Refrigeration rebuttal

To the editor: I was very disappointed in some of the technical errors in the recent article on refrigeration by Nigel Calder (“Cool Changes,” March/April 2008). Technautics’ refrigeration has been a leader in the industry for 40 years, but at no time were we contacted by Nigel Calder to inquire about advances in technology offered by Technautics’ thermostatically controlled, holding-plate refrigeration. If we had been contacted, the article might have included these pertinent facts:
1. Holding plates cut down on the number of cycles per day by as much as one in forty — a reduction of 97 percent compared to flat-plate evaporators used in Frigoboat, Adler Barbour, Sea Frost and Norcold. Technautics’ systems reduce the power consumption because there is not the need for constant starting and stopping of the compressor necessary in the other systems.

2. The article states that holding-plate refrigeration needs owner interaction to adjust the expansion valve (p. 52 and 54). This is not the case with Technautics’ CoolBlue refrigeration. Technautics’ CoolBlue system is the only holding-plate system that uses expansion valves pre-set from the factory, hence they do not require expertise or technician assistance to set up.

3. The article also states that heat removal rates are a problem with holding plates. Technautics’ CoolBlue plates have 25 feet of tubing with fins equivalent to 75 feet of tubing. The Sea Frost system pictured in the article shows tubing only in their system, which is not equivalent to CoolBlue construction: our system removes heat up to three to five times faster.
4. Surprisingly, advances in efficiency using solar power are not addressed. Technautics’ CoolBlue holding-plates can run on one 75-watt solar panel and maintain constant temperatures in an insulated split freezer/refrigerator box with 6 cubic feet capacity.

5. On page 52 it states that, “Holding plates do not maintain as consistent a temperature in the icebox as evaporator plates.” This is not the case with our systems. Because Technautics uses thermostatically controlled holding plates, the temperature consistency is the same as evaporator plates.

If Technautics had been contacted, our product would have been more accurately portrayed. Instead, the article simply refers the reader to our Web site and then gives a vivid description of how other refrigeration systems work. In essence, the article leaves the impression that other systems are being promoted over Technautics. I commend Ocean Navigator for attempting to give its readers an overview of the various refrigeration systems available, but more research and inquiry would have resulted in a less slanted, more accurate article.

— Randy Simpkins is president of Technautics, Inc., in Costa Mesa, Calif.

By Ocean Navigator