There is nothing worse than sitting out in the sun, or doing yard work on a hot summer’s day than going to grab a cool beverage only to find that it is even hotter than you are. This is one of my worst fears in the summer, as I have a tendency to overheat quite quickly when working around my house. Surely the hot Florida sun has something to do with that.
Certainly I’m not alone when it comes to wanting a cool drink on a hot day though, right? Absolutely not. In fact, one man by the name of Humberto Velasco feels pretty much the same way as I do. This has led him to come up with quite the unique creation, with the help of his 3D printer. Called the “Solar Powered Cooler,” his device provides for dual functionality.
“There is not better thing than a cold drink on a sunny day,” Velasco tells 3DPrint.com. “My idea came from taking the heat-cold concept and I put it to work within an enclosure. As a result, the Sun provides the energy required to activate a cooling fan, which maintains a cool wave of fresh air floating inside the cooler.”
On top of this, the device also provides for lighting capabilities, via two LEDs, for after the sun has set. Powered by the sun via a tiny solar panel that charges two batteries within, it has the potential to be one heck of a single beverage cooling unit. Best of all, this device is 3D printable.
Using Autodesk Inventor, Velasco designed several individually 3D printed parts of the cooler, which when finished printing, fit together seamlessly with several other parts and components. These include: a motor, rechargeable batteries, LED lights, battery contacts, wires, a magnet and the solar panels. As for exactly how the device works, Velasco outlined it briefly for us below:
- Rechargeable batteries: The sunlight will charge the batteries through the solar panels.
- Ice deposit: It is a sealed enclosure filled with water. Once frozen, it should be placed on the door.
- Fan: Will work as long as the batteries are charged and the switch is turned on.
- Lighting: After the sun goes down, or when dark, the light will turn on automatically.
“The door comes with a small magnet that will help to keep the cold in and the heat out,” Velasco tells us. “After the batteries are fully charged and the ice deposit has been placed on the door, slide your favorite drink into the cooler. Turn the switch on to allow the fan to circulate the cool air around the beverage, and as long as the solar panels are receiving the direct sunlight, the fan will not stop working.”
So far, Velasco says that his device has worked very well, although he admits that there is some room for improvement. He has plans to iterate upon the design further in the near future. In the mean time, you can download and print out this clever design on Thingiverse. What do you think about this cooling device. Is it something you would actually use? Discuss in the 3D Printed Solar Powered Drink Cooler forum thread on 3DPB.com.