So after some research we decided to convert the appliances to more efficient marine units. Not as easy as it sounds since that meant serious teak work and modifications in the galley. The new refrigerator is a Vitrifrigo DW360 and the new wine cooler is also from Vitrifrigo. Both run on 12VDC, they also run off 110 VAC when that is available. The refrigerator with both compressors running draws 8 Amps at 12VDC. We hope that the design with the increased insulation cycles less frequently than the GE and since there is no defrost cycle we could hopefully at least cut our refrigeration power consumption in half. If that becomes reality then we could see our 24 hour power consumption drop to 250-280 AH. That would mean with the new battery bank (FireFly 880AH) we may only need to run the generator every 3rd day in the morning for 1.5-3hrs. Make water and do laundry, charge batteries, etc. So that would be a huge reduction in generator time all the while increasing battery life potentially by a factor of 3. Battery life is proportional to the number of cycles, if we cycle once in 3 days instead of once every day we should dramatically increase battery life. There is a caveat here, the new refrigerator is 10.5 cubic feet, the old GE was 15 cubic feet, so in theory we loose nearly 30%. Sylvianne feels that the layout of the Vitrifrigo is more efficient space wise, hope that proves to be the case.
We both can see the new challenge, making water. We now make 35 gallons an hour but if generator time is reduced by 3X we are making 3 times less water. The laundry uses 30 gallons just to do one load. We found a high efficiency front loader that will do 9 lbs of laundry on 8 gallons or a full 18lb load on 16 gallons! Yep you can already see where I'm going with that, we are already planning on next summer's upgrades.
We hired Ultra Yacht Refit, Micheal Coddington, to mange the project, the following photos are from Micheal as he continues to update us, all this work is being done in Antigua while we are home in Canada.
All for now, keep warm, freezing cold here in Ontario -12C the other nite and SNOW!