Fighting the Sun With the Power of the Sun

There’s probably nothing worse than living in New York City during the winter than living in New York City during the summer. Between the sweaty hordes of people, stuffy subways, and sticky summer air that makes you feel constantly like you’ve been rained on, this city definitely wears on the senses.

But this summer is nothing compared to what the citizens of India have undergone this summer. Weeks of +120 degree weather have claimed more than 2300 lives and have caused widespread dehydration, heat stroke, and water shortages.

It’s so hot, the streets have melted. This is the fifth deadliest heatwave recorded in Earth’s history.


As much as I complain about living in New York, I can’t imagine surviving in 120 degree temperatures without an air conditioner. This got me thinking about how to produce a cheap, air conditioner that could be easily built and scaled and that didn’t rely on the luxury of electricity. After doing some online research about DIY air conditioners I mocked up the prototype below.


I’m still in the process of gathering all the materials I need to build this. I’m in the market for a new power drill and dealing with major decision paralysis :).  But so far, here are the pros and cons of this design.

Design Benefits:
1) Compact- Fits within the space of a 5 gallon bucket
2) Not Electricity Reliant- Good for rural and impoverished areas off the grid or with unreliable access to power
3) Maintains Water Coolness- Dura-cool pad keeps water at a lower temperature

Potential Improvements:
1) Mold Resistance- Add mold resistant spray or liquid
2) Visual Indicators- Add streamers to the air holes to indicate whether the machine is on or off
3) Water Requirement- Not sure if this is possible but reducing the water requirement for this would be helpful for areas with water shortages. I’ll need to measure how much water is needed to keep the fan running cool for at least 5 hours otherwise this could be a major drawback.

Looking forward to building this in the next couple of weeks. I’ll post the results when I’m finished! It’s cool to be using solar power to fight a heatwave.


One thought on “Fighting the Sun With the Power of the Sun

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s