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Old 02-07-2011, 14:44   #1
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Ice Chest Becomes A/C ?

I ordered one of these things yesterday. I've never seen one or heard anything about them. Purely an online impulse purchase...oh well...anyone ever used one? It looks like it should work in a small cabin space.

PS. It's 102 degrees today in Heath, TX
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Old 02-07-2011, 16:08   #2
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Re: Ice chest becomes A/C?

I presume you fill the cooler with ice and then let the little fan blow across it. If so, I kinda doubt even block ice will last very long. For about twice that amount you can buy a cheap 5,000 btu window ac that will freeze you out of the boat on full power. That's what I had on my first 32 Morgan. It sat in the companionway hatch and was a pain to get around but oh my, the pleasant sleeping it provided. If you go that route there are a number of articles on making hatch adapters or even gutting the rascal for permanent installation. The major downside is that you need ac power.

On the other hand, I really only used it at the dock anyway. At anchor a breeze booster or two was comfortable enough. Also, a quick way to lower your interior temp by around 10 degrees is to simply rig an awning. The 5,000 btu worked great at night but during the day, in direct sunlight, it made the interior bearable but not comfortable until I rigged an awning.

Anyway, good luck with your purchase.

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Old 02-07-2011, 20:59   #3
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Re: Ice chest becomes A/C?

The brochure said it works best with gallon milk jugs filled with water and frozen. The fan blows 100 cfm. We'll see...
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Old 02-07-2011, 21:27   #4
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Re: Ice chest becomes A/C?

This got me to wondering just how effective ice is at cooling air. With some google work I found that it takes 144 btu to melt a pound of ice. A gallon jug of frozen water will weigh about eight pounds, therefore each jug of water could remove 1152 BTUs from the cabin. Come to think of it, it would continue to absorb BTUs until the water temperature matched the air temperature, I think. Ok I don't have any idea how many BTUs a gallon of frozen water can absorb in total. Would some smart person please explain this to me!
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Old 02-07-2011, 21:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhr1956
The brochure said it works best with gallon milk jugs filled with water and frozen. The fan blows 100 cfm. We'll see...
At lest you know what You bought.it's nit going to work. But we know that right if it did every home in america would have one.
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Old 02-07-2011, 21:45   #6
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Re: Ice chest becomes A/C?

I have not researched it, but it appears to be a fancy version of what we used to call a redneck air conditioner. It is a fan that draws air over ice. We used to set a block of ice on the porch with a fan behind it. You could buy mini fans that had a tray on top for ice with drains that ran in front of the fan so the air passed over the water cooled drains. It does work - until the ice melts.

How long it lasts will depend ont he type of ice, the cooler and the air temp. As long as the ice lasts, it should make a noticeable difference in a 26 foot boat.

Spent much of my childhood in the FL swamp - can you tell?
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Old 02-07-2011, 22:06   #7
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Re: Ice chest becomes A/C?

These are also referred to as swamp boxes. They're not very effective in high humidity environments. Much better in arid conditions.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:05   #8
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Re: Ice Chest Becomes A/C ?

When the contraption arrives I'll give it a shot and let you know what happens.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:25   #9
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Re: Ice Chest Becomes A/C ?

Interesting topic and timing... I have been looking into why someone has not made a simple heat exchanger that you could drop say 15-20 ft below where the water temp would be in the 50's... seems circulating water with a heat exchanger below and one in the cabin would be a low power way to cool the cabin... seems like with a small pump and modest fan in the cabin one could AC a reasonable sized boat with just the power that a solar or wind could provide...

The idea of using Ice is fine, but it takes a lot of power to create the ice... I would like to find a solution that would not require the use of the Genny/shore power all night to cool the boat.... thoughts ?
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