Zerobreeze AC unit

berksrunner

Solar Enthusiast
Does anyone know anything about the Zerobreeze? Anyone own one? How’s the performance? I’m considering one for my van. Would love to hear any info!
 

NJWorld

New Member
Keep in mind the BTU's on a zero breeze unit are very small. I think the new one is only something like 2500btu. If your van was in the shade and you had the air outlet pointed right at you, it might be ok, but in the sun or to cool the entire space in the van? You'll need a much bigger unit. Even a 5k btu window unit will struggle unless you're super well insulated. Most vehicle HVAC systems are around 10-15k btus for comparison. It really takes a lot of cooling to combat the solar effect.
 

diyernh

Solar Enthusiast
That's too much of a gadget for me. ie special purpose, not useful for other purposes.

When to you want to use the cooling, just in the evenings before bed for a couple of hours?

Do you have a 12V compressor fridge/freezer? Maybe buy a spare and use the daytime solar to freeze/chill ice packs? Then flip up the cover and add a fan/duct to blow the air over the packs to where you want? See the 5 gallon ice bucket air conditioning videos on the internet. This won't cool for much, maybe just a few hours.

You could prototype this and see how it works with your current DC freezer. If it works, buy a second freezer/fridge. Worst comes to worst, you have a spare freezer if yours dies.

a 12,000 BTU air conditioner is a "one ton" A/C. It is equivalent to the energy released by melting one ton of ice into water. That phase change is the most energy you get out of water.

2,500 BTU is about 5 times smaller than 1 ton. 1 ton of ice is 2000 lbs of water, so 2,500 BTU is equivalent to melting about 400 lbs of ice over 24 hours.

Engel's 84 Quart DC compressor freezer is 21 gallons. 21 gallons is about 168 lbs, which could be 2500 BTU for about 10 hours. or maybe 5000 BTU for about 5 hours.

things to consider...

You would need to put bottles in the freezer so you won't get that many gallons into it.

You will not freeze 168 lbs of ice with a DC freezer in 24 hours. It would take days.

You can shift your demand/supply for power with the freezer. Solar is not constant. You could want to run the AC, but the sun isn't charging. Ice storage can shift the supply/demand timing.

If you don't get enough solar, you can buy ice at any convenience store for emergencies.

I haven't done this. After you buy the Engel and it doesn't work, you can sell it to many other people used. I'll take if for free. Your chinese A/C would be flammable hazardous trash as I can't see many others taking it.
 

berksrunner

Solar Enthusiast
Did you watch the video?
If yes, do you think there is a chance in hell they could solve the problems outlined in the same footprint?
The newest version is significantly larger, and I've seen reports on other message boards that it does work for its 2500 btu output. The problem is that 2500 BTU may not be sufficient, and I've concluded that it definitely isn't for my application.
 

berksrunner

Solar Enthusiast
That's too much of a gadget for me. ie special purpose, not useful for other purposes.

When to you want to use the cooling, just in the evenings before bed for a couple of hours?

Do you have a 12V compressor fridge/freezer? Maybe buy a spare and use the daytime solar to freeze/chill ice packs? Then flip up the cover and add a fan/duct to blow the air over the packs to where you want? See the 5 gallon ice bucket air conditioning videos on the internet. This won't cool for much, maybe just a few hours.

You could prototype this and see how it works with your current DC freezer. If it works, buy a second freezer/fridge. Worst comes to worst, you have a spare freezer if yours dies.

a 12,000 BTU air conditioner is a "one ton" A/C. It is equivalent to the energy released by melting one ton of ice into water. That phase change is the most energy you get out of water.

2,500 BTU is about 5 times smaller than 1 ton. 1 ton of ice is 2000 lbs of water, so 2,500 BTU is equivalent to melting about 400 lbs of ice over 24 hours.

Engel's 84 Quart DC compressor freezer is 21 gallons. 21 gallons is about 168 lbs, which could be 2500 BTU for about 10 hours. or maybe 5000 BTU for about 5 hours.

things to consider...

You would need to put bottles in the freezer so you won't get that many gallons into it.

You will not freeze 168 lbs of ice with a DC freezer in 24 hours. It would take days.

You can shift your demand/supply for power with the freezer. Solar is not constant. You could want to run the AC, but the sun isn't charging. Ice storage can shift the supply/demand timing.

If you don't get enough solar, you can buy ice at any convenience store for emergencies.

I haven't done this. After you buy the Engel and it doesn't work, you can sell it to many other people used. I'll take if for free. Your chinese A/C would be flammable hazardous trash as I can't see many others taking it.
Interesting idea. At this point, I've limited my options under consideration to either a roughly 10,000 BTU portable unit or a chinese 24VDC split unit that is specifically designed for trucks/automotive. I'm pretty sure I'm going to choose the chinese unit -- I'm willing to roll the dice for a device that promises to be much more efficient than a portable. I would get a full size minisplit but we just don't have a suitable spot to install the an outside unit that size unfortunately. The outside portion of the chinese unit is much more compact.
 

diyernh

Solar Enthusiast
Interesting idea. At this point, I've limited my options under consideration to either a roughly 10,000 BTU portable unit or a chinese 24VDC split unit that is specifically designed for trucks/automotive. I'm pretty sure I'm going to choose the chinese unit -- I'm willing to roll the dice for a device that promises to be much more efficient than a portable. I would get a full size minisplit but we just don't have a suitable spot to install the an outside unit that size unfortunately. The outside portion of the chinese unit is much more compact.

there are many programs that convert units out there. I use Josh Madison’s Convert program
10,000 BTUS/ Hr is 2.93 KW. Are you running a 5KW generator to be able to start up and run the A/C?
If you want to try out things, you can do the numbers and see if it will work. I wouldn’t go out and buy everything without some research. There are old A/Cs around for free. Maybe a pile of old car batteries and a used inverter. Once you prove it out, then you can buy 40 to 60 100 watt solar panels, 10-20 100AH batteries and a large inverter
 

berksrunner

Solar Enthusiast
Well, it's for my van, and I have 6.2 kwh of lithium and a 3000VA multiplus. The 10k unit I was looking at was just a portable one that you can plug into a 15A outlet. I decided to go with the chinese unit that runs on 24VDC.
 

diyernh

Solar Enthusiast
Well, it's for my van, and I have 6.2 kwh of lithium and a 3000VA multiplus. The 10k unit I was looking at was just a portable one that you can plug into a 15A outlet. I decided to go with the chinese unit that runs on 24VDC.
So you could test out a 120VAC a/c today if you found an equivalent BTU a/c on Craigslist? If you can run an older, less efficient a/c through the inverter for 3 hours, you should get around 4 hours with direct DC powered a/c.
You could install it in a window with foam and tape to see how it does
 

diyernh

Solar Enthusiast
So you could test out a 120VAC a/c today if you found an equivalent BTU a/c on Craigslist? If you can run an older, less efficient a/c through the inverter for 3 hours, you should get around 4 hours with direct DC powered a/c.
You could install it in a window with foam and tape to see how it does
If you go with the chinese 24VDC, let us know how it works. If you describe the conditions, van model, exterior color, insulation, shades, Solar input, battery usage, etc, others can decide if their usage is like yours.

I use a temperature logger to show inside and outside temps. You could buy two of these and have one showing inside and outside temps. The second could show inside temp and humidity. They can only collect two channels. Humidity is important in campers. Undersized A/C's really just dehumidify. Oversized ones cool to fast without dehumdifying.

These loggers can plug into a PC and download software. That will show you graphs and Excel spreadsheets for real temperature data over days.

 
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