Compressor vs Absorption

Compressor minibars or Absorption minibars; what’s the difference?


There’s a world of difference in performance, cost and economy of operation between Absorption and Compressor minibars. Briefly, absorption minibars cost less to buy but a lot more to run.

The reasons for the difference is very technical so let’s not dig down too far! Refrigeration is a process of exchanging heat by evaporating a refrigerant. By the mid-20th century, most refrigerators were of the compressor type and used a chlorine-based refrigerant, CFC, which was banned because of its destructive effects on the Earth’s Ozone layer. So the absorption process became more commonplace in domestic refrigerators although the cooling process takes longer and is more expensive to run.

The space age, however, demanded greater efficiency in a more compact form. This gave a new lease of life to the compressor refrigerator, one that had no toxicityand was far faster in reaching the desired temperature of around 4ºC. Vitrifrigo, through its parent company, Rivacold, commercially developed this innovation for their minibars which are over 85% more economical to run and reduce the temperature from ambient to cold four times faster than the absorption method.

The new compressor minibars belong to the NEXT DM series, which haS been awarded the highest possible EU Energy rating: A+++ for the solid door version and A++ for the glass door version.

Vitrifrigo’s absorption minibars are nevertheless an excellent choice for the budget conscious hotel. They are rated A+ and employ Low Power Consumption (LPC) technology and are virtually silent in operation.