It is not an evaporative cooler(swamp cooler), so you are going to need ice for this unit to work.
It comes in 2 different sizes, a 25q and 60q model and the Q25 model come with a choice of a build in radiator(recommended) or not.
How does the Ice'n Plug 12v Portable Air Conditioner work?
The unit works by forcing ambient air through a radiator, cooled by iced water and then recirculated by a water pump. Cold air blows through a high speed fan and into the 4" flexible duct providing a solid stream of cold air. Fill the chest with ice, add 2 qts. of water and plug it into a 12V power source and get up to 4 hours of cold air(depending on the model).The base model does not have a radiator and ambient air is blown over the icy water for cooling, so expect the ice to last 2-3 hours.
The Q25 model draws around 800mA and the ones with the build in radiator draws 2.6mA, so if you run it from a car battery you will run out of ice before you run out of power.
You can power the Ice and Plug from a 12V power sources inside your car or directly to your car battery, an emergency power pack, a power generator (13.6V DC max).It is also possible to run the unit inside your house with an AC/DC power converter.
Here is an video of how it works:
The Ice and Plug is a welcome addition to the portable air conditioning market and certainly cheaper than some units, and its direct competitor is the Icybreeze.
These types of 12v portable air conditioners are great for boating, RV’s, aircraft, pet coolers or short term tent coolers, but having access to ice can make it problematic. If a power source is not a problem, have a look at one of these tent air conditioners or the Zen Cooler. If you like projects you can always make your own.
For more info have a look at their website.