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Old 09-28-2018, 11:12 AM   #1
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Refrigerator ( Danfoss/Secop BD35 or BD50 compressor) upgrades

Thought I would answer another post, but thought this might be better in its own thread.

I found a couple of devices that can improve the functionality of your refrigerator, to get the best functionality out of it you really need get both of the two devices. These are offered at Coastal Climate Control

The first is the Guardian, compressor speed control and digital thermostat

This provides a digital thermostat and thermometer with a manual compressor speed control. It gives you a a digital thermometer and a manual control for your refrigerator setting.

It also has an auto setting that you need to purchase the optional Merlin II, mini smart speed controller
This allows you to use the optional setting, you can set the temperature controller to a set temperature and it will pick the best and most efficient speed to run the compressor at.

Together these make a pretty good controller, I have found in extremely hot days with high inside temperatures it will still struggle to keep temperature at the set temperature.The bad thing is they are extremely proud of these devices and charge accordingly.
I am running this in combination with a CRUISE 130 Elegance

Isotherm makes a product called the Smart Energy Control While it performs similar functions , it does not find the best compressor speed. The setting of the temperature is also done with small dip switches on the unit which mounts on the Danfoss Controller. Unfortunately you need to pull the refrigerator out to gain access to change the settings.


2004 E350 EB V10 E/PH 2WD
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:01 PM   #2
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Neat setup. Nice of you to share - I can certainly see the advantages. "Gadgets" are kryptonite which weaken my financial judgement, fortunately I'm still married so I'm not destitute yet.
***But sure envy a setup like that!

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Old 09-28-2018, 09:39 PM   #3
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Very interesting. I wonder how it performs with the Norcold NR751BB that was standard in our SMB build?
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Old 09-29-2018, 07:59 AM   #4
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I believe that unit uses the 101N0500 Electronic Unit for BD35/BD50F Compressors, as it is pretty standard, The inputs to the controller are pretty standard, you adjust the on/off time with some sort of thermostat , the amount of current supplied when that circuit is closed adjust the rpm of the compressor and as such the current used by the compressor. My older Norcold DC5100, I believe a predecessor to the NR751BB used a pretty consistent 2.7 amps, with the duty cycle really being controlled by the thermostat setting. I can only expect that the differential setting was pretty wide. The differential setting on the Coastal MK II Thermostat/Thermometer (used on the Guardian unit) is set a 2 degrees, so it gives you pretty accurate control. The Merlin Control unit is really where you find the power savings as it controls the speed of the compressor.

I had entertained the idea of just purchasing the Merlin Control unit and trying my own cheaper digital thermostat control. Getting my refrigerator in/and out is a relatively PIA, so I choose not to go down that route.

The biggest issue when moving from my older (smaller) Norcold to the Cruise 130 Elegance is the lack of venting area. The temperatures in a parked van in the hot sun, make it difficult for the unit to keep up with the setting. To be honest that may be happening to a lot of installs, if you don't have a way of monitoring your temperatures you would probably would not know it. Also this usually shows up when the Van is parked out in the driveway with the top down on 90+ days, in general camping usage I have not found it to be a problem. Unfortunately being a old test engineer, I like to collect data.

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Old 09-29-2018, 10:36 AM   #5
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Good stuff Greg, thanks for sharing.

Currently vanless. Weird.
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