Modern evaporative coolers employ electrical fans to pull warm air across wet media. The water in the wet media then evaporates and triggers the cooling process. Therefore, even the most bare-boned model needs an air moving component, the incorporation of wet media (pads), and a reservoir to hold the water. Finally, binding the system together, a submersible electrical pump circulates the water through a fine network of tubing, an arterial water delivery system that flows between the reservoir and the pads that lay suspended across the airflow pathway. Here’s a more detailed view of the components within the cooler.

1. Housing Technology Designed for Portable Operation

Modern engineering plastics are preferred. Metal parts are, of course viable, but this equipment bases its primary function in the generation of evaporated water. A tough polyethylene body and rubberised or polyurethane castors allow the quick relocation of the portable cooler.

2. Water Distribution Components

A secure end cap seals the access point on the reservoir tank, though some models also allow the unit to hook up to a plumbed water connection. Typically, the reservoir is directly hooked to an electric pump, with the pump pushing the water around a series of plastic hoses. The terminating point occurs at the highly absorbent pads. These replaceable components are fabricated from a special cellulose material and moulded into a corrugated form to maximize water absorption.

3. The Electric Fan

A low maintenance powered fan sucks warm air in and pushes it across the wet media. This outline can deviate greatly between differing models. For example, a low-profile portable evaporative cooler could use a centrally mounted electric fan sandwiched between an inlet and outlet grille enclosure, but some manufacturers have been known to separate this operational assembly. They add a fan belt and a detached fan casing to the mix. Portable coolers tend to reject this divided form factor in order to save space.

4. Extraneous Parts

Tough castors support a corrosion-resistant enclosure, and a compact single-phase fan motor works in concert with an efficient electric pump, but there are other components within the cooler, components that deserve an honourable mention. A float switch keeps track of water content in the reservoir, triggering an illuminated warning indicator when levels are low. Drainage outlets and water inlets combine with easy access panels to allow quick maintenance. Importantly, filter media is often added to the system, though the integrated pads do scrub the air.

The parts list we’ve covered applies to domestic scenarios and the heavier usage patterns seen in commercial/industrial facilities. Room size is obviously bound to be larger within the industrial setting, which leaves the designer the task of expanding the reservoir and the fan assembly. The fan motor may also have to be larger to support this expansion, a fact that would see the lower power of a single-phase motor being upgraded to the higher airflow capacity of a three-phase variant, although such power usage demands are not encouraged within portable evaporative coolers, in-motion products that should be able to find a power outlet anywhere.