Every motorist visits markets and supermarkets from time to time, and there is not always the ability to immediately bring food home. Someone may get into a traffic jam, someone may have pressing matters after the market, etc. In such cases, a car refrigerator helps out. It’s a portable device that allows you to maintain a temperature not higher than 4-5 degrees Celsius. But you shouldn’t approach the issue of buying a refrigerator hastily. This purchase must be balanced and thoughtful.
Things to consider when buying a car refrigerator
To choose the right model, you should determine:
- The duration of the trip or journey. For short walks, a cooler bag with thermal insulation is suitable. Pre-cooled products are stored for up to 8 hours in it. For trips lasting 12-24 hours, you can purchase a bag-container, more than 24 hours – a refrigerator powered by a car battery, electricity or gas.
- Trip conditions (air temperature, quality of the road surface) – at high air temperatures (over +35°C), only compressor or absorption refrigerators are suitable for a long trip. However, both of these types don’t like vibrations, so it isn’t advisable to take them on off-road trips.
- How many products you take – depends on the number of travelers. For one person, a refrigerator with a capacity of up to 5 liters is enough, for three or four people – 30-40 liters and more.
When choosing a car refrigerator, it is important to pay attention to:
– the refrigerator’s volume;
– minimum cooling temperature inside the cooler and deep freezing temperature inside the freezer (if any);
– resistance to vibrations and tilts while driving;
– noise level during operation;
– overall dimensions (the ability to cool containers of a certain height, for example, two-liter plastic bottles, depends on the height of the cooler);
– production materials;
The refrigerator’s design, color solution and shape of the cooler are almost ignored, since they are insignificant in comparison with the parameters already listed.
Compressor refrigerator is used for a long-term storage of food. The working principle is based on the circulation of refrigerant, the role of which is most often played by freon. Moving in a closed circle, it reaches the boiling point (-30-150°C), cooling the evaporator’s walls, so that the temperature inside the cooler drops to 6°C.
Advantages of compressor models:
1) high efficiency, cooling and maintaining the temperature from + 6 °C to -18 °C inside the cooler;
2) the lowest energy consumption in comparison with other types;
3) high cooling rate (the temperature drops to -18°C in 1.5-2.5 hours, depending on the model);
4) an opportunity to freeze products in two-compartment models.
However, a compressor refrigerator never has a volume of less than 10 liters; it’s very sensitive to vibrations and quite expensive.
A feature of the absorption type is the ability to work on gas (a container with a liquefied gas — propane or butane) and electricity (from a 12V cigarette lighter and 220V electricity network).
Cooling is performed due to the circulation of refrigerant – ammonia, which is absorbed in water, forming a saturated solution. The concentrated solution is brought to a boil in a boiler. The ammonia vapors, evaporated through a dephlegmator, where their partial condensation occurs, enter the condenser, are compressed and return to the evaporator, while purified water returns to the absorber.
The circulation process when connected to a power source occurs continuously.
The advantages of absorption refrigerators are:
– absolutely silent;
– small overall dimensions;
– versatility (the ability to work on gas and electricity);
– large volume (50-150 l).
However, such car refrigerators consume a lot of electricity or gas; they cool more slowly; don’t support deep freeze, very sensitive to the car’s tilts.
Ammonia refrigerators use ammonia as a refrigerant. It is a colorless, potent toxic substance. It suffocates with damage to nerve cells. At the same time, ammonia demonstrates less fluidity, therefore, cheaper iron is used to handle with it, but not non-ferrous metals, as for freon. Also, ammonia is a waste product of living organisms. Ammonia refrigerators are cheaper than ones with freon and have increased safety – due to the strong smell of ammonia, leakage is detected instantly.
The cooling device in car refrigerators with a battery is a cold accumulator, due to which the required temperature is maintained inside the cooler even after disconnecting from the car battery. They are convenient in remote access to the car or home network, keep the cooling parameters for several hours. Depending on the weight and volume of the battery, the refrigerator can keep the internal temperature for up to 12-15 hours. Cold accumulators are most often filled with gel material, which doesn’t lose its plasticity in the process of freezing. They’re used in cooler bags and isothermal containers.
The advantages of the car refrigerator with a battery:
– versatility – can be used both for cooling and for heating products, the cooling/heating range of batteries is from -18°C to + 60°C;
– environmental friendliness – the contents of batteries are non-toxic;
– low cost.
However, the shelf life of products in such refrigerators is short, and before using, the batteries themselves must be cooled in a freezer for 7-8 hours.
Isothermical refrigerators are used for short walks and trips. Nylon, or another high-quality polyester, is used in production of bags. The inner lining is made of PEVA (polyethylene-vinyl-acetate). A high-strength plastic is used for containers. Such refrigerators are very light-weight, inexpensive, versatile (cooling and heating), but products can’t be stored in them for a long time, they should be pre-cooled.
A good car refrigerator has a turbo cooling system, a low voltage protection system, an electronic control panel, and several degrees of car battery protection. There are built-in and portable models. The latter need to be firmly fixed (especially models on wheels).
A modern car refrigerator has become not a wonder, but an ordinary thing. Nevertheless, whatever the fridge in your car, a driver’s license should always be with you. If you still don’t have an international driver’s license, you can process it on our website without any problems. With an international driver’s license, you can drive a car even without a refrigerator!