Instructables

Simple Cheap Air Conditioner

Picture of Simple Cheap Air Conditioner
 In this instructable i will show you how to make an air conditioner from cheap stuff that you get from any store.
 
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Step 2: Attach The Fan

Picture of Attach The Fan
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On the cap of the box you need to make a hole that fit the fan in just like the picture.

Step 3: Put the vent

 Now make another hole on the cap that fits on your elbow.To attach the elbow glue a small piece of pvc tube on the elbow , pass the elbow trough the hole and use a pipe clamp (optional)  to secure the vent.That way you can move it to blow everywhere you want.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up
 Put some ice blocks in the box ,connect the fan to a battery and ready to go.
stevebarnett made it!2 months ago

Same concept as yours but I used a 5 gallon pickle bucket from my favorite sub shop.

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-copper tube-6 months ago

cool

Shadowsfire11 months ago
If you froze jugs of water in the freezer they would make no mess as they thawed. No worry about splashing water in the car. My Air is our too and I might try this next trip inland.
Oh and you could drink the water as it thawed.
LadyRoz11 months ago
I would suggest adding a bottle of rubbing alcohol to the container. It actually keeps any melting ice cooler than the water by itself. It's an idea I use when camping, but you have to make sure that anything in your cooler is in waterproof containers.
BritneyZ11 months ago
Make this box and then Put Ice in it the wind will blow on the ice then come out cooler.
terribug3 years ago
Okay, all you tech-savvy people, I have a problem for you to solve! My car's AC is out, and I drive all over the Dallas./Fort Worth area as an in-home tutor. I am usually fried to a crisp by the end of the day, what with the 100+ heat, dryness, etc. Right now, my budget's so stretched, I have several dead presidents screaming in pain in my wallet, so fixing the AC is a no-go at this point. However, I have a huge collection (and have access to more) of junk. You know, old parts from this, little pieces of that; the stuff that dreams are made of! I need a cooler that is safe and secure to put in my mini-van (perhaps between the front seats?) that will bring the ambient temperature down so I am not drenched in sweat when I reach my students' homes. Some of the 'ibiles seem great for a stationary use, but since I am in a moving vehicle, might not be so great. What have you got for me? Thank you in advance!
I suggest a big container of ice water and a bandana. Dunk the bandana. Wear it on your head. Roll down the windows to increase the rate of evaporation. This got me through a cross country drive from Florida to California in the middle of the summer. It was so hot, I had to turn on my heater to keep the engine from overheating!
if you use a shorter, fatter box, it may be more stable...and seeing as how it uses an "oscillating car fan," It should work great in a car, just put it on the passenger seat, and point the nozzle [why not make it adjustable?!?] at yourself, and seatbelt it in!

let me know if this helps!

Brett
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klee27x1 year ago
I tried to make something like this several years ago, when I had a car with no AC. My version was on steroids. I had a cooler of ice water in the back seat. A 12V pump circulated the water through my car's heater core. And tepid (big improvement) air came out through the vents. The only problem was a 10 lb bag of ice only lasted about 5 minutes. :(
aranill3571 year ago
Thanks for this, it'll be great for my dorm room! It's a small space and I don't make my own ice.
cpayton1 year ago
soooo, if you are making this too keep your house cool, AND you are using ice from your freezer, you should consider the following:

1: for your freezer to create ice, the mechanisms on the back of your freezer/refrigerator will generate heat.
2: this heat is ALWAYS more than the amount of cold produced. (example, if you cooled an item by 10 degrees, you generated more than 10 degrees of heat somewhere else)
3: the freezer is in your house.
4: making the ice therefore produced heat inside of your house (the back of the fridge)
5: the amount of cold produced through using the ice inside of this fan contraption will ALWAYS be less than the amount of heat you are producing inside your house radiating from the back of your fridge.
6: therefore using this thing with ice from your house will actually produce more heat inside your house.
7: to combat this you need to suck the heat off the back of your fridge and vent it outside.
8: this would be effective IF the ice was produced elsewhere.
=)

mdwfg cpayton1 year ago
actually if you didn't realise this A/C unit, based on its size, is for personal use or you really thought the poster intended this for a whole house?
quatch cpayton1 year ago
Reposing what I worked out elsewhere, which is a nice parallel to your reply:

Ok, lets assume that you could cool your room either with a single bag of ice in this device, OR a single window air conditioner. Which would be cheaper, assuming you needed one bag of ice per day?

A small air conditioner is defined as using less than 7.5 amps. Lets assume 7.5. Then at 120V, we use 7.5*120=900W *24hrs= 21.6kWh. In ontario (averaged over 24hrs), energy is 9.05c/kWh, so we use 21.6kWh*0.0905$=$1.96 of electricity per day

So, in the absolute worst case (max amperage, 24hr at full power) the AC unit less (or equal if you have cheap ice) electricity as a bag of ice costs.

So, in the best case of the proposed ice cooling (1 bag/day, free electricity, free transportation of ice), it isn't worth it.

