Different types of on-board marine refrigerators include portable compressor coolers and freezers and front-loading refrigerators and freezers. Ice chests and icemakers are also available for marine use.
Portable compressor coolers and freezers are powered by compressors and able to freeze contents to 0 degrees Fahrenheit within an hour. They operate on AC/DC universal voltage, come in sizes from 18 to 112 quarts and are portable enough to use in a boat or SUV. However, the mid range sizes weigh around 44 pounds empty and are expensive.
Front-loading refrigerators and freezers are the type of refrigeration installed on most boats. They come equipped with reversible door hinges and fluctuate between AC and DC power. Their compressors use different AC and DC circuits as power sources; the DC power uses an inverter. This inverter should be protected, and the DC power should be provided from a battery bank.
Ice chests are a simple form of on-board refrigeration. They can be portable or built directly into the boat. They must be filled with ice in order to chill food; however, some chests are so well-insulated that they are able to keep ice frozen for up to five days at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Icemakers are commonly included on larger boats. Used less for storage and more for providing ice for guests while entertaining, they run on 110 or 220-volt AC units. Icemakers can yield up to 20 pounds of ice each day.