system. Any time a system is opened to the air the dryer should be replaced and the system dehydrated with a vacuum pump.

Thanks. I will contact the Grunert guy again on checking out the system. I did hook up the AC to DC converter (80 amp) to power the entire DC house load and it worked great. Althought it took about 2 hours to drop the freezer 13 degrees. I will contact an electrician to determine the best way to hook it up to the system. Thanks again.

Belt Driven Performance
There are two ways you can check this 12 volt unit: Check the refrigerant sight glass it should show liquid passing through the window after unit has run for 30 minutes. When using 409a or other blends the sight glass does not always fill with liquid like it would with 134a or R12 pure refrigerants. A 1/2 HP DC motor driving a belt driven compressor when pulleys are sized properly draws 39 amps for the first few minutes then continues to drop to around 29 amps when plates are frozen. These figures are only ballpark figures. Check the manufactures specifications on the max continuous operating amperage as your motor may be rated lower than 39 amps. If you do not have an ammeter in the circuit there are meters costing under $10 that can be held next to the wire that read in amperage, they are sold at auto parts stores. This meter is called a alternator/starter tester if it cost more thasn $13 it is the wrong unit.

lowside (suction) readings
Thank you for a prompt reply. I have no resistor in the thermostat line hence a speed of 2k.The evaporator is store bought with a capillory tube. As for the calibration of the gauges... well I only assume , as they are relativly new, that they are somewhat accurate. Again ...Thankyou for your time. Brian O.

The reason I ask about the evaporator was whether it and the capillary tube were sized for the BD50 compressor. Before connecting servicing gauge set make sure blue gauge (suction pressure) indicates zero this will provide reasonable accuracy from zero to ten psi. Set compressor to run at 3500 RPM by adding a 1500 ohm resistor in thermostat circuit, I would forget the gauge an add refrigerant until amperage draw is 5 amps.

Error 3 Control Danfoss DB50
Hi, I just set up a freezer box with a DB50 compressor + control etc. System works OK for a couple of hours then it shows error 3 (control LED). If I switch off for a while it works again, after some time it goes back to error 3. According to Danfoss instruction it means compressor stalls due to high differential pressure. Could it be too much gas in system? Any suggestion welcomed. Giulio

Compressor stops after one hour plus and the LED flashes three times can be caused by: 1. Too much refrigerant, it so there should be frost on return line outside refrigerated area. 2. Poor condenser cooling. 3. LED's first flash was only one flash then all further flashes were three at a time. This can be caused by low voltage at module low battery or a resistance connection. Or unit is on the same circuit as other systems and not powered by main battery buss. Is unit air or water cooled? Who is manufacturer of refrigeration system? Did you add a resistor to thermostat circuit? If so what is resistor value? Is it a standard thin plate evaporator or holding plate? Can you determine the amperage draw if this unit?

Ok, Fist of all Thanks for your suggestions. These are the answers to your questions: Compressor is air cooled and installed in a Sail Boat. System is made of brand new parts (less the thermostat which is an old device from a Adler/Barbour Cold Machine) put together by a friend. I did add a resistor to the thermostat circuit the value is aprox. 690 ohm (a pot with a resistor in series in order to adjust). It has a new U-shaped thin plate evaporator. Regarding amperage i did make some observation but not exhaustive. What I can say is: at the beginning id drew aprox 5Amp (lik-10). After it stopped and restarted (box cold) it drew aprox. 6Amp. From my observation I can add this, The system works until the box is cold and then it stops probably due to thermostat, and recycles for a while with a duty cycle aprox 50%. Suddenly the fan starts but the compressor doesn't and this goes on in a very short cycles. The electrical connections are good and tin soldered and the batteries are under charge with Trucharge 20 plus charger. giulio

BD50 shutdowns
I am assuming there is good airflow through condenser and air is not re-circulating hot air. As long as the evaporator has a layer of frost covering 100% of its surface and no frost on line outside the refrigerator box, this indicates it has the correct refrigerant charge and it is not contaminated with air or anther gas. I do not know what happens if the total resistance in thermostat circuit were to exceed 1500 ohms but by over speeding compressor it could cause an overload shutdown. My tests indicate a total of 690 ohms will result in an average 5.4 amp current reading, your 5 amp reading is in the ball park. Starting loads can be higher than average running current. As I mentioned before the first signal of the LED is sometimes masked over by a quick restart overload and since the computer chip only has one trouble memory it is necessary to turn power off and on while watching LED for its signal on first attempt. If LED signal proves correct then I would make sure the compressor speed is not the causing the overload condition. The BD50 electronic controller will reject a start if the fan is drawing 0.5 amp or higher, older Danfoss compressor fan circuits were OK up to one amp. The common failure mode of these fans is slowly draw additional power than normal that will signal module to shut down. To eliminate Fan as the cause of the problem temporally connect it to another 12 volt power source and let it run continuous. Most compressor start problems are caused; by low voltage from weak breakers or switches, too small or too long of wiring runs, and resistance connections. There is only one way to troubleshoot boat wiring problems, run jumper wires direct from a fully charged battery to compressor module.

