cooling your tent or van

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
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BBadger
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:14 pm

He's probably linking to this.

There was also a design documented here.

I don't think either would fit into 1x2' unless it were quite tall. Also 3200ft3 is quite a bit of volume, requiring some 1600 CFM worth of airflow.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Popeye » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:28 pm

Thinking some more on this, the statements about mechanical refrigeration cooling the evaporaters water imply that ice added to the water would give you a greater efficiency and allow a size X cooler to cool a larger space. But I've seen postings on here that this is not true.
I think if we daisy chained two coolers so that the air input to the second cooler came from the first then the air would be to humid to allow much more evaporation/cooling.
Using an evap cooler to cool a heat exchanger to cool the water in the second cooler does not seem to be very efficient. It seems likely that you would need a lot of surface area in the heat exchanger to catch up with the transfer of "cooling" from the air in the first evap cooler to the heat exchanger to the water in the second evap cooler.
I wonder if, putting the cooler outside and running a reduced size duct from the inside of the tent/yurt to the evap cooler to blend with and reduce the temp of air drawn from outside, would allow the cooler to cool a larger volume? As long as not all the water dripped on the pad is evaporated then you would not need a larger pump or fan.

Just some thoughts, would like to play with this but it is either to cool or to humid, sometimes both, for an evap cooler to work where I live. Fun to think about anyway.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:45 pm

As close as I could figure, the idea was to use one cooler to cool the duct of the intake for the cooler servicing the space, thus not adding more humidity.

But if the air going into the second cooler is already cooled, I'm not sure how much evap could take place to achieve more cooling.

Seems wonky, complicated, and bulky, but what I read said they could get temps from 120 down to 65.

It's over my head at any rate. :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:44 pm

Hmm, after some reading on some forums, it was mentioned that a two-stage evap cooler is two-stage mostly just to decrease the amount of humidity for the interior air for comfort and to reduce mold. It isn't really any more efficient, it's just a heat-exchange mechanism to avoid some of the humidity.

Most residential evap coolers are single-stage anyway. If two-staging were really a more efficient cooling method it would probably be used much more often.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BrotherNomad » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:40 pm

FIGJAM wrote:As close as I could figure, the idea was to use one cooler to cool the duct of the intake for the cooler servicing the space, thus not adding more humidity.

But if the air going into the second cooler is already cooled, I'm not sure how much evap could take place to achieve more cooling.

Seems wonky, complicated, and bulky, but what I read said they could get temps from 120 down to 65.
BBadger wrote:Hmm, after some reading on some forums, it was mentioned that a two-stage evap cooler is two-stage mostly just to decrease the amount of humidity for the interior air for comfort and to reduce mold. It isn't really any more efficient, it's just a heat-exchange mechanism to avoid some of the humidity.
The point of two-stage evaporative cooling is to get lower temperatures than single-stage cooling. The second stage evaporates pre-cooled air to provide further cooling, at least that is the claim.

I am the one who brought this up. I PMed figjam about it and he took what I wrote and quoted it without crediting me.

I plan to build the two-stage evap cooler for Las Vegas in July-type weather when I have to be in the sweltering southwest. This is so I don't need to run a generator 18 hours a day for A/C while in the van not plugged into the grid. I love the idea of taking advantage of the climate when possible to cool down and using a fraction of the energy compared to A/C. Dropping air-temperature from 110 to 70 F with evaporative cooling means cheaper living and higher reliability vs genset & A/C. I am looking at building bigger-than-needed for quick cooling and futureproofing when I upsize to a bigger rig.

There are two design points I need help on:
1) The heat exchanger that cools the incoming dry air for the second stage. I have two 4" aluminum dryer ducts I can use for this, and would like to maximize the heat transfer.
2) Would having two separate resivoirs help in cooling? My theory is the first stage water will be warmer than the second stage water, and if both stages draw from one resivoir there will be less end-cooling vs seperate resivoirs for each of the two stages.

It can have a larger footprint than 1x2', I put 1x2' in as a benchmark so people know what scale I am working with for the cooler.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:26 am

I quoted from a private message, so it was a consideration to leave your name out of it since to didn't post your question here.

