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For nearly 50 years, adventure travelers have relied upon Engel to keep things cold when they're on the move.
Designed for Refrigeration or Freezing
Engel fridge/freezers are fully adjustable; perfect for keeping food and other items cold – or frozen. You control the level of refrigeration you require. If you have a food box full of sandwich meats, vegetables and beverages, a temperature of around 38º F is just perfect. For frozen foods, even ice cream, just crank up the dial and your Engel will respond without hesitation.
Compatible with AC or DC Power Source
Most Engel fridge/freezers operate on 12V or 24V DC battery power, or on 110V AC power. In fact, they're smart enough to know the difference and will automatically switch back and forth – a big plus for sailors and boaters who often switch from battery power to shore power. It's also handy for travelers who use battery power when they're on the road, but want to plug in their Engel when they get back home.
Efficient Use of Battery Power
Ask anyone who relies on battery power for extended periods of time and they'll start talking about power draw, amps per hour and efficiency. Here's where the Engel swing motor compressor really shines.
The swing motor does not demand a huge power draw at start-up, like traditional compressor motors. Depending upon the model, Engel fridge/freezers draw between 0.5 Amps and 3.6 Amps per hour. Typically, when maintaining temperature, the nominal draw of any Engel is under 1 Amp per hour.
Using Solar Power
Because of their efficiency, Engel fridge/freezers work well on solar power. Talk with your solar panel provider to make sure your system output and loads match up.
Your Engel fridge/freezer is designed to be portable, but if you want to stow it in tight spot, just make sure you have at least 2-inches around the compressor end for ventilation.
In Between Power Sources
When you're out overnight and the truck's not running or when you're underway and the genset's idle, your Engel fridge/freezer still keeps things cold, thanks to it's tight seal and quality insulation. There are always a lot of factors at play, however (how often you open the lid, the ambient temperature, how long you're off power, etc.), so it pays to keep an eye on things and do some testing before you leave home.
After all is said and done, we think you will agree. When keeping things cold is Adventure Critical,
Engel is your only choice.
We do have competitors out there! Although not many in Africa and Australia, where it really counts...here Engel fridge-freezers dominate the markets.
Our competitors technology is basically grouped into two types:
1. Thermoelectric Refrigeration
Thermoelectric coolers work electronically without the use of freon, compressors or evaporators. In a thermoelectric cooler, direct current is applied to a semiconductor which makes one side of it hot, and one side cold (which is known as the Peltier effect). They can heat or cool.
- The result is mediocre cooling at best. In fact, most customers are greatly disappointed with its performance. Thermoelectric units draw over 6x the current (4.6 - 5.4 Amps) of an Engel compressor (in refrigerator mode), and within 6 hours can drain a car battery - which is not great if you only have one battery!
- In addition, thermoelectric coolers can only cool to about 30 degrees below ambient. They cannot freeze, or maintain a steady internal refrigerated temperature. Consequently they take many hours to cool a warm soda for example. In contrast, our Engel models can all cool to refrigerator temperatures in less than 20 minutes. In freezer mode they can get below freezing in about 1/2 hour.
- Thermoelectric coolers can also not keep a steady internal temperature. All Engel models feature thermostatic control and can cycle on and off maintaining steady internal temperatures - independent of the outside temperature.
- Thermo-electric units are also more noisy than Engel freezers - they typically produce 50-60 decibels where an Engel is less than 40 decibels.
- They are very cheap to purchase - typically less than $100.
2. Reciprocating Compressors
Our competitors are forced to use these types of compressors. Most are, in fact, made in China - but some are still made in Germany (Danfoss).
- Reciprocating compressors have many moving parts - much more to go wrong - and at $65+/hour for service - be careful.
- Also, they cannot take the shock and vibrations that Engel compressors can take - especially when running! Our Engel units are built to tolerate high vibration environments such as the cab of a large truck or power boat. This vibration tolerance makes Engel compressors much more suitable for boating, 4X4, or similar activities where shock and vibration exist.
- Reliability has always been a problem for reciprocating compressors - especially in moving vehicles - due to vibration intolerance.
- Reciprocating compressor's initial startup amperage surge is 2.6 times higher than Engel. They often require your vehicle's electrical system to be re-wired to overcome the high startup Amperage requirement - which is costly. Also, they cannot tolerate a voltage drop in DC current - Engel can.
- They are often much more expensive.
- Engel freezers draw about 50% less power than similar Waeco models - as tested by Power Boat Reports Magazine (April 2007). In fact, Engel came out as their 'best pick' out of 4 models tested.
- Many competitors claim to be freezers bu,t in fact, they only freeze to about 18 degrees F - which is not safe for frozen foods. Engel models can freeze to zero degrees F or colder.
- The reciprocating compressor systems make a lot of electronic noise (EMI) on high-frequency radios, like ham, marine, shortwave, and it's difficult (sometimes impossible) to suppress. They also run at higher temperatures and require larger cooling fans.
- Some manufacturers temperature claims are very misleading - they measure lowest temperature on the cold plate surface and not in the middle of the unit - as we do for all Engel models. So, if you choose to buy a competitor - do so on a 30 day trial and check the power draw and interior coldest temperature to make sure it performs as per their specifications - if not, then return it.
With over 3.6 million units sold to date - we do know what we are doing!