engel 540 e vs new plastic and steel units

I am new to this forum so like to say hello to everyone first. I have been looking at your pages as a visitor for a while and would like to get a answer to a question that may have been answered already .
The fridge is used about 4 times a year in a hut which has a very old 10 year+ 80 -100watt? solar panel ( never really looked but going from its size) It has a 100amp hr battery on it. I have a cheap generator and a 40amp battery charger for battery top ups . I had been using a Gas fridge but on our last trip when shaded temps reached 42 c the temp in side the fridge was 15c
I go away to the above mentioned for a week at a time temps will be in winter 2- 25c during the day and in summer 28-40 c .
The fridge sits inside a shroud made of metal fridge panels ( coolroom steel foam steel) for extra insulation during the hotter months with vent holes etc.

I have tested the fridge for a few weeks now with a half load of goods pre chilled .
set on 1.3 on the dial and temp gauge in the centre /centre of fridge I have got around 17 to 19 amps a day with temp at 3 to 4 c out side temp 20-25c
set at around 2 + temp at -2 Fridge used 36 amps in the same 24hr period outside temp 24. I will be using the fridge as a fridge not as a frezzer but took the -2 to be what would be needed at higher outside temps

I have recently purchased a perfectly good, immaculate engel 540e which unlike the rating on the side draws about 4.4 amps on start up and then hoover around 3.8 to 3.9 amps from a freshly charged battery. I have rung up engel the other day and asked why there was so much differance from the published data to the actual and he said compliance now is a lot more accurate as was when mine was published and yes it was around the figures I have quoted.
So this is the question I would like to ask
1. How much better on power consumption are the newer engels I know the plastic model has another fan so this has a slightly higher consumption than full steel unit but close.

2. The quality of the newer engels and the older ones are they still the same. In my phone conversation with Engel I asked about the made in thailand . He said that the swing compressor was made in Japan then all the parts were assembled in Thailand.

3. If the newer Fridges are over 40% more economical on power than mine ( I am Talking about in 12 volt not 240) I was considering selling mine and buying a plastic one and cladding it checker plate . I would only do this if the newer engels had the same quality as the old ones and the consumption was less.

If anyone has any information on the above on power consumption of the newer fridges or other brands of fridges . Remembering I will only change if there is a significant change in power consumption otherwise I will keep what I have.
Sorry about the rambling but am trying to give all info.

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 13:24

Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 13:24
Hi Oma,

I am not familiar with the Engel 540e but my 40 litre Engel, which is a few years old now, will draw a maximum of 2.6 amps and cycle on and off at a rate depending on what the thermostat has been set at and the ambient temperature conditions while in use.
This is the same for current model 40 litre Engel fridges.
eg. Engel MT45FL (40l Fridge)
DC Power Consumption: Variable from 0.5 to 2.6 AMPS Maximum
Engel MT45FCP (40l combi fridge/freezer)
DC Power Consumption: Variable from 0.5 to 2.7 AMPS Maximum

The steel cased fridge will be more robust than a plastic cased model, but will also cost more.
My fridge has a ding in the top lid that would have cracked a plastic one open. I have no idea when or how it happened as I also use a padded cover the fridge sits in, but over the years the fridge has proven to be a very sound investment.


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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 21:52

Sunday, Mar 29, 2015 at 21:52
Hi Oma

Your Engel 540 will only be 39 litres in fridge capacity, compared to the new MT45 models that are 40 litres and the MR40 are only 38 litres (these are the ones with the Poly casing, yet very same running gear as the normal Engel fridges)

The selling price for the MR40 is $699 compared to the MT45 selling for $1279 ( that's what we sell them for at work the the genuine Engel Transit Bags.)

The new Model Engels also have the new electronic digital controls and if you are after a special very limited supply ANZAC Legacy Fiddge, they will be available very shortly. The fridge is Army green with a matching Camoflage Transit bag, which will sell for around $30 dearer, with part proceeds going to Legacy.

As for the power consumption, the MR40 are only about .25 of a watt more on power cosumption.


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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 18:40

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 18:40
Gday Stephen,
My recollection was that the E-series were a bit unusual - as you say they had the older 39 L capacity cabinet and shape, but newer colour and I think they were the first model with a fan than came on when conditions were hot.
In terms of power consumption, they I thought Engel said the E-series was around 3.7amps per hour average which was no different to the B series from the early 1990's. F series that replaced it was 2.5Amps per hour average from memory.
An upgrade to the MR40 at $699 would be very tempting if it were me!

Cheers, Phil
PS Things going OK again for us at the moment. Hoping no cancelled trips this year!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 20:48

Monday, Mar 30, 2015 at 20:48
Hi Phil

The new MT45 series were trend setters with their very low power consumption.

The new model MT 45 Digital series have now risen very slightly to 2.6 amps per hour, considering that they now incorporate a LED light inside the Cabinet, as well the new digital controls and LED temperature readout, that no longer relies on either the LR 44 or the lithium CR 2032 batteries like in the 40th anniversary models and up to the introduction of the 50th Anniversary model.

Great to hear things are going well with you and hope that it stays that way. We were supposed to be going back to Maralinga, but with Robin impossible to get hold off, changed our plans and are instead heading up to Lawn Hill.

All the best.

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Follow Up By: Oma - Friday, Apr 17, 2015 at 21:45

Friday, Apr 17, 2015 at 21:45
Thanks for the replays , will keep the older engel for now and will try to track down someone with a newer fridge to test
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