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In a capillary tube refrigeration system, there is only one way to accurately determine the perfect refrigerant charge level, and that is by using the frost-line method. Fortunately this is a very easy thing to do; you do not need gauges for this, nor do you need to weigh in refrigerant.
The perfect refrigerant charge will be one where there is enough liquid refrigerant to evaporate through the entire evaporator, but not on the suction tubing going back to the compressor.
This will be evident by the presence of a thin coating of frost over the entire evaporator surface after the compressor has been running for a few minutes (after 20-30 minutes if a warm start-up). The liquid refrigerant is boiling off (evaporating) at a very low temperature inside the channels, and should be all boiled off and reverted to a gas when it reaches the end of the evaporator.
If frost is seen on the tubing anywhere outside of the insulated box (you will have to penetrate the pipe insulation to check properly), then there is too much refrigerant in the system. Excess liquid is evaporating inside the tubing and this is causing the frosting, but the tubing should contain only gas, which will not create frost. If the evaporator, tubing, and maybe also the compressor are all just sweating, with no frost evident, this would indicate a serious refrigerant overcharge, which is a potentially dangerous situation.
Frigoboat's Keel Cooler, installed on over 40,000 vessels worldwide, offers water-cooled heat exchange for your refrigeration system without the use of a pump. This means no strainers to clean, no noise, and little maintenance.
The Keel Cooler is embedded in sintered bronze, which is primarily copper, making it naturally anti-fouling. Add to this the fact it is warm to the touch when in operation means there should be little sea growth on it.
However, in some areas the water is rich with algae and other sea life and a build-up can occur. Not a problem. Simply use a stiff, nylon brush or green scrubber pad to wipe the accumulation off the keel cooler. Pesky barnacles may require a plastic scraper, but please resist the temptation to use a metal scraper or wire brush. Both of these devices could harm the sintered bronze coating and potentially the embedded cuper nickel tubing containing the refrigerant.
If you have continued issues with excessive growth on your keel cooler, a single coat of anti-fouling paint can be applied with little to no noticeable loss of performance. Bear in mind, though, that you can then no longer use your keel cooler as a grounding plate for an SSB or other radio device.
Rest assured, your keel cooler should last the life of your Frigoboat system.
When a manufacturer states their solar panel's power ratings, one must bear in mind that this is only a nominal reading. Unless power tolerance data is shown in the specifications, there is likely to be quite a range of possible power outputs.
Several of the solar panels we offer are made with genuine SunPower® cells which are only sold by SunPower®, directly to known manufacturers, who have passed their scrupulous inspection. And like many manufacturers, there are different grades of SunPower® cells - the higher the grade, the higher the price to the manufacturer, however the better the output. Solara and Solbian use only the geniune, high grade cells themselves on their SunPower® solar panels.
When looking at solar panels, ask to see the specification for the panels themselves. For example, Solara's Ultra glass panels show a power tolerance of -0%/+4.99%, so they are guaranteed never to be less than the nominal rating.