Nova Kool Refrigerator

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makala
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by makala »

Thanks Mac, I appreciate the advice! Measure twice and cut once :P

Can you comment on the performance of the CR200 versus the NovaKool? Hopefully we see some improvement!

Doug

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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by dstrecker1 »

Mac,
Now that you had the C200 fridge for a while, how is it preforming compared to the Nova Cool? My fridge just developed a Freon leak. Because of the leak location it may be easier to get a new fridge.

Dennis Strecker
2006 PDQ34 Hull 95

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AMCarter3
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by AMCarter3 »

Our Isotherm CR2000 seems to be fantastic. It is better insulated, cycles less than our old Nova Cool and is guaranteed to not ever need the coolant to be re-pressurized. While its internal measurements are a tiny bit smaller, it still holds a lot of normal food and frozen food. The freezer compartment does a very good job of making ice. The temp in the larger food compartment seems relatively even on the different shelves. And, so far, we have not had any problems with it. Lastly, it looks a lot more elegant than the Nova Cool. All in all, I think its simply a better built fridge.
Mac Carter
2006 34' PDQ PowerCat "All Heart"; MV 98; twin 100 HP Yanmars
Home Port: Bellingham WA 98229
Member of San Juan Sailing & Yachting Charter Fleet: http://sanjuansailing.com/charter-detai ... .php?id=35

dstrecker1
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by dstrecker1 »

Mac,
Thanks for the information. Not wanting to go though all the cutting and fitting you did, I call a dealer for Nova Kool and found out they have a delivery backlog of 30 plus weeks. It seem the factory was closed for 8 months. Meanwhile, I rechecked for a Freon leak and could not find one. After not cooling on the fridge side the fridge is running fine now. The only thing I did was to check the Freon level with a gauge. Freezer side is at 13F and refrigerator side is at 36F. One thing I noticed is it took about 20 minutes for the suction side of the compressor to drop from 65 psi upon starting to stabilize at 12 psi. Which is a about 5 to 10 psi higher than a typical fridge (12 psi is what what Nova Kool suggested as normal). I am thinking that the 20 minutes for the pressure to stabilized is a sign of a leaking or stuck compressor valve. Bottom line is, if I can narrow it to a compressor problem, I probably replace the compressor. A lot less expensive and less hassle than replacing refrigerator. But if it comes down to replacing it I will go with the Isotherm C200. It looks good and I can get it delivered to the local West Marine Store without paying the $400 for shipping.

Dennis Strecker
Hull 95

MikeH
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by MikeH »

Easy Riders' 2003 Nova Kool is still going strong, but the suspense is killing me as to when a problem will develop.

A big THANKS ! to John Cummings for suggesting that I carry some spare parts for the fridge, and milk it for as long as I can.

Here's info from the Nova Kool dealer:

The Thermostat, latches, the condenser fan and the control module are generally the most likely things to fail so if you wanted spares those would be my recommendations. That being said, your refrigerator is almost 20 years old and realistically it is on the last few years of its life so I personally would look into getting a new refrigerator as opposed to getting spares (the spares would be compatible with a new refrigerator if you got another Nova Kool, but most Nova Kool units are currently on about a 16 week lead time.).
If your unit is DC-only then the Electronic 2000 would be the replacement module. If the unit is AC/DC then the Electronic ACDC would be the correct replacement.
Let me know if you have any questions.

