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Compressor or Absorption Minibars – what should I choose?

by test
9 months Ago
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During the past 8 years or so, I have been selling minibars. And I have created a certain level of passion for them. Who would have thought that one could have a passion for minibars.
It is not so much the technical part what excites me. It is the operational headaches automatic minibars can solve for hotels. Yes, there you have it, I should have been more specific, the passion comes with the automatic part. If automatic minibars are installed well, and the system is run well, well, then they are the only answer to the headache the minibar department traditionally gives hotel operators.

This article is not about the operations or efficiency of automatic minibars. It is to address a crucial point in the decision making process as to what type of cooling for the minibar should one purchase. Absorption or compressor..that’s the question.

When discussing cooling with a potential customer, I always get asked the question, “do you have absorption?”. You get it, I will always plug compressor first. “Yes we do have absorption” is my answer, with hesitation. As in the back of my mind, I think by myself “Please not again, that discussion, please take it from me…go compressor”.

But, off I go, and list the advantages of compressor and start off by stating, “provided that you purchase a good (and thus expensive) compressor, like the ones from Danfoss, used by Bartech then:

1) Your minibar offers your guests colder drinks. – Why? Because compressor cooled minibars are less prone to influences from high ambient temperatures usually in badly ventilated cabinets.

2) Your minibar lasts longer! Good and expensive compressor minibars last 25% to 50% longer than absorption fridges. That’s in years, around 5 to 10 years! Can you do the ROI on that extra investment in a GOOD minibar?

3) Your compressor minibar does not consume as much as an absorption minibar. Sometimes up to 50% less! Add that to the ROI equation.

“Yes, but compressors are noisy”, the potential customer usually offers as the only argument against them. “Really?” I ask…a GOOD (as in DANFOSS) compressor will only be around 24 dB. This is less than the HVAC unit in the room!

I rest my case!

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