• Baldwin Group NT

Portable Refrigeration Checklist

Are you planning your next adventure and throwing in your portable fridge? If so the below discusses three simple checks you can do before your next adventure.

We have been servicing and maintaining portable refrigeration systems for the last 15 years and we always come across the same issues. This guide will enable you to have a better understanding of your portable fridge and its operation.


- Check the voltage.

Low voltage is the biggest cause of portable refrigeration systems errors and faults. When operating your fridge in you vehicle, caravan, camper or boat it will be either be operating on 12v or 24v. With low voltage fridges it is critical that they have the correct voltage and cable sizing in order for it to run efficiently. Cable sizing and low voltage go hand in hand. Lets first look at cable sizing. If your cable size from your power source to your fridge is too small it will create a volt drop when the fridge is running (under load). This volt drop will take place in the cable. Don't be fooled!! The voltage at the power source can still read a healthy voltage. To effectively measure this volt drop you will need to have the power circuit load tested. Other issues that can cause voltage drop is poor or corroded connections.


- Check your fridges voltage cut out is set correctly.

On most portable fridges they have an in built adjustable voltage cut out setting. This setting usually ranges from low, medium and high. The fridge will cut out when the supply voltage reaches the set point. Depending on the application and battery set up we recommend the following settings.

High Voltage Cut Out - Most manufactures set this cut out around 11.6V. We recommend using this set point if you're running your fridge from a single battery. For example if you run your fridge in a vehicle that only has one crank battery. This setting will prevent the fridge from draining your crank battery.

Medium Voltage Cut Out - Most manufactures set this cut out to 11.2V. This cut out can be used where you have a dual battery set up that has multiple appliances operating off it.

Low Voltage Cut Out - Most manufactures set this cut out to 10.6V. We recommend using this set point where you have dual batteries and have a good charging source, i.e solar panels, vehicle etc.


- Check the condenser fan is operating.

Most portable fridges need a cooling fan for the fridge to operate effectively. This fan is located near the compressor within the outside compartment. It is important to ensure this fan is operational. In some cases the fridge may get cold even with the fan not working, if this is the case the fridge will struggle to achieve lower temperatures and will not cope when warm product is placed in the fridge.

Now you are all set for your next adventure with peace of mind that the basics are covered with your portable fridge. Get out there and have fun!!!