Intro: Handheld Air Conditioner Unit
Picture this: It's 87 degrees and scorching outside, you desperately want a Slurpee, but the nearest 7-11establishment is about about 5 blocks down. You could go out for a walk, but the heat is so intense you don't think you can make it there and back. You might be able to take a drive, but- wait a minute- car's impounded. So what do you do- risk burning to a crisp for a delicious drink, or struggle through this insane weather, Slurpeeless?
Thankfully, you may never have to face this dangerous predicament again! Good News, Everyone! I just finished putting the latest touches on my newest Summer Mattraption- my brand new Executive Style Handheld Air Conditioner! Portable and eco-friendly, this useful device promises to keep you cool with only 4 AA batteries and ice water!
Author's Note: I recently took this with me when I went on vacation to Hawaii and, I don't mean to brag, but it worked phenomenally.
Step 1: How It Works:
If you've browsed our fine selection of Summer Instructables, chances are you've probably seen CameronSS's amazing 12V Air Conditioner. The concept is simple: a bilge pump transports cold water from an ice cooler, and is then pumped through a wound coil of copper tubing, which surrounds the circumference of an electric fan. Thus, when the bilge pump circulates the flow of ice water around the metal copper tubing coils, the cold air is sucked around them and produces and Eco Friendly blast of cold air.
Now imagine that same concept, except 70% smaller.
Instead of using a bilge pump, I opted out for a miniature water pump from a desktop fountain, a stainless steel 1 ltr Thermos instead of an ice cooler, and a mini plastic handheld fan. The final result? A conditioner that is as classy as it is portable.
Step 2: Aperture 1: "Executive Ice Container"
Glossy and oh so fashionable, this 1 ltr Stainless Steel Thermos is what makes the HHAC the business executive’s cordless air conditioner. I used the thermos, in lieu of an ice cooler, to maximize ease of transportability. The thermos proved extremely useful and can keep ice water cold for up to 1.5 hours.
The thermos is what houses all of the ice, water and water pump system so that the fluid is always in motion. I also dremelled three small holes at the top lid, which is how the two stiff plastic tubes that are connected to the cooling coils, as well as the battery wire, fit through the lid to get to the ice water.
Step 3: Aperture 2: "Zen Pump System"
Instead of a bilge pump, I needed something a lot smaller and decided to use a pump from a discarded desktop Zen fountain. After spending 20 minutes trying to open it with a dremel, I finally cracked it open with a hammer and chisel in 5 minutes, and took out the battery pack, switch, and pump.
Next, I re-soldered the battery pack to a 7- inch length of wire, fit it inside some shrink tubing and connected it to the water pump, after I had fed the wire through the thermos cap.
The whole device is powered simply by 2 AA batteries.
Step 4: Aperture 3: "Conditioner Coil + Fan"
The final aperture in this product is the copper tubing cooling coils. I bought a small length of tubing from the hardware store, (about 1 foot or so) which I then bent using a pair of pliers to form fit around my handheld plastic fan.
Next, I used four tie-wraps to connect my now wound coils to my fan, and then took both ends of the coils and inserted them into the non flexible plastic tubing. This connects the final piece of the HHAC, so now the ice water can travel from the pump, through the coils and back into the thermos again, in a rapid circular flow.
Step 5: Conclusion
So there you have it, my own personal Handheld Air Conditioner, Executive Style. While you may need to replenish the ice inside the thermos every other hour or so, you at least will never have to worry about the air conditioner polluting Freon gases into the atmosphere.
Just a tip though, since I predict a number of you may ask this. Even though it may be tempting to drink out of the ice water Thermos, especially if you are on a long walk, I would highly advise against doing so. Not that it's dangerous but probably unsanitary, considering how OSH probably never disinfects their copper tubes.
Anyway, if you'll excuse me, there's still the matter of a Slurpee-shortage in my household, of which I must attend to.
Good luck with your Summer Instructables!
Step 6: Materials and Parts Index
Materials and Parts Index
Thin Copper Tubing
Stiff Plastic Tubing
Soldering Shrink Tubing
Handheld Plastic Fan
Where to Buy:
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Watersports Summer Challenge