Intro: DIY Portable & Simple USB Air Conditioner
There are often days when the weather is hot and the power is out. Thankfully, with a few pieces of wire and a couple of components you might already have lying around, you can create a neat little air conditioner that can keep you much cooler.
> 4 plastic boxes
> Some wire
> Some tape
> A computer fan (it has both a fan and a motor in it) OR electric motor + a fan/turbine connected (make sure the motor goes not above 6 volts). For this project, I didn't have a computer fan, although that would have made things much simpler. I had an RF 310T 11400 motor available here and a small turbine sort of thing
> An old USB cable (any sort of USB cable; you'll be stripping the wire and will only keep the male end)
> An icepack/small container which you will freeze water in
> A laptop/USB compatible power brick
> Some scissors/ a Swiss Army Knife
Step 1: Make Holes in the First Box
Take your first plastic box and make a number of holes on all four sides. This will cause warm air to enter the box (and because of the fan which we will place on top later, it will be pulled up). After you're done with the holes, cut a rectangle on its bottom side as shown in the pictures.
Step 2: Prepare the Second Box
Take the second box (this should preferably be bigger than the rest since this is the box that needs to hold our icepack/frozen water containers) and cut out its bottom like you did the first, but for it's top (the bigger part), cut out only a small square. This is to make sure the container or ice pack doesn't fall down into the first box. Then, stack the second box on the first, the large sides down.
Step 3: Prepare the Third Box
Cut out a rectangle as you did for the other boxes on the large side. The shape of my fan and the way I had to place it required me to cut out a rather small square for the upper side for support, although you can cut out a larger piece if you're using a computer fan. (If you're confused, view the final placement of all the boxes to get an idea of what I'm talking about.) Now, stack the third box on the second.
Oh, and you can always glue all these boxes together to keep the structure stable, but I didn't really find it necessary.
Step 4: Prepare the Fourth and Final Box
This box is a little bit tricky, and depends on the kind of fan you're using. As you can see in the pictures, my setup is a bit complicated. If you're using a computer fan, though, all you have to do is cut out a small enough hole on the lower side of the box so that the fan doesn't fall through. And as for the upper side, my setup required me to cut out a small square like in the third box because it is on that side that my fan is located. However, depending on the shape and size of your fan, you can cut out however much is necessary.
Stack this final box on the third box.
Step 5: The Wiring
All you have to do now is to connect the fan to a power source. Once connected, it will draw up air, all the way from the first box in which warm air is coming in, past the second box where the air cools down due to the frozen container/icepack, past the third and up to itself and then pass it out towards you for your satisfaction.
So what you have to do is take a USB cable and cut it open, taking care the end you cut is not the male end. Once cut open, you'll see that there will be 4 kinds of wires inside; red, black, green and white. The green and white you do not need, but you need to strip the red and black ones, and connect them to your motor or computer fan wire ends.
Step 6: Turn Everything On
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