Dometic: Dometic is a well-known brand that offers a range of portable fridges, including models with built-in batteries. Their portable fridges are designed for outdoor and travel use.
Engel: Engel is another reputable brand that manufactures portable fridges with built-in batteries. They are known for their durable and efficient fridges, suitable for camping and other outdoor activities.
ARB: ARB is a brand that specializes in off-road and camping equipment. They offer portable fridges with built-in batteries that are rugged and capable of withstanding harsh environments.
Alpicool: Alpicool is a brand that provides affordable portable fridges with built-in batteries. Their fridges are designed to be lightweight and energy-efficient, making them suitable for camping, road trips, and other outdoor adventures.
Furrion: Furrion is a brand that offers a range of portable fridges, including models with built-in batteries. Their fridges are known for their innovative features and sleek designs.
Portable fridges utilize different technologies to cool and maintain the temperature of the stored items. Here are some of the main technologies used in portable fridges:
Compressor Fridges: Compressor-based portable fridges are similar to regular household refrigerators. They use a compressor and a refrigerant to cool the interior. The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas, raising its temperature and pressure. The high-pressure gas then flows through a condenser where it releases heat and turns into a high-pressure liquid. This liquid passes through an expansion valve, which reduces its pressure, causing it to evaporate and absorb heat from the fridge’s interior. The gas is then returned to the compressor to restart the cycle. Compressor fridges are efficient and can achieve lower temperatures even in hot ambient conditions. They are typically more powerful but also consume more power.
Thermoelectric Fridges: Thermoelectric portable fridges use the Peltier effect to create a cooling effect. A thermoelectric module consists of two different types of semiconductor materials. When an electric current flows through the module, one side becomes hot, while the other side becomes cold. The cool side is in contact with the fridge’s interior, cooling the contents. Thermoelectric fridges are lightweight, compact, and consume less power compared to compressor fridges. However, they are generally less powerful and have limited cooling capabilities, making them suitable for maintaining cool or slightly below-ambient temperatures rather than deep freezing.
Absorption Fridges: Absorption-based portable fridges use a combination of heat, chemicals, and gravity to cool the interior. They operate using a heat source such as propane, natural gas, or electricity. The process involves a mixture of refrigerant, typically ammonia, water, and hydrogen gas. The heat source provides the energy to separate the refrigerant mixture, allowing the ammonia to evaporate and absorb heat from the fridge’s interior. The ammonia gas is then condensed back into a liquid using a cooling component, releasing the heat. Absorption fridges are often used in RVs and off-grid applications. They are quiet, reliable, and can run on different energy sources, but they tend to be less efficient and slower to cool compared to compressor fridges
In general terms, portable fridges often have battery protection or power management features to prevent the fridge from draining the battery excessively. These features help ensure that you have enough battery power to start your vehicle or have power available for other essential functions.
Here’s a general explanation of how battery protection or power management settings might work in portable fridges:
Low Battery Setting: Many portable fridges have a low battery setting or a battery protection mode. This mode monitors the voltage of the battery connected to the fridge and automatically shuts off or reduces the fridge’s power consumption when the battery voltage drops below a certain threshold. It helps prevent the battery from being drained to a critically low level, which could affect your ability to start your vehicle or access other essential power needs.
High Battery Setting: Some portable fridges may have a high battery setting or a power optimization mode. This mode adjusts the fridge’s power consumption to a lower level when the battery has sufficient capacity. It aims to conserve battery power and extend the operating time of the fridge, allowing you to use it for a longer duration without excessively draining the battery.
The specific operation and functionality of these battery protection or power management features can vary among different brands and models. It’s recommended to consult the user manual or documentation provided with your specific Dometic portable fridge to understand the exact details and capabilities of the low and high battery sensory settings, as well as any other related features.
The battery power manegment can be a problem if you are using long cables and have a voltage drop at the connection to the fridge.
Be sure to use thick cables and measure the voltage at the connection while the fridge is running.
This especially something to look into when using lead-acid batteries. The voltage drops quickly and the fridge shuts off, se chart below
If you compare that with LifePO4 batteries then the power remains at 13v longer and won’t have the same issues
The problem has been resolved by utilizing the “Load” function on my solar regulator.
It effectively regulates the output above 12v when the solar panel generates input power. As a result, my fridge remains operational for as long as there is available sunlight.
In this case, my fridge automatically cuts off power when the voltage reaches 12.1 Volts.
However, due to the considerable distance between the fridge and the battery, there is a voltage drop of about 1 Volt.
Fortunately, the load function proves to be very effective in managing this situation, allowing the fridge to function optimally despite the voltage drop.
This is something to consider when you buy your fridge: