I've had this portable cooler for a few years. When my original use for it was discontinued (actually storing batteries in a refrigerated setting) I simply parked it up.
Now I decided that it can have a second life as a food chiller, as per it's original purpose. So read on for chiller 2.0 if you dare.
Step 1: The Required Parts.
These are all what I gathered from my spare parts collection to make the chiller suitable for car use.
Step 2: Adding a Voltmeter and Fan Grill.
I wanted supply voltage monitoring and a protective grill on the fan. Carefully soldering the voltmeter leads to the fan 12volt board, I secured the grill with 2 screws. The voltmeter itself I stuck onto the grill using black silicone adhesive.
Step 3: Time Delay Relay.
Since this cooler will be used in a car, I don't want it drawing power when the engine is started. This time delay on relay will give power to the chiller approximately 10 seconds after power is applied. By this time the engine will be running and the alternator will provide the necessary power.
Step 4: The Temperature Meter.
I wanted monitoring of the internal temperature to verify proper operation. I had a spare thermal meter and it will be connected to the 12volt supply.
I drilled a hole to get the thermal sensor into the cooled area.
Step 5: Making the Power Connections.
I soldered all the leads to 12volt and 0 volt respectively. The time delay relay I tucked in the cavity under the big extraction fan. This fan is an add on to boost the cfm of the hot side heatsink.
I used black silicone adhesive to secure the temperature meter. A test power on reveals all components working!
Step 6: Sealing the Hot Cold Selector Switch.
I live in a hot climate and heating is not desired. I used silicone to lock the switch to the cold setting. This chiller will be used to transport foods that have to be kept cold.
Step 7: Securing the Thermal Sensor.
Using a stick square and a cable tie, I tied the thermal sensor to the underside of the lid.
Step 8: Sealing the Air Way.
In order for a strong passage of cooling air on the hot heatsink, I needed to seal off this void under the extraction fan. Using a small section of cardboard and black silicone adhesive, the void is now sealed.
Step 9: Completion.
The chiller is ready for service! Within half an hour it can carry it's insides down to 40F once there is nothing in it. This cooler will be left in a vehicle to allow cold stuff to stay cold on long road trips.
I wished it was manufactured in white or silver but perhaps that can be a future instructable!
I hope you enjoyed my write up!