In Australia we like our drinks – alcoholic or otherwise – nice and cold and bar fridges are a great way to keep that extra drink ready. Bar Fridges Australia specialise in keeping things cool and were kind enough to send us two very different bar fridges to put through their paces over the summer: The energy efficient Schmick 115L compressor fridge and the silent 100L Dellcool absorption fridge.


Dellcool DW100CD-T2 Silent 100L Bar Fridge

The first thing we noticed about the Dellcool was its weight. Weighing in at 40kg it was significantly heavier than the Schmick which we surmised was due to its run silent absorption technology.

The front face of the DW100CD-T2 is predominantly stainless steel with a neat black 5cm information panel located above it. This panel contains an on/off button, a set button and two buttons to change the temperature. This panel also features two bright blue LEDs that independently display the freezer and fridge temperatures.

The sides and top of the DW100CD-T2 is finished in a smooth black finish and these faces are unsurprisingly, unremarkable. The rear of the unit however is quite interesting. Its horizontal coils, large vertical cylinder and heat sink fins of the absorption technology give it a bit of a steampunk appearance. Also worth noting is that at the top of the rear is a 4cm tall cavity that runs right through to the back of the front information panel.

While the rear is showing off the technology that keeps your food and drinks cool without making any sound, it’s the inside which we’re most interested in.

The inside of the DW100CD-T2 looks smaller than its 100L size suggests, likely due to its relatively overall shallow depth and freezer compartment. The main compartment has three adjustable metal wire shelves which can be mounted on eight possible hard points. At the bottom is a 32cm wide, 9.5cm deep and 9.5cm high blue plastic crisper drawer which is covered by a wired shelf. Interestingly, a set of heatsink fins can be seen just beneath the freezer, along with what looks like a small catch tray beneath.

Along the door are three blue tinged plastic balconies which can be positioned on four levels. Each balcony has its own slide-able separator.

The only other notable feature of the main compartment is that on each side of the fridge, is a LED light which illuminates the contents when the door is opened.

The freezer compartment is located at the top of the unit and is approximately 13.5cm high, 38.5cm wide and 17.5 deep. The door is spring loaded and seems to seal very well.

The DW100CD-T2’s external door can be easily reversed which can be accomplished by removing some screws and relocating the lower hinge.

Both sides of the door have four visible screws which are used to mount the handle, depending on its opening swing. While this system made reversing the door handle simple, the four screws on the non-handle side of the door did look somewhat untidy. Worth noting is that during our time with the DW100CD-T2, we found not mounting the handle still allowed us to open the door without any issue and for our money, looked better.

Included in the Dellcool box are two small egg trays (holding four eggs each), a two piece ice cube tray and a short instruction manual.


Schmick HUS-BC115-SS Quiet Energy Efficient Bar Fridge

The Schmick HUS-BC115-SS is a more conventional bar fridge designed primarily to keep your drinks cool using a compressor system and weighs in considerably less than the Dellcool at 26kg. The exterior top and sides feature a similar black finish while the rear has a more familiar bottom fifth cavity featuring the compressor and other cooling voodoo. Unlike the Dellcool, the cooling tech takes up a much smaller portion of the fridge’s size, resulting in its larger 115L capacity, despite its very similar overall footprint.

The front of the HUS-BC115-SS is a nice stainless steel finish with a neat side of door as handle design. The door can also be reversed and while no instructions are included in the Operating Manual, it is a simple case of removing the top caps and unscrewing and relocating the top and bottom hinges. At the very bottom on the door, located centrally is a small circular lock mechanism. While its a fairly neat solution with the door closed, the lock’s latch looks a little out of place when the fridge door is open as it protrudes about 3.5cm.

The inside of the unit feels much roomier than the Dellcool both because of the shallow door and the lack of a freezing compartment. The reduced space required for the cooling technology obviously helps too, with the inside of the HUS-BC115-SS featuring a typical bar fridge’s reduced depth only at the bottom of the fridge.

Two full size shelves glass shelves and one smaller shelf are included which can be placed on 11 hard points. As mentioned earlier, the door has no balconies for storage but the HUS-BC115-SS makes up for it with increased internal storage space. While we didn’t attempt it, we can easily believe Bar Fridge Australia’s claim that you can fit up to 120 standard 375ml cans inside. On the ceiling of the fridge compartment is a rotary dial used to set the temperature which also contains the built in LED lighting.

The Schmick HUS-BC115-SS comes complete with two keys for the door lock and a short Operation Manual.


Efficiency vs Silence

Over the space of about six weeks we used both fridges to store both drinks and various cold food, including frozen goods in the Dellcool’s freezer compartment.

After the Dellcool err… warmed up, the temperature reported on the Fridge LED read -1 and after around a day in operation, the freezer temperature steadied to -20 degrees Celsius. Both temperatures were accurate to our measuring equipment and throughout testing, the fridge worked as expected. We were warned that with high room temperature, absorption fridges could see reduced cooling but we had no real issues in our testing environment, even when the mercury rose to nearly 30 degrees outside.

Absorption fridges can yield mixed results when room temperatures reach 28 degrees but in our testing, the Dellcool never seemed bothered much with room temperature just below the 28 degree Celsius mark.

