An air-conditioner for outdoors…
Well, your wish just came true!
Residents of the Arabian Gulf have all experienced evenings of oppressive heat, where entertaining friends outside on the patio or in the garden turns into an uncomfortable sauna – could the extreme desert temperatures really be tamed by this portable cooling unit?
Port-a-Cool manufactures several types of cooling units, from large industrial coolers to portable ones. We reviewed the Cyclone 1000, which came very well packed in a box the size of a small fridge, but weighing only 23 kg.
The four roller wheels make it very easy to move around, and its cooling mechanism is extremely simple.
Basically, you fill with water, up to 30 litres, and then flip a switch to turn on the pump, and another switch to choose one of two fan speeds – that’s it: child’s play!
The Cyclone 1000 has no A/C compressor, and it works with a natural phenomena called evaporative cooling. As water trickles down the back filter, air is sucked through and it cools down as it is blown out the front of the unit.
But is it enough to make a difference outdoors, in the Arabian weather?
Well, on a sweltering September evening we attended a lovely barbecue and put the Cyclone 1000 to a real-world test.
People all sat in front of the Cyclone 1000!!!!
The cooler air stream was palpable, and definitely a relief.
The exact drop in temperature was difficult to calculate, as it depends on humidity as well as a Centigrade/Fahrenheit measurement – but it was clear that the 1,000 CFM or 1,700 m3/hr air flow blown out by the Cyclone was much cooler than the ambient air.
And not only for entertaining outdoors.
Garages, storerooms, bathrooms and kitchens are often not given the full benefit of household A/C – why, we ask? – and so having the Cyclone so easy to move around can help cool a room as required.
Seen here is master BBQ chef and mechanic Pavel of Moto Desert Rides, who not only leads motorcycle desert tours but also offers maintenance and technical services for his clients’ motorbikes.
Both are ideal applications of Portacool’s Cyclone 1000!
Even in the desert the Portacool can bring fresh relief, as a 12v inverter or generator could provide the necessary electricity to run the simple fan and water pump – remember, there’s no A/C compressor!
The draw of the Cyclone 1000 is only 2.5 Amps.
Also hotel cafés, pool areas, or other hospitality spaces with outdoor terraces might consider providing cooling for their guests.
But the best use of the evaporative cooling unit for family use is certainly the patio or garden.
Even the family dog goes for the cool air!
In conclusion, given the many months of hot weather in the Gulf countries, and the relative low cost, both in purchase and in operating the Cyclone 1000, and adding the fact we tend to entertain outdoors often, we would definitely consider a couple of units to create a crossflow of cool blown air across our patio area – because the only issue we found with the Portacool was that everybody wanted to be in the air stream!!