Extreme Temperature Test

Testing my ice chest air conditioner on a hot, humid day over a period of 7 hours.

Notes: The cooler was holding 35 lbs of ice and one gallon of water.
The actual outdoor temperature in the shade according to my infrared thermometer was 105 degrees (temp sensor under intake grill was in direct sun for a period, indicating 111). Humidity was 70% average.
The cooler was not moved or opened during the test. The camera was removed from the tripod and brought inside between takes.

Frankencooler AIR

AIR Power Plug

In response to numerous requests from small aircraft owners and pilots, introducing Frankencooler AIR – a small, lightweight, single blower ice chest air conditioner utilizing the patent-pending Frankencooler design.

Frankencooler plans downloads now include an addendum for the AIR model and major component packages are now available at our online store

  • 12 volt or 24 volt
  • 8 ‘ power plug with remote blower controller
  • Lightweight: 11.5 – 12 lbs. empty
  • Ice capacity: 10+ lbs.
  • Dual heat exchangers
  • Segregated, insulated ice compartment
  • Powerful 230 CFM blower
  • Marine pump
  • Digital┬ástepless motor controller
  • Wheeled cooler w/telescoping handle
  • 30+ degree temperature differential
  • Lid-mounted zippered cord storage (not shown in video)

Frankencooler Build Tips

Here are a few tips that may come in handy while building your Frankencooler:

  • Always mark the front of your cooler lid with a piece of tape on the bottom. I learned this the hard way.
  • Unlike what I did on my early models, place your pump as far as possible to the side of the cooler floor to give maximum room for ice. Using closed manifolds as I did on my gray cooler and AIR models make this easier.
  • Use nylon 90-degree elbows on radiators with straight connections to route tubing in such a way as to avoid kinks when the lid is closed.
  • When using elbows on smaller coolers with closed manifolds, use longer sections of tubing and route them upwards so they make a gentle arc to the manifolds when the lid is closed.
  • Use heat shrink tubing or solder sleeves on electrical connections on the underside of the lid. Plastic wire coverings are not adequate by themselves.
  • Don’t use the highest flow pumps you can find as they can be noisy. Frankencooler pumps are for circulation, not bailing.
  • Cover exposed radiator faces with pieces of cardboard during construction to prevent fins from being accidentally flattened.
  • Remove all adhesive labels from plumbing components before assembly, as they will eventually come off and can clog pumps and radiators.
  • Use the thickest, highest quality insulation board that will fit into your cooler while leaving enough room for block ice below and plumbing connections above.
  • Cut sheet insulation with an electric knife if you have one. It produces clean cuts with far less mess. Cover all insulation cuts with foil HVAC tape to prevent chipping.
  • The air chamber at the top of cooler needs to be as small as your plumbing will allow.

Ultimate Frankencooler

My Frankencooler design taken to the next level with the finest all-copper radiators I could find, a massive lithium iron phosphate power cell, better insulation, and revised plumbing.

But does spending twice as much money equate to dramatically better performance?

At least as far as the radiators go, not really. My original design’s lightweight and affordable components cool nearly the same for many hundreds of dollars less.

Nevertheless, this cooler incorporates some significant improvements and my Frankencooler Build Plans have been updated to reflect some of these changes.