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Review of the Alpicool C20 refrigerator freezer

A Video review of the Alpicool refrigerator. Alpicool C20 Video Review

The Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge is a great choice for those looking for a fridge freezer portable appliance.
Electrical Grid down disaster or on the road for a long road trip, the Alpicool C20 Portable Fridge is great for
keeping your food fresh and your drinks cold!
The Alpicool is an "actual" compressor based refrigerator. Not a junk "heat exchanger" type refrigerator.
A "Must Have" for insulin dependent users or other injectables that need to be stored cool.
It's capable of being powered from 12V and 110V. Very low power consumption.
Reviews say an Alpicool will run for 3 days on a single 12V battery on Eco setting.
It has also been testing as a freezer successfully, but very high power consumption in this mode.
Honestly? When disaster strikes you can't live without ice cream or ice cubes?
Just the thing for grid down type disasters.

My own review of the Alpicool C20

To begin, this is a very impressive small, compressor based, refrigerator.
20 quart capacity. Easily holds 12 bottles of water with room to spare.
It came well packaged with a 110 to 12 volt transformer and a cigarette lighter plug in cord.
I plan to just install alligator clips to connect to the battery direct.
As an initial test I put a few items inside along with a digital thermometer.

Items were NOT pre-cooled so cooling will be MUCH slower than taking things out of your refrigerator
and put them directly into the Alpicool.
Remember, the Alpicool not only had to cool itself but cool the warm items I put in it.


Simply plugged it into the wall and turned it on and setting the temp. at
-5 degree Celsius (23 degrees F). (Instructions below on how to change read out to Fahrenheit)
Room temp when test began was 78 degrees F.
1 hours later, inside of refrigerator was 50 degrees.
1.5 hours later, inside of refrigerator was 32 degrees.
Placing warm items inside slowed it down big time.
Maximum wattage draw I observed was 49 watts but that was only for 1/3 the time.
From another resource I found:
In Eco mode, set to -5 Celsius,
it averaged about 6 watts an hour, using about 144 watts in 24 hours. (12AH per day)
A big plus is how quiet this refrigerator is. My laptop fan is louder.

My only complaint is how inaccurate the unit's temperature gauge is.
I was using a digital thermometer inside and I saw a 10 degree difference in the reading.
Higher temp. reading inside than was shown on the outside gauge.
Inside temp was reading 32 degrees F. Outside display was 23 degrees F.
My recommendation is use a thermometer inside until you get a feel for what your settings
need to be to get the desired result.
However, my use of warm items had an effect on these readings and time it took to cool down.
Note: If you open the lid you'll get a false outside reading but it will return to normal.

Major Update:
The use of warm items inside had a HUGE effect on how fast the Alpicool cools down.
This morning I tried my empty Alpicool C20 with starting temp at 78 degrees.
Unit only took 30 minutes to reach 34 degrees.
I also set the Temperature Compensation at +6 and display is reading correctly now.
(See "Hidden Settings below)
There is still a slight difference between the temperature you set and what you actually get but
you can just adjust up or down until you get the inside temperature you want.
In my case, I wanted 34F degrees inside but had to set the temperature at 38F degrees to get it.
I'm sure the temp setting you use will vary depending on how full the unit is.
At least now the readings are correct.

Actual photo of my Alpicool C20 during test showing what I had in it. Taller water bottles might? fit.
Quart of milk and 20 FL Oz. bottles shown. 9.9" high inside.

Link to Alpicool C20 Store

Alpicool C20

Hidden Settings for the Alpicool C20 and C15
Changing Celsius to Fahrenheit on display and cutoff points on battery.

Alpicool C20 and C15 Cut off voltages for the three levels of the battery saver feature.
They are as follows:
Cutoff volts 12V input 24V input
H1 9.6V off -- 10.9V on 21.3V off -- 22.7V on
H2 10.1V off -- 11.4V on 22.3V off -- 23.7V on
H3 11.1V off -- 12.4V on 24.3V off -- 25.7V on
I set mine on H3 to conserve the battery.

Changing from Celsius to Fahrenheit on Alpicool C20 and C15.
These special features are accessed by first turning off the cooler with the "OFF" button.
Then pressing and holding "Set" until "E1" appears.
Press "Set" again to move to each setting in turn, and press the up/down buttons to make adjustments.
The special settings are:
"E1" Lowest temperature setting
"E2" Highest Temperature setting
"E3" Temperature Return Setting
"E4" Soft start Setting and
"E5" Changing from Celsius to Fahrenheit (This is the one you'll want)

Temperature Compensation Alpicool C20 and C15
How to make the Alpicool C20 or C15 digital reading agree with the actual inside temperature.
These special features are accessed by first turning off the cooler with the "OFF" button.
Then pressing and holding "Set" until "E1" appears.
Press "Set" again until you get to E6.
Then press the up/down buttons to make adjustments.
The only one I played with is E6:
"E6" Press the + or - button to raise or lower displayed temperature.
In my case I went with +6 and it worked. Your results may differ.

If the screen goes blank while doing any of the above, turn off the unit wait 10 seconds and try again.

Link to Alpicool C20 Store


Another more costly option is a propane camping refrigerator.
A 4 cubic foot model will run for a day on less than 1 lb of propane. 20lb tank would last you 3 weeks.
I'm not going to review any of these as I wanted something, that with a single solar panel, could run indefinitely.
Google propane camping refrigerator
Make sure the unit you choose actually runs on propane. Read the reviews completely.

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