After showing several people version 1.0 and processing their feedback I came to the following conclusions:
1. If you bend the copper pipes too far they rupture and all the refrigerant leaks out. This is bad. (To be honest here I figured this out on my own.)
2. Don’t position a compressor sideways. Apparently there is some sort of lubricant that depends on the force of gravity to keep the compressor functioning properly.
3. Ripping apart all the wires with the intention to reassemble them later surpasses my skills as an electrician.
So I drove back to the Habitat store and purchased another used window mounted air conditioner. Fortunately there was a different person at the register so I didn’t have to explain why I keep buying air conditioners in the middle of October. Next I drove to a farm supply store and bought two appropriately sized containers that would be both waterproof and yield to the will of my hand saw.
I was much more careful in ripping apart the unit this time around. Other than cutting the wires leading to the fan I left all the other electronic components alone. This AC unit was larger than version 1.0, but the copper tubes were thicker which I believe is a good thing. I used a heat gun on the copper wires before I started to move the radiators with the hopes that I wouldn’t break anything. Finally I made sure to keep the compressor upright the whole time.
Next I cut some holes in the tubs to allow the radiators to sit inside with the goal of minimizing the movement of the remains of the AC unit. Finally I used duct tape and silicone adhesive to repair the sides of the tubs. (or, if you are a fanatic of “The Office,” I filled the holes with my caulk– THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!)
That is as far as I was able to get this week due to previous commitments with my employer and family. Once the silicone dries I’ll fill both tubs with water and run the compressor. This will let me measure the rate of heat transfer between the two tanks and the amount of electricity required from the compressor. Armed with this data I can make plans for version 3.0– the full scale basement test.