Please click on a question to reveal the answers
Q1: We need refrigeration, so where do we start?
A: First we suggest reading our web pages named; Products, Packages, Cabinet Tips and Why Eutectic to gain a broad understanding of the systems packages available. Then if you are unsure as to which system is most suitable, obtain inside dimensions, insulation thickness and any other relevant details of your cabinet or cabinet to be, and phone or email Ozefridge.
Q2: What will we need to complete the project?
A: The Ozefridge systems are complete pre-gassed and ready to install. To install the system you will need a helper, some hand tools and a hole saw to prepare a pipe entry hole through the cabinet. These items are listed in the installation manual. (The eutectic tank is sent dry to reduce freight cost and make fitting easier. The eutectic solution is readily obtainable.)
Q3: Can I install the Ozefridge system myself?
A: Anyone that can use basic tools should be able to install this system. With the help of an assistant and the installation manual supplied, the Ozefridge should be in and running in about *2 to 3 hours. If preferred we can recommend a local refrigeration company to supply and install your new system. (Important: *See note at the bottom of the FAQ’s)
Q4: What about the gas and pipes?
A: The system is pre-gassed with R134a. Simply locate the tank (or plate) and the refrigeration unit, *couple up the two pipes, open the valves and you are ready to power up. All described in the manual. (Important: *See note at the bottom of the FAQ’s)
Q5: But what if I still have questions about the installation?
A: At Ozefridge we are only a phone call away 24/7.
Q6: Where should I locate the Refrigeration Condensing Unit?
A: The need for the condensing unit to effectively dispose of the heat it removes from the cabinet, is paramount.
Locate the unit in a dry location where air entering the condenser at the rear is not air that has exited the fan area.
Do not locate the unit in a cupboard, under the bunk etc without separated air in and air out openings or using water cooling.
Q7: Is it better for the refrigeration unit to be air cooled or water cooled?
A: The Ozefridge AW480 system is both air and water cooled. This unit operates as air cooled only until the condenser temperature reaches 40C when the water cooling is added automatically and the fan switches to high speed. This digital control provides the best possible condensing, power efficiency and yet prevents over condensing.
Q8: We are cruising the tropics soon, do we need water cooling for our refrigeration unit?
A: Yes, the Ozefridge AW480 system is both air and water cooled, so you will not have condensing problems anywhere! The A480 with twin condenser fans is a competent air cooled option if water cooling is a problem.
Q9: The Ozefridge condenser water cooling, how does it work?
A: The model P3 pump kit is powered from the refrigeration unit. You simply connect the supplied vinyl food grade water pipes to the condensers two 10mm nipples and pump, connect the pump power lead to the refrigeration unit pump terminals on the AW480 or ER480 and switch the ‘plus water’ switch on. When required the pump will operate.
Q10: What happens if there is a blockage in the water line or the pump fails?
A: Being both air and water cooled, the system will continue cooling as a air cooled system albeit slower.
Q11: Why does Ozefridge emphasize the importance of good condensing?
A: The condenser disposes of the heat removed from your cabinet. The quicker and more efficiently this happens, the sooner the system switches off. Australia’s environment can be harsh, hot and dry and we have seen many under condensed European systems fail here because their engineering does not suit our conditions. And they fail when it is the hotest, just when you need refrigeration the most!
Q12: Can I run the system from a 240 volt generator power when available?
A: Absolutely, both the 12volt DC and the 240 volt AC supplies can remain connected at all times. When AC power is available, the system automatically uses that as a priority. When the AC generated or shore power is switched off, the ER480 will automatically resume operating from the DC supply. (The A480 & AW480 can be supplied with the optional AC-DC power converter)
Q13: Where is the refrigeration gas stored?
A: Ozefridge systems are supplied gas charged with refrigerant R134a. The required amount of gas is stored inside the refrigeration unit. *After coupling the pipes, two valves are opened to allow the system to operate. Explained in the owners manual.
Q14: What about any future servicing?
A: The Ozefridge system is similar to a domestic refrigerator, simple and reliable. Should repairs be required, any competent refrigeration mechanic can quickly connect to the external service valves for system analysis without welding or fitting additional devices. If preferred, the system valves can be closed off isolating the gases and the refrigeration unit sent to Ozefridge for repair.
Q15: Is the refrigeration gas safe?
A: The refrigerant gas used is the environment friendly and non-flammable R134a. The quantity is less than 180 grams. (<225 grams for twin plate systems)NO other gas should be substituted.
Q16: Why does Ozefridge only manufacture eutectic systems?
A: The eutectic system although more expensive initially, but has benefits and efficiencies that make it by far the most suitable refrigeration method where power supply is limited, erratic and varied. (See our page ‘Why Eutectic’)
Q17: How can I estimate how often a system will run to re-freeze the eutectic solution in my cabinet?
A: The easiest way is to use a container similar in size to the eutectic tank you intend using, (our 32-29 tank = 3.5Lt, 45-32 tank = 8Lt, 53-35 tank = 8Lt). Fill the container with water and place in your deep freezer for at least 6 or 7 days. Then put this frozen container high up inside your empty boat cabinet and see how long it lasts before totally thawing. This will give a guide as to how long each freeze / thaw cycle of a eutectic system will be. For example, if the test lasted 48 hours then your system will run for one freeze cycle every second day . Each re-freeze cycle will be approx 2.3 hours (small tank) to 4.7 hours long (large tank) and consume a total of approximately 12 to 25 amperes.
Q18: Why is the Ozefridge digital ‘Sure-Thaw’ controll method so beneficial?
A: It reads the actual eutectic mass temperature internally. Only Ozefridge has the ‘Sure-Thaw’ digital controller that guarantees proper freeze and thaw on each and every cycle. Without this unique control feature the systems’ function would be erratic with no means of ensuring that the eutectic benefit (phase change)is happening. Hold-over time is expanded with this method of controll.
Q19: Does the ‘Sure-Thaw’ controller lower the power consumption?
A: Absolutely, with proper eutectic phase-change guaranteed on each cycle by this unique controller, unnecessary compressor running is eliminated, run periods are optimized, and now with ECO2, battery drainage is minimal.
Q20: Is it better to use the larger plate?
A: Yes, if practical, the larger eutectic capacity provides greater hold-over and is more power efficient. Thin plates are best for twin plate projects and freezers.
Q21: Why doesn’t Ozefridge weld the stainless steel eutectic plates to their base plate?
A: Our eutectic tanks & plates are bolted together using a flexible seal and stainless steel bolts and nuts. This eliminates fractures that can occur in welded joints caused by the constant expansion and contraction.
Q22: But aren’t aluminum plate evaporator systems cheaper.
A: Yes they are, but try buying one with a decent warranty against gas leaks developing. The aluminum plate is soft and the refrigeration gases can easily be lost if the plate is punctured or corrodes when the anodized coating is scratched. Such happenings are common and cause contamination of the entire refrigeration system which can render it virtually useless. While costing less initially they will forever consume much more battery power and prove to be not so cheap in the long term.
Q23: What advice do you offer when selecting a system?
A : Be informed and purchase a system package that is appropriate for the application.
Provide an ACURATE and honest description of your cabinets size, insulation and interior lining. Near enough is not good enough!
Be aware that some companies offer systems bit by bit, so get quotes for ALL that is needed for a complete system and avoid paying through the neck for add-ons later that, after all, were essential for the system to operate correctly in the first place.
Q24: We priced a comparable imported system recently, so why do Ozefridge systems cost so much less?
A: We are the actual manufacturer with a more direct distribution to you. Our products do not suffer from the numerous mark ups that the imported models have built into their pricing. The Ozefridge system has more standard features, provides superior performance, yet costs less than any other similar systems, in fact half the cost of some equivalent imports!
