Portable Solar Evaporative Cooler Plans

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
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yellowdog
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Portable Solar Evaporative Cooler Plans

Post by yellowdog » Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:06 pm

We have used these for 8 years on the playa, and have found them to be very effective. Finally getting around to posting and sharing the plans.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Portabl ... mp-cooler/

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stack
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WOW!

Post by stack » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:09 pm

that's a great looking swamp cooler you made! I thought about how to make one of similar design from a 5 gal bucket and couldn't make it happen. I guess I wasn't thinking large enough :)

Here's the design i ended up using: http://www.flickr.com/photos/texasdeser ... 888462649/

And a pic of ours:


Its also is solar/battery powered and uses 4-4" DC computer fans and a bilge pump that is float switch controlled. It fills a 2.5 gal water jug on top which then drips water onto the blue wicking material. Once the lower bucket fills up (jug up top is empty) the pump kicks on and fills the jug repeating the cycle (the pump doesn't run continuously).

We kept it fed with melted ice from the coolers (use bags to keep the water clean!). and it used about 2-3gals a day. Made a huge improvement in the temp. inside the yurt. It backs up to the air intake of the yurt, which uses a heater filter to keep out the dust, so it stayed very clean and still got clean fresh air.

Thanks for sharing your design!





I might have to upgrade ours for next year!

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oneeyeddick
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Post by oneeyeddick » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:38 pm

If you used the system outside in the sun instead of inside your yurt, the evaporation process works better, and it makes much colder air as a result.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

yellowdog
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Post by yellowdog » Tue Dec 01, 2009 1:13 pm

Stack, I like your Pepino cooler! It appears it would use less energy and water to run. On the one hand, more energy and water = more cooling (we have actually needed a down sleeping bag at times). On the other hand, the energy and water requirements of our set-up are easier to manage with shared camp resources (although we have done it as self-contained).
If you used the system outside in the sun instead of inside your yurt, the evaporation process works better, and it makes much colder air as a result.
I'll bet that's true. Why did you set it up inside the hexa-yurt?

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stack
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hexayurt w/ swamp cooler

Post by stack » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:21 pm

Thanks, the pepino is not my design, but a rough hack of the original.

The hexayurt (as you probably know) is pretty dust proof, and keeps a cooler temp already. It does have 2 holes cut out the walls with a heater filter taped on the outside. This blocks out dust but still allows an intake of fresh air.

The swamp cooler sits pretty much right against one of the intake filters and is dimensionally close to the same size, so that the intake draw of the cooler comes through the filter as much as possible without the cooler being outside.

I had originally planned to keep it outside, as hot, dry air into the cooler will work best, but then realized the blue material wouldn't block the dust as well as the heater filter when the cooler was not being used. So I figured it would still work if it was inside the yurt, as long as the intake air came through the filter from outside the yurt. Admittedly, it does pull some "inside" air, reducing efficiency, but it definitely reduced the temp in the yurt significantly; we were quite popular with our campmates. And, it was much cleaner as a result. The melted ice from the ice chests that fed the swamp cooler were right next to it, making refills easy.

If power is an issue (like it was for us) having a float switch and gravity fed system really helps. The 5 fans we used in the yurt (4 on the cooler, one exhaust on top) draw a total of 1.4 amps DC. I can't seem to find the water pump specs, but it also ran off DC. We have a 60w solar panel setup that charges a 12v marine cycle battery from Wallyworld. During the day the cooler would be on and we would still be able to charge the battery for the lights (I made some LED lights for the inside as well).

Again, not my design, but having a rough idea of what to do helped me alot. Big props to John Wells, the designer of the pepino.

Here's a link to the float switch design I used, I found it on an salt water aquarium site after a google search....

http://reefworkshop.com/DIY_floatswitch1.htm

and for the fans
http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?U ... e=electric

i think your design might use a bit more water & power than mine, but it looks like it puts out a lot more cold air.

I'm very jealous of your flip-top btw :)

Cheers!
-Stack

yellowdog
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Post by yellowdog » Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:05 pm

Thanks! Power is always an issue. You've got our wheels turning for tweaking a re-design!

sharpstick
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Post by sharpstick » Tue May 24, 2011 5:40 am

this might actually work for those of us who fly in from florida(where swamp coolers do not work, key word being "swamp"!).
i suggest some thicker spacing so the fiber is not right up against the holes to allow more surface area for air to pass through. this would probably double that surface area. and possibly make the shade cloth unnecessary except to filter out the dust. better yet, put a curtain of shade cloth OUTSIDE the bucket to slow down the dustladen wind and let the dust drop out before it reaches the bucket. . as for multiple fans, at some point higher air flow doesn't help that much more. you're better off with more units.

the hexayurt doesn't fly very well, but i'm thinking of covering the tent with that silver bubble wrap stuff.

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teardropper
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Post by teardropper » Wed May 25, 2011 8:14 pm

I have an ancient, a '77, motorhome that was built in Boise and never had air. I have to, well I do, leave the windows open for vent and making it a little cooler. By Wednesday the interior is thoroughly dusted. I have considered adding air to the roof. But then I would have to have a generator. I have toyed with the swamp cooler idea because I can run it off my solar, though I may have to add another panel to the array. This may work. I am trying to get a handle on how much power and how much water I will have to bring. Any thoughts? The power is not the main issue, it's the water.

Burning Man becomes more complicated, not simple, for me each year. Yes, I know what to bring for essential living. But all the other stuff that I decide I shouldn't do without... I remember telling my partner one time that we have everything now, it'll be cheaper this year. It never is... Always some new thing I should have.

And this may be one of them. And, of course, it sets off the chain reaction of other things I will have to have. I'm not complaining, it just turns it into a year long thing just to keep up.

A magnificent obsession...
\^/
/..\ Furthur

yellowdog
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Post by yellowdog » Wed May 25, 2011 10:10 pm

See this thread http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... ooling+van for further refinements and group-think. I believe all your questions will be answered.

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Smokespliffs
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Re: Portable Solar Evaporative Cooler Plans

Post by Smokespliffs » Sat Aug 25, 2012 11:48 am

Hey fig,

I've been trying to contact via PM, however my message panel has had an error since last night.

So if I were to build the fiberglass reinforced box tonight, and used the Amazing Goop http://eclecticproducts.com/all_purpose.htm, do you think it would cure in time for its first use come Tuesday morning? Let me know what you think,

Thanks for everything,

Smoke
I'll be watching you Newton... I only came here for two reasons...Kick some ass, and drink some beer.... Looks like were almost out of beer.

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FIGJAM
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Re: Portable Solar Evaporative Cooler Plans

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:42 pm

Yes!

Everything will cure in 24 hours!!!

Tick, tick, tick. 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

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Smokespliffs
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Re: Portable Solar Evaporative Cooler Plans

Post by Smokespliffs » Sat Aug 25, 2012 2:19 pm

Awesome, your the man as usual.

Sixer's of the rock and rona's on the for you.

Smoke, :mrgreen:
I'll be watching you Newton... I only came here for two reasons...Kick some ass, and drink some beer.... Looks like were almost out of beer.

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