I wasn't trying to take "credit" for your idea. :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Sat Nov 12, 2016 7:52 pm

BrotherNomad wrote: The point of two-stage evaporative cooling is to get lower temperatures than single-stage cooling. The second stage evaporates pre-cooled air to provide further cooling, at least that is the claim.
I've read that as well, but I've heard many different claims, notably that a "[Two-stage evap cooler, the Coolerado] is able to provide the same temperature air as a very good swamp cooler, but without any moisture added to the air" (cite). Then again, I've also read that some indirect-direct evap coolers can supposedly bring the temperature down below the wet-bulb temperature, limited to the dew point temperature, using the so-called "Maisotsenko Cycle" (2). I haven't gone over it enough to be entirely convinced, but those are the claims.

Despite that, many indirect coolers are not even close to efficient because of the manufacturing ability of these evaporation heat exchangers and such. Whether you'll be more successful I don't know. You'll need to have a decent evaporative heat exchanger with an efficient geometry, not just some wet pads and a fan that are typical of DIY evap coolers.

Please let us know if it is actually better than a single-stage evap cooler, especially at the DIY level.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BrotherNomad » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:56 am

Re: cooling your tent or van
FIGJAM wrote:I quoted from a private message, so it was a consideration to leave your name out of it since to didn't post your question here. I wasn't trying to take "credit" for your idea. :lol:
Okay.
BBadger wrote: I've read that as well, but I've heard many different claims, notably that a "[Two-stage evap cooler, the Coolerado] is able to provide the same temperature air as a very good swamp cooler, but without any moisture added to the air" (cite). Then again, I've also read that some indirect-direct evap coolers can supposedly bring the temperature down below the wet-bulb temperature, limited to the dew point temperature, using the so-called "Maisotsenko Cycle" (2). I haven't gone over it enough to be entirely convinced, but those are the claims. Despite that, many indirect coolers are not even close to efficient


Image

This cooler is the style I am thinking of, using two unicoolers with the first unicooler evaporating water to pre-cool hot dry air for the second/direct stage. What I've read is the pre-cooled dry air in the second stage will take up water in the evaporation process, further cooling the air albeit less so due to the dry air temperature not being able to hold as much water. This process drops the temperature up to 50 degrees F, providing comfortable temperatures even in Death Valley's July.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Traveller in Time » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:39 am

OK now I get the picture of 'two step evaporation' :D

The airflow is the wrong way;
--you do not want your fan to become wet and dusty (=muddy) just dusty is enough
--the evaporation works best at high temperatures
--the heat exchanger will also catch some moist from the air

Why don't I see stories about absorption cooling? Most RVs seem to be fitted with such devices. And such cooler should be able to run on (concentrated) solar heat.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:52 pm

BrotherNomad wrote:Re: cooling your tent or van
FIGJAM wrote:I quoted from a private message, so it was a consideration to leave your name out of it since to didn't post your question here. I wasn't trying to take "credit" for your idea. :lol:
Okay.
BBadger wrote: I've read that as well, but I've heard many different claims, notably that a "[Two-stage evap cooler, the Coolerado] is able to provide the same temperature air as a very good swamp cooler, but without any moisture added to the air" (cite). Then again, I've also read that some indirect-direct evap coolers can supposedly bring the temperature down below the wet-bulb temperature, limited to the dew point temperature, using the so-called "Maisotsenko Cycle" (2). I haven't gone over it enough to be entirely convinced, but those are the claims. Despite that, many indirect coolers are not even close to efficient


Image

This cooler is the style I am thinking of, using two unicoolers with the first unicooler evaporating water to pre-cool hot dry air for the second/direct stage. What I've read is the pre-cooled dry air in the second stage will take up water in the evaporation process, further cooling the air albeit less so due to the dry air temperature not being able to hold as much water. This process drops the temperature up to 50 degrees F, providing comfortable temperatures even in Death Valley's July.
I think there may be a way.

After my cooler has been running for 20 minutes or so, the water temp is usually at 58 degrees.

