- Critical: Keep one or two gallons of water in your refrigerator to prime your Frankencooler as tap water will immediately melt a good amount of your ice, drastically cutting cooling duration.
- Use block ice whenever possible. A rough rule of thumb is one ten pound block per 1.5 hours of cooling (this obviously depends on outside temperature).
- Don’t run blowers at full speed, as there is a point where the air temperature will rise, as air is going through the heat exchangers too fast to effectively transfer cold. I’ve found that 60 – 75% blower speed is a good balance between airflow and temperature.
- If you are going to be using your cooler in a remote area where it is difficult for you to reach the motor controller to turn on/off/adjust blower speed (such as in a small aircraft). consider placing the motor controller on the end of a cable coming from the cooler. As long as you use adequate-sized wiring (I recommend 16 gauge for this), you can cable the controller 4′ – 5′ away from the cooler. Make sure you wrap your wiring in a protective sleeve.
- In addition, for remote operation of your cooler, Home Depot/Lowes also offers 48″ (and longer) 4″ flexible aluminum duct tubing you can use in place of the 24″ units I specify in my plans.
- After using your cooler outside, especially in dusty areas, wipe down the interior to keep it clean and prevent debris from accumulating in the heat exchangers.
Anyone who’s personally seen or built a Frankencooler knows how well this design works. Building one isn’t that difficult, but the ease of building and the ultimate effectiveness of the cooler can vary significantly depending on the components chosen. Cheap blowers that pull high amps will quickly deplete a battery. A motor controller that’s rated too low for the total load won’t last. The majority of marine pumps are bad choices for battery power. Most common-shaped heat exchangers are a pain to mount and difficult to seal. Choosing the right ice chest can by itself easily halve the time it takes to build a Frankencooler.
For over four years I have continuously tried new components in an effort to find the best mix of performance, ease of installation, and cost (you should see my inventory of stuff that didn’t cut it). Thanks to new wholesale accounts and large-scale purchasing, I am pleased to announce that I am now able to offer $$$ high quality, squared, easy-to-mount heat exchangers with threaded. solid brass 90-degree swivel fittings in all of my major component packages at no additional cost. In addition, I am now including intake heat exchangers like the one featured in my grey and orange ‘Ultimate Frankencooler’ in place of the large and cumbersome automotive heater core units : )
To kick off the summer, I have also re-instituted free UPS shipping for all component packages.
Thanks to everyone who has built their own Frankencooler and spread the word that these hideous looking contraptions outperform every other ice-fueled cooler on the planet, regardless of cost. Your word-of-mouth has made Frankencooler a success, and I sincerely appreciate it.
In an effort to address the many questions I regularly receive pertaining to the Frankencooler design, I have created a ‘frequently asked question’ (FAQ) section in the right sidebar -‘Frankencooler FAQs.’
*With apologies to Game Of Thrones
In preparation for the upcoming summer, we have been fine-tuning our plans and components choices in order to provide you with the best self-contained portable air conditioners on the planet.
Bioenno Power Cells From Frankencooler™
We are proud to announce that Frankencooler is now offering 12V lithium iron phosphate (LiFeP04) power cells from Bioenna Power. Sized from 4.5 to 12Ah, these batteries come with dedicated chargers and are easily the finest power cells for the money available anywhere. In addition, we can also provide power packs, solar arrays, and controllers from Bioenno at the lowest prices you’ll find.
The battery powered wireless remote-controlled AIR single blower cooler is complete.
The power cell is a super high quality 4.5Ah lithium iron phosphate (LiFeP04) unit with onboard cell equalization. The wireless remote has a range of approximately 20′. This cooler is only around a pound heavier than the corded power plug model. While the pump operates at full voltage, the blower is running at 9 volts – a good compromise between airflow and noise.
In testing today (106 degrees) the battery-powered model ran for just under 2.25 hours while maintaining a near 40+ degree temperature differential throughout. At the end of the test, there was still some ice left – a testament to the Frankencooler design 🙂
Upgraded major component packages for both wired and remote versions of this cooler are now available on this site.