cooling your tent or van

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
Post Reply
User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:02 pm

spacetime wrote:I have most of my cooler parts now, and am curious about two things:

I'm a bit concerned about having a battery just hanging out with alligator clips on it. Are people using anything to limit exposure of the terminals themselves? For example the use of a battery box like this?

Partly because it is orange, and partly to insulate, I want to look at covering the bucket with reflective insulating tape, i.e. this stuff. Can anyone suggest the effectiveness of this and if good, a particular kind?
You don't need to insulate the bucket.

The air is moving through it so fast that it doesn't get a chance to heat up.

The only reason I would put the battery in a box would be to disguise it so it doesn't "walk" off.

People ARE doing fancy boxes with built in fuses and exterior outlets, but they aren't necessary. 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

User avatar
Nipple
Posts: 1199
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2017
Location: Portland, OR

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Nipple » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:27 pm

Dr. Brap wrote:
Nipple wrote:Sitting in Portland, at 33% relative humidity, this thing is blowing out cool moist air!

It's going to feel great on the playa!

Geewhiz! Thanks, Uncle Figjam!
IMG_2886.jpg
IMG_2887.jpg
IMG_2888.jpg
I'm sure you're just using that jump pack for testing, but just in case someone else takes a look and decides to use one also, I wouldn't recommend it. Those things have a pretty small battery in them. It will NOT last you all week. In fact, you're only going to get a few hours out of it at best.
Oh, totally! Thank you for pointing it out. Real world usage will be a 115ah deep cycle battery!

User avatar
Roundabout
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:41 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Playa Choir
Location: Ridgway, CO

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Roundabout » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:31 pm

FIGJAM wrote:The only reason I would put the battery in a box would be to disguise it so it doesn't "walk" off.

People ARE doing fancy boxes with built in fuses and exterior outlets, but they aren't necessary. 8)
Image
Image
Image
Every aspect of life is education. Even if you don't immediately grasp the lesson. robbidobbs

ShreddinPB
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:10 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by ShreddinPB » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:00 am

nice upgrades on the battery box! I am going to do that to mine :p

User avatar
spacetime
Posts: 501
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:12 am
Burning Since: 2014

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by spacetime » Wed Aug 12, 2015 10:58 am

Ya, that battery box is beast mode.

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:03 pm

Purdy! 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

maladroit
Posts: 2374
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by maladroit » Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:17 pm

It's a grumbly 90 degree day here in [Portland area city] and a bolt of inspiration plus some frantic rummaging later, my FIGJAM™ swamp cooler is providing some relief in my non-air-conditioned office. It's doing pretty well in 34% humidity! Plus, digging out the swamp cooler and testing it counts as Burning Man Preparation, on which I'm sorely behind schedule.

User avatar
sparr
Posts: 420
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:01 am
Burning Since: 2015

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by sparr » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:35 am

maladroit wrote:Plus, digging out the swamp cooler and testing it counts as Burning Man Preparation, on which I'm sorely behind schedule.
After ordering a bunch of new parts, I'll be doing assembly and testing of my bucket cooler *on the road*, while my copilot drives. You're ahead of the game :)
If you want to make a reply about my personality instead of about what this thread is about, don't clutter this thread, post over here instead.

at1ment
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:38 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: A Pretty Pickle

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by at1ment » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:48 am

G'Day All,
Trying to put something like this together to cool my tent and I have a few questions:
(1) Is the battery necessary? Can I just run power output from the solar array directly to the fan and pump? It seems the battery adds significant (and maybe unnecessary) cost and complexity. While all that wold be nice it's probably not going to happen. I really only need the cooling during the day when the sun is shining and the solar cells generating electricity.
(2) How does one size, rate or match the electrical output from the solar cells to the driving power required by the pump and fan? How many solar cells do it need? Doesn't seem like the pump and fan require much power. And I don't want to have to build a large solar array just to drive these small items. Could I get by with something smaller than setting up multiple 2' X 4' solar cell units. I appreciate solar insolation variance and the direction and pitch of the solar cell mounting all play a role in how much power is produced. So I'm not looking to optimize anything. I just want a little extra coolth for a small amount of expense and build.
Sorry if all of this was already discussed. I looked but didn't find it.
See you all real soon.
Happy Trails, Phred

User avatar
JohnEBGud
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2014 2:46 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: Play-a Piano
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by JohnEBGud » Thu Aug 13, 2015 11:24 am

I'm thinking about doing the same thing. The recommended fan draws 1.6 Amps and the pump about .5 Amps for a total current draw of about 2 Amps. 2 Amps x 12 volts = 24 watts. If you assume that your solar array is going to work at 50% of its optimal rating, you'll need a panel rated at 50 watts.

