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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FIGJAM
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Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:12 pm

When the cooler has been running for a half hour or so , the temp of the water will be about 58 degrees.

Put dry ice in the cooler and it will kill you!!!

The coolers here are mounted on the roofs of the houes in direct sunlight, this gives more evaporation which is what causes the cooling.

If it's hot and dry enough, then having the cooler in the shade helps a little.

You don't need to insulate or ice your cooler.

Keep it simple!!! 8)
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Post by Foxfur » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:19 am

FIGJAM wrote:Put dry ice in the cooler and it will kill you!!!

Listen to Figjam.
You might survive.
It wouldn't be very pleasant.
You'd start as meat and end up a vegetable.
Ask someone about meat and vegetables in close proximity to dry ice :).

Ff

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Post by AntiM » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:41 am

Foxfur wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:Put dry ice in the cooler and it will kill you!!!

Listen to Figjam.
You might survive.
It wouldn't be very pleasant.
You'd start as meat and end up a vegetable.
Ask someone about meat and vegetables in close proximity to dry ice :).

Ff
Heck, carrying dry ice improperly sealed in a car with the windows closed could make you pass out, crash and die. No exaggeration.

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Post by sjs » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:31 am

FIGJAM wrote: Put dry ice in the cooler and it will kill you!!!

The coolers here are mounted on the roofs of the houes in direct sunlight, this gives more evaporation which is what causes the cooling.

If it's hot and dry enough, then having the cooler in the shade helps a little.

You don't need to insulate or ice your cooler.

Keep it simple!!! 8)
Fair enough, I am convinced that it is probably best to keep it simple... and that breathing pure CO2 will kill you. However, for the sake of science, hear me out.

It seems logical that anything that gets the contents of the bucket colder would cause the contents to last longer. If it requires more energy to evaporate the water, then presumably you get more overall cooling.

Hence, starting with block ice, adding insulation, getting the bucket out of contact with the playa... all of these things keep the cold in and focus the energy transfer to the air/water in the bucket rather than the surrounding air or ground that is not being blown out.

I admit that any benefits of keeping the bucket cooler for longer may be quite negligible compared to the overall efficiency, but I thought it would be interesting to think about.

I also don't know if there's something particularly special about the state change from liquid to gas that does the cooling best. If the solid->liquid step doesn't actually take much energy out of the air, then I suppose it's even less worth it to consider.

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FIGJAM
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Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:58 am

Tinker all you like, but here's the science, and why I would'nt bother.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporative_cooler 8)
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Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:02 pm

Here's a powerful fan, but it uses a lot of power!

http://www.weirdstuff.com/cgi-bin/item/18097
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Post by Foxfur » Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:58 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Here's a powerful fan, but it uses a lot of power!

http://www.weirdstuff.com/cgi-bin/item/18097

Dude, that thing really blows. Hard. Dayum.

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Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jun 07, 2011 10:53 am

Yeah, but it uses more pwer than the endless breeze on high! (900cfm 1.85amps.)
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Post by yellowdog » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:37 pm

Thread bump:
1)because you need to start working on this NOW (gentle nudge to procrastinators)
2) to re-post my original plans http://www.instructables.com/id/Portabl ... /?ALLSTEPS that inspired Figjam's brilliant version
3)because you will be SO happy to have something like this if 2011 is a normal hot year, not like last year, on the playa

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Post by ConnieH » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:03 pm

Regarding insulating the cooler - I agree with Figjam that insulating the bucket isn't really necessary, but I did insulate my outlet tube between the top of the cooler (where the fan is) and where it enters my yurt. I used a simple wrap of closed cell foam (leftovers from cutting hotspring pads out of cheap camp pads). My main reason for doing this was to keep the flexible dryer tubing from flopping around, but I do think it kept the air between the fan and yurt a tad cooler than without. YMMV

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Post by Irreverent Moniker » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:48 pm

Were there any tips in this thread on the best ways of connecting the swamp cooler to your tent?
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Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:03 pm

Irreverent Moniker wrote:Were there any tips in this thread on the best ways of connecting the swamp cooler to your tent?
The bucket or the box?
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Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:04 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Here's the best way I've found to vent the bucket cooler into the space you want to cool.

This will work with any 120mm fan.

This is a fan that Connie found and I really like it for the bucket cooler.

http://www.axiontech.com/prdt.php?item=57484

A 4 inch septic pipe conector is 4 1/2 inches inside diameter so I Gooped it to the lid.