If you could plumb that cold water through a radiator or heat exchanger placed over the intake of the unicooler, it MIGHT do what you want it to. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:27 pm

BrotherNomad wrote:This cooler is the style I am thinking of, using two unicoolers with the first unicooler evaporating water to pre-cool hot dry air for the second/direct stage. What I've read is the pre-cooled dry air in the second stage will take up water in the evaporation process, further cooling the air albeit less so due to the dry air temperature not being able to hold as much water. This process drops the temperature up to 50 degrees F, providing comfortable temperatures even in Death Valley's July.
I'm all for experiments and stuff, but have you determined whether it is worth the energy and extra water for such a rig and whether a single stage cooler would be sufficient? I know that Las Vegas is hot, but it seems like the cooling ability of a single stage evap would be quite workable unless there was a specific reason (e.g. less humidity) that you're seeking.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BrotherNomad » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:30 pm

Traveller in Time wrote: ...
Why don't I see stories about absorption cooling? Most RVs seem to be fitted with such devices. And such cooler should be able to run on (concentrated) solar heat.
Do you mean the kind of absorption cooling propane fridges do? Theoretically whole house absorbtion cooling is possible but would require a small solar farm to cool down a RV-size amount of cubic footage to 72F.

BBadger wrote: I'm all for experiments and stuff, but have you determined whether it is worth the energy and extra water for such a rig and whether a single stage cooler would be sufficient? I know that Las Vegas is hot, but it seems like the cooling ability of a single stage evap would be quite workable unless there was a specific reason (e.g. less humidity) that you're seeking.
It's worth every drop of water and watt of electricity to be comfortable in inhospitably hot, dry climates like Las Vegas in July, using a two-stage evaporative cooler vs refridgerant A/C. A single-stage cooler can drop the temperature upto 30 degrees while the two-stage I am describing can drop the temperature upto 50 degrees farenheight. Once I discovered the two-stage evaporative cooler, I found the answer to the Off-Grid Desert Southwest Summer cooling conundrum (IF it's real that is).

Many people try to maximise efficiency to the point where they can't enjoy life. With evaporative cooling in the right climate; you are saving lots of energy compared to A/C, even if you have to haul the water 200 miles (like a lot of burners do because the towns on 447 price gouge for water).

FIGJAM wrote:

I think there may be a way.

After my cooler has been running for 20 minutes or so, the water temp is usually at 58 degrees.

If you could plumb that cold water through a radiator or heat exchanger placed over the intake of the unicooler, it MIGHT do what you want it to. 8)
Pre-cooling the dry air to 58 degrees before the air passes through the pads in a single-stage evaporative cooler could work. My thinking however is maintaining 58 degree water despite warming it before it runs down the evap. cooling pads. I am thinking warm water evaporating would cancel out much of the cooling gained from pre-cooling. if this is the case, I would still need a second evap cooler to cool the pre-cooling water to get the optimal 50 degree temperature drop.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:20 pm

The water temp has very little to do with how cool the air from the cooler is.

In AZ. the water sitting in the cooler may be 90 degrees till it's turned on, but as soon as the pads are wet, the evaporation is the prim cooling principal and reduce incoming air by 30 degrees.

So using the cooled water, once it IS cooled, could cool the air at the intake with the use of the radiator.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:46 pm

BrotherNomad wrote:It's worth every drop of water and watt of electricity to be comfortable in inhospitably hot, dry climates like Las Vegas in July, using a two-stage evaporative cooler vs refridgerant A/C. A single-stage cooler can drop the temperature upto 30 degrees while the two-stage I am describing can drop the temperature upto 50 degrees farenheight. Once I discovered the two-stage evaporative cooler, I found the answer to the Off-Grid Desert Southwest Summer cooling conundrum (IF it's real that is).
Yeah, but "comfortable" is relative and you're describing potential temperatures descending into jacket-wearing territory. Office air conditioning is usually optimally pegged around 71-75 degrees F (supposedly women prefer it slightly warmer), and single stage evap coolers can usually get down to around wet-bulb temperatures which for 115 degrees is about 78 degrees in bone dry places like places in Nevada. Even at that 30 degrees drop you're describing, it is still dropping temperatures to a comfortable 85 degrees on a blisteringly hot day (115F), and that's assuming that you're pulling in hot air directly, not from shade, etc. where the temperatures will be much lower.

It just seems that you're looking at overcooling, or just diminishing returns on cooling by going the 2-stage route.

