Top Loading Refrigerators

We have an obscenely large refrigerator/freezer on Wisdom, which lets us carry plenty of cold food (as long as the batteries and solar panels can keep it running). Our fridge is 14.5 cubic feet, and is insanely deep! This may sound like tons of space, but the reality is the fridge relies on proper airflow to keep everything cold and organization so that we can access our foods.

The boat originally had holding plates that were driven off of the old diesel motor. This large compartment had two holding plates, making it a giant freezer. The other smaller side had only one holding plate and was the refrigerator. We converted the chill plates and re-arranged the setup making the small side the freezer with a spill over fan to the large side (now refrigerator).

In order for the fridge side to work, we need air flowing through. A small fan set low in the fridge draws low cold air from the freezer side and sends it over to the fridge side. A series of holes in the top of the divider lets the air return to the freezer from the fridge. This setup lets air flow and circulate from the freezer side over to the fridge, and back to the freezer.

The problem with this setup is air needs to flow freely through the compartments. If we packed it full with food, air would not flow and the fridge would begin to heat up! To avoid this, a series of containers is used to keep the foods organized and still allow air to flow freely.

Two plastic boards hold everything up near the top where we can easily reach it and provides a flat surface to store food on. The left has a very large plastic cutting board and the right has three drawers from an old refrigerator. Air can easily flow into the bottom compartment, through the gaps in the plastic and back up to the surface where it returns to the freezer side.

Using plastic for all the dividers makes clean up much easier if something were to spill or spoil. Everything can be easily wiped down periodically, keeping our food stores fresh and accessible.