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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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:54 am

This box is almost the same dimensions as the box I just built and has straight sides.

Check "deck storage", "outdoor storage bins", "patio storage bins" and you might find the size you want.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/inde ... 44.1260414

8)
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Pineapple
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Pineapple » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:04 pm

Pineapple wrote:Great thread! My young camp Oontz Pouch uses 3 hexayurts for sleeping, and this year I'm doing A/C for them following your design. Planning to add a 15W solar panel to the system to slow the drain on the battery, though maybe I should just assume I will charge it when the generators are running at night.

I think I found a promising source of pumps, targeted at computer cooling. It isn't self-priming, but maybe that's a good thing--when it runs out of water (a distinct possibility with my camp's occasional responsibility lapses), it should lock up and stop running. From Amazon reviews, would take some poking/prodding with a paper clip to free it up again and re-prime it.

Sold for $11.50 before shipping via Amazon.com:

3.6L/min Mini DC Brushless Submersible Water. Ideal for CPU cooling
This is a compact size submersible water pump(none self-prime). It can be used inline or submersed for water pumping. It's built by a brushless motor providing smooth and quiet operation than a non-brushless water pump. Plus,it will not generate 'electric spark' like what a brush type does so it's more safe. It can be used to pump dilute oil as well (no gasoline*)

Specification
Power: DC12V
Output: 3.6L/m or 68GPH @12V
Vertical lift: 3m (10ft)
Current: 320mA@ DC12V
Intake: 8mm ID/10mm OD Dia.
Outlet: 5 mm ID/8mm OD Dia.
Self-priming: No
Life span: > 20,000hrs @ 1600rpm~4200rpm
Noise: << 38dB
Working Temp: 55'C (non-submersed)
Size(L*W*D): 2.0"x1.7"x1.36" (52mm X 42.7mm X 34mm)
Weight (net): 5.0oz
I just tested this pump out attached to a deep cycle marine battery (12.6 V). I'll have to bring it to work to measure its current draw, but with a 2' head (slightly more than my application), this pumped 2 gallons in about 2 minutes 10 seconds, so it probably would do 68 GPH with no lift, and its output is plenty for my plan.

I bought 4 32 gallon sterililite tote bins, 19.5" high, 19" wide, 29" long. Thinking there will be a "U" shaped arc of blue water mat inside, with space around the U for air to flow in from the outside hole. Fan in either the inside of the "U" (opposite wall from intake) or in the lid, again inside the U. Not sure if it will make much difference. Fan in the lid would have the benefit of weighting down the lid to squeeze water distribution tube down against the blue mat.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:21 pm

With that design, use 1/2" pvc.

Use some small wire and tie the top of the pad to the pvc.

As long as all the air has to pass through the wet pad, the lid doesn't matter as long as it seals closed. 8)
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melodiousdirge
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:48 pm

My lil pump got here today. I had my doubts when I first saw it:

Image

Advertised specs are ~1gpm, max 10 foot lift. I tested it out and the published numbers seem to be pretty accurate. I could only test to about 7 feet but I was still getting flow out of it. Amazing little machine, this! was only $12, too.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by kstlfido » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:13 pm

Hi folks-

I'm going to make at least one swamp cooler, maybe 2. A unicooler and 5 gallon bucket cooler. I've ordered the fans. Going to the stores today to look for fittings and the swamp material. Thanks Fig for the link to the ACE box- I might use that for the Uni. Probably going to run these off a 12 v battery.

Pumps- so many referred to on this thread. Here are two of the recent links-



http://www.goldengadgets.com/400lph-dc- ... -pump.html

Did I miss any other pumps? Any recommendations? The 400lph/105gph looks like it will work well. I don't expect my Unicooler to be taller than ~30".

Are there any problems when these run dry? I don't want a seized pump If I forget to turn the cooler off.

