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Old 08-16-2019, 03:30 PM   #1
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JC Refrigeration - DC unit or 110 Volt 4-door Norcold replacement absorption unit.

I am going to JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana IN, early September to change out my absorption system in my Norcold 1210IM fridge. I have been advised that they offer two options as described below.

I would like to hear from those that have purchased the JC Refrigeration units, either DC Compressor or the 110 Volt Compressor.
Due to layout-configuration of my unit a Residential Fridge is not an option. So please, only make responses on the JC units not on the benefits of residential fridges.

I have (4) 12volt batteries with a 25 hr rating of 140 AMPS installed already.
I cannot switch to 6 volt due to the existing height of my tray.

Any experiences you have would sure be helpful in assisting in this decision, such as
• Which option did you go with?
• Temperature that your fridge and freezer cool to
• Running time on batteries
• Noise if any
• Reliability, how long have you had the unit

I thank you for taking the time to respond, have a great day
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:43 PM   #2
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Several years ago I went to JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana, he removed my fridge and replaced the tubing on the back side which is superior to the original. I have a Dometic AC/LP fridge. I have been very pleased with his service. I have the AC compressor, I don't have actual temps in degrees, mine works great and is set on number 3 of 5 settings. I run a basement freezer 24/7 on my batteries and run my fridge daily on AC. JC did install a fan in the back which is noisy, so I put it on a switch. Just guessing I've had the unit 5+ years. JC did tell me he had a service center near my home but I have had no reason to verify that.

As for your comment about 6 volt batteries: I don't believe my 6v batteries are any taller than 12v. If 6v are slightly taller and in a tray, perhaps you could remove the tray. I did go to AGMs so I don't have to add fluid. My battery bank is 672amphours
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:49 PM   #3
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I chose the 12 volt option, but I also have a big battery bank, 6 batteries - 750AH. I liked the ability to not use the inverter when camping or overnight.

I did the upgrade myself and it was not real hard but unfortunately it did not get cold enough. Ice maker would not work (must get below 17dg) and fridge was 45 degrees. I did not know if I did a bad job or not. JC worked with me to resolve it but in the end the compressor failed and I tossed the entire fridge and went with a residential unit.

So here is my observations. The control panel on front will not work they way it did before and has to be ignored. Only use it to turn on and off the unit. If there refrigeration unit fails it is not simple to just replace it even under warranty.

If they do the work I think you may be more successful than me.

After all that hassle I am very glad I went with a residential unit. You say that is not an option, don't know why as there are small units out there if you have space issues. BTW the res unit was just 26" wide to get through the door.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:28 PM   #4
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Obviously the main advantage of any of JC's units is you don't have to replace the box. In my mind, that is also the main disadvantage. A modern inverter powered refrigerator literally sips power and is extremely efficient and well insulated. Besides, they are significantly cheaper than adsorption or modified compressor adsorption units. My 23 cuft only averages 90 watts...including the inverter losses. Now, be careful, 90 watts is the same as the "less than an amp" that JC advertises.

Residential units are mass produced, highly technical and very well optimized.

Now, if you boondock a lot and want an adsorption unit, that is all well and good and JCs replacement cooling units look first class...but they are still adsorption units!
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:10 AM   #5
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We had the JC absorption conversion to our failed Dometic installed last fall. Not a lot of use since then but no problems and fridge temperature is around 34 degrees.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbrownstein View Post
...and JCs replacement cooling units look first class...but they are still adsorption units!
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sbrownstein View Post
Obviously the main advantage of any of JC's units is you don't have to replace the box. In my mind, that is also the main disadvantage. A modern inverter powered refrigerator literally sips power and is extremely efficient and well insulated. Besides, they are significantly cheaper than adsorption or modified compressor adsorption units. My 23 cuft only averages 90 watts...including the inverter losses. Now, be careful, 90 watts is the same as the "less than an amp" that JC advertises.

Residential units are mass produced, highly technical and very well optimized.

Now, if you boondock a lot and want an adsorption unit, that is all well and good and JCs replacement cooling units look first class...but they are still adsorption units!
It appears a residential fridges in reality are also adsorption units. Here is an article on how a residential refrigerator works.

How Does a Refrigerator Work?
In the refrigeration cycle, there are five basic components: fluid refrigerant; a compressor, which controls the flow of refrigerant; the condenser coils (on the outside of the fridge); the evaporator coils (on the inside of the fridge); and something called an expansion device. Here’s how they interact to cool your food.

1. The compressor constricts the refrigerant vapor, raising its pressure, and pushes it into the coils on the outside of the refrigerator.

2. When the hot gas in the coils meets the cooler air temperature of the kitchen, it becomes a liquid.

3. Now in liquid form at high pressure, the refrigerant cools down as it flows into the coils inside the freezer and the fridge.

4. The refrigerant absorbs the heat inside the fridge, cooling down the air.

5. Last, the refrigerant evaporates to a gas, then flows back to the compressor, where the cycle starts all over.

The unit I am asking about is a compressor unit that JC installs.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:38 AM   #7
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While all refrigeration absorbs heat and moves it out of the area you want cooled, a RV absorbsion fridge uses heat from a gas flame or heater coil to cause the ammonia mix refrigerent to move thru the system.

