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Author Topic:   Cabin Air Conditioners That Operate From 12-Volt DC
Orca posted 05-27-2010 10:09 PM ET (US)   Profile for Orca   Send Email to Orca  
[The author tells us he is] looking for a [cabin air conditioner that operates from 12-volt DC] to cool the cabin of a Guardian 27 that will be working [in the area of the Gulf of Mexico where there is an oil spill] with a lot of instruments. Cooling will help.
SJUAE posted 05-28-2010 02:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Have you looked at the 12v [air conditioning] systems in whaler parts? Regards
jimh posted 05-28-2010 07:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[The duplicate thread in another discussion area has been deleted.]
jollyrog305 posted 05-28-2010 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for jollyrog305    
I have seen [cabin coolers operated from 12-volt DC] offered in many marine and boat supply catalogs, [such as] No idea if they work or not.
Orca posted 05-28-2010 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
Thanks for the reply. I meant a 12-volt [DC powered] air conditioning unit. Not looking to do much more than temper the heat given off by some of the electronic monitoring gear in the half cabin.
David Pendleton posted 05-28-2010 11:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
As you might imagine there are a number of air-conditioning options available for a boat. Their installation is pretty involved and requires ducting, and cutting holes in the hull among other things.

Marine Air makes a carry-on air conditioner that fits in a deck hatch.

I considered one of these for my boat, but the combination of size and the crazy price changed my mind. It's also AC powered, so you'd need a small generator.

jimh posted 05-28-2010 02:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have seen heat pumps intended for use on a boat where the raw seawater provides the coolant for chilling the air. In those units the pumps and fans run from 12-volt DC power.

I am not familiar with any marine air conditioner using Freon as a coolant and a compressor pump where the compressor motor runs from 12-volt DC power. The power needed to run a compressor pump is substantial, and I would expect that the load of a compressor pump would be too great for a typical small boat electrical distribution system.

The heat pump approach to cooling is good if the water temperature is moderate, and here in the Great Lakes we have a lot of moderately cold water. Since you mention using the boat in association with water where there may be oil pollution, I wonder if a heat pump that uses raw seawater as coolant would be a good solution in that environment.

SJUAE posted 05-29-2010 02:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
The simple and cheap one I have seen is a unit that fits on top of your cooler filled with ice and just blows (using 2/3/4 PC type cooling fans) cold moist air.

How effective it is I have no idea and moisture may be a problem for those electronics.

Anything else requires several batteries and/or generator and substaintial instalation.


swist posted 06-01-2010 05:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
The Freon-based conventional A/C system is by far the best cooler, since it works regardless of ambient temperature or water temperature, but as jimh says, it costs you. Just for some rough numbers, a single room home 5000btu unit probably draws about 12 amps on a 120V line - that's 1440 watts. At 12 volts, you would need 120 amps to power such a unit. Wow.

I think most small boat air conditioning is designed to be run when you are attached to shore power, since that's where you are most likely to need it. Otherwise a generator comes into play and we are no longer talking about small boats.

Nauti Tauk posted 06-01-2010 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nauti Tauk  Send Email to Nauti Tauk     
It may not produce the most beautiful installation but could a small inexpensive 3000btu window air conditioner be used somehow in conjunction with a little Honda super quiet generator? In the Bahamas I know I've seen the SeaRay folks use portable gensets to power their AC units. The ones I have personally seen in use were secured to a swim platform outside of the boat. Not sure if this would be applicable in you case. If it'd work you would sure have a really cool cuddy!
SJUAE posted 06-02-2010 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
I think the conquest 320 caddy uses 3 batteries and an inverter to power it's AC how long this runs without shore power i'm not sure.


SJUAE posted 06-02-2010 03:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     
Opps, Outrage 320 Cuddy
Orca posted 06-12-2010 11:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
Has anybody seen or used a Dometic Cuddy dc kit?3500btu with 12volt per literature.
David Pendleton posted 06-12-2010 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton  Send Email to David Pendleton     
I had to google that to see exactly what it was.

Prices I found were in the $2K range, and it requires a through-hull below the waterline.

The size is impressive. That thing is tiny.

Now I want one.

SJUAE posted 06-12-2010 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

Looks very compact and only 35lbs excluding additional batteries, if I had a small cabin or a head I would get one. DX-Self-Contained/products/?productdataid=80905


crispy71 posted 08-10-2010 02:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for crispy71  Send Email to crispy71     
We have a unit that might interest you. It is a Cruise N Comfort USA 12 Volt Marine Air Conditioner. Our product uses multiple DC Compressors to save power when the desired temperature in the cabin is reached. The unit uses 50 amps max DC. It is a true DC unit unlike the cuddy dc unit that is a 120 volt system with a "DC" module ( power invertor). For more info you can see them or purchase one
Plotman posted 08-11-2010 12:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Wow, the Dometic requires a dedicated bank of batteries. So it's small, but less so when you must triple it's volume with additional batteries.

The other one draws 50 amps? Wow, that is like a windlass.

crispy71 posted 02-26-2011 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for crispy71  Send Email to crispy71     
Our MES 6000 is rated at max 50 amps but usually draws around 42.Our units use multiple DC Compressors that draw only 15 amps each. As the Marine Air Conditioner gets the cabin cooled down it steps down to 35 then to 18. Our MES 4000 draws 35 on high and 18 on low and is 4,000 BTU. Learn more at our new website. Or give me a call at (888) 439-5064. Thanks, Chris
PS. Check out our install video, it is a very easy unit to install.
contender posted 02-26-2011 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I think you would be better off purchasing a small Honda generator and a regular unit(smallest window unit) 120v out of home depot. The unit would be more efficient. Will not run down the battery, and can run off the same gas from your fuel tank on the boat. Now you have both a nice small generator and an a/c unit for the next hurricane...
home Aside posted 02-27-2011 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Leapin Lunker was on our North channel Trip a couple of summers ago, he has an Outrage 24 with full canvas. He had purchase one of the cooler units where you put a block of ice in a smaller Igloo cooler and the fan unit fits on top & plugs into 12 volt system. He set it all up under the canvas one warm evening...

The next morning I asked him how it worked? He laughed & said "didn't you here me stumbling around in the dark knocking things over trying to find the plug to shut the damn thing off, we froze our asses off...


deepwater posted 03-05-2011 11:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
The raw seawater has my attention,,A radiator from a car with an electric fan (12v) in front 1 long 20' small rubber tubing for the intake 6' for the discharge some reducers to fit the radiator and a T valve to keep discharge pressure up and and a 12v bilge pump,,
deepwater posted 03-05-2011 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
contender,,That would work great but where is the fun in it ^@^,,hey Max

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