There isn't much
unused space in the Fulmar so choosing a seawater cooled chiller system had
the benefit of not requiring air circulation or noisy cooling fans.
I mounted the compressor behind the cutlery drawer, just below the
sink. You wouldn't know it was there once fitted. I carefully sited the
pipework close to the transverse bulkhead so that the cupboard space
could be used as before.
evaporator, or to be more exact autechtic evaporator (cold storage block),
in the existing cool box was fairly straight forward using rubber Rawl
inserts. The pipework was led just below the lid on the forward wall of the
cool box. I used plastic conduit to protect the cable and insulated pipe and
to prevent any spillage from the cool box top getting to the pipework. The
exit to the cupboard was via a 30mm hole filled with insulating foam.
Now for the interesting bit! The
heat exchanger is a 60mm skin fitting which replaces the sink outlet, whilst
still allowing the sink exit. The seawater can circulate freely around the
chiller coil to reduce the temperature without causing an increase in the
interior temperature of the boat. I used foam to protect, insulate and fix
To finish off the
cool box I fabricated a separator from Marley PVC-UE facia board. This is
available from B&Q for about £11.50 a sheet 415mm x 1.25M x 9mm
(Product Code FB125W). It allows cool air to flow over and under it. I
followed the installation & testing instructions and within 30 minutes of
starting the test ice was beginning to form. The system control is sited
above the cool box and the system worked well with no perceptible noise when
running on economy and the engine running sensing did a perfect job of
Here is the control. It indicates
when the fridge is powered up, when freezing down under full power (battery
charging) and when running 'economy' (battery only). It also indicates when
the battery voltage falls below a certain threshold but before full
discharge has occurred.
Two weeks sailing and
the cold beer voted to be a great success. No problems anchoring for more
than a day and the food was kept as fresh as in any domestic fridge. Well
worth the extra cost for the saltwater cooling and autectic cooler plate.