Make A Small Air Conditioner Out Of An Ice Bucket

Looking for a cool breeze without the expense of an actual air conditioning unit? Here’s a way to use a bucket and some ice to cool down an entire room.

You can build this cooler with a bucket, Styrofoam liner, PVC pipe, ice (in this case, water frozen inside a milk jug), and a small fan. According to the video, it chilled air from 28 C (84 F) to about 7 C, and lasted for about six hours.

The fan can also be run off a small solar panel, which opens up some possibilities for cooling down areas that don’t have electricity. Check out the video for a full walkthrough.

Homemade Air Conditioner DIY [YouTube]


    • Nope, it’s an air-conditioner. It’s using the same principle as every aircon does. Passes warm, humid air over a cooling element to condensate the moisture in the air, and as a side effect, cooling it.

  • This is not an evaporative cooler. An evaporative cooler works by, well, evaporation, of water into the airstream. The water is not chilled or frozen before contact with the air. Hot dry air goes in and cool humid air comes out. The maximum cooling potential is the difference between the dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures of the air. That’s typically about 10 deg C – not the 21 deg C air temp difference described by the article.
    In this device, the heat sink, ice, is much cooler than the wet bulb temperature of the air stream. In fact, since ice at 0 deg C will be below the air’s dew point, water in the air will condense out of the airstream – warm moist air can go in and cool dry(er) air will come out. Condensation is the opposite of evaporation.
    Imagine leaving the ice brick in the milk jug and putting the lid back on (evaporation not possible even after the ice has melted) – will the air still be colder at the outlets? Yes it will.
    As long as the ice is separated from the air stream or if the ice (eventually ice/water slurry) is at a temperature below the air’s dew point (saturation temperature), evaporation is not physically possible. As Homer Simpson said – in this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics.

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