Cheers- Kent

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:19 pm

The pump might heat up and burn out if you let it run dry for too long. :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by kstlfido » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:52 pm

Ok, thanks! I'll get a float switch.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:34 pm

The brushless submersible pump certainly makes a point of saying not to run it dry. Any pump's lifespan will be shortened by running dry, especially if there is any playa dust in the water to begin with (there will be). If you are that worried about it I'd recommend some kind of failsafe or a spare pump (For $12, that's the route I'm going).
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mankx
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Picking a fan for solar swamp cooler

Post by mankx » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:39 pm

I'm making a substantial swamp cooler (not a bucket type) and trying to pick the most efficient cost/cfm/min Amperage fan.
(powering with Harbor Freight 45W solar rig {I think I can add up to 3 more panels on the same controller}, along with a hefty deep cycle marine battery)
--I understand the ducted (squirrel cage) blowers are far more efficient than regular bladed fans in general. But most I find online are either tiny PC blowers or BIG $120 furnace blowers.
--Also, the ducted types are better with back pressure (from flex ducting to/from cooler & evap pad choked with dust) than the radiator fans designed for open use.
--I see in the forum that the Endless Breeze seems to be popular choice, but wonder what happens to its 900 cfm when it is in a pressurized system.
--Auto parts stores' generic fit radiator fans seem to run $80++ and look wimpier than the Endless, and probably draw more (no specs listed).
--Ebay has many generics for only $20+, but they look just as wimpy.
--For $30 or so, 4" ducted bilge fans (not squirrel cage) seem to be made for lots of back pressure, but are rated only about 100 CFM under load (200 open, so I'd guess the radiator type/Endless would lose even more than 50%) and about 2.5A (same as Endless on "Hi".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

May your burn be cool & fulfilling,

Mankx

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:31 am

First, the reduction in cfm is so minimal you won't notice.

How large is the space you want to cool?

That will determine how much cooler you need.

What do you mean by "pressurized system"?

Radiator fans use from 8 to 30amps! 8)

I looked at all the fans you mentioned when I first got started and the ones in the designs are the best for the power infested.

If you can go ac power, it changes your options to build cheaper and with a lot more cfm, but it's a trade off in power infestment and you'll need an inverter.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Bursha » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:06 pm

Just finished building my first bucket version. I went with the HFT solar pump, costco marine battery and the Delta 120 x 38mm High-Speed Fan - 190 CFM from Frozen CPU. I live by the coast so there's a lot of moisture in the air and hard to tell how much "cooling" power its putting out, but the fan seems to have some serious air output.

Thanks to everyone for your help/input. Special thanks to you Fig, you the man!!!

Image
-Bursha

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:09 pm

Nice job!

I suggest you get some dura cool pads as back up since I don't know how well those aspen pads will do on playa. 8)
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Max Callahan
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Max Callahan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:37 pm

I did well with aspen pads, I had them sandwiched between window screening, shed like hell getting them cut and set up, but they were fine once they were enclosed.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by kstlfido » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:59 am

So I scored a 30x24x18 clear acrylic box today at Urban Ore Reuse. 1/4" thickness with 2 shelves. Butt joints. Cool breeze fan and pumps on the way.

Doing dimensions, I can make two 24" tall, 18" wide, 15" deep box coolers. Picked up the vents too. Does anyone know where I can find any duracool padding in my area (Berkeley)? Can't seem to find any here in the hardware shops, so I might have to mail order.

Now to figure out how to cut and glue acrylic....

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:06 pm

Berkley may be to humid for them to carry the pads.

I found acrylic tricky to cut.

Tape both sides where your cut will be, and mark your cut in the middle of the tape.

Use a small tooth on your saw blade and go SLOW.

