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Technical Self contained electric air conditioning (tech week)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Gearhead Graphics, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,106

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    Hopefully this will help others of you as well. I don't have AC in my truck, and 400 for a Thermador just wasn't going to happen. So after a bit of looking around I found some ideas, and modified them to create my own system.
    I've got less than 50 in this, and if you had some of it laying around you could do it for even less

    Parts needed:
    Any cooler you want to chop up. (I liked the igloo style, though an old Coleman or anything would work) I think I paid about $20 for it
    Trans cooler, heater core or similar. (be smarter than me and CLEAN it good first) 10 at pull and pay
    Some computer fans. (can be found in scrap easy, or online) Free from scrap
    Tubing of a few sizes (free from scrap)
    Bilge pump (I got the lowest GPH I could find) (7.50 on flea bay)
    plug in or clips, however you want to hook it up

    I started by picking the cooler, I liked how the igloo had a triangle shaped top, let it open with the tubing going through, and left the fans on an angle when assembled, so the cold air can blow to me.
    Shown is the cooler a couple steps ahead:
    [​IMG]

    I then went to the salvage yard and found a trans cooler that was about the same size as my cooler lid,
    [​IMG]

    Once I had the cooler I attached my fans to it. Be sure that you have them oriented to blow through the cooler, this way the cooler can act as a finger guard.
    [​IMG]

    I then drilled 4 holes in my cooler lid to mount the cooler. I used some bamboo sticks that were laying around, whatever you have, just be sure to space it off the cooler for some air flow.
    This is my fans and trans cooler mounted.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I mounted my bilge pump in to the cooler with some double stick trim adhesive. The pump runs water into the trans cooler, and a second line comes from the trans cooler and dumps in the igloo.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the inlet and return water lines to the trans cooler. I then tied all the computer fans together and the bilge pump with them. I used an old broken charger to make them a plug for my cigarette lighter.

    [​IMG]

    To run the AC I pack the cooler full of ice (can fit a couple pops in it too) and add a bit of water. Usually I drive a bit before it gets warm enough to need it, so the ice starts to melt. Then just plug it in and go. The pump circulates the cold water through and the fans push the cold to you. May not be the most effective in a large car, but I can feel the difference in my truck cab. Its gotten cold enough to get frosty on the trans cooler before.
    I'm sure there's room for improvement on it, but for less than 50 bucks its cold air
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  2. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,106

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    Ugh,,,, someone remind me how to embed photos and I'll fix all these dumb links
     
  3. G V Gordon
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 5,663

    G V Gordon
    Member
    from Enid OK

    Well that is unique. I grew up with evaporative coolers on the farm. Not exactly the same, but similar concept. I like the fact this is small and switchable from vehicle to vehicle. Thinking outside the box.
     
  4. miky2001
    Joined: Nov 9, 2006
    Posts: 870

    miky2001
    Member
    from houston

    Fucking awesome !
     
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  5. Flat-Foot
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 1,704

    Flat-Foot
    Member
    from Locust NC

    If you are using external links and not the Hamb's uploader you need to do [8img]insert link here[/img8] without the 8's
     
  6. Man,those are some small photo's. HRP
     
  7. ago
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 2,200

    ago
    Member
    from pgh. pa.

    Hey, really cool idea!
     
  8. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,403

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    I built a system like this to try to cool a room at a nightclub that was getting insanely hot and humid at the time.

    I used a radiator from a junkyard zip tied to a box fan and plumbed to a 700GPH aquarium pump inside a CUBE cooler filled with water and as much ice as I could get a hold of.

    I had to build it like this, a closed system, because the humidity was way too high for an evaporative cooler to work or even if it did, to want to add fuel to that fire.

    These systems only work as long as the fluid is cold. Once the heat in the room has been sunk into it, you have to change out as much water as you can and add more ice and cold water to keep pulling heat out of the space. They do work though!
     
    Doctorterry likes this.
  9. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,106

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

  10. Katuna
    Joined: Feb 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    Katuna
    Member
    from Clovis,Ca.

    That is super cool (pardon the pun!). Theoretically you could remotely mount your cooler in the trunk and be able to use a larger container. Also dry ice in a water bath would really get your temp down.

    Hillbilly HVAC! Love it!!
     
