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Combined Portable Fridge Air Conditioner

Just What It Says On The Tin
  [vote for,

Everyone reading this probably knows that a refrigerator (with or without a freezer) is a device which moves heat from the air inside of it, into the air of the room it sits in.

A portable air conditioner is a device which (with the same basic technology as a refrigerator, but with the aid of an air hose or two) moves heat from the air of the room that it is in, into the air outside of the room (more precisely, to the air wherever the air hoses end, but whatever).

Now, let's combine them.

When the weather is warm, the following occurs:

When the air inside the fridge is too warm, heat from inside it is moved to outside of the room.

When the air inside the fridge is cool enough, but the air inside the room is too warm, heat from the room is moved to outside of the room.

When the weather is cold, we disconnect the hoses from their wall sleeve or window, and leave them somewhere inside the room.

When the air inside the fridge is too warm, heat from inside it is moved to the room the fridge is in.

That's it!

The pros: *) It should be less expensive to purchase than a separate fridge and air conditioner. *) The maximum amperage is determined by one refrigeration compressor turning on and off, not two, which means lower maximum amps, which means less chance of a blown fuse / flipped circuit breaker. *) Fewer parts than two separate machines, therefore there are fewer potential points of failure.

The cons: *) Your fridge is basically tethered to a window, or to a wall. You might have several feet of flexibility, based on the lengths of the air hoses, but overly long hoses would be awkward, and probably inefficient unless insulated. *) Since the heat removed from it's insides is thrown out of the building, users might not feel as guilty about leaving the fridge door open while deciding what to eat, which might result in food getting warm and going bad.

A more advanced version "heat pump" version might also exist. In that version, the user leaves the air hoses attached to the wall or window all year round.

When inside of the fridge is too warm, heat from it is either moved from it into the room, *or* to the air outside of the room, automatically selected by a thermostat.

When the inside of the fridge is cold enough, and the room temperature is either too warm OR too cool, heat is either pumped from in the room to outside, OR from outside into the room.

The device will still only need one compressor... just a slightly more complicated system of internal air ducts.

goldbb, Sep 12 2013

Similar, but simpler (too simple) Fridge-Freezer-Air-Con
This earlier idea didn't consider using the compressor to remove heat from the room when the fridge was sufficiently cool. [goldbb, Sep 12 2013]



       A fair portion of this is fully baked. At work I just finished working on a small walk-in cooler (fridge) whose condenser and compressor were outside. All the cool inside, all the hot outside.   

       With the addition of a repurposed heat pump reversing valve, it wouldn't be too hard to switch from the walk-in evaporator to an air conditioning evaporator.   

       So this is doable with existing parts, just screw them together in a new way. Bunned.
elhigh, Sep 13 2013


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