Now if you're not happy with the humidity levels, that's another matter, since the 2-stage cooler can cool air with less humidity.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by LowePro » Fri Dec 02, 2016 2:00 pm

Chiming in late with a commentary:
What is your endgame? Is it to built something rad, or is it to cool down your structure and go on with life ad Bman? If it's the latter, much progress can be made by really ensuring your Swampie is built to spec, tight seals, properly wetted pad, well-fitted, good fan, and insulation wrapped around the duct; and sealing up your structure well with foil tape or shade cloth, whatever, etc. A little bit of extra time and energy maximizing the effectiveness of the swampie might be worth way more than trying to devise a second-stage cooling unit, adding inefficiencies and unnecessary complication at a diminishing return.
If your endame is the former (building something rad) please don't stop! Continue, repeat, and tell us what you find.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BrotherNomad » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:33 am

BBadger wrote:
Yeah, but "comfortable" is relative and you're describing potential temperatures descending into jacket-wearing territory.
...
Low 70s is jacket wearing territory?
...
Office air conditioning is usually optimally pegged around 71-75 degrees F (supposedly women prefer it slightly warmer), and single stage evap coolers can usually get down to around wet-bulb temperatures which for 115 degrees is about 78 degrees in bone dry places like places in Nevada. Even at that 30 degrees drop you're describing, it is still dropping temperatures to a comfortable 85 degrees on a blisteringly hot day (115F), and that's assuming that you're pulling in hot air directly, not from shade, etc. where the temperatures will be much lower.
85 is better than 115 but I would like to have those office temperatures your mentioning which is possible with the right two-stage evaporative cooler. LIfe is too short to be uncomfortable.
It just seems that you're looking at overcooling, or just diminishing returns on cooling by going the 2-stage route.

Now if you're not happy with the humidity levels, that's another matter, since the 2-stage cooler can cool air with less humidity.
Wanting upper 60s/low 70s inside when it's over 110 degrees F outside is overcooling? I am looking at help designing a two-stage evaporative cooler that blows air that is upto 50 degrees cooler than the outside air.

I am used to medium humidity here in San Jose, CA. I am typing this post in my underwear in a room that is 70 degrees F at 59% humidity (according to a $4 La Crosse thermometer in my room). Pretty comfortable right now.
asr9754 wrote:Chiming in late with a commentary:
What is your endgame? Is it to built something rad, or is it to cool down your structure and go on with life ad Bman? If it's the latter, much progress can be made by really ensuring your Swampie is built to spec, tight seals, properly wetted pad, well-fitted, good fan, and insulation wrapped around the duct; and sealing up your structure well with foil tape or shade cloth, whatever, etc. A little bit of extra time and energy maximizing the effectiveness of the swampie might be worth way more than trying to devise a second-stage cooling unit, adding inefficiencies and unnecessary complication at a diminishing return.
If your endame is the former (building something rad) please don't stop! Continue, repeat, and tell us what you find.



It is some of the former and latter. I thought I already said this but here it is again: I want to build a two-stage or other type of evaporative cooler that provides up to a 50 degree temperature drop from the ambient temperature, for use all over the southwest & other hot & dry climates.

FIGJAMs idea sounds promising, run intake air past a radiator which pre-cools incoming air to 58 degrees (or whatever the lowest temperature of the water in the cooler is) and then cool the air down further with evaporation. My concern is the warmed water will cancel out most of the pre-cooling and not get below wet-bulb temperatures.

I read an article that spoke about testing radiator pre-cooling in a direct evaporative cooler but cant find it right now, I remember reading how they put a radiator before the cooling pads, result in an additional 10 degree drop vs a regular single-stage evaporative cooler. I think the radiator pre-cooling design is an easier design vs the original idea, but only if I can get that 50 degree temperature drop in optimal climate.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:03 pm

BrotherNomad wrote:Low 70s is jacket wearing territory?
While I was referencing that according to a 50-degree temperature delta, which would place temps in the 60s from 110F, I'd still probably put on a jacket at low 70s. I recall many times AC office temperatures being a bit chilly, and that'd I'd actually look forward to warming up a bit in the outside when given the chance. In a place like BM, where it people will be outside in often skimpy clothing, it'd definitely become uncomfortably cold.
Wanting upper 60s/low 70s inside when it's over 110 degrees F outside is overcooling? I am looking at help designing a two-stage evaporative cooler that blows air that is upto 50 degrees cooler than the outside air.
Yes, I would consider that overcooling. It might be appropriate if you're working at an office that required long-sleeve shirts and pants, and maybe even a jacket for longer durations. Such office temperature standards were meant to keep people slightly on the uncomfortable side to keep them alert. However, at a burner event I don't imagine people would be dressed to expect such temperatures.
I am used to medium humidity here in San Jose, CA. I am typing this post in my underwear in a room that is 70 degrees F at 59% humidity (according to a $4 La Crosse thermometer in my room). Pretty comfortable right now.
You're also acclimated to a region that is perpetually temperate, where the average high rarely exceeds 82 degrees F. It may be why you expect 70-degree cooled to be acceptable. I'm actually in a similar climate, where I may consider wearing shorts down into the low 70s, if temperatures have gradually reduced to that level. However, in a climate like Las Vegas's or even at BM, where you'll likely be geared up (down?) for much hotter days and used to those temperatures, an office-like temperature is going to feel relatively chilly. This will especially be true if you intend to go outside frequently (maybe not in LV though).