I have no experience doing this, so better or more correct information is welcome.
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
--Wm. Blake

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:07 pm

As long as you are using solar, any small battery will work as a "buffer" between the solar and the cooler.

If it gets cloudy a little back up will be welcome.
"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

maladroit
Posts: 2374
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2012 10:37 pm
Burning Since: 2012

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by maladroit » Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:26 pm

sparr wrote:
maladroit wrote:Plus, digging out the swamp cooler and testing it counts as Burning Man Preparation, on which I'm sorely behind schedule.
After ordering a bunch of new parts, I'll be doing assembly and testing of my bucket cooler *on the road*, while my copilot drives. You're ahead of the game :)
This bucket cooler was built in 2013 from parts purchased while on the road, and assembled on the playa using whatever tools were handy :)

at1ment
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:38 pm
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: A Pretty Pickle

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by at1ment » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:25 pm

> As long as you are using solar, any small battery will work as a "buffer" between the solar and the cooler.

God, I feel soooo ignorant. Sometimes. Not always. Just now. I have no ee background beyond turning on a flashlight. So I presumed both the pump and the fan required some rated amount of power (example: 2 amps) to operate at spec. And that it probably wouldn't be good to over-power them (they might be damaged?) but that under-powering them would just mean they were operating less than spec. Down to not working at all.(see: my ignorance.) My goal is a simple direct line system with no battery. To create something that runs when the sun is shining and not run when the sun isn't shining. Most of these wonderful comments seem focused on designing the evap cooler but simply say 'solar' when it comes to talking about the solar power generator. Which works if all the solar is doing is charging a battery. With the battery serving as a 'buffer' between the solar cells and the pumps and fan. Is such a buffer necessary? (see: my ignorance.) Is there any way just to wire the solar power generator directly to the mechanics? Maybe with some kind min/max buffer between the two to protect against damaging under-power and damaging over-power. Don't know what such a buffer might be called but I'm guessing it's simpler, easier and cheaper than a battery. Somebody please educate me. Thank you all so much.

Happy Trails, Phred

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 14, 2015 5:32 pm

I'm not an expert on electricity either, so I can't answer all those questions.

My suggestion was based on "cloudy doesn't mean cool" and you might want the cooler to run when it's cloudy.
"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

User avatar
Popeye
Posts: 749
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:39 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Beaverton
Location: Where the east wind blows

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Popeye » Fri Aug 14, 2015 6:21 pm

Unjderpower means the motors will generate heat instead of turn a fan or pump. Heat damages motors. The best idea is to follow Figjams suggestion and put a battery in the circuit. After all you might want the cooler to run early morning when there is not enough sun.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:05 pm

Done properly, you need electronics between the solar cell array and the load and battery. For the currents we're talking about here, a battery is a cheap way of buffering (but not controlling) the current from the cells (assuming it's not a large array).
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
Roundabout
Posts: 280
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:41 pm
Burning Since: 2013
Camp Name: Playa Choir
Location: Ridgway, CO

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Roundabout » Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:37 pm

50 watt panels often put out 17 to 20 volts in the direct sun. If the 50 watt panel is wired directly to your pump and fan, they will have a short life when the sun is brightest and you need the cooler the most.
Every aspect of life is education. Even if you don't immediately grasp the lesson. robbidobbs

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:00 pm

Hence electronics or a battery buffer.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

Cos
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:35 am
Burning Since: 2013

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Cos » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:37 am

Two questions for today. I got the new pump that you recommended and I have the fan that was recommended. Now, how do I wire these together? As you'll see in the photo the fan has four wires while the pump only has two. How do I go about splicing these together? Are two of the wires on the fan not used? Also, short of turning it on (which I can't do right now) how do I know which direction the fan will blow?

http://i.imgur.com/OMvq99u.jpg

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:45 pm

Pretty sure blue is + and black is -.

You can't hurt anything and the fan will only turn when connected correctly.
"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

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash. Not a Placer
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Papa Bear » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:55 pm

Aaargh. I need some advice.

Hauled out the box cooler I used last year for a pre-playa check, and discovered that it's leaking somewhere along one edge. It's slow, but definitely there, and I can't find a definitive location. Looking back over the directions, I realize I messed up when I made it - I caulked it and applied the elastomeric coating, but somehow missed the line about epoxy paint.

Any ideas what the best way to re-seal this is? Recaulk? More caulk? More elastomeric coating (not sure the leftover from last year is still good, haven't pride open the can). Hit it with the paint now and hope for the best?

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 15, 2015 7:57 pm

It's also wet now.
What kind of caulking and can you clear it out well?

