• Correction Notice

    The following has been published on the 4WD Action Magazine website;


    In issue 228 (January 2015) 4WD Action published the "2015 Fridge Comparo" article in which a number of 12V 4WD fridges were compared against various criteria, including their power consumption.

    The findings of the "Fridge Comparo" were based in part on test data provided by Vipac Engineers and Scientists Limited, the laboratory that conducted the independent testing of the fridges.

    Since publication it has been discovered that there was an error in the power consumption data provided to the magazine in respect of the Engel 40L fridge/freezer (MT45FP).

    Regrettably, as a result, the power consumption for the Engel model reported in the Comparo as being 956 watt hours per day, should in fact have been reported as being the lower figure of 34.42 amp hours per day.

    Vipac Engineers and Scientists Limited

    The following has been published on the Waeco website;

    Waeco has recently published comparative advertising material which stated that the Engel 40L fridge/freezer (MT45FP) consumed power at the rate of 80amp hours per day which was converted from a result of 956 watt hours per day published in Australian 4WD Action Issue #228.

    Waeco has since been advised by Vipac Engineers and Scientists Limited, the Laboratory that conducted the independent testing, that this result was incorrect, as the Engel 40L fridge/freezer only used 34.42 amp hours per day.

    Waeco apologizes unreservedly for publishing the incorrect information.

  • Yamaha Generators

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  • Thermometers are here.

    My USB thermometers have arrived.

    And to my suprise the software is remarkably good. It even works with two thermometers running on the one PC! So, we're set to go!Temperature Logger Screenshot

  • Waeco Engel Comparison

    All of our testing gear has now arrived for our Waeco VS Engel side-by-side comparison.

    They're going head to head with a real scientific test - temperature controlled zone, temperature measuring probes, amp hour draw.

    You can compare Engel VS Waeco and find which one is right for you.

    With the more popular sizes being the 40L versions, we'll test the Waeco CF-40 (39L capacity) VS Engel MT-45FP (42L Capacity).

  • Where are my USB thermometers.

    My eBay seller hasn't delivered these units which were ordered before Christmas. This is delaying our Waeco VS Engel head to head comparison... very frustrating!!

  • Waeco VS Engel Comparison

    Hi guys, Travis here. Are you trying to decide between a Waeco and Engel? There is a definite price difference, and if you're like me, you want to know what the real benefits are... not just the marketing speil. So, I'm putting them head-to-head and publishing the results right here.

    We'll record plenty of data for all to see, but if you've got something you think we should also be testing, let us know!!

    We'll compare:

    • Time to reach set temperature
    • Power consumption to pull temperature down
    • Power consumption to maintain temperature
    • Accuracy of the in-built thermostat vs a temperature probe


    The Gear

    We'll need various equipment to carry out this test:

    • Equivalent fridge models. At this stage this will be a Waeco CF60 and Engel MT60FP. These are the units most similar in size.
    • We won't be using transit bags / covers - so we're testing the raw units. (In an upcoming test we'll review the effectiveness of the bags!)
    • Temperature controlled room. While we could sit the units outside, and just compare then against each other, but having a controlled room will enable us to carry out the test again at a later date with different models - ensuring we compare apples with apples. Also, it should give us a consistent result throughout the various stages of the cool-down procedure (ie pulling temperature down VS maintaining it).
    • Thermostat Control Switch- to create the temperature controlled room at about 32°C, we'll use a household bathroom, with a blow heater in it. The heater will be plugged into a thermostatic control switch will will monitor the room temperature, and start/stop the heater accordingly. The device we've chosen is the STC-1000 - which is designed for home brewers (it has 2 controls - on/off for a heater, and on/off for a cooler - we'll just be using the heating ouput). (You can get them on ebay for about $30, but you need to wire up the 240V side).
      Thermostat Control Switch


    • Blow Heater - just a household heater will be fine. We want to get the temperature up to 32°, and I expect this will do it. We'll find out during the test, but might have to accept a lower temperature.
    • Temperature Monitoring Devices - we want to be able to plot the temperature of both fridges, and the room over the entire duration of the test. We could do this with units such as the Waeco RT800 or Engel Wireless Thermometers and take periodic recordings, but I'd like to geek it up, and record straight to a computer so we can plot a constant data stream. So, I've found a dual USB thermometer which has an external probe (which we'll put inside the fridge), and a built-in thermometer, which will measure ambient temperature. But as we need to measure 2 fridges and ambient, I'll be using two of these devices. (Also found on eBay for about $10 ea). [I've be assured in broken Engrish that two devices can work on one PC at the same time, but I'm not confident until I actually see it work...]


    • PC - just using a Dell laptop. It's going to have to be in the room for the test.
    • Batteries- we want to test the fridges in 12V mode as if they were being used remotely, so I'll run them off their own deep-cycle batteries. I'll use a 120Ah AGM battery for each.
      AGM Battery


    • Power Consumption - This is going to be the most revealing result of the test - how much power do the fridges consume? To measure this, we need an Amp-Hour meter, which measures current draw (amps) over a period of time. We actually need one for each fridge. I really like the integration of the RedArc Battery Management System BMS1215, so I'll use two of these. (They are a complete mains power charger, solar regulator & DC-DC charger with a remote LCD screen. Complete overkill for this test, but I just love 'em).
      RedArc BMS 1215


    •  Contents - I don't want to test just an empty fridge, so for consistency, I'll use some 2L bottles of water in each.

    How we'll carry out the test.... stay tuned.

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