How the CoolBot Temperature Controller Works
Traditional walk-in cooler refrigeration systems sell for $7,000* plus installation and electrical setup. Traditional systems use a “brute-force” approach to cooling: lots of coolant (which is bad for the environment), a big motor, a large surface area, and multiple fans (which can dry out your vegetables and account for up to 60% of the cost of operating electricity).
Here’s the crazy thing: That $7,000+ walk-in cooler compressor you see on a small 8′ x 8′ vegetable cooler may only put out 8,500 BTUs of cooling power! That’s fewer BTUs than you get from a $400 window air conditioner from Home Depot!
Why not just use an A/C unit then? First, they are electronically limited so that they can’t go below 60° F. With some electrical bravery and skill, you could snip, solder and bypass the electrical controls so you could go lower. It will work better, but still not very well as your ability to actually utilize that cooling power drops drastically as you approach 60° F. This limitation at 60° F vs. a traditional walk-in cooler refrigeration system is driven by the lack of extra fans and surface area built into traditional walk-in cooler compressor / condenser / evaporator units which dissipate the cold without freezing up the fins of the unit.
*Quote in Denver, Colorado for a standard walk-in cooler refrigeration system installation [quote received on 5/17/2016]
The CoolBot uses multiple sensors, a heating element and a programmed micro-controller to direct your air conditioner’s compressor to operate in a such a way to cool the room to 36° F without ever freezing up. Additionally, our innovative interface which links the CoolBot controller to your air conditioner allows for 5 minute installations without any training, cutting, soldering or even taping.
CoolBot cannot give you 100% use of the listed BTUs on your air conditioner, so you will need to buy a higher BTU air conditioner than the BTU size you would buy on a traditional cooler compressor. However, the price of a larger air conditioner and a CoolBot is a fraction of the cost of a real walk-in cooler compressor, saving you $1,000s in upfront equipment costs.
Most importantly, when the CoolBot begins to lose efficiency when accessing your BTUs of cooling power (when the air conditioner is close to freezing), it is programmed to shut off the compressor on your A/C unit, so you do not pay for electricity to make BTUs that you can’t use! That saves you money on your monthly electricity bill and helps the environment. As long as you sized your air conditioner correctly and insulate your cooler well, you’ll have no problem keeping your room as cold as you want it to be.