Friday, 3 April 2015

Galley Makeover - A Fridge is Born

Hi everyone,
This week our new fridge was brought to life.  We enlisted the help of John from Bluewater Marine Refrigeration to commission the system.  John didn't have much to do, but what he did was very important.  He connected the evaporator plate to the condenser unit and checked operation of the system.  He also provided helpful advice.

On Sunday we manouevred the evaporator plate (with its 2m tubing!) into place.  That was scary but we managed it without damaging the paintwork or the tubes.

Evaporator plate installed
Evaporator plate mounting screws attach (through paint and thick epoxy)
 to plywood panels in the walls
On Monday John visited and connected the tubes to the condenser unit.  The unit is mounted in our large cockpit locker which is immediately behind the fridge cool box - on the other side of the bulkhead.  The condenser unit sits on a custom made s/s shelf.

Condenser running (note the frosted tube)
Condenser and shelf
The commissioning went very smoothly.  We were initially uncertain if the cockpit locker would be large enough to avoid the condenser running hot.  So far there's no sign of the locker warming up, but if it does we have a plan to circulate air from the lazarette which has a vent to outside air.

For the rest of the week we have been working to trim the three locker lids to size.  They could only be trimmed when painting of the lockers was complete.  Two of the lids are simple plywood and aquapanel sandwiches, while the fridge lid also has 50mm of XPS insulation.  The larger lid and the fridge lid will both have thin foam attached to form a good seal.

Locker lids (painting of edges still to be done)
Fridge lid
The fridge has been running all week with the top covered by an (ill-fitting) plywood off-cut and towels.  It is running less often and for shorter periods than the portable car fridge, and should run even less when the insulated lid is in place.  There's room for more food, more beer and even a couple of bottles of champers.  It's all looking good.

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