insulating fridge

Submitted: Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 00:57
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Hi , its probably been said before, has anyone insulated the out side of their fridge (while its out)and also the in side of the cabinet to keep a little more coolness in side the fridge ?
also can you turn the fan around on the back of the fridge so that it blows cold air on the compressor or wouldn't this make any difference.


Cheers Dave
I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list.

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Reply By: SMICK - Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 03:10

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 03:10
If you put insulation on the outside of the fridge you wont get it back in the hole. The blokes at Alternate Refrigeration told me to leave the original fan where it is but mount a 100mm computer fan on top of the bottom vent (inside) so it blows air up. I did this by putting 4 long bolts through the vent louvers, then put the 4 bolts through the 4 holes in the computer fan. this makes the fan sit at about 45degrees. I wired it into the original fan with an inline switch so I only switch it on when its hot out side.
Michael
AROUND AUSTRALIA AT 80 KAYS.
Bushtrackerly Yours
Sue and Michael
SMICK

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Follow Up By: Googs & Zelda - Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 03:56

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 03:56
Hi Michael, can you insulate the inside of the cabinet to the same size as the fridge hole , will this way help .
I have already two fans lower and upper just thought there might be another way of keeping the fridge from cycling so much.

Cheers Dave
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 04:59

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 04:59
Dave
You should be able to line the cabinet to the same size as the opening with styrene board and still slide the fridge in.
What I did was, without taking the fridge out I packed pink bats around the fridge through the outside vents. A bit fiddly but works OK as being better than nothing.

As said, dont move the std fan as it is mainly there to cool the electronics.

The fans you have might work better if you have them both in the top vent drawing the hot air out. With the fans top and bottom you have a lot of turbulence instead of a nice linear flow of air up the back and out.

My fans are wired so that one switches on with the compressor and one switches on with a 50Deg thermo switch attached to the compressor so the second only comes on when the compressor is hot and keeps going during the off cycle until the compressor cools. It usually only comes on when the ambient temp is over 30Deg.
Or I can switch both on or off manually.
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Reply By: The Hob - Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 03:44

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 03:44
I have put two computer fans on the inside of the top vent to blow air out. Theory being to convince air to flow up across the condensor.

I also only turn them on when it is hot. Don't really know if it helps or not but can't hurt.

Alan
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Follow Up By: Googs & Zelda - Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 06:27

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 06:27
Hi Alan, you have two fans on the top vent , do you still run the standard one on the compressor, and if you do have one on the compressor which way does it blow?

Cheers Dave.
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Follow Up By: The Hob - Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 17:17

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 17:17
Dave

I have not touched the standard fan on the motor

Alan
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Reply By: Tracks n About - Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 23:55

Friday, Dec 06, 2013 at 23:55
G'day. I've always had problems with the fridge running too much. Have put one fan at the top vent sucking air out and it seemed to help. Met a bloke in W.A. who had A Coolmatic fridge same as mine. He had the same problem when he was in Darwin in the heat. He put a computer fan in the top right hand corner of the fridge to circulate the air inside the fridge. No problems since. He rigged it up so that when the compressor started the internal fan would start. I still haven't done it, but will be before our next trip. Hard part will be getting the wire from inside the fridge down to the compressor. Anybody any tips??
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Follow Up By: braggy - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 00:17

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 00:17
Feed them down the drain hose

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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 06:02

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 06:02
Yes drill a hole in the drain hose at the back of the fridge and feed the wires up.
As well as circulating the air for more even temp the fan blowing down the back wall also helps to make sure the back is fully defrosted at every cycle.
The build up of ice on the back wall is the biggest reason for loss of efficiency. While the fridge is running the back wall is less than zero but if it has a layer of ice the ice will insulate the rest of the fridge from the colder rear wall as the ice can only be at zero. That is why it is very important to have the fridge cycle for long enough for the back to defrost.
The mistake a lot of people make is to turn the fridge up to a higher (colder) setting when they get in high temp areas. If the thermostat is set for the fridge to cycle between say 0 and 5 deg than the fridge will try to run to these temps regardless of outside temp. By turning up the dial a bit you are moving that temp range to say -2 to 3 deg and in the heat the fridge will have a hard time getting down to -2 and so will likely run continually and build up ice on the back. Viscous circle starts.

Bob
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Reply By: Pixellator - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 03:44

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 03:44
We had 25mm polystyrene foam installed by Bushtracker at the time of build in 2005. It is fitted above, and on both sides of the fridge.
We recently had the fridge out for service at The Fridge Whisperer at Caboolture. The polystyrene had a fair bit of dust embedded, but that was easily removed. As good as the day it was built!
Bob
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Reply By: BushBoss - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 05:54

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 05:54
Hi Dave
i have insulated the fridge and cabinet.
The fridge i completely covered with 5mm of insulation which is coated with a silver material.(material as in the photos. no photos of fridge at this stage.) And yes it does still slide in but very tight.
The cabinet as per the photos.
As well as that i made a baffle to fit to the rear wall to direct the air flow from the outside direct onto the evaporator then out the top vent. No extra fans.Image Could Not Be Found
Still a work in progress.