  11. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,106

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    Yeah, its expandable for sure, bigger cooler, more ice. Like Patmanta did, the bigger the radiator/fan combo the more space. And it gets cold, as long as the liquid is cold. I can usually run 2/3 hours with this one. By then I'm ready for a gas stop and a new bag of ice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2015
  12. I plan on doing something like this for the 51 and have for quite some time. I am going to plumb it through the heater core for the summer. Then I can just open the cowl vent or turn the heater fan on. There's other details as far as the cooler and lines and all that but I won't bore you with that.
     
    Hnstray likes this.
  13. Hell yeah !!!
     
  14. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,636

    squirrel
    Member

    I wonder if I have a good sized heater core laying around? I might have a bilge pump, left over from an underwater robot project. And I have a few coolers, and several fans
     
  15. Hopefully this will help,you should be able to copy them and add them to your post.

    You will need to put them in order.HRP

    20140504_145240.jpg

    20140504_145232.jpg

    20140504_145226.jpg

    20140505_122147.jpg

    20140505_122219.jpg

    20140505_141629.jpg
     
  16. Missed one..HRP

    20140510_132935.jpg
     
  17. G V Gordon
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 5,663

    G V Gordon
    Member
    from Enid OK

    Wonder if an inside coil would increase efficiency? Like a cool can.
     
  18. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,403

    patmanta
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Woburn, MA
    1. MASSACHUSETTS HAMB

    NO DRY ICE IN A SMALL SPACE!
    http://www.dryiceinfo.com/safe.htm

    Unless you plan on having a vent in the floor, I'd stay away from dry ice in a tiny old truck cab.

    As for using a coil inside the cooler, that would only be worthwhile if the fluid cycle is a closed loop, in which case you could look beyond just water cycling through the heat exchanger, to other mixes or fluids that may perform quicker/better, but you would need twice the stuff to do it (2 heat exchangers, one exposed to cabin air, one in the cold bath). Personally, I think for the sake of simplicity and the confines of the space, the open loop system is likely more efficient at transferring the heat in the cabin air into the water.
     
    Cirilian and RMONTY like this.
  19. Katuna
    Joined: Feb 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    Katuna
    Member
    from Clovis,Ca.

    Yes, most definitely! Might get a little sleepy. I was thinking in my little pea brain at the time of a pick up bed.
     
  20. Katuna
    Joined: Feb 25, 2005
    Posts: 1,809

    Katuna
    Member
    from Clovis,Ca.

    I think you nailed it size wise. If you're getting 2-3 hours that definitely leg stretching time. The really cool thing (again, pardon the pun) is you still have cooling when you're parked.

    I think you need to patent this thing because the gears are turning in my head!
     
  21. dellyjonut
    Joined: Sep 19, 2009
    Posts: 119

    dellyjonut
    Member
    from St. louis

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1443723116.132123.jpg Build one out of one of these...imbed hide the cooler a little and make sure there is room for a few beers!!!!
     
    Doctorterry likes this.
  22. I'm really digging this thing,
    You can take it from car to car to car.
    You can have it in your race car,
    You can have it in your 100% over the top period perfect traditional hot rod too.
     
    Doctorterry likes this.
  23. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,106

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

     
  24. Brentphx
    Joined: Aug 12, 2014
    Posts: 252

    Brentphx
    Member

    If you're not planning on drinking the water, rock salt would help bring those temps down too.. Think old ice cream makers during the summer.
     
    Doctorterry likes this.
  25. Watch out Vintage Air !
     
  26. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,498

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Love it. In many ways, your gizmo reminds me of those cool suit systems that racers use. Instead of bag ice, they pre-freeze blocks of solid ice they make at home in their freezers in plastic storage containers. They select container sizes so that when the blocks of ice are popped out, they can be stacked as tightly as possible in the cooler. You get much more cool from a nearly solid block of ice than by using crushed or cubed ice. Try it, you might be able to extend your cooling range. Gary
     
    jakespeed63 and ace5043 like this.
  27. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 597

    Bugguts
    Member

    I am always amazed by what I learn here. I'm giving this one a try! Thanks for sharing.
     
  28. Jimmy2car
    Joined: Nov 26, 2003
    Posts: 1,707

    Jimmy2car
    Member
    from No. Cal

    Fantastic idea. Very well thought out
     

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