I also realize that you can just shut off the unit if temperatures drop too far. Still, this seems like overkill for an environment where you're not necessarily geared up for office work and where 80F would feel just fine.

Don't let these criticisms stop you though (I know they won't). They're just my perspective on whether it's worth the effort, for me anyway. A portable 2-stage evap cooler would definitely be a good thing to develop and I hope it works out.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BrotherNomad » Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:44 pm

Can we now get down to designing a 2-stage evaporative cooler that can drop the temperature upto 50 degrees?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Meat Hunter » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:17 pm

Nope.

We can't. But, you can.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:18 pm

I built and brought a standard bucket cooler this past year, and spent some good effort building it, but it was nice enough in my tent that I never felt the need to bring it out.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BrotherNomad » Sun Dec 18, 2016 12:04 am

Meat Hunter wrote: We can't. But, you can.
Why? I know the cooler is geared for hotter temps than BRC, but it's still will be a helpful how-to.

If I don't get any further input, I am thinking of building two unicoolers with the first unicoolers water through radiators installed pre-intake of the second unicooler.

The first unicooler simply inserts a radiator into the tubing loop and that sub-60 degree water (according to figjam) pre-cools the air that ends up in the living space, as bigger is better with evaporative cooling. Tada, evaporative cooling to low-70s (F) even in Death Valley during the middle of July. No Rube Goldberg cooler here, as the two-stage unicooler system is easily convertable to two single-stage unicoolers or single-stage water chillers.

I am used to a 50% humidity average at 60-80 F and want the humidity from the second stage. Life is too short to have dry & cracking skin in enclosed space.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:47 pm

Do it man and post instructions if it works out!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BrotherNomad » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:47 am

Here is the design I came up with for the Two-Stage Unicooler System:
Image

I have two bucket coolers which can serve the first stage, unless somebody wants to buy them; PM for details.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by CaverX » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:48 pm

Just saw this, from Make Magazine: :roll: Evaporative cooler

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by legionvr6 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:21 pm

I've been reading page after page after page and this thread is amazing. Planning out my first trip to burning man and i love to tinker so a home made swamp cooler sounds like a perfect little project.

I would like a little input on a fan i have in mind.

Here's the specs sheet. its the turbo 4000 model and it's only $17 on amazon
http://www.attwoodmarine.com/userfiles/ ... 8/1731.pdf

I would love some input.

THANK YOU FIGJAM FOR THIS THREAD!!!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:08 am

It uses a lot of power for about the same results as this fan that is THE recommended fan for the bucket cooler.

Compare the specs!!! 8)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Jan 07, 2017 11:24 am

Or, just bring your tent or van to the playa right now.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by legionvr6 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:21 pm

FIGJAM wrote:It uses a lot of power for about the same results as this fan that is THE recommended fan for the bucket cooler.

Compare the specs!!! 8)

Could you link me to the latest recommended fan? I saw posts that the fan originally use was changes to a pwm and should be used. sorry but there's so many pages to go through.

THANKS FIGJAM!!

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BBadger
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by BBadger » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:13 pm

Just stare into the tube in one of the pictures on the first post and you'll find the model number FIGJAM used. If that's unavailable, find one with similar specs.

I myself got a Noctua's NF-A14 iPPC-3000RPM to experiment with how its static pressure ability performs and reduced noise, but it cost $26 on Amazon. I actually don't know if it'll make much difference. It's also a 140mm vs 120mm fan.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jan 08, 2017 7:23 am

AFB1212SHE-CF00
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