Introduction: DIY Portable Styrofoam Air Conditioner
Hey, Guys in the last instructable I showed you how to make a styrofoam cutter, In this week I will show you how to make a Styrofoam portable Air conditioner. This Air Conditioner is not a replacement for a commercial model but can be used to cool a room on a hot summer day.
Air conditioner (AC) working principle
An air conditioner collects hot air from a given space, processes it within itself with the help of a refrigerant and a bunch of coils and then releases cool air into the same space where the hot air had originally been collected. This is essentially how all air conditioners work.
By using Convection Heat Exchange, Our Air Conditioner makes the air environment cooler. It takes Heat from Ice and makes the surrounding air cooler.
For the build, you will need a handful of items
- Foam Box https://amzn.to/2ykJuCB
- DC Fan https://amzn.to/2CijlHv
- Hose Pipe https://amzn.to/2CiHwWf
- Sealant https://amzn.to/2PBJHrN
- Ir thermometer https://amzn.to/2PyFmFK
- Heat shrink https://amzn.to/2ClamFJ
- Soldering Iron https://amzn.to/2CK7ByB
- Foam cutter https://www.instructables.com/id/5-DIY-Hot-Wire-S...
Step 1: Mount the Fans
We Start with placing the fans on the top of the box and using a marker trace the outline of the fan on the top of the box.
The fans which I am using are salvaged from an old computer repair shop. This fan is a centrifugal fan, the means the air will fill be pulled from outside and pushed inside. These are usually present on the motherboard for keeping the heatsink of the processor cool .
Step 2: Cut a Small Are for Inserting the Hot Wire
Now we will cut the foam with the hot wire cutter we made last week.
But to cut a circle without entering from the outer perimeter we need to create a section from which we can enter the wire and then start inserting the wire from that cross section.
Using a utility we cut a small triangle. From this, we insert the Hotwire along with the spring and attach it to the hook of the styrofoam cutter .
Step 3: Start Cutting Foam
Now it is time to power the styrofoam cutter, I powered it with my 12V 5 A power supply. I adjusted the heat by changing the position of the alligator clip on the top.
Check this instructable to know more about the styrofoam cuter
It is a pleasure to cut styrofoam with the styrofoam cutter.
Remember to keep the ventilation of air good to remove the fumes as it can be injurious.
Step 4: Solder the Fans Together
The fans will be connected together in a parallel connection. we start by stripping the wire, then followed by tinning the wire and then completing by joining both positive ends together and same with the negative ends.
We also add some heat shrink along with it to prevent shorting .
Step 5: Adding the Outlet
For the Outlet I used some flexible PVC pipe, the idea was air will be pulled through the fans, go inside get chilled with ice inside the box and come out from the outlets. Now Since the outlet needs to be at the bottom to ensure max temperature drop delivery.
Now you can use normal PVC pipe also, but I had some of these lyings.
I started by marking the outline of the pipes then followed by cutting the foam using the utility knife as you can see the cut is not perfect and uniform and clean.
I used the knife to show the alternate way to cut the foam.
Step 6: Sealing the Little Space
Now if you have used the knife method for cutting foam you will end with a not so clean cut, there will be small leak gaps from where air can leak. we need to ensure these gaps are not present in the box for this I used some acrylic putty which I use to smooth my 3d prints. I used this as both are white and solidifies into a solid substance quickly but also you can use hot glue or epoxy. I have seen a lot of people using that and getting good results
Step 7: Time to Chill
Now grab some ice and fill the box with ice and start the fans on and let the ac do its job.
By filling the box with 1.5 kg of ice, the temperature of the outgoing air was around 14 C Withing 30 mins.
The ice was like 85% still there but there was a small hole but i could not locate it so had to halt if someone makes this please share the min temperature u got .
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Participated in the
3 years ago
its good idea but unfortunately the power supply for the fans is unclear. if its portable, so a battery should be used.
Tip 4 years ago
When you use this ONLY USE REGULAR ICE! If you try and use dry ice, thinking you will be cooler, YOU WILL DIE. Since dry ice turns directly into Carbon Dioxide, 1 pound of dry Ice creates 8.3 cubic feet of CO2 gas. Death will occur if the density of the CO2 in a room exceeds 5000ppm. in a 10ft x 10ft x 8ft room, 4 cubic feet of CO2 will produce death