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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Musings on the Refrigerator/Freezer

When you have been hit with a cold or some other illness, you get a lot of time to play with design. Been thinking about the refrigerator/freezer. It might get built this year. The current plan is to make the refrigerator box and all the mechanicals be modular in one unit. Locating the compressor/condenser as close to the box as possible. And, with the current design, the compressor will be mounted in a spot specifically designed in the refrigerator cabinet. One can get pretty exotic with insulation. One can go with fancy expensive one inch thick vacuum panels with values of about R-50. Or one can go with much cheaper two inch R13 foam insulation from Home Depot. Compressors can be exotic as well. From standard 12v compressors to sea-water cooled exchanger type compressors (run away!). I have been thinking I would stay with a standard DC compressor with air heat exchangers. Something like the CoolBlue from Technautics. They have been around for a while, but I dont know how reliable or how efficient their stuff is, and I havent sat down to calculate numbers (yet). If anyone has comments feel free to leave them below. Attached is a picture of the current box design. It is design such that it maximizes interior space, locates the compressor close to the box, out of the way, yet still somewhat accessible for servicing. The box will be secured in the galley with hidden thru bolts to existing bulkheads on either side. The idea being that, should the compressor need servicing, undo the bolts, slide the cabinet out about a foot and lift an access panel to get at the compressor. Current design has a capacity of about 10 cubic feet. For DIY refrigeration checkout I have his two books on refrigeration. They provides much more information than you could ever want.

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