Notice the perfect size for the 120mm fan!

Image

Image

Now any length of 4 inch septic pipe can go in this.

DO NOT GLUE THE PIPES TOGETHER!!!! That way you can change it up anyway you like.

Image

Add a 90.

This is how I did it for my truck.

Image

If you need it, those vent conectors sleve into the 4 inch pipe perfectly.

Image

This fan pushes some good air!

Image

Hope this makes your venting easier. 8)
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Post by Irreverent Moniker » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:06 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Irreverent Moniker wrote:Were there any tips in this thread on the best ways of connecting the swamp cooler to your tent?
The bucket or the box?
the bucket, but I think I'll just go with duct taping it

I'm still unsure about how batteries and AH and stuff works...

if a battery says this:
"Amp Hours at 20 Hour Rate: 115"

does it mean i'll get 115 hours of use out of the battery if my rig is ~1 amp?
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Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:13 pm

You only want to use half of the 115ah as that will take your battery down to a 50% charge.

If you use more than that, it will shorten the life of your battery.

So if your cooler uses 1 amp per hour, you can use it for 57.5 hours before recharging.
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Post by Irreverent Moniker » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:16 pm

FIGJAM wrote:You only want to use half of the 115ah as that will take your battery down to a 50% charge.

If you use more than that, it will shorten the life of your battery.

So if your cooler uses 1 amp per hour, you can use it for 57.5 hours before recharging.
nice, thanks for the info!
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Post by BaconHand » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:10 pm

A little update on my cooler progress. Here's how she sits at the moment.

Image

It's even a functional tote!

I'm considering cutting two holes in the top and attaching valved dryer ducts so multiple spaces can be cooled at once. The valves should keep hot air from being sucked in when only one side is in use. That's for another day...

Should have it up and running in the next few days (work and the SuperConductor own me right now).
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Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:42 am

So far so good.

Get some bread ties or fine wire and go through the top of the pad, then around the pvc to keep the feed line lined up on the pad.

It will be critical to keep your cooler level for even water distribution, otherwise you will get dry spots on the pad. This would be the path of least resistance for the air, and hot air will be drawn through those spots, greatly affecting how well it will cool.

What fan did you pick?

Calculating the cubic footage of the total space to be cooled will help you get a fan big enough to do the job.

Total air exchange should be every 1 to 5 minutes depending on how insulated the space is.

Test it with just the pump running to see if you're going to have to deal with leakage through those holes in the sides.

PM me if you have any questions. :)
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Post by Foxfur » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:02 am

BaconHand wrote:(work and the SuperConductor own me right now).

The SuperConductor project is incredible! Can't wait to see it. Pls start a thread with your playa location when you know (if?).
I love the gradients you're getting.


Image

You'll find me drooling in front of your art.

Hey, if you feel like it / have time, post some pics and updates in the 'Work In Progress' thread:
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=33263
There's a lot of cool projects big and small on that thread.

Ff

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Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:40 am

35,000 views bump!
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Post by BaconHand » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:14 pm

Foxfur wrote:The SuperConductor project is incredible! Can't wait to see it. Pls start a thread with your playa location when you know (if?).
I love the gradients you're getting.

You'll find me drooling in front of your art.
Thanks! You should see it in motion! In fact, I'll be posting some videos of the software in a week or so. We hope we can make a lot of people smile and have fun playing with it.

We should have our placement in about two weeks. We're shooting for somewhere in the man-temple-2andEsplanade triangle, closer to the segment between 2 and the temple; lit side facing the city, so you should be able to see it from almost anywhere on the esplanade.
Foxfur wrote:Hey, if you feel like it / have time, post some pics and updates in the 'Work In Progress' thread:
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?t=33263
There's a lot of cool projects big and small on that thread.
Oh man, there really is some cool stuff in that thread - your auto-poofer is sick! I might add to the thread once we are into the full testing phase.
FIGJAM wrote:Get some bread ties or fine wire and go through the top of the pad, then around the pvc to keep the feed line lined up on the pad.
I'm using hardware cloth to keep everything in place and probably going to double up the cooler pad as well as drill the PVC so the water squirts/drips a little bit inward. Also going to some shade cloth to keep the water from leaving through the vents.
FIGJAM wrote:What fan did you pick?
The Endless Breeze of course. What a sweet 12v fan it is! More pics this weekend.
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power-efficient fan speed control

Post by sjs » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:41 am

For my design, I'd like to be able to conveniently adjust the speed of the fans (two of the Scythe fans that kman found). One option is a straightforward voltage potentiometer, but this seems to have some disadvantages. First, I'd have to get one with the correct ohms. Second, as I understand it, pots just dissipate the extra energy as heat (but still maintain the same power draw?). Third, I have read that speed control via voltage reduces torque.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to regulate the current rather than the voltage. Evidently the way to do this is to use a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) circuit. I believe that this eliminates the need to match ohms, doesn't draw unused power, and maintains high torque. Anybody here know anything about this?

