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Air conditioned shirt keeps you cool while looking professional; so you can keep your cool. This air-conditioned short has two fans (on either side near the back of this dress shirt) that force cool air under the clothing and out through the collar and cuff openings. Perfect for those long, hot summer days stuck at the office. I've explored alternative clothing to keep cool at work before, and this air-conditioned shirt is a fine additional to my cooling arsenal.

I was inspired to make the air conditioned shirt after seeing the commercially available one from Kuchofuku (Japan). They are the "only one company in the world" that makes them, and they retail retail for $138. Looks like that site closed down, here's another place to buy them for $190.

Using reclaimed computer fans, scrap electronics, and a dapper dress shirt from the thrift store, I was able to make this AC Shirt for around $10 - and can work with almost any type or style of shirt or pants.

Ready? Let's make!

Step 1: Tools + consumables

Picture of tools + consumables

tools:
  • hobby knife
  • indelible marker
  • scissors
  • needle + tread
  • fabric chalk or pencil
  • soldering iron
  • heat-shrink tubing
  • epoxy suitable for plastic and metal
  • hammer
consumables:
  • 2x 12V battery ($4)
  • 1x battery holder ($2)
  • 2x 4" computer fans
  • 2x 4" fan guards
  • 1x SPDT switch
  • dress shirt ($5 thrift store find)
  • button snaps (I got a pack of 10 for $0.25)
  • Thin, semi-rigid scrap plastic sheets - see step 2
  • zap-straps
 
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trevormac1 month ago

Arg-h--h-h. The fan fell down my trews.

Laral trevormac23 days ago

'trews'?

T0BY trevormac23 days ago
Ha ha! (sorry - ahem.)
Laral1 month ago

What, no Peltier module? :)

T0BY Laral23 days ago
Great idea but battery wouldn't last long. A large solar powered panel on ones back might power it but would probably add to the over-heating problem.
Laral T0BY23 days ago

I was only kidding. A peltier junction has negative energy efficiency so requires more heat than it absorbs. Solar panels aren't that light either. Now if you soak the shirt you get automatic evaporative cooling, and the fan accelerates evaporation. I soak a towel to use as a headband during exercise and I barely sweat from my head, or actually the evaporation cools my head enough and the towel absorbs so much sweat that I end up practically dry-headed. I have a fan blowing on the towel.

VenialVenom2 years ago
This came out beautifully. +Vote. You wouldn't think putting fans in a dress shirt (or any shirt for that matter) could come off as anything more than a joke, especially so stylishly. Very much thinking about making this as a gift. Just wondering if the shirt billows out when the fans are on.
I wondered that too. It might look rather odd.
This shirt looks very interesting but what about the sweat developed carrying the batteries all day long?
They're not that big!
DavidB931 month ago

i think in my design id use 2 smaller fans ( like a small cpu fans) and then have a tiny chamber to put a small canister of frozen liquid in. then some surgical tubing that run up under your arms and back. Air passes over the frozen bottle cooling down and then thru the tubing to create multiple exits. Once melted you throw the canister insert into the freezer and grab another.

Brodnax831 month ago
I wanted to do something similar to this by attaching small rubber tubing throughout the shirt and attaching a can of air duster to blow through the tube upside-down supercooling the tube.

This is sort of how actors in big suits keep cool - expect they hook their lines up to a hose pipe and just have water run through (think like a PC water-cooling system).

Think I remember seeing it on the Lord of the Rings "making of". I also seem to recall something about it being bad to cool yourself in this manner - going from hot to cold to hot rapidly is bad for you or something.

rbutler1 month ago

I have an incredibly hairy torso. Should I be concerned?