I hope someone has a better method, as even being very carfull, I've still had it try to split and craze. :(
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DasMachina
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DasMachina » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:48 pm

Hi guys,
First, thanks for so much awesome information and all the help you provide for those embarking on creating their own swamp cooler. After much review, I have it down to the following setup:

- 72L/~19Gal rubbermaid type container (will hold ~6Gal of water, slightly translucent so I can see the water level)
- Endless Breeze fan mounted on top reducing down to an 8" aluminum foil duct which goes up to the "stove" vent on our beloved Alaknak tent (12'x12'x5' avg height, ~720sqft)
- Likely using 1 or 2(?) 16"x8" vent grills with evap pads (1 on each of the long sides of the container) with drilled PVC pipe carrying the water to the pads
- DC powered from deep cycle battery with solar charger

What I'm wondering is:
1) What size/number of intakes do you think I should go for? I'm assuming the more pads I have, the more evaporation occurs, which should further cool the air but also presumably use more water.
2) What size pump should I aim for? The total rise is ~16". I'm guessing too much flow will produce a heavier stream through the pads thus making air intake tougher and probably reducing effective evaporation.
3) Do you foresee a problem or recommend one solution or the other between either splitting the water flow to the pads on each of the container (i.e. a T split) or running the PVC in one direction with a solid joiner (i.e. no drilled holes) going from one side to the other?
4) I know you want the intake air to be dry and warm, but any thoughts on the temperature of the water and container? For instance, does it make sense to keep it off the ground to keep cooler? Is it better to have the unit in the shade so that the water stays cool? We plan on putting our cooler ice in large ziploc bags so that we can either drink it or add it to the swamp cooler as needed (and eliminating any grey water from our coolers) - any thoughts on if colder water or even adding ice to the swamp cooler will have an impact?
5) Any tips on finding the right balance of pressure within the tent? Will a outlet fan help?

Thanks again and look forward to enjoying a cooler if dustier burn with y'all soon!

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:20 pm

The reason for more exposed pad is so the fan does'nt have a problem pulling all the air it can handle.

Get a pump that will deliver 60 to 80 gallons an hour.

To much flow is not a problem as it just turns the cooler into a water chilled unit which is just as effective.

You don't need an exhaust fan, just some place for the air to vent out.

Adding ice is a waste of money.

The water temp will be about 58 degrees no matter what.

Shading the cooler will help a little.

You are changing the design, so I can't tell how well your cooler will work.

Just do the pvc in a U and don't drill holes where you don't want water. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by robrob » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:12 pm

damnit. i tried to get fancy (ok, i just had a dremel and no hole cutter) and i think i cut the holes too low :/

think this is salvagable, or is it new bucket time?

Image

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:11 am

It will still hold 2 gallons, but it looks like you'll have leak issues as I can see pad sticking out.

Put a ring of drip line 2"s below the holes in the bucket to keep the pad away from the holes.

The design is cool, but what's left needs to be wider for structural integratee. 8)
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DasMachina
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DasMachina » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:29 am

Awesome, thanks Figjam, you are the man.

I'll try to post some pics and results once done.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by lteuwen » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:27 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I think it will do the job.

If you can calculate how much cubic feet of space you are cooling and divide that by the cfm of your fan and your answer is between 3 and 5, it will work.

If you can create a vent hole near the peak of the roof so the air can cycle out at the same rate that it enters from the fan, thats perfect! 8)
Thanks for all the info! Figjam - does it follow that if I'm making 2 swamp coolers, each with a cfm rating of 133, the calculation would be: cubic footage of yert/266?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Pineapple » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:13 pm

For those cooling hexayurts, the typical design is in the neighborhood of 900-1000 cubic feet of volume. For hexayurts made with 8' x 4' insulation panels, the lower hexagonal prism is 665 cubic feet, approximating the roof section as a cone with radius 8' and height 4' is 268 cubic feet. Largest corner radius is 9.53 feet, so the cone is less than a maximum of 339 cubic feet.

So, on high, the endless breeze at 900 cfm is overkill, but it will probably be great on low. I could probably get away with cooling multiple yurts with one bigger cooler, but all that ducting is a PITA. So, I'm building coolers for each of 3 yurts. The folks in my camp paying $$$$$ to rent RVs to stay cool will definitely have their eyes opened by my A/C system for under $30 per person.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:22 pm

Make sure you have enough intake area for the fan to blow freely.