OK, I will check your suggestion at the boat on the week-end, particularly the fan amperage since it shows on a sticker 0,7Amp. and that probably this is at 12V so at charging voltage it may draw more. I shall tell you more next week. Giulio



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Re: Archive 22
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 06:43:43 pm »
Redesign or rebuild
The CA one cylinder and the CE two cylinder compressors were manufactured by Blissfield then taken over by Tecumseh in 2001. I understand Tecumseh may still a few of the parts but no longer make them. If the used compressor you are looking at as you say is stored open it may not be worth the cost to rebuild. These belt driven compressors have never been considered efficient do to the 12 to 20% friction loss in the drive mechanism. In comparing each small mobile compressor manufacturers advertised COP efficiency figures I have not seen one that can out perform a Danfoss BD compressor. I am not sure what the valve is you are referring to but Sea Frost uses two different liquid to gas expansion devices, The engine drive has a thermo expansion valve that regulates superheat and the 110 volt system uses a Pressure regulating expansion valve.

Seafrost Valves
Richard- In the R-12 system they have only one valve(black box) in the R-134 system they have two black boxes in the high pressure side. That is part of what Seafrost wants to sell me in the $1500 conversion package from R-12 to 134. Also wondering if you would recommend a standard tube in shell condenser instead of the Seafrost PVC one. A new one of those (PVC) is in the kit as well. My present thinking is a spill-over with about a 1.5 cu ft freezer inside the refer box but in a sperate 1" foam box high in the box run by the Nova Kool twin plate system. There would be just one hatch to the box, but a seperate thin lid over the freezer area. Based on past experience with a 1.5" wall between totally seperate boxes, I think this will allow plenty of cooling to the rest of the say 4.5cu ft remaining refer side. If I can convert the Seafrost Economically I will keep the refer plate to tap that engine power when the engine is running for Ice making and a backup to the Nova Kool. Jeff

Fixed ventilation - still runs too much
I am underway crusiing on my boat. Before I left I added 25 sq inches of vent and a 5 inch computer fan to force more air past the condenser. Venting now exceeds mfg spech of 75 sq inches clear vents. Adding vent and fan does not seem to have impacted colling inside of box or run time. Right now it is 73 deg ambient in boat - fridge section reads about 34-37 deg, freezer reads 14-16 degrees, tstat is set on 2 out of 5 ( 5 being coolest ) - system is running about 75 percent of the time when not opened ( as in overnight ). Not sure what to do next. How do I check out the tstat? I did check and it is correctly mounted on the evap. Can the compressor be running at the wrong speed even if resistor is set OK? The factory setting for this unit is 3000 rpm.

Sounds like a good plan
If the present system has a plate in each box then that may be why there are two valves, follow the tubing. I dont know why you dont convert the present system to 134a as we covered in my comments a few days ago or stay with R12 there is plenty of it in south Florida and the islands. There are hundreds of Sea Frost seawater condensers working in the tropics why not keep what you have. If the high pressure is too high cut back on the compressors output by reducing the volume of refrigerant and maintain the condensers zinc. You dont need the capacity to freeze one ton of ice in an hour. The new box size and adding a Nova Kool twin plate sounds good.

Tundra problem
Because you reported earlier that there is frost covering all of the evaporator and none returning to the compressor, and this is the same model refrigerator as the previous one with the same problem, it must be a poorly designed unit for your application. Add a little more insulation between the refrigerator and freezer to increase the temperature difference. This will lower the freezer temp without lowering the refrigerator temp and set the thermostat to a higher number. This may not be an efficient solution but you own the unit and it will work as a refrigerator/freezer even if it means the compressor runs 24 hours per day. Sorry but not every product lives up to its advertised claims.