The most promising PWM control candidate I've been able to find is:

12V-24V 3A DC Motor Speed Control PWM HHO RC Controller ($9.90 + $3.90 shipping)

I like how easy it appears to be to connect/disconnect the wires from that board. I may end up putting the board itself near my battery and running long wires through my vent to the control dial mounted on the end of the vent (so I can control it from inside my structure).

Anybody here have thoughts on whether or not this approach makes sense?

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Re: power-efficient fan speed control

Post by capjbadger » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:59 pm

sjs wrote:For my design, I'd like to be able to conveniently adjust the speed of the fans (two of the Scythe fans that kman found). One option is a straightforward voltage potentiometer, but this seems to have some disadvantages. First, I'd have to get one with the correct ohms. Second, as I understand it, pots just dissipate the extra energy as heat (but still maintain the same power draw?). Third, I have read that speed control via voltage reduces torque.

Ideally, I'd like to be able to regulate the current rather than the voltage. Evidently the way to do this is to use a PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) circuit. I believe that this eliminates the need to match ohms, doesn't draw unused power, and maintains high torque. Anybody here know anything about this?

The most promising PWM control candidate I've been able to find is:

12V-24V 3A DC Motor Speed Control PWM HHO RC Controller ($9.90 + $3.90 shipping)

I like how easy it appears to be to connect/disconnect the wires from that board. I may end up putting the board itself near my battery and running long wires through my vent to the control dial mounted on the end of the vent (so I can control it from inside my structure).

Anybody here have thoughts on whether or not this approach makes sense?
Looks like that would work great. Just make sure your fans don't draw more amps than the PWM controller can provide. :)

Also, try to keep the wiring short. DC volts drop off over distance.

EDIT: Just checked the fans. Each only pulls .6 amps, so you should be fine. :)

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FIGJAM
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Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:30 pm

It was hot here today, so I did a test with the unicooler.

I like this flow!

Image

This was the air temp.

Image

The water was setting in the cooler all day, so it was pretty warm also.

I switched on the pump to soak the pad, then turned on the fan.

Image

If I had left the cooler running for another 20min., the water temp would have been much cooler, and probably dropped the temp another 5 to 10 degrees.

Humidity was 8%.
Last edited by FIGJAM on Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Foxfur » Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:58 pm

This is one of the best threads on ePlaya.

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sjs
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Re: power-efficient fan speed control

Post by sjs » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:44 pm

capjbadger wrote: Looks like that would work great. Just make sure your fans don't draw more amps than the PWM controller can provide. :)

Also, try to keep the wiring short. DC volts drop off over distance.
Thanks, ordered! I'll update here once they make their way here from China.

Would approx 25ft create any noticeable voltage drop? Putting 1 amp and 14 gauge wire in this calculator says 1.1%, which doesn't seem worth worrying about.

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Post by mrfunsacramento » Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:41 pm

Love the plan for the box cooler! I'm putting one together to cool my hexayurt. UPS just delivered the Endless Breeze fan. I don't have any experience with silicone caulk, but this fan is pretty heavy...will the caulk really hold it in place?

Thanks

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Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:16 pm

I put a good bead all the way around.

When I took it off of the first box cooler, I had to run a razor knife between the box and the fan to get it loose, but it was'nt difficult.

Use 100% silicone. ($5)

It will hold just fine.
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FIGJAM
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Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:26 am

I was tinkering with the feed line on the bucket cooler to get max flow on the pad.

Found out that you need a good balance of the number of holes in the line and the size of those holes.

I oversized just a little and the water would'nt get all the way around the feed line.

You want all your pad wet all the time the cooler is running, try to keep your cooler level.

The right combo seems to be 1/16th holes 1 inch apart for the bucket cooler.
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Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:05 am

To get clean uniform holes I tried using a piece if 10 gauge copper wire heated with a propane torch, and got great results.

You could use the burner on your stove do do this.
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