A standard 120 or 12 volt compressor fridge uses a electric motor coupled to a compressor to move the refrigerant. A much more effecent design.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyRV View Post
It appears a residential fridges in reality are also adsorption units. Here is an article on how a residential refrigerator works.

How Does a Refrigerator Work?
In the refrigeration cycle, there are five basic components: fluid refrigerant; a compressor, which controls the flow of refrigerant; the condenser coils (on the outside of the fridge); the evaporator coils (on the inside of the fridge); and something called an expansion device. Here’s how they interact to cool your food.

1. The compressor constricts the refrigerant vapor, raising its pressure, and pushes it into the coils on the outside of the refrigerator.

2. When the hot gas in the coils meets the cooler air temperature of the kitchen, it becomes a liquid.

3. Now in liquid form at high pressure, the refrigerant cools down as it flows into the coils inside the freezer and the fridge.

4. The refrigerant absorbs the heat inside the fridge, cooling down the air.

5. Last, the refrigerant evaporates to a gas, then flows back to the compressor, where the cycle starts all over.

The unit I am asking about is a compressor unit that JC installs.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:42 AM   #8
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Your battery stats seem wrong. You may have 140 minute @ 25 amp, reserve capacity.
AH capacity is typically stated at the 20 hour rate. A guess is that you have about 70 AH per battery equaling 280 AH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyRV View Post
I am going to JC Refrigeration in Shipshewana IN, early September to change out my absorption system in my Norcold 1210IM fridge. I have been advised that they offer two options as described below.

I would like to hear from those that have purchased the JC Refrigeration units, either DC Compressor or the 110 Volt Compressor.
Due to layout-configuration of my unit a Residential Fridge is not an option. So please, only make responses on the JC units not on the benefits of residential fridges.

I have (4) 12volt batteries with a 25 hr rating of 140 AMPS installed already.
I cannot switch to 6 volt due to the existing height of my tray.

Any experiences you have would sure be helpful in assisting in this decision, such as
•Which option did you go with?
•Temperature that your fridge and freezer cool to
•Running time on batteries
•Noise if any
•Reliability, how long have you had the unit

I thank you for taking the time to respond, have a great day
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Your battery stats seem wrong. You may have 140 minute @ 25 amp, reserve capacity.
AH capacity is typically stated at the 20 hour rate. A guess is that you have about 70 AH per battery equaling 280 AH.
This is what Interstate shows on specs:
Group Size 24DC

12 Months  Warranty

550 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

140 Reserve Capacity (RC)@25 Amps
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyRV View Post
It appears a residential fridges in reality are also adsorption units. Here is an article on how a residential refrigerator works.

How Does a Refrigerator Work?
In the refrigeration cycle, there are five basic components: fluid refrigerant; a compressor, which controls the flow of refrigerant; the condenser coils (on the outside of the fridge); the evaporator coils (on the inside of the fridge); and something called an expansion device. Here’s how they interact to cool your food.

1. The compressor constricts the refrigerant vapor, raising its pressure, and pushes it into the coils on the outside of the refrigerator.

2. When the hot gas in the coils meets the cooler air temperature of the kitchen, it becomes a liquid.

3. Now in liquid form at high pressure, the refrigerant cools down as it flows into the coils inside the freezer and the fridge.

4. The refrigerant absorbs the heat inside the fridge, cooling down the air.

5. Last, the refrigerant evaporates to a gas, then flows back to the compressor, where the cycle starts all over.

The unit I am asking about is a compressor unit that JC installs.
That does not make it a heat powered absorption unit. Two completely different refrigeration cycles.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokyRV View Post
This is what Interstate shows on specs:
Group Size 24DC

12 Months* Warranty

550 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

140 Reserve Capacity (RC)@25 Amps
Ok, looked them up. The AH spec is 81 AH @ the 20 hour rate. 4 equals 324 AH total.

GC2 6 volt batteries are a bit taller, 2", I think. I know they don't fit under my steps.

When the GP 24 batteries stop performing as they should, look into GP 27 or GP 31 size batteries. Both are the same height but a bit longer and maybe wider.

Either one will increase you AH capacity. I went with GP31 deep cycle from Sam's Club. 105 AH each.

Four of them will give you as as much as 5 GP 24's, if they fit.

If you can fit the GC2, 6 volt battery, they will give you more capacity and are the best AH for the $.
They are designed to power electric golf cars in deep cycle use. What your using now is a compromise between starting and deep cycling and they will have a shorter life.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Your battery stats seem wrong. You may have 140 minute @ 25 amp, reserve capacity.
AH capacity is typically stated at the 20 hour rate. A guess is that you have about 70 AH per battery equaling 280 AH.
This is what Interstate shows on specs:
Group Size 24DC

12 Months  Warranty

550 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

140 Reserve Capacity (RC)@25 Amps
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:18 PM   #13
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I installed the JC 12V unit in the spring and could not be happier.

Works fantastic, quiet and efficient.

Cant say enough good things!!
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:23 PM   #14
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Appreciate your feedback!
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