Darth Vader’s swamp cooler

Movincool Classic PlusThis vaguely robotic-looking device is the replacement for the original server farm air conditioner, which was booted by persons unknown before dawn on Tuesday, prompting this burst of umbrage. Other offices in the complex had their old boxen replaced by similar new boxen, but I somehow rated Special Treatment, which, as none of you will be surprised to hear, always pushes my suspicion button.

It turns out that the thing has much to recommend it besides its retro-science-fiction (or perhaps carnival peep-show, if you have humongous anime eyes) appearance: it doesn’t require a 220 (or worse) line, it’s movable to a certain extent, and, says the blurb, it “handles temperatures up to 113°F.” The record high for this town is, um, 113°F, and I’ve lived to see it.

There’s a footnote which says: “Exhaust duct required in most cases.” In this particular case, it’s God’s own dryer vent, one of those accordion-pleated tubes, fully 12 inches across and 10 feet long. A former central-air duct was pressed into service as an exhaust port, and the distance from the ceiling to the top of the unit was maybe six feet. Tentatively, we hit the power button, and watched in horrified fascination as four feet of tube spewed forth. “Danger, Will Robinson!” quipped the sysadmin.

I didn’t hang around for extensive testing, but the temperature dropped a degree and a half in nine minutes flat, which is fine with me. (This room is not heated; even in the dead of winter, the machinery keeps the temperature in the upper 60s.)



  1. fillyjonk »

    2 May 2014 · 9:46 am

    Yeah, I agree with the “sci fi” assessment, that looks like something from a 1950s vision of the future.

    Now I’m wondering how expensive and how loud they are, in case this summer again has me wondering about getting an auxiliary bedroom AC unit to try to make the room actually cool enough to sleep in…

  2. miniapplejack »

    2 May 2014 · 9:54 am

    We have a couple of those. If you’re lucky, you can set it up to drain the water out through a hose someplace, otherwise you’re pulling the water tank from the dehumidifier every so often and lugging it to a sink/drain. (like we end up doing every other day). If you don’t empty the tank, it shuts off, which is lovely when you have a long weekend.

    It’s a bit noisier than a typical room unit, but not excessively so.

  3. CGHill »

    2 May 2014 · 11:25 am

    We ran a hose out to an existing water pipe, so we shouldn’t have to mess with that.

  4. fillyjonk »

    2 May 2014 · 11:56 am

    ah. I already have a dehumidifier. It’s loud enough that it has to live in the kitchen. (I have a small house). Also I worry about the collection tank leaking.

  5. CGHill »

    2 May 2014 · 12:26 pm

    Well, this is a full-fledged air conditioner; it just has atavistic dehumidifier traits. And while it’s not silent, it’s not as loud as any of the two actual dehumidifiers in the building.

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