Refrigeration in 'new to me' 2001 Beneteau 381
We have just purchased a 2001 Beneteau 381 with what I believe is the original refrigeration system installed - I think it is an 'Adler Barbour' unit. It's alrgish top loading system with 2 'compartments' - the metal u shaped piece that gets cold is on one side and there are 'vets' that look like they allow cold air to spill through from one side to the other. There is a control unit with a knob (that has broken) and the spindle itself appears to be seized - pliers wont turn it in either direction, so I will need to replace this over the winter, onece I can identify the componenent it appears to be a simple replacement. Now I become less certain. When I turn the unit on I can hear te pump working and I can feel the air coming out of the vent, I can also tell there is refrigerant circulating, but the unit does not get below 48 degrees (air temperature here in the NE at the time of this test was low 60's). Could this be because my electronic unit is ot calling for 'cold' or does maybe the refrigerant need topping up or changing ? Is this latter a do it yourself option or am I looking at $85 an hour marine prices to do this work for me ? Any other owners out there with this Beneteau that have tips ? - Next time I go to the boat I can get exact moel numbers etc if it helps (Im sure it will). Thanks Mark

Parts for Blu-Cold compressors.
If it is a Crosby system you might try Gary Buttrey, Technical Support Manager of WAECO/ Adler Barbour. I believe he was with Crosby and stayed with the product lines after several name changes. You could also try Climate Control who acquired at least two small compressor companies and parts. Rich Bears refrigeration in Ft Lauderdale did repair many of the old Crosby units and my still sell the parts.

Poor Performance
On an older unit that does not cool enough I would always check and vacuum the condenser coil for dust and lint blockage. On some models the fan must be removed to get to the intake side of coil. To determine the refrigerant charge let the unit run for one hour, there then should be a thin layer of frost covering 100% of the U shaped coil in the box. If the frost only covers a portion of the plate and there is good airflow through condenser you may need a small amount of refrigerant. To rule out the thermostat I would place a jumper across the two wires at thermostat and let unit run for several hours to see how cold the box gets. If you can Email or mail me general pictures of your system it may help.

Thanks, appreciate the advice. I'll be bringing the boat 'home' from Hingham MA to Portsmouth RI this coming week - was going to be this weekend but 50 knot winds put paid to that ! This is the only photo I have right now [img:ae874d79cc][/img:ae874d79cc] Ill take more photos and try as you suggest on the 2 day truip home

Coiled excess tubing too close to compressor?
Mr. Kollmann , I have your excellent book and have been reading/rereading . I just spent the weekend installing my new cold machine (BD 50 )and large verticle evaporator into a 5.5 CF box. I coiled the excess tubing into a 12" coil (small I know ,but fits better)and had a convenient place just a foot or so in front and above where the cooling fan draws air thru the condensor. Is this coil going to get hot ?and do I need to insulate it as to keep the air cooler in front of my condensor.It is mounted below water line in a large Lazerette that is open to the stern area of a 30 foot C&C (well over 100 CF). I also plan on putting reflective insulation to keep engine heat out of the lazerette and a "T" in my blower to draw off heat out of the lazerette (3 inch suction opening only 6 inches from the compressor) This will draw heat out of both engine room and lazerette when motoring. My cruising ground is the Sea of Cortez (6-8 wks in May/ June). Air temp 90F+ ,sea temp 68F- 82F. Also the resistor at the thermostat is a 2500 rpm one Is this something I need to change as I winter in southern Colorado (Cold air Cold water)What do you think of my plan , the coiled tubing placement and the resistor Thanks Buz Branch

AB Poor performance
Your picture is what I needed to understand the type system you have. This system is about ten years old because it uses Adler Barbours old condenser for the BD3 compressor and their old disconnects, but it does has the new variable speed compressor. It also has their new style relay connecter panel. This model Adler Barbour Cold Machine is delivered with the condenser fan mounted out front forcing air through coil and around compressor; this means the fan must be removed to remove dust from coil fins. Installations instructions for ducting air to another area have suggested turning the condenser fan around to draw air from compressor and exhausting it through the duct. If your fan is bring air into the compressor through coil it will require getting access to it at least see the coil inlet fins.

New Adler Barbour
I think as long as the tubing coil does not touch the compressor it will be fine and no insulation of it is required. I would tie wrap the coil to prevent vibration or movement. You say the compressor speed is set to 2500 rpm and you have the large vertical evaporator (fifteen inch bin?). To confirm this speed there will be a paper decal on the plastic cover of thermostat, 2500 rpm would require a 270 ohm (color black) AB resistor. For a speed of 2500 rpm the last three numbers on label should be 270. Adler Barbour now uses phone jack wire for thermostat and a very small resister is on one of these small wires near thermostat end. If your insulation is any good at all 2500 rpm should be good for that size box. If you want to have a speed up spare resistor onboard then make up an add-on in series resistor leaving the present one in place. Increasing speed to 3000 rpm will require adding an additional resistor of approximately 410 ohms giving a total resistance of 680 ohms. If you use the example on page 45 and make up a short jumper with a male terminal on one end and a female on the other no tools will be needed to change speeds up to 3000 and then back to 2500. Do not allow the total resistance in this circuit to exceed 1500 ohms which is maximum speed of 3500 rpm for this compressor.

