AC Hacking a Figidaire 5000 BTU

Anything electric, AC or DC

Postby iplay10us2 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 5:47 pm

I have a petcool and a Silver Shadow with the window template for hooking up the petcool. It has worked well, but I have always wanted a way to free up the door. I've seen several AC solutions on this website, but yours was well documented and seems the easiest to do....for me, at least.

Tomorrow, I will take the hole saw I picked up and drill through the side of my teardrop and install my deck plates on the outside. I hadn't decided on what the inside vents would be, but will look into this option. I'd ordered a few vents for the inside from a marine supply company to see how they looked, but might be sending them back now.

Thanks for the great documentation. :applause:
Susann
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:19 pm

Susann
The wall on Compass Rose are 1 1/2" thick and a Styrofoam sandwich. Your challenge may be to find an adapter for the hose, it is 60mm if I remember correctly.
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:32 pm

Today I tried out the AC in a test that the Pet cool failed. It is 97 and high humidity, CR is in full sun and the inside reached 75 degrees with the AC running and judging by the amount of condensate it is doing a fine job of dehumidifying.
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Postby iplay10us2 » Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:31 pm

Shadow Catcher wrote:Susann
The wall on Compass Rose are 1 1/2" thick and a Styrofoam sandwich. Your challenge may be to find an adapter for the hose, it is 60mm if I remember correctly.


I bought a 3 in. deck plate, and am using a 2 inch pvc elbow to make the attachment for the hose and into the deck plate. I've used your method of the neophrene tape on the end that will go into the deck plate, and it fits snugly.

Still not sure what I will use on the inside because I need something that is not flush to the side wall. The deck plate extends a little bit into the inside. I could always get a spacer/gasket to make a vent fit flush.

Again, thanks for the great write up.
Susann
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:34 pm

OK there is a problem that I was afraid I might have, icing. This happens on the coil and gradually cuts off air circulation. There are two possible causes, low refrigerant or low air flow/too high humidity. My guess is the latter problem. I do however have potential solution which I mentioned earlier and that is using a 4" 12V bilge blower which sits in line in the duct. I will hook it up to a rheostat so I can adjust speed. Yes it is 12 volt and I could use a PMW to save power but in this case the only time it would be used while we are on AC so wasting a bit of power is acceptable. The blower is on order and once I have it I will do some pictures and tell how it works out.
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Postby Trackstriper » Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:12 pm

Shadow Catcher...

The blower on the evaporator side of your AC is a squirrel cage blower....similar to what's inside your home furnace. They are designed to work at higher pressures than regular bladed fans such as the fan that moves the air across the condenser coil on the backside of your AC. This much you already know.

I believe that the bilge fans are fairly small, high speed axial fans (bladed) and I don't think they'd actually help increase the air movement though your system. I doubt they can operate at the pressure capability that you already have with the built in blower of the AC. They might actually restrict total flow through your hoses. There also may also be noise factor to contend with.

I'd be thinking about simply doubling up on the hoses...two for intake and two for exhaust. Or going to a slightly large hose format...maybe six-inch.

Experiment with the bilge fan and let us know how it works out. Sometimes someone has to just do the experimenting. When you get this totally figured out there will be a lot of happy campers....literally...on the forum. Thanks for taking on this project. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:23 pm

Checking the CFM for a typical 5000 BTU AC I am seeing between 140 to 240 CFM and the 4" bilge at about 220 to 240CFM, I am hoping this will be enough. I may also be able to smooth the air flow. The experience was that the AC unit would work for 20+ minutes before needing to be cycled off for a few minutes to allow ice to melt. I was using it while doing some electrical work installing a Sirius satellite receiver.
Again one of the advantages of having the only mechanical connection through the hoses is that it isolates sound.
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:08 pm

Success :thumbsup:
I added the bilge blower rated a 240 CFM and this has taken care of the icing problem. The pictures are at what is currently the bottom of the first posting. I do need to refine how this goes together and I will edit pictures of the final solution.
Control wring now has to be re routed around the blower and the hose shortened or re routed to go through the cold air hose instead of the return.
My feeling is that I can reduce the speed of the blower and the noise produced (louder than I anticipated but acceptable as is, if I can not) and now that I know that it works shorten hose and route wires neatly and efficiently.
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Postby Trackstriper » Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:09 pm

Sounds good, guess that bilge blower kicks butt. Keep us posted on this as time goes by. :applause:
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Postby Synthesis » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:46 pm

I plan to "copy" this idea, only my AC unit will be tongue mounted in a box.
I will duct cold air in, and return air back to the unit.

I have planned ahead for the icing problem a bit by allowing the return to draw air from both the cabin of the teardrop and the outside ambient air.

The idea I have is to be able to regulate the amount drawn from the cabin by using an adjustable vent inside for the return line.

This should prevent icing and allow me to cycle fresh air into the cabin without having to open a window all the way.

Thoughts?
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:28 pm

I have been working on it today. The Bilge blower is a bit, OK more than a bit loud and I wanted to slow it down some. No luck finding a rheostat able to handle the 4.5 A on the spur of the moment so I settled for a couple of wire wound resistors which may slow it down too much, or not, all it has to do is overcome the restrictions and help the air move along. I also relocated the control wires to come out of the top/cold line rather than the return to facilitate use/installation of the blower.
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:10 am

I am including this in the original post but wanted to elaborate on a couple of items.
the Tearjerkers Crossroads of America Gathering was the real life test of the system with temperatures in the upper 80's high humidity and no breeze. Saturday night it did not cool off much and we left it running all night. Come morning it was covered with condensation and you can see that.
The bilge blower is now three speed, full no resistance, and with the use of resistors in the negative line, medium and slow. I found that the slow was sufficient to overcome the restrictions in the air movement enough to prevent freezing. My next step will be trying a PMW to regulate speed. The resistors get HOT and while I sandwiched them between a couple of pieces of aluminum to help dissipate that I hate wasting that much energy and I can see instance where a variable speed would be a good addition.

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Postby Synthesis » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:33 pm

Very nice. I have been following this one closely, and plan to utilize many of your techniques.

I recently scored a 2 year old GE 6100BTU unit that has the digital control panel on it. I will be extending the control unit into my camper by extending the 7 wires that connect it. The control unit will mount in the forward wall of the camper.

I have had trouble locating marine deck plates locally, but discovered that a plumbing drain for showers from the local hardware store, combined with a rubber hose coupler will actually work perfectly for me.
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Remove the drain grate on top, and the rubber coupler slides VERY snugly inside that. The large nut on the backside gets removed entirely, and you mount 2 or three screws through the flange into the trailer.

In my case, my AC will be perma-mounted to the tongue of the trailer, and the duct-work for the cold supply lines will be 2 1/2" flexible exhaust pipe. Cover it all with a box and call it good.

I look forward to your changes with the PWM and will stay tuned.
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Postby asianflava » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:57 pm

I can't tell from the pics, but you may want to add feet to the unit so it doesn't sit in a puddle of water.

Another thing you may want to look into is to drill a couple drain holes on the bottom. I have the same unit in my tear and the bottom acts like a pan holding some condensate. The drain is on the side of the lip which allows some water to stay in the pan. When I drive off, that little bit of water sloshes out. Not a big deal, but a little annoying.
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Postby Shadow Catcher » Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:31 pm

Finding deck plates, I ordered mine on line after comparing those available. The cover goes on and locks with a 1/4 turn into an O ring seal.
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