Vitrifrigo Compressor Fridges
For use in caravans, motorhomes and boats
Welcome to our range of Vitrifrigo boat fridges and caravan fridges. All the fridges in this range use a compression cooling system, this means that this range of fridges is suitable for use on boats and yachts as well as being ideal for use in your motorhome or caravan
How does a compressor fridge work
A compressor fridge uses a compressor to set up
a continuous cycle for the coolant
There are 5 key component parts:
Cooling Unit - heat exchanging pipes outside the unit
Evaporator - heat exchanging pipes inside the fridge
Refrigerant - liquid that evaporates inside the refrigerator to create the cold temperatures
The basic process of a compressor refrigerator is as follows:
The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas. This raises the refrigerant's pressure and temperature (orange). The cooling unit (heat-exchanging coils outside the fridge) dissipate the heat from the pressurised refrigerant. As it cools, the refrigerant condenses into liquid form (purple) and flows through a capillary tube to the expansion point (in the evaporator).
When it flows through the expansion point, the liquid refrigerant is allowed to move from a high-pressure zone to a low-pressure zone, so it expands and evaporates (light blue). In evaporating, it absorbs heat, making it cold. The evaporator or coils inside the refrigerator allow the refrigerant to absorb heat, making the inside of the refrigerator cold.
The cycle then repeats!
Why use a 12/24Volt DC compressor fridge?
- 3 Way fridges take a long time to get cold.
because they rely on convection and gravity to make the ammonia flow, the process is much slower than a compressor so the fridge takes far longer to reach temperature.
- 3 Way fridges will not work on a gradient
again due to the gravity required to make the process work.
- 3 Way fridges generate significant heat.
they have to be very well ventilated and even then struggle to cope with high ambient temperatures – especially compared to the equivalent size compressor fridge.
- Compressor fridges are far more efficient when run on electricity 12v
A 3 way fridge running on 12v will draw approx 9A plus continuously (+9A per hour). A compressor fridges power requirement can be as low as 0.4A per hour for a 40 litre fridge.
- A compressor fridge will run on solar power.
Our tests suggest that as a rule of thumb for Vitrifrigo cabinets is that approx 1W of solar panel will provide enough power for a litre of refrigeration, (UK summer).
- A 3 Way fridge must be vented to the outside
and fitted by a Gas Safe approved gas fitter.
Where space permits you can add additional insulation to the outside of the cabinet. See the illustration below taken from a recent article in Practical Boat Owner on how to install a solar powered fridge. In this example additional insulation is added to improve the performance of a standard fridge cabinet (Vitrifrigo BRK35).
Ensure good ventilation to the air condenser
Having selected the most efficient cooling unit to get the best performance from the fridge it is still very important to provide it with the best source of cool air to the condenser that you can.
For example, a couple of floor vents close by to the condenser are ideal as they allow cool air to be drawn up from beneath the vehicle, but it is equally important to make sure that there is somewhere for the warm air to go once it has been drawn through the condenser.