Pakistanis have trouble dealing with the summer heat. Not only are summers extremely hot in most of the country, frequent power cuts make them worse. Even with air conditioning systems, loadshedding nullifies the cooling effect. An Australian company has a product that is tailor-made for the Pakistani market. An added bonus, it is already available via some online retailers.
The portable and energy efficient AC is developed by Close Comfort. The company was founded in 2007 and has been selling its products in other countries for the past few years. They are just entering the Pakistani market, which has been their target since the beginning.
The Story Behind Close Comfort’s Portable AC
An Australian Professor, James Trevelyan, loves Pakistani mangoes. His love for the fruit brought him to Pakistan. During his stay here, he had to face the same issues any common Pakistani faces, i.e. loadshedding and mosquitoes. That’s the moment when an idea popped into his mind.
James though of making an AC which can work in Pakistani conditions, save on electricity and prevent mosquitoes. His idea survived multiple experiments, iterations and failures. The result? An AC which consumes only 320 Watts of electricity, can run on UPS or solar power and keep a person cool indoors and outdoors.
The solution to a problem faced every year by over 200 million years was solved by a foreigner after a short stay in the Pakistan.
Close Comfort Personal Air Conditioner
Normal ACs consume too much power to function when powered by a UPS, solar panel or a generator. Even DC inverter ACs, which can work on UPS and solar panels, require huge battery reserves for longer operations. Close Comfort’s Personal Air Conditioner solves the problem by only cooling the person who needs it rather than maintaining a standard temperature throughout the room. Yes, it can cool the whole room as well, but that’s not what it is designed for.
How Does it Work?
We covered a 10 Watt AC a few days ago. It used the evaporation principal for cooling the surroundings but had the downside that its cooling range was somewhat limited and that it was not meant for extremely humid areas. Close Comfort’s AC does not make the same compromises. It has a regular compressor and works like a regular AC.
Unlike normal ACs, it works on a small UPS and an inexpensive low capacity solar panel as well. The portable AC is plug and play. It does not require any installation, water drainage, maintenance or temperature adjustments. It manages everything automatically. It is portable enough to be put anywhere in the household or outdoors.
Specifications and Details
The Close Comfort Personal Air Conditioner consumes only 300-320 Watts of power, which is 80% less than a standard AC and equals the energy consumed by two conventional fans (or four power saving fans). As far as the energy consumption is concerned, the portable AC saves you a lot. Close Comfort claims that their AC adds just Rs. 1500 to your bill while operating all night.
The manufacturer claims that the AC can sustain 3000-3500 BTUs per hour, which is dependent on the temperature of the surroundings. The AC turns on immediately, however, it takes about three minutes to warm up the compressor.
Another added benefit of this AC is that it can operate with the windows closed or opened. External airflow doesn’t really matter unless it is the hottest time of day, i.e. noon. Close Comfort recommends keeping the windows closed and the curtains drawn when it is too hot outside. It can operate at up to 44°C indoors. Outdoor temperature is not relevant to this product.
The portable AC has an air throw range of about 4.5 feet. Enough for a few people (when in normal use) or one bed (when sleeping). The unit weighs 17kg, hence, it can be carried to any place. The small size is another benefit as it is only two feet high and one foot wide.
An Additional Feature for Extreme Weather
Close Comfort has develop another patented product that goes with the portable AC. When the temperature is very high, users can make use of a Close Comfort tent. It attaches with the portable AC, keeping the inside of the tent cool and storing all the heat in its top layer. The tent is made to fit a double bed without any issues. As an added benefit, it prevents mosquitoes and other insects from bugging you during the night.
Price and Availability
The Close Comfort Personal Air Conditioner is already available in Pakistan. More information regarding the retailers is available at the manufacturer’s website here. It’s available for PKR 29,000 alongside the bed tent.
Close Comfort is new to the market and we cannot evaluate their claims about electricity savings right now. Yes, it is cheaper to operate than any typical or DC inverter AC and but we are skeptical about the claim of 80% to 85% savings since the AC continues to operate all the time.
However, one thing is certainly correct. The Close Comfort AC can work on UPS and solar power. Something which is not possible (unless you have a large UPS and battery supply) with normal ACs. And rest assured that we will do a complete review of the product and find out more about it so you can make an informed decision.