If you visit places with open-air events, there is a high probability of you seeing an evaporative cooler in action. This device has become popular today for many reasons, the biggest being the economic and environmental advantages. But how does it work?
Evaporative coolers, also called evaporative air conditioners, swamp or moist air coolers are appliances for lowering air temperature using the principle of evaporation. They come in different sizes, intended for diverse applications. A portable evaporative air conditioner unit can be transported easily and used to cool small areas.
Parts of an evaporative air conditioner
The following are the essential parts of an evaporative air conditioner
- Cooling unit: This contains cooling pads. That is where the air pulled in from outside is cooled before being distributed.
- Water tank and pump: The water tank holds the water being evaporated to bring about cooling. The pump moves water around from the tank to the cooling pad. The tank also contains a filter installed.
- Water distribution lines: These are the tiny tubes through which water flows.
- Power cord: The power cord allows the cooling unit to be plugged into a power source. Some much smaller units can be powered with a USB cord!
- Air ducts: These are channels through which air flows in and outside the unit. The incoming channel has an air filter attached.
- Digital control unit: The control unit allows users to their preferred temperature or humidity levels.
- Rechargeable battery: Some portable air coolers come with rechargeable batteries so that they can be used without being plugged in always.
- Fan: The fan is responsible for cooling the water and circulating air in the room.
How an evaporative cooler works
Once you plug in and turn on your evaporative air conditioner, the fan comes on and draws in air from the ‘outside’ (similar to inhalation). This air which is at a higher temperature is filtered at the air ducts and then sent to the cooling pads. At the cooling pads, the water pump would have sent sufficient volume of water to be cooled and used to lower the temperature of the pads by wetting them. The warm air is then passed over the cooling pads and evaporates the water to release cooler air.
The air released is distributed into the room by the fan. The unit also increases humidity because the cool air is ‘wet’.