DIY air conditioning project.

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Frosty, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    I would like to build my own air conditioning system using an air cooled condensor from automotive use. I want to do this because my cat often goes on the beach or on the hard, I would like to still use the air con,--(I have a Yanmar built in air cooled gen that I modified myself, remote start etc, works good )

    I can get all car stuff. So I was going to put in a car condensor up in one of the chain lockers as they are close by (8feet) and are very large, -you can crawl around in them. This should have enough air to cool the condensor wich will have the car 12v rad fan.
    I intend to use a window type A/C compressor 1hp =4cfm (apparantly) with a car type dryer. Connect all this up with 3/8 copper and fill with some gas.

    A car compressor is 100cc output or around that. I am thinking that the 1hp would be sufficient.

    Is condensor to evaporator type size critical? The car shop has already got me a pair priced up for a mini bus/van. Any thoughts on the compressor matching --or any thing else? Is the length of piping critical? can the low pressure feed and high pressure feed be any where on each of the two pressure sides. By that I mean the fittings from wich you fill the system?

    I am aware that this system might be on the small side but I dont use ac during the day. The unit will be sited under a seat that is right at the front of the lounge, this will mean that I can very -very easily direct air into the two bedrooms wich are just in front of the lounge on the otherside of the bulk head. The double cabins are identical and are about 6 ft x8 ft 7ft.

    Has any one done this before? Does any one have any thoughts?
  2. Frosty

    Frosty Previous Member

    Well although it seems no one is interested I did the job. I took a window type air con split in into 3 -condensor,evaporator,compressor.
    I modified the tray to contain only the evaporator and compressor and all the bits that drip water and welded a small 1/2ipe outlet to drain water into the bilges, that was easily sited that under the seat. At 12inches( similar size to a 2500 dollar marine unit), it fit perfectly with enough room for all the other stuff. I jostled it around and packed it so water ran out of the pipe fitting.

    I then sited the condensor in the wall seperating the 2 anchor lockers,( cut a 10 inch hole) and fited a fan ( one of those kitchen suction fans.

    Fortunatley I had 2 x2inch PVC pipes running from just behind the evaporator to the anchor locker to supply cables to the winch motor. This was too easy to push the copper pipes down.

    I then pulled out the electrics and moved them to the side of the outlet of the evaporator not far what would have been its original siting. the thermostat just fitted in with enough of the capillary tube to reach the evaporator. Hey it was just too easy. I cut 2 more holes in the evaporator air box just near the fan. These I fitted 2 more outlets to feed the 2 forward bedrooms.

    I got the local air con man down to evac the system and it was up and running. I can honestly say it was easy or at least went as planned.

    You must take great care over condensation on cool pipes ,or they will drip and cause a mess. I dont think it could be done in a mono hull because of the anchor lockers or you will need 2 lazarettes. This was the big saver-- the 2 anchor lockers, the heat that comes out of the hot side is quite impressive and of course the 2 anchor locker hatches need to be open all the time. No big deal they only have anchor and chain in there, maybe the now warm air will keep every thing nice and dry.

    Toatal cost--150 us dollar
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