We try hard at Ozefridge to provide good service so these comments are always appreciated….
Ian Walker. WA.
“”Just a few words to thank you for the prompt and enthusiastic service you have provided since my first dealings with you. The ozefridge is a huge improvement over my previous fridge and consumes less than half the power for the same outcome. What impressed me most however is that you could supply me with a replacement water pump within 48 hours while I was cruising Shark Bay. From the same location it took 4 weeks to get my computer repaired, your service was like a breath of fresh air.
“”Just a quick note to let you know that the fridge has been installed and has been working beautifully, I am very happy with the final performance and of course the cold beer is excellent!
Grant Barnett, Nth Queensland
“”Hi there at Ozefridge. Thanks for providing such a well designed & constructed product. I have installed it & a week later tested it out on the Hinchenbrook region of North Queensland. This system already works much better than the one it has replaced.
Richard Williams. WA.
“”I am your #1 salesman over here in the West so please don’t hesitate to use me if you have someone interested who wants to chat with a current owner.
“”You understand customer service. Not a lot of businesses understand that concept today. I have shown your system to a number of people and everyone is very impressed.
Bruce Sagnol. (Rockhampton Qld.)
“”I would like to thank you for your outstanding after sales support. The part arrived the next day as promised and the fridge is working again. Its refreshing to deal with people who show a genuine interest in their product and customers and take a no B.S. approach to warranty claims.
Matt from Neptunes Gear: Wrote…Ozefridge and our experience using it
IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING ELECTRIC REFRIGERATION YOU MUST READ THIS!!
Refrigeration is a real problem for many cruisers. It does not need to be! Here is a short description of our experience with refrigeration in some of the warmest areas in the world.
When we left New Zealand, we had a (relatively old fashioned) engine driven system, and a large freezer (290ltrs) and fridge (290ltrs). The freezer cold plates were two large stainless tanks with a meths solution. One tank was shared with the fridge, installed as a partition. This system functioned well, and has a large capacity. However, it’s entirely based on engine running to stay cold.
As we moved into warmer climates, the freezer temp (fridge as well, but freezer was the primary issue) would vary significantly, depending on engine hours. We are a sailboat! This finally, in northern Australia, got to the stage where things would thaw slightly. This is dangerous to your health! So we decided to do something about it…
Although I had been told by various fridge techs in New Zealand that an electric system would use too much power with cabinet space as large as ours, I decided to look into it. I measured our cabinets, the thickness of the insulation (thin stiff wire pushed through it), etc. I then rang all the marine fridge suppliers I could find. Most had no firm answers. Most could not tell me the BTU capabilities of their units. This is basic fridge engineering!!! It was kind of disappointing to say the least.
Then I saw the light.
I had read a bit about OZEfridge, and how they use FRESH WATER cooling, not the more normal air or sometimes sea water. This sounded interesting. It does NOT consume fresh water, just borrows it from the fresh water tanks, then puts it back. It will not taint the water in any way, and, as water is more than 24x as efficient as air for cooling, it barely raises the temp of the water. It also runs for far shorter times, due to the thermal efficiency of water. This saves A LOT of electricity.
Also, Peter, from OZEfridge, spoke intelligently about the system. Once I had given him the dimensions, insulation type and thickness etc, he recommended a model for us. So I ordered it. It came pre-gassed, so I installed it myself. The only extra I had to buy was some ethylene glycol – car coolant from the local auto store. This is what goes into the coolant tanks. Simple instructions are included.
Installation: So, it arrived, all nicely packed. Install is REALLY SIMPLE. You can do it! Screw the tanks into the cabinet, connect the click connectors, 2 wires to the power, a simple fitting into the water tank, then finally what for us was the hardest bit – running the small plastic tube from the water tank to the the control unit and back. It took a few hours, as, like most cruising boats, there was lots of stuff to move to do a tidy job, and the water tank was a fair way away from the freezer.
The end result is that we have a freezer that has 2 completely separate systems, so if one fails we still have the other. The freezer now sits at between -16c and -21c ALL the time. We had Icecream on the equator!!! This system really is fantastic! It draws under 6amps, and, on the equator, ran about 30% of the time.
We had a friend on another boat who saw our one and wanted one, but could not get OZEfridge from anyone in Malaysia. He installed an opposition air cooled unit as recommended by a local company. It drew over 13amps(2 Compressors, one fridge, one freezer), and ran ALL THE TIME! They did not use it, so the money was completely wasted.
Matt is now our agent if you’re east of the ditch! (See contact details below)
Dr. Neil NZ
“”Just thought I’d drop you a line to let you know the fridge is working very well – beers are finally cold!
“”Qld: The Ozefridge has arrived safely, thanks. I am thrilled with its innovation and its attention to detail.
Ken Pugh (USA. visitor to Aust)
“”Your service is outstanding!!! Thank you.
Peter Wederell NZ
“”Thanks, You guys are amazing for customer service and have a great product, will recommend.”
John Boyce. (Sydney)
“”I am thrilled with the way all our food is kept chilled & my wife, the “Lady Admiral’ who bosses this lowly ships captain around a lot thinks your product is great !
Ray Pickles NZ
“”Thanks for your help recently in sending and then helping me to get the parts needed for my fridge.
Sam Ross, Northern WA
“”Thanks for sending the fridge system, arrived in one piece, its working very well in the 30c + up here. I’m using a 150 ltr cabinet and partitioned it of half way with a small gap at the back, I’m running the cut out on -25c.
Michael “Dorothy LaVinia” Sydney
“”Hi Peter, Thanks again for your assistance. I left the unit running overnight on 12 volts and checked it this morning. It is going gangbusters with a freezer temperature of -13 and the condensing unit case is barely warm. We left a plastic cup of water in the bottom of the freezer cabinet and, as you would expect, it was frozen solid this morning. This wouldn’t have happened with the previous unit. It runs quietly too compared with the old one. I really appreciate the way you have always been available to help me with advice. There are not many suppliers who care about their customers as much as you obviously do and I’ll certainly be recommending you to any of my boating friends who
Brian Milton. Sydney, Emailed
“”It is very difficult to get this type of service these days. I will have no trouble recommending and praising OzeFridge to my friends in the boating community. Well done and thanks again for your assistance.
Arthur R from Navini Island (South Pacific) Emailed
“”The three frig/freezer units continue to operate very well thank you; these are certainly one of the best pieces of equipment I have installed on the boat, and meet our requirements very well.
We appreciate and are encouragement by the kind endorsements above. Unfortunately we couldn’t fit them all in here.
Thanks to all our valued customers.
IMPORTANT: As Ozefridge Industries Pty. Ltd. manufactures and supplies refrigeration systems to be installed by others and into existing cabinets that have insulation properties we can not be assured of, we do not guarantee cabinet temperature outcomes or system suitability in this or any other quotation or statement.
/>Neptunes Boating Gear: For those on the east side of the ditch!
Sole New Zealand distributor of Ozefridge products.
You can find Matt at: 161 Waterside Cresent Gulf Harbour Auckland 0930 New Zealand Phone +64 221539176
Multipanel: Cabinet & construction Paneling: www.multipanel.com.au
Multipanel manufacture insulated panels suitable for refrigerator cabinet construction. Multipanel can be supplied with a veneer on one or both sides and therefore is an ideal cabinet lining material.
Cabinets constructed as advised have excellent structural, insulation and water resistance properties.
Reverse Ozmosis Water Makers:
Contact Peter and Lorraine Colman.
Their yachting experiences mean that they talk from years of experience. Check their site at: http://www.blueseamachines.com.au/ECHOTec_watermakers.htm