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A Cool Accessory For Your Car

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On: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 2:31PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

A Cool Accessory For Your Car

The list of car accessories available for your automobile is endless these days.  If you plan to spend a lot of time on the road, particularly if you love camping, one of the most useful is a refrigerator that plugs into a 12 volt power point in your vehicle to keep food and drinks cool when traveling without the mess and hassle of keeping ice in a cooler.  Some types of portable units can even keep food frozen in the car!

If you are traveling with a baby and need to keep bottles cool, or for diabetics with insulin that has be kept refrigerated, this car accessory is invaluable. The minimum size that most people select is 40 liters which can hold enough food for two adults and two kids for several days.  The size refrigerator that you select will depend partially on the space you have in your vehicle and the type of power source you have, the bigger units of course draw more power.

Aftermarket auto refrigerators resemble a vinyl cooler and can be stored in the hatchback or the trunk of your car or SUV. Some can be mounted on a roll-out shelf for easy access from the hatchback of your vehicle. Built-in units are available that are small enough to fit under an arm rest compartment between the front or rear passenger seats; this type usually comes installed from the factory. They are really handy for keeping smaller items cool and they are hardwired in the vehicle.

There are several different types of cooling methods for refrigerators; the most common are the compressors which use a motor to pump working fluid (like a home refrigerator), and operate from a 12, 24, or 240 volt power source. They can cool and freeze foods, have a medium noise level, and provide quick cooling with a capacity from 12-110 liters. The price ranges quite a bit from $600 all the way up to $2,000.

The second type of cooling unit is called an absorption unit, which uses a source of heat running on a 12 or 240 volt energy source, or even on gas. The absorption units have a low noise level, they are NOT quick cooling, and can freeze food in cool weather; they have a capacity of 39 to 50 liters and cost from $350 to $1,200.

And the smallest and least expensive units, the Thermo Electric Peltier refrigerators, use an electronic heat pump and run off 12 or 240 volts, but cannot freeze foods, they have only a 7 to 32 liter capacity, therefore the cost is much less, from $50-$400.

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