The "freezing water" Conundrum of Portable Fridge-Freezers

By Leana, KickAsss all round gun and marketing expert

1 Minute read


In this article we’d like to take a look at a common issue that our customers raise regarding our range of fridges, this is certainly applicable at some degree to most 12v units on the market today.

How long to freeze water?

One of the most common questions we have is the “water freeze test,” popular on many online forums, camping, 4x4 boards and around campfires all over the country. Most of our portable units are rated to manage around for 2 – 2.5 KG of water frozen per 24 hours. This figure works for all our portable units, the uprights are more capable, at around 3 – 3.5 KG per 24 Hours. So based on the customer load put into the unit, it should take around 36 – 48 Hours to freeze water in one of our Kickass fridges.

This is due to multiple factors but the main one is the ‘size’ of the Compressor.

A home 240 Volt upright fridge / freezer may have a 250 – 400 Watt Compressor.

A portable fridge / freezer is typically around 40 – 80 Watts.

The much smaller capacity means a lower power usage but also means it takes longer to achieve the same goal.

So an amount of water in a home freezer will freeze 3 – 10 times quicker than in a portable freezer, based on this compressor ‘size’ difference.

Differential (which has nothing to do with your car’s transmission, believe us!)
This is what we call the difference between the warmest and coldest parts of the cooling cycle.

Please refer to this graph

The Red line is the temperature inside a fridge and the ambient at the top of the graph.

This specific unit is cycling between 2.5 and 9c.

The difference between these two temperatures is 6.5c, this is what we call the differential.

On this specific unit, this is the temperature difference measured from air temperature in an empty unit.

The difference shown on the digital display for all of our units is either 4 or 5c.

This value is preset at the factory and is not changeable.

This generally comes up when people are running at fridge temperatures, as they set the unit to 4c.

The unit cools and gets down to temperature but when they look at the display they sometimes see warmer temperatures, with a 5c differential they could see upwards of 9c at the warmest part of the temperature cycle.

This is not a fault or an issue, this is a part implemented in all portable fridge / freezers. So please don’t freak out!

We will continue to bring you some myth busting articles as long as you keep up with the questions and feedback! Are there any myths that you have busted? Show us your set up. Alternately, just drop us a line or review on Facebook, we would love to hear your thoughts.