DIY Solar Powered Air Cooler for $15


There are many ways to heat with solar energy, but cooling can be a little more of a challenge.  Here is a way to make a cheap and simple solar powered air cooler using a foam ice chest, PVC pipe, and a fan.  The fan blows air across ice in the chest, and the cooled air is blown out the PVC pipe.  The block of ice used in this example lasted for about 10 hours inside the chest.  (See the bottom video for making ice “off the grid”)


To build this unit, you simply cut holes in the lid of the cooler to insert the pipe and the fan.  Connect the fan to power (in this case, the fan is powered by a 15 watt solar panel), add the ice, turn on the fan, and enjoy the cool air.



Depending on how fast the fan is running, this unit blows air that is between 38 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.  Since this one is powered by solar panels, the speed of the fan is variable depending on how much sun is hitting the panels.  On really hot, sunny days, the fan should run at top speed.



See this video about how to put together this simple system:

And here is a quick video on how to make ice with solar power: