Monday, August 24, 2009

The Sweatshop, Circa 2009

Last Thursday, the air conditioning at work was broken. The temp was about 85 degrees when I came in at 8 and went up to just over 90.

So this was wheeled in to the room, to cool it down a bit for the computers. A real genius came up with this device. The Personal Air Cooler:

"Personal Air Cooler The new personal cooler is an innovative, compacy (sic) design that delivers 1000 BTU of cooling pleasure. Ideal for use in home or office, the unit is small enough to fit inside cubicles, or compact spaces. This unit does not require any ducting to outdoors, and is totally self contained in sleek, sophisticated design. The APC2000 features multiple fan speeds, programmable timer, LED screen, easy-to-clean membrane switch electronic controls, dehumification function, auto open air louvers, and convenient fold out ergonomic handle for easy portability for multiple room use. "

The operative words in the above are: This unit does not require any ducting to outdoors.

So although this miracle of modern engineering has an innovative, compacy design, it still did not mange to defy the basic laws of thermodynamics. So I shut it off and wheeled it out after about 2 minutes during which it only heated up the room a little bit more.

And I replaced it with this innovative personal air cooling system which was amazing effective at cooling me off, don't know about the computers:
The air conditioning was fixed at around 2pm, at which point the temp gradually went back down to the low 80's which felt cool.

Update: Today I came in at 8. The temp at that time is shown below:
Having demonstrated my machosity last Thursday, I had nothing to prove by staying at my desk. So I took my laptop and relocated to my mobile office (car in the parking lot) till my boss showed up. After he spent about 5 minutes upstairs, he agreed that whatever we needed to talk about today could wait till tomorrow, and I could work from home.


Eli said...

Ouch! We have 11 servers running in our lab, and the AC was down last week. To help with the heat we shut down all but one, but that didn't really help.

notElon said...

I figured the personal air cooler worked on the evaporative cooling of water, but if it has a dehumification function [sic], then it clearly is not doing that. And it can't be a self-contained heat pump, since that would break the laws of thermodynamics to little bitty pieces.

It really sounds like it is an actual air conditioner, sending cool air out the front and hot air out the back, leaving the room hotter than it was before.

the moot said...


A cooling system that works using evaporative cooling of water only works well in dry climates (very low humidity, as opposed to other types of dry). Such a sytem would not work well in NJ.

Jonathan said...

Yeah, I think thats what it is, I looked at the manual:
and it has a place for "water tank" so It may indeed cool air with evaporating water, but like the Moot said, that will only work in dry climates, not when humidity is already near %100

the moot said...


The water tank is not for "cooling air with evaporating water". It is for when the unit is used as a dehumidifier, ie, a collection tank for moisture removed from the air.