Reporting from the playa...
I left BRC in 2010 with the thought that if I was going to bring my wife, I was going to need an air-conditioned hexayurt.
I built the box cooler out of plywood, coupled it with the Costco 115ah battery and the HF 45 watt solar panels. Worked fabulously. My wife would head in for an afternoon nap, and would return saying that she knew it was time to get up because she was getting too cold. We had plenty of power, so no issues running it on high for hours.
Just some extra notes...
While it was originally held together with glue and silicon, the fan fell off as I was loading it, which got me to reattach it with a cleat underneath, and plumber's tape. I also rethought the whole "no screws" idea, and drove in a bunch of screws to the sides and base. While before it felt fragile, now I feel like I could throw it around.
While it worked as well as I could have hoped, it's hard not to wonder if I could've done a better job of implementing the design. Is there a way to know whether it's working at max efficiency? Is the temperature of the water a clue? To that end, I'll be looking at getting a bigger pump (any ideas?), taking the metal filter cover off and flattening the edges, getting new pads to really fill the box all the way to the top. I could see that the pad was uniformly wet by looking through the fan from the inside, but this seems to be a big design issue.I also want to work on the lid. I had it hinged to lift front to back, but the box was so close to the wall, I couldn't really get the lid to open very well. I ended up taking off the hinge, and building a gasket out of yurt tape, but I suspect there's a better solution available.
I'm also looking at a way to get more ventilation in general. This seems to be the big hexayurt issue, as I know my yurt felt stuffy, and everywhere I went I saw yurts with newly cut holes in the roofs and walls. I had a nine inch hole in the roof covered with a sheet metal contraption I got at Home Depot, but I put in on the same (leeward) side of the yurt as the door and AC. Next year I'll put it another one on the windward side, and see if I can rig some sort of solar exhaust fan. I'll also cover all the roof seams with foil tape to cut down on the ambient light (and heat) that comes in that way.
Figjam --- thanks so much for this concept and all your efforts to distribute these ideas. My biggest regret is that I didn't get to meet you. I walked by your camp several times a day on my way to the loo (I was in Hushville at about 5:04 Funeral) and recognize your camp from the photos you posted, but was too glazed to make the connection between your online image and the image on your tarp while I was actually walking by it...maybe next year.