Predictably, our drinks and other cold foods remained nice and cool in the Dellcool and frozen goods and ice were also as expected.

While it performed very well, there were two things that did concern us with the Dellcool. Firstly, the Dellcool’s absorption system is reported to use a lot more electricity than a regular compressor fridge. We didn’t have any power equipment on hand to test this but Bar Fridge Australia rates the power usage at 1.56KW/24h. Perplexingly, according to our calculations, that is almost double what our full size 450L Westinghouse fridge uses!

Beyond this, we also found the Dellcool shelves very difficult to move. Moving shelves isn’t something we would want to do regularly in a bar fridge, but in testing we found relocating the shelves to be a bit of a chore. On the plus side, that did mean that once shelves were in place, they really stayed in place!

The only other negative we had regarding the Dellcool DW100CD-T2 was also one of its most striking features. The temperature LEDs along its top were extremely bright. While easy to read from a suburb away, the problem was there was no real way to turn them off or adjust their brightness. In a completely dark room, these provided enough light to get around!

The other issue with the LEDs was that they had a tendency to flitter (between -1 and 0 degrees for example) which depending on its location could be distracting. While simply covering the LEDs solved the problem, we can’t help but think this fridge would benefit from a way to turn off or even just dim the LEDs as required.

Overall, the Dellcool provided all the benefits of a regular compressor fridge but without the noise.

The Schmick also took some time to get itself cool but after leaving it running for a day, it was nice and cool and ready for our drinks. Without a LED to compare it to, we measured the temperature to be around 1 degree Celsius when set to the “7” maximum cooling setting.

With no freezer compartment, we found the Schmick had oodles of room – Bar Fridges Australia suggests this little bar fridge can hold a total of 120 375ml standard drink cans! The glass shelves in the Schmick felt a little classier than the Dellcool’s metal wire and were also a little easier to move around.

Noise wise, we were pleasantly surprised that while audible, the compressor on the HUS-BC115-SS was relatively quite quiet. Bar Fridges Australia suggests it is as loud as a full size fridge but we think that’s a little unfair. While it did emit a slight whistling sound upon getting down to a nice cool temperature, during daily operation it emitted a fairly acceptable low hum. Our 450L Westinghouse by comparison was much louder and in relative terms made the Schmick seem practically silent. Of course, sitting next to the actually silent Dellcool bar fridge it was obvious that the Schmick did indeed make some noise, but to our ears, it was still quite acceptable.

The Door seals on the Schmick were great and like the Dellcool, the fridge kept its cool throughout our time with it. Drinks and cold foods remained fresh and we enjoyed a few cans on its behalf.

The rotary dial numbered one to seven allowed us to change the temperature, but we generally kept the fridge on its maximum setting of 7 which resulted in a temperature that was just about right for a nice cold beverage.

Beyond the protruding lock latch – which really does look out of place with the door open, we had no real complaints with this fridge. On this, its worth noting that if you don’t need to use the locking mechanism, you can simply remove the latch, thus solving this problem.

The Schmick HUS-BC115-SS cooled, it remained relatively quiet and generally did its job. Also, according to Bar Fridge Australia, this fridge uses only 0.28KW/24hrs which is almost an order of magnitude less than the Dellcool absorption fridge!


Selected Specifications

Dellcool DW100CD-T2 Silent 100L Bar Fridge

Cooling: In ambient 25°C unit tested brilliant with fridge holding 0°C (Zero) and freezer holding -20°C (Minus 20)
Location Suitability: Indoor
Power Consumption: 1.56 kW/24hrs
Lockable: No
Door Hinged: Reversible
Shelving: 3x Large Shelves; 3x Inner Door Storage Shelves
Litres: 100
Noise Level: 0.00dB
Weight: 40.00 kg


Schmick HUS-BC115-SS Quiet Energy Efficient Bar Fridge

Cooling: Cools to zero (0°C) in 32°C+ no problems.
Location Suitability: Indoor Or Outdoor Enclosed Under Cover
Power Consumption: 0.28 kW/24hrs
Lockable: Yes
Door Hinged: Reversible
Shelving: 2x Large Shelves; 1x Small Shelf
Litres: 115
Noise Level: 41.00dB (similar in volume to a kitchen fridge)
Weight: 26.00 kg



In our usage, both these fridges performed very well. The Dellcool Silent 100L Bar fridge was indeed silent, keeping things cool and frozen in its two compartments. While the absorption technology really is silent, it uses significantly more electricity than the tired and true compressor cooling method. In mid 20 degree Celsius room temperatures we found it to work a treat but had no opportunity to push its limits over the 28 degree threshold.

Unless you are super sensitive to sound, either fridge would work quite well in a small unit or hotel room style apartment. While audible, the Schmick Quiet Energy Efficient Bar Fridge was just that. Offering what we think is a suitable compromise between minimal noise and minimal electricity use.

On the other hand, if you want a completely silent experience, albeit with significantly increased electricity usage – along with the ability to freeze goods as well as keep things cool – the Dellcool Silent 100L Bar Fridge is the ticket.

Both the Dellcool DW100CD-T2 Silent 100L Bar Fridge and the Schmick HUS-BC115-SS Quiet Energy Efficient Bar Fridge are available now (and on special!) from Bar Fridge Australia for $597AUD and $497AUD respectively.