A. Yes, if rated T (Tropical 43°C) or ST (Sub Tropical 38°C), fridges are fine to be located outside, undercover, away from sunlight. N (Standard) rated units only will work in max 32°C ambient, and that will be chewing up the energy, may not get to the coldest temp and will shorten life from excess run times.
There are many variables that will effect the 'performance' (pull down rated, chilling, energy consumption) of the fridge.
- Direct Sunlight will definitely impede fridge performance, it is recommended that the unit be in a covered area and in no way in contact with sunlight or other variables that will heat up the area in which fridge is to perform. Glass door fridges work much harder than a normal domestic fridge, especially when your desired temperature is quite low for beer chilling, say 2 degrees Celcius.
- Ventilation, most of these fridges require minimal ventilation, the underbench Rhino and Schmick styles have a system where they are vented from the front, so fitting snugly inside a cabinet is what they have been designed for, there is a massive difference between 100% built in and 'semi built in', it's important to make sure you don't purchase a unit in error as a lot of companies don't give this information, or give misleading information in regard to building in. All units, built in or not will work at the start, but within 3-6 months if you have a unit 'built in' that isn't a proper designed fridge you will start to have a lot of problems due to overheating and extended running times, not to mention up to 6 times the energy consumption.
Always allow a minimum of 40mm at the rear of units (the power cord needs this minimum space to flex), approximately 10mm on top, and 10mm at each side to allow doors to open where they hinge.
Non Front Venting units require air to circulate so that when warm air is vented from the front it can easily rise and clear away from the unit rather than being sucked back into the cool air inlet. Failure to provide adequate ventilation will make a fridge work harder, lower its life expectancy, and increase your energy consumption.
- Ambient Temperature, this is the actual temperature of the outside air in the area where the fridge is located. All our units are tested between 32°C >and 43°C ambient, however this is just a test, and the units have to work extra hard in this environment. When ambient temperatures exceed 30°C it takes far longer for the units to get to the set temperature - so if you were planning to have a party and knew it was going to be an extra hot day, then it would be best to fill the fridge the night before and get as many cold ones happening as possible. Adding warm drinks during the day take longer to CHILL - especially when the door(s) are being opened and closed repeatedly by many people. The Rhino GSP range are the most energy efficient and well performed built in alfresco units in the world, and work and chill well in 40°C+.
- Condensation in Humid Areas is quite normal for glass door fridges. The higher the relative humidity (RH) the more likely that condensation will form on the outside of glass doors. Even if the ambient temperature is mild at 25°C, the humidity can be 80%, meaning that doors will still have low levels of condensation. Super hot days in conjunction with high levels of relative humidity bring large levels of condensation to glass doors - similar to windscreens in vehicles. Bar Fridges Australia has combatted condensation with 2 features, and now over 70% of our range now has one or both of the following;
1. LOW E Glass - This reflects heat rays up to 70% better than normal glass and really helps with condensation issues. We get LOW E glass on all our units wherever possible, usually double panes. Testing shows that condensation begins to form when Relative Humidity is over 75% with double Low E Glass. If no Low E glass water can form in 50% humidity.
2. Heated Glass - This is where glass is actually electrically heated. By warming the glass to the appropriate level we stop condesation in its tracks. This is an expensive part of the fridge design, and therefore it is only available on a few select models.
All commercial style fridges make noise. The level of noise and what is perceived as 'noisy' will vary with the individual. Basically most commercial under counter 1,2 & 3 door models run at a DB of between 45 and 55. A small domestic fridge runs at around 36DB to give a comparison of actual noise.
The compressor cuts in and out as the fridge goes through the normal operation of running, and it is not unusual for a compressor to turn on/off up to 10 times per hour. Some models are geared with a different cooling set up and therefore make less noise, smaller units (98 litre and less) use 'cold plate' style cooling and fans like a domestic fridge. Larger units (especially full commercial) make use of copper condensors and heavy duty fans to distribute cool air around the cabinet and get rid of the excess heat all for optimum performance.
We are constantly looking for ways to lessen noise in regards to fans used, design and development of sound diversion techniques. We now have fan 'upgrades' available for applications where noise is considered a factor, we have a range of special virtually 'silent' fans we have sourced that can be fitted to most of our models. As these fans don't move as much air volume it means that generally we only do this upgrade to units that will be indoors or outside fully enclosed areas.
Our range of wine and beer models use 12V fans and are designed especially to reduce noise for domestic, office, and indoor applications whilst still delivering semi-commercial performance. You will still hear the fridges running, but no where near the noise levels of our full commercial units that are generally utilised in hotels, clubs, and pubs. Wherever tranquility and performance is desired we recommend the use of fridges from the Schmick range.