Thanks for the info. The unit is installed on a 2001 Beneteau, I assumed it was new at that time. Could it be that Beneteau was just not using state of the art equipment at the time ? Does that neccesarilly make it bad ? I know sometimes older units like my snowblower are actually better than the stuff you buy in the stores today (built down to a price is what I say). When you say [quote:1017ea57c5]Your picture is what I needed to understand the type system you have. This system is about ten years old because it uses Adler Barbour's old condenser for the BD3 compressor and their old disconnects, but it does has the new variable speed compressor. It also has their new style relay connecter panel. [/quote:1017ea57c5] Are these bad ? or just an observation on what I have ? I'll do some preliminary examination and non destructive disassembly to see what's what. I'll also try the cleaning and the hot-wiring you suggest. I do know that the fan pushes air out of the hose as it blows onto the floor area for the forecabin which is where it is ducted to.

AB Performance
You have a fine unit, a good installation and it will do the job and last another ten to fifteen years. The difference in your unit versus a new model would only be a problem if the evaporator needed to be replaced, as the line connectors are not the same on new units. Air flow out the duct means a quick look at the compressor side of coil will do. If the picture was clearer at the condenser I could see blockage if there was any. when it is bad it covers half of the front surface. The major concern now is areas where frost is present, evaporator 100% and none on line back toward compressor.

Older Kollmann Refrigeration System
Two years ago I bought a 1988 Crealock 34, Irish Eyes (ex Jester and ex Diastole II). The boat has a Kollmann refrigeration system with both a 125v hermetic and an engine drive system with a freeze blast. The two systems are entirely separate except that they share a single eutectic plate in the freezer half of the box. While the 125v system has some rust on the compressor mounting plate and the exterior of the hermetic compressor, it is in good working order. We have used it when cruising by cooling our food and freezing the holding plate in a marina then adding a few bags of ice. The combination keeps things in the freezer solidly frozen for two days or more and keeps the cooler side of the box below 40F for four days or so. Then it is marina time again. I added a ventilation fan to circulate air through the cockpit locker to help cool the 125v systems condenser, and I put a small fan in the cooler side of the box to even out the temperatures in the cooler side of the box. The engine drive system was missing its compressor when I bought the boat. Both the hoses and clutch wire had been cut. I would like to restore the system. I bought and read your two books. I bought a Sanden SD5H14 S6664 compressor. I fabricated a new compressor mount to fit atop the engine. (The old one on the side let the compressor rub on the fuel fill and vent hoses and blocked access to the oil dipstick and fuel bleed screw.) I have pressure tested the water condenser with air (44 psig without any change for 5 days). I plan to replace the all the rubber hoses, install short pieces of tubing in place of the receiver and filter dryer, flush the system backwards from the compressor connections with aerosol flush, and blow the flush out with compressed air. With that done Ill hook up the compressor, install the compressor, and vacuum the system. Then I plan to install a new filter/dryer and receiver, vacuum again, charge the system with 134a, and get started. Are there other things that I should be doing ? Bill Murdoch

Laminating insulation
I am getting ready to add insulation using blueboard. Wondering what kind of adhesive to use to laminate 1" pieces together. Was going to use contact cement, but understand it can damage the foam. Suggestions?

Thanks for the intel. Just a few more quick questions. Where would I find Climate Control? Also, do you have any phone numbers for these people or can I reach them thru their companies websites? It is most definitely a Crosby system. I believe it was installed on the boat when it was commissioned. Thanks again, Chris

AC/DC Power for 12 volt Refrigerator
I have not tested the Xantrex True Charge 40 so I can not say what happens to a battery bank when operating 12 volt refrigerator at the dock. The tests I have run show that even the more expensive Heart inverter charger set to limit battery bank temperature to 100 degrees F will still show excessive water loss in two to three weeks. Float charging voltage alone at one tenth amp and 12.9 amps should not create water level problems but it will if the 12 volt refrigerator is left on. One way to find out if the advice you received from Electricboat was correct is to leave the refrigerator running at the dock and check the water level every two weeks. If the battery level holds for more than a month I would think there is no real stress on batteries. If after your own test talk to WAECO Adler Barbour Technical people about the converters they sell for the new Danfoss compressors.

I still haven't resolved this issue. I certainly trust your experience and especially your test results. However, Boat Electric, whose business is charging systems as well as refrigerators, insist that the charger I have (which is one they sell, Xantrex True Charge 40) the dc current is passed directly to the refrigerator (Danfoss) without affecting the batteries. They will sell me the AC switching converter if I want it, but say it is a waste of money. I also did my own test at the dock by turning on about 10 amps of draw while the charger was connected to shore power. The fan on the charger never kicked on as it does when charging the batteries, which seemed to indicate that the batteries were not being drawn down. What am I missing?