Regards
Lance

Image Could Not Be FoundImage Could Not Be FoundImage Could Not Be FoundImage Could Not Be FoundImage Could Not Be Found
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Follow Up By: Googs & Zelda - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 06:31

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 06:31
Hi Lance,
Thanks for the great pictures and information in detail on how you are insulating the cabinet , I'm sure this will help in the cooling as it should nearly have as much insulation as a freezer .
Did you insulate the back wall with the vents in it behind the deflector panel?
How much space do you have to leave between the back of the fridge and the back wall (vented area)?
Have you got your fans (2) internally vented?

Cheers Dave
I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list.

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Follow Up By: grumpyolephartz - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 at 10:42

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 at 10:42
Lance and Dave, I have insulated the ply wall, particularly between the pantry and the fridge. We found a huge heat build up in some conditions, in the pantry mostly, but I have also insulated the wall between the fridge and the ensuite, being thicker ply, I figured it already had a better R rating.

The pantry doesn't warm up nearly so much. I used the foil backed foam that Lance pictured, adhesive the other side. You can see some of the foil backed foam inside the pantry in my photos. It stops stuff falling off the shelves too!
Regards from us grumpyolephartz, mostly John, but may be Heather

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Reply By: Tracks n About - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 07:03

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 07:03
G'day, Heaps of good info from you all. Thanks Bob for info on how to get the wiring down for the internal fan I'll be fitting. Do I need to take the fridge out to do it ? If so I may follow up on the insulation as well. All I need to do now is how to hook it up so that the fan comes on when the compressor starts. Any help in that department ? I had my own butcher shop for 25 years,so I know exactually what your saying about the icing up. Got to work one Monday morning and one of the fans in the cold room had stopped. The coils had completely iced up because of the lack of air flow.
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 08:28

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 08:28
I did not have to move the fridge but my bottom vent is at floor level. Dont know if you may have to.
I have my 40mm internal fan running 24/7 which it needs to do if it is to work properly. Power draw is not even measurable.
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Follow Up By: Toyman - Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 21:06

Saturday, Dec 07, 2013 at 21:06
Like Bob, my fan runs 24/7.
I just used the wiring from the Fridge light.
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Follow Up By: Googs & Zelda - Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 at 17:14

Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013 at 17:14
Hi Mr Tracks, can you post some photos of the fitting or the position of where you mounted the fan inside the fridge please.
Cheers Dave
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Reply By: Tracks n About - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 at 18:36

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 at 18:36
G'day Dave, At the moment I still haven't fitted the fan in my fridge to take a photo. Wont get a chance till after Xmas. The guy I mentioned in W.A. that had one fitted had it in the top right hand corner. All he had holding it in place was silicone. He had the air flow going down Now he didn't do much in the way of offroading,so it would be interesting to see if that would be enough to hold it in place over some rough stuff.
As I also mentioned earlier the guy in W.A. had his set up to run when the compressor started. Didn't understand why,as in my butcher shop the fans ran non stop, as you other guys mentioned. Would be so easy to hook it up to the light one would think.
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 at 22:34

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013 at 22:34
Here is my setup
I used stick on hooks from bunnings and they have been there for over 5 years

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Note the thermostat setting which keeps the fridge between 0 and 5 deg
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Follow Up By: Googs & Zelda - Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 at 05:49

Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 at 05:49
Thanks for the pictures Bob , looks like you have the back of the fan hooked up by a cable tie, does the wiring for that fan go to the original fridge fan ?
Cheers Dave
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Follow Up By: Bobrovin - Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 at 07:27

Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 at 07:27
No. It goes to the incoming power leads at the back of the fridge. If you connect it to the original fan it will only work when the compressor runs. It needs to work 24/7 to help defrost the rear wall while the compressor is off as well as continually circulating the air.
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Reply By: surfy53 - Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 at 19:48

Thursday, Dec 12, 2013 at 19:48
I too have placed a fan on the top external vent with a switch on the inside of the van. Inside the fridge I have also mounted a fan blowing onto the rear panel to increase the flow of cool air. This works really well as we have glass shelves. I'm sure the glass shelves restrict the flow of air around the fridge. The internal fan works a treat, just fantastic, however if an electrician saw all the wiring he would probably go right off.........
Chris.
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Reply By: Trakka - Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 09:17

Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 09:17
I recently found some fridge info at the following places which I don't think has appeared on the BT sites, quite useful:

http://www.kollmann-marine.com/Refrigeration/index.php?board=5.0

plus a trouble shooting guide for the Danfoss BD50F compressor at www.great-water.com (best to do a google search for BD50F compressor) lots of info to be found.

The above may be useful - I thought it was.

Cheers,

Trakka!MPG:6!
Peter & Rosalie enjoying the BT Lifestyle

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Follow Up By: Googs & Zelda - Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 17:53

Friday, Dec 20, 2013 at 17:53
Hi Peter, Thanks for that piece of information , I have made up a prototype internal fan ( thanks to Bob for pictures ) this has improved the operation a fair bit
Image Could Not Be Found

The thermostat is on 1.5 and at 8 o'clock in the morning is is at 1-3 degrees which is good for here, but things might be different up north , I have still to do the insulation of the cabinet I'm hoping that will help again.

Cheers Dave .
I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list.

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Follow Up By: GetItRight - Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 at 22:24

Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 at 22:24
I have and referenced Kollmann's manuals and guides, very good and always carried them with me plus service tools whilst ocean cruising (sailing). Another site refrigeration site with DIY parts and forum is 'Rparts.com' where I have gotten parts from (they were closer). .. still trying to get sorted to try land cruising ;)
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