The good news is it doesn’t have to be this way. There are many products on the market that will cool down a space using 12-24 volts DC.
These units work by using batteries and can be very efficient. There is a variety of ways in which they work. For example, some cool by using ice put in a large container and using a fan to simply blow cool air from the unit.
The more expensive units are standard air conditioners that work by using a DC compressor and can push out cold air like any other A/C unit would but powered by a battery.
A third option is to use a swamp cooler unit which works very well in dry climates where humidity is not high.
Evaporator units work by using water that is pumped up and dripped over pads that air is blown through with a fan and will cool down an area greatly. These are very common in the Southwest where it is a dry climate.
Below are some of these different types of 12-24 DC volt cooling units that are currently available.
As always, be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
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Our Picks for Best Battery Powered Air Conditioners 2023
- EENOUR QN650
- Zero Breeze
- 12V 24V Electric Air Conditioner
- 5-Gallon Bucket Air Conditioner
- Personal Evaporative Air Cooler
The EENOUR QN650 is a portable 24 volts DC air conditioner unit.
It can connect to a 24 volts DC battery or 100-240 Volts AC.
It is rated to use 200 watts and has a noise level of 50db which is good.
This makes it a good unit in many scenarios from using solar panels to cool a small space to using a generator while camping.
The unit weighs 31.1 pounds and is fairly easy to move about where needed.
Zero Breeze manufacturers several portable air conditioners including the Zero Breeze Z19-Y, Zero Breeze Z19-B, and the Zero Breeze Mark 2.
The Zero Breeze is likey the best cooling unit that operates on DC voltage, but unfortunately also costs the most.
It is a small portable air conditioner that has a rated 1100 BTU of output.
The Z19-Y model is rated for 1100 BTU that can cool a space of roughly 50 feet, which makes it ideal for small spaces such as tents.
It also has USB charging ports, aBluetooth music player, and LED lights.
The Zero Breeze Z19-Y uses 12-volts 12.5 amps to operate.
For someone serious about cooling a mobile space, Zero Breeze units is worth a look.
12 and 24 DC powered air conditioners are available that can be retrofitted into campers, trailers, vans, or any mobile vehicle.
They require some skill to install and are not ready to go but can work well in some scenarios.
For example, if you have a camper with no AC and want to add in a cooler, a 12-24 volt retrofit kit may work for you.
Five-gallon bucket air conditioners have become very popular, with many YouTube videos on how to build one.
They are simple units with a bag of ice placed inside and a 12-volt DC fan that blows out cold air.
They do require ice to work but do work until the ice melts.
If you are a handy type of person and have a spare 5-gallon bucket and 12-volt DC fan, they are easy to build.
There are many evaporative air coolers, with some that work from 12-volts DC.
Evaporative air coolers work very well when the air is dry but not so well in humid climates.
They work from the effect water has on cooling a surface when it evaporates.
If you live in a climate such as the American southwest an evaporative cooler will work very well.
If you live in a humid climate, another option will be better.
Small cooling fans can also be bought which can help cool a personal space down.
They are not the most ideal units since they only blow air but are very low-cost and better than nothing.
The WoneNice is a small and low-cost evaporator cooler system that uses water to cool.
It can be run on batteries or even a USB port with a small fan blowing out cool air.
Evaporative units do not cool well in humid environments but work very well in dry climates.