The unicooler works great for my space, but was designed for the small area I had to mount it.

2sq' to 3sq' of intake will make it exeptional.

This can all be on one side of the cooler (unicooler) or on 3 sides like the box cooler.

The unicooler sets against an inside wall with an opening for the intake.

The box will set against the outside wall with just the fan inside.

Both are equally effective! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:50 pm

The site I store my pics on sends a weekly email about which pics were viewed the most.

Never really paid it much attention.

Then this time I clicked to see what they were talking about.

Bucket cooler has had 500,000 views!!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Pineapple » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:14 pm

Thanks for the intake size tip. I was thinking in smaller terms, but my storage bin is 30" long, 19" high so I should be able to get a 28" long by 12" intake on one side and still have more than enough depth for 8 gallons of water.

I was thinking about adding a switch to these, but I just took a blind flier on this programmable timer switch. I'll set it to run starting at 7:30 am for 5 hours or whatever my water supply will allow.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/320938562033?ss ... 1497.l2649

Will report back when I get this switch in and have an idea how user-friendly it is.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by robrob » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:10 pm

you were right figjam, way too leaky, even with some spacer... redid the bucket. can't test fan output till tomorrow (solar)

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:20 pm

Check the humidity at the time you're testing and report back.

Make sure all the air has to pass through the wet pad and you're golden! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by captain mcguiver » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:22 pm

Pineapple wrote:I was thinking about adding a switch to these, but I just took a blind flier on this programmable timer switch. I'll set it to run starting at 7:30 am for 5 hours or whatever my water supply will allow.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/320938562033?ss ... 1497.l2649

I was thinking the same. The switch says "4.4VA" as the consumption. Seems like a lot? Not an Electrical Engineer here, that's not the same as 4 amps is it?

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:49 pm

RECAP!!!

The basic idea for the bucket cooler is just a smaller version of Yellowdog's cooler made from a rubbermade garbage can.

An evaporative cooler will reduce the tempature by 20 to 30 degrees.

Keep in mind that there is more than one way to skin a cat. (WARNING! DO NOT SKIN A CAT, IT WONT HELP THIS PROJECT AND WILL IRRITATE YOUR PUSSY!!!)

All the ideas that people came up with on this thread are a perfect example of radical self relience! (Bravo!!!)

Get a 5 gallon bucket and lid.

Have your trained mice naw some holes in the bucket, or use a hole saw, or 50 caliber sniper rifle. (Honey badgers wont work, they don't give a shit!)

Image


Find some cooler pad.

I like duracool pads.

http://www.simsupply.com/Items/426741

If your area does'nt have them, find a national chain DIY hardwear store and see if they will order some for you.

This may save you shipping cost. I use home depot.

Cut the first pad 33 1/2x13 inches.

Roll this pad into a tube and silicone or hand stitch the seam.

This will give you a tube 13 inches tall.

Image

Because the bucket tapers out towards the top, you will not need to line the bucket with shade clothe.

Image

Image

Cut a second piece of pad 24x13 inches and roll into a tight tube.

You wont need to seam this one.

Image

Sleeve this inside the first tube.

The reason for the double pad is to have a wide space to set the drip line on and adds more evap surface.

Image

1/2 inch Drip irrigation line works ok to soak your pads, but poly hose is more flexible and you can buy it by the foot.

I like the T connectors that fit inside the line. I cut the ends of the T shorter so I could keep the holes in the line close enough together so there wont be a dry strip on the pads.

This hose is 3/8 inch.

Image

Image

The holes in the line need to be uniform for an even flow on the pad.

Drlling holes works, but I found that heating a piece of wire melts a nice, more uniform hole.

I used a piece of 10 gauge copper wire.

Heat the wire with a torch, or the burner on your stove, then press through the line.

Sliding the wire in and out till it cools will make a happy hole! (Don't even think about it Yggy, this is serious!)

Image

Image

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To pump the water through the line, buy a pump.