Cordially,
Graham Milgate
Sales and Service
Sure Marine Service Inc.
5320 28th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Shop: (206)784-9903
Fax: (206)784-0506
Direct: (206)731-7848
Mike Hendry
M/V Easy Riders, Gulfport FL
2003 PDQ MV 34
The Legendary Hull #29
75 HP, 3 Blade

makala
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by makala »

Hi fellow PDQ’ers-
We replaced our NovaKool with the Isotherm CR200 in June 2022 and are glad we did. In early June we took a trip to the Abacos and the fridge wasn’t cooling very well (actually even the previous year it didn’t cool very well). Once we got back to Florida, the fridge stopped working but the freezer still was “cool”. We had a second trip planned to the Bahamas in early July, so we didn’t waste any time getting a replacement. We ended up ordering the CR200 from marine warehouse for $2035 (including FL tax) and had to add freight.
http://www.marinewarehouse.net/isotherm.html
The build and performance of the CR200 seems much better than the NovaKool. A few things I noticed are:
-The fridge cold plate is the back wall of the compartment instead of the top. No longer do we have dripping water on our food. What is really slick is the Isotherm has a drain on the bottom of the cold plate that will drain condensation to the outside (back wall) and into a reservoir- the reservoir itself has a copper line from the condenser side that will evaporate the draining liquid!
-The freezer cold plate is on the left side wall of the freezer compartment and keeps the entire freezer ice cream cold! The NovaKool has the dorm style U-shaped cold plate and didn’t get the food on the bottom that cold.
-The Isotherm has built in venting along its side and upper perimeter (around the door frames), helping air flow back to the compressor/condenser.
-The isotherm has a very nice condenser/fan assembly plenum which forces convection heat transfer much better than the NovaKool “computer fan” near the condenser. Perhaps this is just an update to the Danfoss assembly design and now the NovaKool includes it, but just by inspection it is obvious that it will be more efficient
-The isotherm has rubber feet, so that may reduce conduction to the shelf
-The size of the Isotherm doesn’t seem any smaller than the NovaKool and subjectively I like the layout better.
A few notes on the installation:
-Previous owners or someone drilled several large holes (3-4” diameter) at the forward location of the fridge shelf- this likely significantly helps airflow to the fridge
-I removed the screen on the door below the fridge shelf to maximize air flow
-We opted for the AC/DC version
-I noticed that the NovaKool actually had two sets of spade connectors to power the fridge (one set on the fridge itself and then another to connect fridge to boat DC). This likely caused some voltage drop. For the new fridge I used a single set of butt connectors since we rarely disconnect the fridge.
- I was able to get the fridge out of the boat myself by disassembling. Me and my wife were able to get the new fridge into the boat using Mac’s installation tips.
-I used a thin flexible cutting board to cover the rear corner when installing so it didn’t rip up the vinyl ceiling.
- It was easy to cut out the fiberglass to accommodate the new fridge
-You do need to cut the top trim vinyl piece- I used a jigsaw.
I haven’t paid too much attention to the power draw since we normally fire up the generator and stay out on the hook.
Overall we are very happy and the fridge looks nice to boot!
Thank you Mac for sharing your installation it made it much easier for us.

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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by dstrecker1 »

I just bought an Isotherm CR200. Have it in the back of my truck. Before I put it in the boat I decided to run it and make sure it works. I have recording thermometers one for the freezer and another for the refrigerator. They are Wi-Fi connected to my phone. I put the thermostat at 4 and the refrigerator would only get down to 47F the Freezer 20F at the thermostat setting of 7 Refrigerator got to 44F and freezer to 12F. Has anyone else measured the temperatures. I am thinking the refrigerator is running too warm. The outside temperature is about 85F. The compressor is cycling. Let me know what your experience is. Thanks.

duetto
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by duetto »

i think the 85 is tough. as discussed so much here, a lot depends on getting the hot air away from the evaporator/compressor. we just installed a vitrofrigo on our other boat. one day we came down and inside of boat was 94. fridge temp was 44. i installed 4" fan to exhaust compressor compartment and now id consistently 41.
john & diane cummings
duetto mv34 #23

Don & Robbin
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by Don & Robbin »

Our frig was replaced by the previous owners. They removed the cabinet above the sink, and cut out some framing under the seat. I can send some pictures of the cuts but will not be back to the boat until Oct. The new one is a Nova Kool. It has worked perfectly since 2014.
Don
Ripple, hull 39

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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by dstrecker1 »

When I went to install my Isotherm CR200. I did not want to cut the opening as much as required. Instead I decided to add 3/4” x 1.5” wood strips to the side and top so the fridge will protrudes from the wall 1.5”. The vents on the side would be partially blocked by the fridge and the wall. May need to drill a hole in floor on the port side to compensate for the vents. There are holes in the floor behind the fridge. It looks like they were done by PDQ. I plan on removing the feet if it eliminate cutting the top. Will send pics when done.

