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Repairing a Waeco / Electrolux fridge with Danfoss BD35 compressor
Tuesday, 30 October 2007
On long journeys with a mobile home there are a few devices which shouldn’t break down at all. One is a fridge – it’s practically the centre of a mobile kitchen. Modern mobile fridges build for hot regions are equipped with highly sophisticated compressors with low and smart power consumption. They just shouldn’t break down. Reality is, they do break down – simple as that - however not that often. When they do - getting a replacement / repair can be though job in regions like Asia…but you can get lucky.

Power consumption is a big thing when buying a fridge for a mobile home. In hot regions a mobile fridge has to bridge a temperature gap of 40-50 degrees Celsius if not more. A cheap absorption fridge won’t cope under these conditions – a compressor fridge still works pretty well and with a lower energy footprint than absorption fridges. For a price of course, mobile compressor fridges from Waeco, Electrolux or Engel are quite expensive.

Danfoss BD35 Compressor
A broken Danfoss BD35 Compressor
Most mobile compressor fridges are based on the Danfoss BD35 Compressor. Others, like the Engel portable fridge are equiped with a swing motor compressor. The BD 35 compressor is low power (24 volt – 2 Amps) and has a control board with smart compressor switching. The control board has an optional output for a fan and a simple optional electrical circuit to double it’s cooling power. See here for the booster circuitry supported by Danfoss.

Basically the Danfoss compressor and control board can break down – and we’ve seen examples of it in nearly 2 years of travelling. Not good when it’s 40 degrees Celsius outside – and steaming hot inside your mobile home. When you’re in for instance Europe help is not that far away. It’s different when you’re in for example Asia.

So what to do? A replacement for the control board is quite simple – send the part with DHL and the fridge is probably working within 14 days. However make sure it’s the control board which is broken. A compressor breakdown is a tougher job – first to get a replacement, second to get it installed properly with the right cooling gas. A specialist job for sure. On top of that DHL and other couriers have a problem with shipping equipment which work with anything remotely similar to (pressured) gas. Shipping a fridge to for instance India is horrendously expensive – not to mention the import tax.

But help might be close – and you might get lucky. Look for the nearest hospital with a pool of Ambulances / Emergency vehicles. Look inside one of the cars and you’ll probably find a small mobile fridge for storing medicaments. Next find the technical manager of the vehicles and ask where they have the fridges serviced / repaired. You’ll probably find someone who can repair them and who may have new or repaired Danfoss compressor units on stock.

The supplier for new Danfoss equipment in Pakistan - Islamabad / Rawalpindi is

Tahir International
O/822 Opposite Naz Cinema
Murree Road
Rawalpindi Pakistan
Tel : +92-51-5535920

Danfoss BD35 Compressor with broken internal pipe
Danfoss BD35 Compressor pipe has snapped
They supply Danfoss replacements for hospitals in Islamabad / Rawalpindi and have the contacts to get new Danfoss compressors installed. Prices for a new  BD35 compressor are quite reasonable. It’s also possible to buy a repaired Danfoss compressor.

As an example - on the left you see a BD35 Compressor with a broken compressor pipe. It has snapped just before the connection with the piston housing. The motor and piston housing are mounted on 4 suspension springs. After 6 years of Indian, Pakistani, Nepali roads the pipe has broken off due to heavy shaking of the internal motor and piston housing. The broken pipe is made of copper and gets to endure the forces and impulses of driving on very bad roads.

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