Introduction: Mini Computer Fan Air Conditioner
I decided to build this little personal cooling device for fun, just to see if it would work. I saw the same concept somewhere else online to make a simple air conditioner using a coil mounted to a fan. I decided to replicate it, making it personal, and (somewhat) portable. It consists of a standard 12 volt computer fan powered by a wall bug adapter and a copper coil. The copper coil is bent into a spiral that will fit into the housing of the fan, and mounted to it. 2 pieces of air line tubing are used for flexible input and output tubes. The longer input tube is placed in a glass of icy water, and the output tube is sucked on to create a syphon action in order to continually cycle the cold water through the copper coil. The fan is plugged in, and cool air is produced. This is different from a regular air conditioner because they consist of two coils, a cooling coil, and a condenser coil. The coils are filled with a refrigerant gas. It is cycled through the 2 coils by going through high and low pressure situations. The whole cycle starts at the compressor. Warm low pressure refrigerant gas is sucked into the compressor and pushed out as hot high pressure refrigerant gas, which enters the condenser coils. Outside air is sucked in with a fan, passing through the condenser coils, making the hot high pressure refrigerant gas become warm liquid. The warm liquid refrigerant passes through an expansion valve. It expands, becoming part gas, part liquid at a low temperature, which passes through the cooling coil. Warm interior air is sucked in by a blower and passes through the cooling coils, heating up the part liquid, part gas low temperature refrigerant, which returns to the compressor as a warm low pressure refrigerant gas, and the cycle starts over again and again, causing the blower to blow out chilled air.
As you can see, there are many differences between a regular air conditioner and the one I built. Suction, rather than a compressor, is used to cycle a chilled liquid, rather than a refrigerant gas, through one coil, rather than two. There is one fan to blow warm interior air through the chilled coil, cooling down the air. The warm air passing through the coil causes the liquid inside the coil to condense and form on the outside of the coil, because of the temperature difference. Of course, this small simplified air conditioner was not built for days with a high temperature, as the temperature of the chilled water passing through the coil will not be able to overcome the temperature of the hot air passing over the coil, so the fan will just blow out ever-so-slightly cooler air.
But, in spite of that, it can still be classified as an air conditioner, because it conditions the air, making it cooler by pushing warmer air against a cooler object, which makes the temperature of the air cooler than it was before it was pushed against the object.