Edit: or we can look at it this way: A really efficient AC unit has an EER of 10. This means that (if it is the 7.5A unit above), it produces 9000 Btu of cooling, or 9495 kJ. The enthalpy of fusion (energy to melt) of ice is 334 kJ/kg. So every hour this AC unit produces cooling equivalent to melting about 28kg of ice. A bad EER might be about 5, so 14kg of ice. I think a bag of ice is around 2kg? And this is per hour.
most people have their freezer already running 24/7 and would be able to create ice without incurring more costs.
Thats not how freezers work. Your freezer does a little work all the time maintaining temperature, as the insulation is only so good. It does a lot of work freezing new stuff you add. So you incur costs equal to the chilling ability of the freezer to make that ice (it takes that same 334kJ/kg to freeze ice as it does to melt it). Substitute some numbers for your freezer to my above equation to see how much it costs to freeze ice in your freezer. Chances are it is similar to the AC (both are moving heat from inside to outside).

Laws of thermodynamics and all that says it takes more energy (dissipated as heat out the back of the freezer) to freeze water than is available to use as chilling when you melt it. It comes from the inability to be perfectly efficient.

An AC unit has one advantage over the ice-in-freezer. The water that is condensed out of your air is sprayed by the fan over the external cooling coil, and is used to increase efficiency by evaporating water (huge latent heat sink), rather than just passing air over the coils/radiator (which both AC, freezers, and fridges do)

TL;DR: no free lunch, you pay electricity to create ice, and it is less efficient than an AC unit.
assuming of course this bin is supposed to be filled with ice.
udannlin1 year ago
You are also neglecting the practical purpose of this device. It can selectively cool just a portion of the room where people are gathering rather than the whole room. Same as a space heater versus central heating.
udannlin1 year ago
instead of a plastic bin, consider using a insulated cooler. it would make the ice last much longer. Great idea!
thedorment1 year ago
if you have a big enough freezer buy 3 of these containers and keep rotating the same ones as they melt refreeze em (add water as necessary) great for tents or small trailers
peetabix1 year ago
Great idea.
Just thought that if its made big enough your could put your laptop/computer in there too keep it cool. I know my laptop overheats sometimes.
vgalica1 year ago
This is such an awesome idea & I have 2 fans like that just being useless right now....not after today they wont be
You know, that is a really "COOL" idea. :-)
I did and it works very well.
I cool the bottles with ice and ice cubes.
I have a 12v fan about computer power supply.
Temperature: 19 * C
air outlet (cm): about 2m
Power supply: battery
Very good idea, thanks.
nice
RoeyLeon1 year ago
very cool idea !
woh excellent what a coooool............
volkermord2 years ago
Did this earlier today, took about 45mins-1hr to do, that included the time it took me to scrap a fan from a burnt up video card...
Seems to work well, going to try it with iced 2liters once they freeze.
dajohn172 years ago
great ideal , thanks. I am going to try and make this!
Websprinter4 years ago
I would switch the fan to draw from the mouth of the pipe then attach a flexible pipe (or more) fed through the bottom of the ice from the opposite side, fixed a bit above the ice but enclosed a bit below the lid. The air source placed nearer the pvc attachment. That way the air would travel over the ice to pre-cool then through it to increase coolness, less evaporation of water + more breeze from the directional fan.
that is exactly what "Real" A/c units do
MCzone3 years ago
using a metal pipe would be better, plus a a heat sink, or thick layers of alluminum foil
Grimarr4 years ago
 This is basically a swamp-cooler, which is a very popular cooling method in places with low humidity.

Where I live though, where the humidity is intensely high most of the time, central air is still the way to go.
Jim L. Grimarr4 years ago
Not actually. A "swamp cooler" works by evaporation and loss of "heat energy" effectivly cooling the air that passes through it. This system works by passing air across a heat sink (in this case, ice) to lose "heat energy." An air conditioner works in the same way by passing air across a heat sink in the form of coils usually filled with expanding gas (such as freon) to lose it's "heat" energy. Condensation is collected and "blown" across the high pressure side coils to "precool" the gas before the expansion cycle on the low pressure side. Excess condensation is then allowed to drain out of the system. Clear as mud? Jim L.
Grimarr Jim L.4 years ago
This still works by evaporation of water, which makes it a swamp cooler. It's not the heat sink that makes it an A/C unit, it's the compressor/expansion chamber system used for heat exchange.
mveteto Grimarr3 years ago
Actually if anything is happening the Ice is melting. But this is not a swamp cooler, If anything its closer to an actual air conditioner albeit in a primitive form
jay_in_hsv4 years ago
Using ice contained in sealed containers, (e.g. 16 oz water bottles, 1 liter bottles, 2 liter bottles, gel ice packs etc., etc... ) eliminates the addition of additional water vapor to the space being treated. Existing humidity will condense on the sealed ice containers and remain inside the plastic box. Smaller ice containers equate to more cooling surface area thus increasing heat transfer rates. Melt rate can be controlled to some extend by adjusting airflow.
dchall84 years ago
I'm not trying to get you on a technicality but an air conditioner actually does change the condition of the air.  It removes humidity by blowing air past chilled coils.  The moisture in the air condenses on the coils and drips into a collection pan.  That water is directed away from the area that is being cooled so that it cannot be reintroduced into the cooled environment.  Thus in a house the moisture is drained either to the outside or into the building's plumbing drain system.  When that drier air returns to the room it still feels cool from the chilled coils but also because it has less moisture in it. 

What you have is a cooler but not a conditioner.  Have you tested it with thermometers placed in the room and at the cool air outlet? 
Semantically, one could argue the unit conditions the air to a desired temperature...but that would be a ridiculous argument.  I am curious how well this one works, too - there are many "ice chest" style coolers on this site, but this seems the simplest and uses the cheapest stock.