Yes, there are battery-operated air conditioners. However, there aren’t many. Indeed, to date, there’s only one well-known battery-operated air conditioner – the Zero Breeze Mark II. Other so-called “battery-operated air conditioners” are often just fans that blow air to create a cool breeze. There’s a difference between running a fan and running an air conditioner.
We’ll discuss the differences briefly and explain how the Zero Breeze Mark II works and what makes it the ultimate battery-operated air conditioner. But first, what’s a battery-operated AC, and do you even need one in the first place?
What’s a Battery Operated Air Conditioner
A battery-operated air conditioner is an air conditioning appliance that can run exclusively on a battery. Unlike the standard AC that needs electricity to run, a battery-operated AC can function in areas without electricity as long as you connect it to a charged battery.
The battery can be built-in or attached separately. Whichever the case, once the AC is connected to the battery and switched on, it will run until you turn it off or until the battery is depleted. You can then recharge the battery as appropriate.
Benefits of a Battery-Operated AC
The main benefit of a battery-operated air conditioner is that you can bring it on your camping trips and even vacations. If you’re thinking about spending a few days in the wild as part of your holidays, a portable, battery-operated air conditioner would be your best buddy.
Other typical applications are as follows;
- For use in the car: Sometimes it gets scorching in the car, to the extent that the car AC system may not meet your cooling needs. If you have a battery-operated air conditioner, you can bring it along for supplementary cooling.
- For the RV: Many people plan trips on their recreational vehicles once the sunny weather sets in. Even if you’re confident in the cooling capacity of your RV AC system, remember that those systems can fail. A battery-operated AC would be an excellent backup solution.
- On your travels: You never know what could happen on your travels. If you’re on a working trip to a notoriously humid and warm location, it may be advisable to bring your cooling system if the hosts haven’t made arrangements for the same.
- As a backup AC in the home: Finally, think about what would happen if there was a power outage even for a few hours in the heat of summer. How would you survive? What about if the garage AC stops working or the basement AC breaks down? These are just a few circumstances when a battery-powered AC would come in handy.
Battery-Powered ACs vs. Battery-Powered “ACs”
Suppose you’ve stopped at a few review websites already to check out the different battery-powered air conditioner options. In that case, you might have already come across the “wannabe” battery-powered air conditioners that are fans in the name of air conditioners.
While these “air conditioners” also help create a cool feeling, it’s important to understand how air conditioners work and why not all battery-powered ACs are air conditioners.
How True Air Conditioners Work
An actual air conditioner works by extracting heat from indoor air and dumping it outside the house. Even portable air conditioners operate this way. The air conditioners are designed with a compressor unit that houses extremely refrigerant and an indoor air handler component that draws warm air into the unit and releases cool air into the room.
The warm air drawn into the AC passes over the extremely cold refrigerant lines, during which process the cold refrigerant absorbs most of the heat. This process turns refrigerant from low-pressure gas into high-pressure gas. The high-pressure gas is sent to the condenser unit outside, where a fan blows hot air over the coils and exhausts the hot air to the surrounding air.
The refrigerant then cools down and returns to a low-pressure state. This is called the refrigeration cycle.
How So-Called “Battery-Operated” ACs Work
The majority of so-called battery-operated air conditioners don’t employ the refrigeration cycle. They are essentially swamp coolers that rely on water in a reservoir, cooling pads, and a fan to “cool down” the targeted area.
Swamp coolers rely on natural evaporation. The most important component of the swamp cooler is the cooling pad. These pads are soaked in water reservoirs where they absorb the water gradually. Moisture will naturally evaporate from the portion of the pad sitting above the water level. The evaporating moisture is released into your home, creating a cool feeling.
A strategically positioned fan inside the unit blows continuously as long as the cooler is on. This fan has three main functions;
- Create a pressure difference: It creates a pressure difference that accelerates water evaporation from the cooling pads. This automatically results in faster cooling. It also means you can release a greater volume of cool moisture into the room.
