Sunday, June 12, 2011

Thumbs up for New Solar & Frigoboat

Now that we've had some time to watch and observe, we are really ecstatic about the upgrades we made in our solar charging system, and our refrigeration system in Hawaii.

On a sunny day, our solar array now handles all the electrical requirements and has the batteries topped off by early afternoon. This is in the South Pacific winter, where our days are only about 11 1/2 hours long, and the sun never gets properly overhead. At 7:30 am, we are generating over 10 amps into the batteries, and at mid-day, we are generating a peak of 30+ amps. Even on a fully-overcast day, we are charging 8-10 amps mid-day.

The Frigoboat systems have been performing well too. Our freezer stuff is rock-solid, and the fridge is adequately cold to keep everything nice. We still have a small bit of lettuce, green peppers, celery, cabbage, and carrots, as well as some apples left in the fridge after 6 weeks. Plus all the butter, cheese, eggs, and milk products. Fridge run time varies quite a bit depending on how often we get in the fridge. Both units combined are using approximately 80 amps in 24 hours.

The 'Smart Speed Control' on the Frigo systems has not been as useful as we'd thought. One problem is that the Danfoss compressors (or their controllers) make quite a bit of SSB noise, so we turn them off at the circuit breaker frequently when we are on the SSB. This resets the 'memory' on the SSC--so it seems they are always running full bore rather than at slow speed. We can manually force it to a slower speed, but that somewhat defeats the purpose of the SSC. And we have to manually reset it every time we turn the power off. I think if we had to do it over again, we wouldn't bother with the SSC and would use instead the Danfoss speed control module, or a very inexpensive (about $30) manual switch. We have both of these as spares and might switch out at some point.

But all-in-all we are very happy with both systems.
Sherry & Dave
In French Polynesia til August, then west toward Tonga
At 6/7/2011 11:10 PM (utc) our position was 15°48.18'S 146°09.17'W

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