With global temperatures reaching new record highs, it's as important as ever for individuals to mind the sun and heat. A San Francisco-based startup has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a portable air conditioner that packs more than just a rotary compressor. The Zero Breeze is designed to illuminate, play music over Bluetooth, power devices, and last up to five hours on its rechargeable battery.
Portable air conditioners are widely available in sizes ranging between that of a toaster oven to an upright garbage can. While most any of these can effectively chill interior spaces to a point, the need for a continual power source limits outdoor options. The team behind Zero Breeze has managed to cut the cable requirement without significantly sacrificing the cooling power.
Zero Breeze uses rotary compression refrigeration technology along with an "environmentally- and ozone-friendly" Dupont R-134a refrigerant. Since the system is closed, users won't need to worry about adding refrigerant over time. Zero Breeze's cooling output is listed at 1,000 BTU per hour and designed to handle areas up to 50 sq ft (4.6 sq m). In closed quarters, it could reportedly be possible to bring the ambient temperate down to 44.6 F (7 C).
What makes the Zero Breeze appealing is the optional battery for portable operation. With the added 40,000-mAh battery capacity, Zero Breeze can beat back the outdoor heat for up to five hours of continual use on the medium fan setting (3.5 hours on high). Given that the unit's 18.3 x 6.4 x 3.8 in (46.4 x 16.2 x 9.6 cm) size and 8.8 lb (4 kg) lets it carry like canister vacuum, Zero Breeze joins the ranks of convenient outdoor/camping gadgets like the Little Luxury Cooler and Cinch! pop-up tent.
This portable air conditioner adds some utility with its built-in Bluetooth speaker, a pair of 5 V / 1 A USB charging ports, and LED light ring around the fan exhaust. Although the 3 W speaker and 250 lm aren't the biggest and brightest out there, they may certainly work in a pinch and eliminate the need to pack extra devices. And with a noise level rating of 48 dB, you can converse about the Zero Breeze without having to shout.
The team behind Zero Breeze claims to have developed multiple working prototypes and is poised for production. Just remember, anything can happen when it comes to crowdfunded campaigns - we've seen promising projects succeed at first, yet fail even harder later on. Almost three years after helping raise millions for the Coolest Cooler on Kickstarter, the majority of backers are still left empty-handed as Amazon sales slowly bridge the financial gap.
The Zero Breeze Kickstarter campaign has raised 147 percent of its US$100,000 goal in two days, with another 43 days of funding left to go. Early-bird pledges for a single Zero Breeze air conditioner start at $349, saving $150 off the planned retail price. Each unit comes with a power adapter, exhaust pipe, and drain pipe. Additional tiers offer to bundle in the separate battery pack.
If molding, tooling, and manufacturing go according to plan, backers can expect shipments of Zero Breeze to start as early as March, 2017.