Let’s take a closer look at the individual systems, their features, benefits and restrictions. This will then automatically point you to “your” cooling technology and to “your” refrigerator.
Absorption refrigerators are completely silent, so they can even be placed near a bed without disturbing anyone’s sleep or rest. Moreover, they give you maximum independence in terms of energy supply. They run on mains or battery power, and – practical for camping friends – on LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) as well. Dometic’s AES models with Automatic Energy Selection can also be operated on a solar panel.
Other plus factors are the almost proverbial reliability and the long service life, with virtually no maintenance required (except for the burner). And, not forgetting, the well organized interior – with plenty of convenience features that can well compare with those of your fridge at home.
* AES refrigerators are also suitable for solar operation
** Tip: The performance of absorption refrigerators can be enhanced by using a ventilator.
Compressor refrigerators keep cool in every situation – even in tropical temperatures above +40 °C and in inclined positions (e.g. on sloped roads or boats). They operate regardless of the outside temperature and provide the most powerful cooling performance for all mobile applications while consuming very little energy. Dometic compressor refrigerators run on all DC grids (12 or 24 V DC) and – with the matching adapter – on AC mains power as well Moreover, they are suitable for deep-freezing up to –18 °C, so BBQ meat, ice cream and fish will always stay in prime condition. Sun worshippers will also appreciate the fact that compressor refrigerators are tailor-made for solar operation.
Cooling with heat
A concentrated ammonia solution is heated in a boiler and expelled as vapour. The pressurised ammonia gas is then liquefied in a condenser. Supplied with hydrogen, it evaporates and extracts heat from the storage container. The ammonia gas then enters the absorber where it is reabsorbed in a weak solution of ammonia. Finally, the saturated solution flows back to the boiler where the whole cycle starts again.
Most Dometic compressor refrigerators are supplied with a 12/24-volt connection. That means they can be operated on both DC circuits, but not on an AC system. For connection to a power socket you will require a mains adapter.
The following Dometic adpaters are available:
Cooling with an electric pump
Compressor units operate using a refrigerant that changes from liquid to gaseous state in the vaporizer. The evaporation extracts heat from the refrigerator cabinet – the temperature drops. The compressor draws in the refrigerant, compresses it and passes it on to the condenser. Here, the absorbed heat is released to the atmosphere. The refrigerant liquefies again and flows to the vaporizer, where the cycle repeats.
It depends on the model you have. Some Dometic absorption refrigerators give you the possibility to select the energy source manually, others do this job automatically for you.
(Automatic Energy Selector)
(Manual Energy Selector)
Battery Ignition System
A free-standing refrigerator for your awning tent or one that will nicely integrate into your kitchenette? A space-saving solution for your campervan or boat? Or an extra-large fridge with a spacious freezer compartment to keep family and friends happy throughout the journey?
Operating your absorption refrigerator with 12-volt battery power is only possible on very short passages. Otherwise you risk that the battery guard cuts off the energy supply and your ice cream melts away. Here are four alternatives:
Most refrigerators are based on the physical principle that a substance when changing from liquid to gaseous state (evaporation) extracts heat from its surroundings (in our case the refrigerator cabinet). The same phenomenon is responsible for cooling our body when we sweat: the sweat evaporates on our skin and takes the heat away.
Depending on the cooling technology, the transition from liquid to gas is initiated in different ways. Absorption refrigerators are using a heat source (gas or electricity) to generate cold. Compressor refrigerators are using a pump driven by an electric motor to move a refrigerant through the cooling circuit.
Refrigerators give you homelike convenience: everything is well organised for easy access. The drawback is that the cold air “falls out” every time the door is opened, because it is heavier than the ambient air. In case of frequent door openings (e.g. when travelling with children) your refrigerator will consume a lot of energy to maintain the preset temperature. Coolers, by contrast, are opened from the top, like a chest freezer. That means that the cold stays inside when you open the lid.
Our tip: Combine the best of both worlds – a fridge for convenient access and a box for beverage bottles or other goodies you want to have within easy reach during the journey.
A winter cover protects the cooling unit of your refrigerator in cold weather to maintain its cooling performance. It also prevents frosty air from flowing into the vehicle. Dometic offers tailor-made winter covers for both single and double door absorption fridges. They have the same size as our ventilation grills. Simply attach them at the start of the winter camping season.