Dennis & Cindy
Hull95

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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by dstrecker1 »

Installation of the Isotherm CR200. This was done by myself and with my wife helping me. All I will say is that we are both on Medicare.
• Remove the old fridge. Disconnect the power and remove the doors and shelving.
• Build a lift and install it over the cook top. Picture attached.
• Slide the old unit on to a plywood board spanning the two counters. This will protect the countertops.
• Slide the old unit on to the lift and use a drill to operate the lift to get it even or above the backrest for the seat backrest.
• Use an 18” strip of 1/2” plywood approximately 6’ in length to slide it from the lift to the table and on to another piece of plywood (the same size), to slide it out of the center front window. Be sure to protect the windlass. I surrounded the windlass with about four 4X4x2’ lg block that I also used to rest the plywood on. Also, be sure to protect the bottom rubber seal on the window frame with some cardboard since you may need to slide the plywood forward with the fridge. I also used several 4X4 blocks to support the plywood on the table. The table was also covered with a cloth.
• I had a tow behind personnel lift, so I used it to lift the old unit off the boat and into a cart on shore.
• I did the reverse for getting the Isotherm on and in the boat. On the Isotherm I had to remove the doors, frame and rubber feet to get it through the window. On the lift it had just enough clearance to fit between the side window and the seat backrest. Once lowered down to the install level I reinstalled the doors and rubber feet.
• I chose to cut the frame of the isotherm and install it about 1.5” off the wall to reduce cutting on the boat. Attached are pictures of the frame addition and the install.
• I added a 120V outlet for the fridge. I connected into the 120V outlet below the front window for power. This outlet is also on my inverter, so the fridge is always powered. It is not necessary to connect the DC power, but I decided to do it anyway. The DC wiring to the fridge is 14AWG and it is undersized for the length of run. I measured a 1.5 DC voltage drop between the panel and fridge when running. The Isotherm compressor is 25% larger than the existing Nova Kool.
I did replace the 14AWG wiring with a 10AWG wire. I also noticed that the freshwater pump is also 14AWG, so I replaced it with a 10AWG. The previous owner told me he was always replacing the water pump. Maybe the undersized wiring was the problem. Running the fridge off the 120V outlet provides 24V to the compressor which is better than running the compressor at 12 volts.

Dennis and Cindy Strecker
Hull 95
Attachments
removing.JPG
fridge side 1.jpg
Installed.JPG
Lift.JPG

DickTuschick
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Re: Nova Kool Refrigerator

Post by DickTuschick »

This is an important and troublesome issue on our boats as they grow older and I thought it might be helpful to summarize all the lessons learned with the Nova Kool units. First and foremost they are good and reliable units but there have been many issues, most related to installation. Many hulls had the installation done with wire gage that was too small and caused a painful drop in voltage that when your batteries got low caused the auto low voltage shut off to trigger. The solution…run a new 10 gage wire to the unit. A second problem that is surfacing is the contacts between the wire and the unit itself. These are slide on male/female and they can corrode and loose good contact. Replacement with good clean contacts is easy. Adequate ventilation to the compressor is critical for all refrigerators and unfortunately ours is not the best. If the ambient temperature is less than 80 this is not a real problem but over that it becomes more of one. Any kind of circulating fan bringing in cool air or pushing the hot air out can help significantly.
Yes, removing the drip pan does seem to help temperature consistency in the refrigerator.
Yes, the units do need to be defrosted on a regular basis.
On our boat we have addressed all of the above and after 16 years of extensive use the unit still performs remarkably well.

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