Most so-called portable air conditioners stretch the definition of "portable," but the Evapolar isn't one of them. In a form factor about the same size and weight as a small toaster, the unit packs an evaporative cooling system to cool and humidify the air, while an evaporative nanomaterial based on basalt fibers that was developed for the Russian military helps purify the air.
Desktop units that humidify and purify the air, and perhaps even offer a bit of cooling, have been around for some time. But most have a minimal effect except in a very small space – say a few meters. The Evapolar is essentially like having a mini in-window evaporative cooler that you can unplug and take with you, but it’s potentially more efficient and healthier.
The Russian team responsible for the device boasts experience in the production of evaporative materials for industrial air conditioning systems and say the evaporative nanomaterial based on basalt fibers that forms the key part of the unit has proved its worth in industrial air conditioners in the Moscow subway for a number of years.
Its creators say the 1,680-g
(59 oz) unit is 12 times more energy efficient than a traditional split system air conditioner, consuming a maximum of 10 W and boasting a maximum cooling power of
500 W. Running off mains power, the device itself measures 160 x 160 x 165 mm (L x W x H) and has a
water tank capacity of 710 ml (24 oz), which should provide around six to eight
hours of cooling. The company also claims that it can drop temperatures by a maximum of 17° C (30.6° F), but this is only in very dry and hot conditions, with the average temperature drop around 6 to 8° C (10.8 to 14.4° F).
Still with a week to run, the team's Indiegogo campaign has raised over US$160,000 of the $100,000 goal and still has pledges available at the early bird price of $179, with the retail price expected to be around $400. Currently color options are limited to black or white, but more colors are planned for the future. If all goes to plan, backers will start receiving their units in June 2016. If you can't wait, you can build your own by paying $60 US for the company's DIY kit.