Assuming it's not leaking through the painted plywood, but leaking at one or more points along seams:
I'd be inclined to use a nuke on this. Clean the caulk out, scrape the paint off in the joints. Then PL Premium construction adhesive is your new friend; it doesn't mind if things are damp (in fact, it needs to absorb moisture in order to cure quickly/properly). Two ways:
  • one - pretend the PL is caulking and fillet the joints; or
  • two - glue in a piece of quarter round (or other strip of wood), covering all the seams and extending past where the caulking was.
    With this one, you're going past the point where the leak is/was, and past any old caulking that could prevent a bond. This depends on getting the elastromeric paint off so you're bonding wood to wood. The PL seals these joints too. Wouldn't hurt to us PL to fillet the quarter round to the sides/bottom either.
If you constructed the box with a joining strip of wood at the seams, then use something aggressive to remove the caulking and paint so you've got bare wood, then fillet it with PL.
p.s. don't get PL on your hands. If not cleaned off immediately, it will be there until the underlying skin comes off.

If you find it's leaking at a specific point, remember that Gorilla Glue (not their "wood" PVA glue), like PL, needs moisture to cure. I had a leak in my plywood trailer top, coated with elastromeric. There was a hidden void in the plywood right at a butt-joint that leaked, so water had a path through. Just injected the Gorilla Glue into the wet voids and wet seam. Sealed right up as the glue absorbed the moisture to cure, expanding slightly too.

If for some reason it's the elastromeric paint on the plywood that is leaking, then it may or may not touch up with more paint. Or you could get it off and try epoxy now. Only it may be wet and you're running out of time. Another nuke solution is to remove the paint and use a putty knife to put a thin layer of PL into/on the scraped wood. It won't care about the moisture.
Last edited by Canoe on Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:03 pm

If its a minor leak, just let it dry and then hit the inside with the epoxy paint.

Go heavy, especially the water containment area.
"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

User avatar
Canoe
Posts: 3747
Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:06 pm

Will the epoxy paint go over the elastromeric?
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
.
... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash. Not a Placer
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Papa Bear » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:28 pm

Canoe wrote:Will the epoxy paint go over the elastromeric?
I believe that's what the original plans actually called for - I just missed the last step.

I have eight days before I leave, and the humidity here in Colorado is low enough that it should dry quickly. I actually did use 1"x1" stock along the edges of the box (plus glue & screws) to put it together, and all the caulk and paint seems intact, which is why I'm somewhat mystified as to just where it is leaking from. The leak shows up along the bottom seam in the front. It's pretty minor; if I had to I could probably live with it, but would prefer to get it right.

I'll try the epoxy on the inside, and see if there's any gap on the outside I could get Gorilla Glue into (pretty sure I have some in the workshop).

User avatar
FIGJAM
Posts: 10236
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 15, 2015 9:17 pm

Probably the expansion and contraction of the wood caused a slight separation.

If you can't see any separation or gaps on the inside of the cooler, the epoxy paint should take care of the leak.

When I built the new unicooler to have a larger intake, I used 2"x10" for the frame (glued and screwed) and faced it on each side with 1/2" plywood.

Image

That heavier frame made it easy to screw the plywood to, and left clean inside corners that made it easy to get sealed up.

Image

I checked it today and it's still solid.
"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

sleepnosleep
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:26 pm
Burning Since: 2014
Camp Name: ABCs

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by sleepnosleep » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:13 pm

Anyone have thoughts on how to create a seal between the box cooler fan and a canvas tent window without cutting? Has anyone used ducting? And if so, thoughts on attaching to the fan and sealing around the window to cut down on dust?

User avatar
BBadger
Posts: 5871
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:37 am
Burning Since: 2010
Location: (near) Portland, OR, USA

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:48 pm

Can't you just put the duct where the zippers are on the tent? Then just put a plastic bag around the pipe with a rubber band to fill in the gaps.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

Hate reading my replies? Click here to add me to your plonk (foe) list.

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash. Not a Placer
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Papa Bear » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:41 pm

Are you just concerned about keeping the canvas firmly up against the cooler?

First thing that comes to mind for me is a few rare earth magnets. Embed some short ferrous screws or nails at the corners of the cooler, push it up against the tent, and put the magnets on the inside of the canvas over the heads. Might need some thin stock between them and the canvas along the edges to improve the seal, but easy enough to experiment with.

User avatar
Papa Bear
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 9:36 pm
Burning Since: 2003
Camp Name: Astral Headwash. Not a Placer
Location: Berthoud, Colorado
Contact:

Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Papa Bear » Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:44 pm

Actually, might also be worth some painters tape or something between the box and the canvas, so that if and when the wind tugs at the set up, the tape takes the wear first.

Post Reply

Return to “Keeping Cool”