This is the solar pump.

http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-powe ... 66093.html

I like this pump instead because if it's cloudy, it will still let the cooler work.

Image

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBME ... 5d3396a234

The 3/8 inch line fits this pump perfectly.

Nice even flow of water.

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When the lid is put on, the line will be pinched between the lid and the pad, so it wont move around.

FANS!

The key to a good cooler is a powerful fan.

CFM=cubic feet per minute.

http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l2/g36/c43 ... y_CFM.html

I used this one.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8556/ ... d=YnFfDVU7


It uses more power, but makes the bucket cooler very effective.

Calculate the cubic footage of the space to be cooled, then get a fan that will replace the air inside the space every 3 to 5 minutes.

I use a single fan cause it suits my design perfectly.

Cut a hole in the lid of the bucket to mount the fan.

I put mine on the bottom of the lid to keep the unit compact and to make ducting easier.

Image

Any 120mm fan will fit inside the top of the pad tube.

I spliced the wires from the fan to the wires from the pump. (both are 12volt)

Then ran the wire out through one of the holes in the side of the bucket.

Now with the lid on the bucket, I used a 4 inch septic line connector gooped to the lid over the fan.

Image

Image

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Now you can use 4 inch septic line to duct the air into the space to be cooled. You don't need to glue these piceces together.

Image

These parts are at the hardwear store.

Outside temp!

Image

Air temp coming from the cooler!

Image

Water temp inside the bucket!

Image

This cooler uses 2 gallon of water every 5 hours.

It uses about 1.45amps per hour.

My 105AH deep cycle battery will run this cooler for 47 hours before needing to be recharged.

So running 4 or 5 hours a day, it will let you nap in the hottest part of the day, all week without recharging the battery.

If you need more cooling than this, build the box cooler.

You will need to vent the air out of the space for circulation.

HAPPY NAPPING!!!
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Re: Re:

Post by FIGJAM » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:54 pm

Last year people tried to make the bucket cooler do more than it was ment to do, with moderate success.

The main problems seemed to be a powerful enough fan and how to duct the air into the space.

My box cooler worked great and I never use anything but the low speed on the fan.

Build this one wider for more air intake!!!






NOW INTRODUCING THE UNICOOLER!!!!!!!


No duct work needed!!!

Build a box 17wx30hx9d.

Image

If you cant build a simple box, try to find something waterproof with roughly the same dementions or this.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/ ... ce2010a-20

If you can find something that does'nt have tapered sides it will work better.

Cut a hole for the vent cover. ($11.00)

Image

Image

Cut a hole for the fan. (Endless breeze fan $60-$80)

Image

I used 100% clear silicone caulk to stick these to the box.

Image

The vent louvers are facing down and into the box to keep the water channeled toward the inside.

I got some angle trim and siliconed pieces to the inside of the box to act as a pad retainer.

Image

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This is the pump.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBME ... 5d3396a234

Image

Image

I had to cut the 90s shorter to get the straight pieces closer together, but you can stagger the holes in a single piece to get the same effect.

The pvc just lays on the top edge of the pads.

Then I went to the bin (16489-j "junk" subheading A "awsume") and found some handles.

Image

8)

Then make an air tight lid.(figure it out)

Finished cooler looks like this.

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I call it the universal cooler cause you just shove the pad side against any opening in a tent, bus, travel trailer, yurt, or playpod and it will cool up to 3000 cubic feet of space. You can even set it on a table outside for use.

Add some foam stickon wheather stripping for a good seal around a window.

Fill it with 7gals. of water for 8hrs. of cooling. So once a day depending on how much you use it.

105ah battery will run this all week on low.

You may have to recharge if you use medium or high speed on the fan.

I'm confident that this will cool even a school bus without useing a genny and its a lot quieter than an air conditioner.

As always I'll try to answer any questions you may have.

(This cooler can be made more affective by widening the body enough to accept 2 vent registers. It will get more air flow and have more evap surface!)


HERE'S TO A MORE COMFORTABLE BURN!!!
"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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