MarkM26 rbutler1 month ago

Ha, I was thinking some people probably need fans for their underpant region as well, but that would be even more dangerous!

alcurb rbutler1 month ago

Perhaps you can clip, shave, or wax those areas making sure that they are shaped exactly like the outline of the fans. (He...he). Or wear a giant hair net around your torso. :-)

loum2 years ago
DOES,THIS,SHIRT,HV,INSIDE,,FRAME,TO,KEEP,THE,SHIRT,OFF,THE,SKIN-I,TRIED,n,the,air,not,hv,space,to,circulate---even,with,NO,,FAn,the,FRAME,wouId,keep,shirt,not,touchin,skin--this,wouId,work,ESPECIEIIy,,when,power,source,is,USED,UP---try,it
sogoesme loum1 month ago

He needs to use a space bar! ;P

alcurb sogoesme1 month ago

He has one, but he uses one of those foreign keyboards where the comma is mapped to the space bar. Speaking of "space"...

Or perhaps he's a spy and is communicating to Greek bankers who are holding all of Greece's euros.

BillL9 loum3 months ago

@ loum - What are you writing? Are you typing with your teeth and half of them are missing? It hurts my brain to read what you wrote.

3967 BillL91 month ago

@ BillL9 , lol i guess you are right, but he is not only typing with his theeh, he also is stuck to a HighVoltage-cable from a selfmade project. This feels not good, so is worrying about his next project where he wants to exclude possible HV-shocks ;D

You need to use a shirt that is not too tight and it will work fine. Look at the pictures.
shahrokhani1 month ago

Air-conditioning means you do something on the air i.e. decrease or increase it's temperature of it's humidity or it's cleanness but this just moves the air may be you mean by flowing the air over one's sweat makes person cool this is called self evaporative cooling!!!

diy-master1 month ago

Looks a little bit nerd:))

If you wouldn't cut out the whole fan area and just make small holes, it would be almost invisible.

Frost_111 month ago
I'm so happy you made something like this! Finally a solution to my overheating!

Fantastic idea - particularly in the middle of the current heat-wave in the UK.

I've just robbed a snail fan out of an old laptop and connected it to a 2S 7.4v LiPo Battery - and it cetrainly blows some!

I'll 3D print a belt clip for the fan & battery then just un-tuck the side of my shirt to allow air to blow inside. I expect that will look uber-cool and cool (in slightly nerdy circles ;-) )

mikeasaurus (author)  simonrafferty1 month ago

Those are the best circles to be in.

I'd love to see pictures of your results and improvements!

Good but. Make removable type. Cloth need to wash ?
It removes for washing with the snaps just un snap them.
MVANDORN1 month ago

Great instructable! I saw he article on the Japanese company that makes this type of product, a couple years ago. I thought it to be a great idea then but never followed up to make my own.

One question thought, how long does it run on one battery charge?

billbillt1 month ago

Wonderful idea!!... Great build!...

StevenS112 months ago

how do you wash it

that is what the snaps are for

dad_a_monk1 year ago

You can also set this up with 9 volt batteries. 12v fans will operate just fine with 9v batteries. It does make the fan move slower but the speed difference is nominal compared to the price of 12v batteries. You can also get rechargeable 9v batteries and purchase a battery box that closes at Radio Shack so you can easily take the batteries in and out. They do make rechargeable 12v batteries and chargers buy again the price is far more than what 9v rechargeable batteries run.

Living in the South I can tell you this could literally be a life saver to help keep core body temperature down during rigorous activity.

BikeHacker1 year ago

How do you wash it?

mikeasaurus (author)  BikeHacker1 year ago

Step 3 and 4 discuss the snaps that hold the fan assembly in place, making the electronics removable for garment washing.

Cube_1 year ago

I would've used a wire-mesh fanguard, keeps dust and smaller objects out and matches better with garments (can be painted, *if* you know what you're doing, as well)

I actually made one these before but it was not as nicely put together like yours. good job
yami7591 year ago
OMG, I literally had this exact idea -.-
IanTrek2 years ago
My SPDT switch doesn't say which is positive or negative, and there's 3 outlets, and the fans have 3 plugs, also don't say which is which, except the circuit board has a little + and - next to 2 of the plugs on the fans. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong
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