Are you planning to build your own walk-in cooler from an old camper and air conditioner, and you’re wondering which CoolBot is right for you? Or perhaps you need to expand your cooler’s capacity and wanted to try to build a DIY cooler instead of spending thousands on a new and larger compressor? Wonder no more, for we researched this question and have the best answer right here for you.
CoolBot Pro has all the features of the regular CoolBot. Plus, it is Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing users to control it remotely anywhere they can access the internet. If it is important to closely monitor the temperature of your walk-in cooler and make adjustments in real-time, then the remote features of the CoolBot Pro are what you’d want.
Keep in mind that this is a very generalized look at CoolBot and CoolBot Pro. Other feature differences between the two could swing you to one side or the other. Check out the rest of the article as we talk about the other features of CoolBot and CoolBot Pro. Read on!
CoolBot Vs. CoolBot Pro
Let’s take a closer look at the different features of the first-generation CoolBot and the CoolBot Pro.
CoolBot Features & Advantages
You can think of CoolBot as a kind of thermostat that can trick your air conditioner so that it will keep on cooling beyond its limit. Because of the increased cooling limit, CoolBot creates different usage options for a regular off-the-rack air conditioner.
A regular air conditioner consumes less electricity compared to a cooler compressor motor. Since you’re using a regular air conditioner, maintenance costs are also lower compared to a standard cooler compressor. Moreover, you don’t need to hire a specialized compressor technician to fix a regular air conditioner.
Since you’re using a standard air conditioner, you can build the walk-in freezer yourself. This saves you the cost of installation.
CoolBot Pro Features & Advantages
In addition to the advantages of the first-generation CoolBot, the CoolBot Pro can also connect to your Wi-Fi. This creates a whole new set of features for the CoolBot Pro.
The CoolBot Pro includes a “jumper” unit that functions as a Wi-Fi receiver. You can get the CoolBot Pro app that can be installed on a PC, tablet, or phone when you connect the CoolBot Pro to the internet for the first time.
The app allows you to monitor and adjust the temperature remotely. You can also create alarms and notifications - that you can receive via SMS and email- based on temperature ranges that you set.
Additionally, the app can create a graphical temperature report for up to a month in the past.
Which to choose?
The CoolBot and the CoolBot Pro function the same way. So, if you need a walk-in cooler that you can bring with you when you sell your products at the market, then the regular CoolBot should meet all your needs.
However, if you want to have the functionality that notifies you of the temperature fluctuations inside your cooler because of the effects of the outside temperature, then you need the CoolBot Pro. It will allow you to adjust the temperature inside your cooler in real-time without having to walk back and forth.
If you use your walk-in cooler for post-harvest loss prevention, then you’d be just fine with the regular CoolBot.
The same is true if you use your cooler as any regular cooler inside a bar—to cool beer and other liquor. Although if you want the ability to check the temperature of your cooler and make adjustments on the go, then you can benefit from the Wi-Fi-powered features of CoolBot Pro.
If you’re a hunter and want to process your own game meat, you can benefit from the standard CoolBot. You don’t really need to make a lot of adjustments to the cooler once it's set up.
Can CoolBot be used as a freezer?
Unfortunately, no. CoolBot can be set to 32 degrees. However, the manufacturer (Store It Cold, LLC) advises not to set the CoolBot lower than 34 degrees.
The air conditioner fins will start to freeze at 32 degrees, and this is something that the manufacturer of CoolBot would like to avoid. Not setting it to a lower temperature than 34 degrees helps maintain the lifespan of your air conditioner too.
How does the CoolBot Temperature Controller Work?
The CoolBot allows regular people to DIY their own cooler—whether it’s a walk-in cooler, a mobile cooler, and so on—and they don’t have to spend a fortune to do it.
The question on your mind right now is probably, “So, how does CoolBot do it?” Why can’t anyone just grab a regular AC, put it into an insulated box with a wall thermometer, and turn it into a cooler without CoolBot?
One of the main reasons that an ordinary air conditioner will not work to create a cooler without a CoolBot is because a regular air conditioner will stop cooling at 68 to 60 degrees. Thermostats will not allow you to set a temperature any lower than this.
So, how does CoolBot trick air conditioners to bypass their built-in limit?
The ThermoPro TP50 digital hygrometer and indoor thermometer is available on Amazon. Check it here.
CoolBot comes with a small heating resistor that is connected to the temperature probe of the air conditioner. The heating resistor makes the air conditioner believe that it is hotter than it actually is, even though the room temperature has already dropped beyond its allowed limit.
Thus, the air conditioner will keep working to lower the temperature even though it has already passed its limit.
CoolBot controls the heating resistor, which is why you can still set a temperature on CoolBot that the air conditioner will need to achieve.
The freezing problem
One of the reasons that air conditioners limit their cooling to around 68 degrees is to prevent the fins of the air conditioner from icing up. The air naturally contains water vapor, and when the air around the air conditioner fins becomes too cold, the water vapor in the air around the fins starts to freeze. If the air conditioner doesn't stop cooling or is not regulated, the ice will accumulate on the air conditioner fins.
Once ice builds up on the air conditioner fins, the airflow gets blocked. Without airflow, the air conditioner loses its ability to cool the room.
How did CoolBot solve this problem?
CoolBot has a temperature sensor that needs to be inserted into the air conditioner fins to monitor the temperature. If the fins are close to freezing temperature, CoolBot will cut the power to the heating resistor and let the air conditioner detect the true room temperature.
Since the room temperature is already beyond the allowed limit of the air conditioner, the air conditioner will switch to fan mode only and defrost itself.
Who invented CoolBot?
What most people probably don’t know is that CoolBot was invented by a small-scale organic vegetable farmer, Ron Khosla. When he and his wife needed to add a walk-in cooler to their farm, they didn’t like the idea of spending $3,500 for a previously owned walk-in cooler.
Ron had the idea to use an ordinary air conditioner as the main cooling source for a DIY cooler refrigeration system. He designed the first generation of CoolBot with the help of a college roommate.
Is CoolBot right for you?
The next thing we need to talk about is whether CoolBot is the right choice for you or not. According to Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, it has enabled small farmers and business owners who prefer to DIY a cooler with some rigid foam than spend thousands of dollars on a conventional cooler.
However, CoolBot is not the solution for every cooler problem. And we have some things that you might like to consider so that you can decide if CoolBot is the right solution for you or not.
The first thing to consider is cooling time. CoolBot takes longer to lower the temperature inside the cooler. The cooling rate slows down the lower the temperature goes.
Conventional coolers use a brute force method to drop the temperature. This makes them consume more energy, but they can cool a cooler faster than a CoolBot system.
Effectivity can drop with the increase of opening rate
The effectiveness of CoolBot systems starts to drop if the cooler door is opened more than six times every hour.
This might not be a problem for users that move in goods once and then leave them inside until they need to access the goods once more. However, for businesses that require frequent access to the cooler, the CoolBot system will have a noticeable decline in efficiecy.
This limitation can be overcome by oversizing the air conditioner instead of following the recommended size.
CoolBot systems are not made to freeze
The way air conditioners are designed, using them to freeze would not be ideal. It can drastically shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner, and frequent repairs and replacements of the air conditioner eliminate any savings that you’ve gained from the system.
CoolBot is a cheap and effective alternative to expensive traditional coolers that are simply out of reach of most farmers and businessmen. Whether to go with standard CoolBot or with the CoolBot Pro is a matter of how the CoolBot system will be used and the convenience that it could provide.
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