- It helps draw warm air into the cooler: Without the fan, swamp coolers would rely entirely on the natural movement of air. However, the fan helps draw more warm air into the cooler, where cool moisture is added to the air before it’s released on the other end.
- Enhances even cooling: The fan helps push the cool air coming out of the air conditioner to every corner of the room for more even cooling and eliminating potential cold spots.
The Zero Breeze Mark II Is the Only True Battery-Powered Air Conditioner
The Zero Breeze Mark II is a truly unique air conditioner. It’s lightweight, portable, and still delivers a punch of power, enough to cool a small room.
How it works is pretty straightforward. It comprises five main parts, i.e., the rotary compressor, an evaporator, a condenser, a cool air exhaust, and a dual-hose system.
- Cool air exhaust: The cool air exhaust is located at the front. Its main purpose is to release cool air into the room. Since the AC is light and portable, you can effortlessly point the exhaust where you need to cool the most.
- The rotary compressor: The compressor circulates refrigerant in the AC under pressure to concentrate the heat it contains. It’s at this state that low-pressure gas is transformed into high-pressure gas.
- The condenser: The condenser receives the high-pressure gas from the compressor and converts it into liquid. This process is achieved through heat transfer, i.e., the principle that heat will move from a warmer to a cooler substance.
- The evaporator: The evaporator works the opposite of the condenser. Here, the refrigerant liquid is transformed into gas, absorbing the heat from the air inside the compartment. The air leaving the evaporator is therefore much cooler.
- The dual-hose system: The dual hose system located at the back of the Zero Breeze Mark II helps draw in stale air from the home and exhaust heat extracted inside the AC. Air enters via the upper hose and leaves via the bottom hose.
All the five components above are found in all other air conditioners, even your massive central air system. However, the Zero Breeze Mark II introduces one thing that makes it truly unique – a 24V rechargeable battery.
It’s this Lithium-Ion Polymer battery that powers the AC. When you press the “ON” button, electric current from the battery kick-starts the refrigeration cycle, and within no time, the room will be cool and comfortable – just the way you want it.
It takes about 5 hours to recharge the battery fully. Once fully charged, the 24V battery can run the Zero Breeze Mark II for five straight hours.
Since it takes five hours to recharge the battery fully, consumers are often encouraged to purchase an extra battery or even two extra batteries. This way, you can use one while the other is recharging. You can easily purchase extra batteries separately from the Zero Breeze store.
Key Features of the Zero Breeze Mark II
There’s plenty to like about the Zero Breeze Mark II. But we’ll only highlight some of the standout features.
- Powerful Cooling Capacity: At 2,300 BTUs, the Mark II is about 1,200 BTUs more powerful than the Zero Breeze Mark-1.
- Mid-range efficiency: Unfortunately, the Zero Breeze Mark II isn’t as efficient as more powerful air conditioners. It’s rated 3.5 EER.
- Fair quiet operation: This air conditioner is rated 52 decibels. This figure is better than most window and through-the-wall air conditioners and only comparable to ductless mini-split systems.
- Temperature and coverage: The Mark II achieves optimal operating efficiency at 82˚F to 95˚F and can lower indoor temperatures by up to 30˚F in under 10 minutes.
- Infrared remote control: One of Mark II’s coolest features is the infrared remote control. It allows you to control the unit without getting up.
- Lightweight and portable: The Zero Breeze Mark two weighs a paltry 16.5 pounds, making it easy to carry around, even on your travels. It also features an ergonomic handle for ultimate portability. It stands on its own without any support.
- Warranty: A 30-day money-back guarantee backs this air conditioner. The company also covers any mechanical defects for the first year.
As you can see, there are many portable, battery-powered air conditioners or, more appropriately, cooling systems. However, there’s only one true battery-powered air conditioner – the Zero Breeze Mark II. If you’re thinking about spending a few days outdoors in the wilderness this summer, you should consider getting it.