I mentioned that my wife and I were looking at a way of cooling ourselves off during the heat wave we are having here in Northern Idaho. Our house is insulated well, but on a 100+ degrees day, it still is pretty warm. We do not have air conditioning, but we would be prime candidates. Heat waves mean lots of sun exposure, so the excess power to the panels could be used to cool us off.
But, I like to tinker and build projects and make a mess of the dining room table. So, I saw this project online about a gentleman creating an ice chest air conditioner using an ice chest, fan, PVC pipe, and ice. It looked so easy; I decided to build one on the second day and hottest day of the heat wave. Plus, I figured I could bring it to school with me and show my students as I keep cool in the classroom in September, since the school also doesn’t have air conditioning. Air conditioning isn’t really a big thing here. It’s North Idaho, our heat waves don’t usually last long unless the world is heading towards a “climatic abyss… and we have 500 days to avoid climate chaos” ,which is now less than 3 months away according to French Foreign Minister Lauret Fabius. Youtube search this topic to choose your favorite end of the world scenario for this September.
I digressed, back to chill’n and staying cool during the summer. My wife and I bought the parts we needed to construct our ice chest air conditioner after the Saturday Market. We proceeded to dust off our old AC refrigerator we had in storage and use it to make the ice blocks that we would need. The AC Refrigerator runs at about 10 amps an hour. On Sunday morning our refrigerator drained our battery bank to 75% in one evening. It’s an energy pig, but we could also use it to store homemade ice cream during the heat wave as well, so we could share in the gluttony too.
We followed the example of the Youtube video I provided on the post, “Cut ‘it’ till it hurts is power conservation.” We bought our ice chest at North 40, fan at Wal-mart, and pipe at Home Depot. The whole process to build it took maybe half an hour. That is because Krista and I are team awesome; she did the delicate measurements while I used the power tools.
Our neighbor text-ed us a picture at 4:45 PM, Sunday, June 28, 2015 that his outside thermometer was 108 degrees. Granted his is more high tech than mine. Ours seen below only registered 100 in the shade.
The ice chest swamp cooler takes around 1.5 amps to run or 36 watts, which is considerably less energy than a 60 watt incandescent light bulb.