FIGJAM...and my other fellow temperature hackers! Last year our FIGJAM-design bucket cooler allowed our hexayurt to stay remarkably pleasant throughout the day.
This year we retired the yurt (RIP*). Though it served us well, my lady and I have long eyed converting a bus as our playa-mobile (and year-round fiesta vehicle). This year we acquired a 14-passenger airport-shuttle style bus and are already deeply in love. We couldn't get it until much later in the year than we'd hoped, so it'll be low on accoutrements
(with a bed, the built-in seats & luggage rack, and some swanky LED lighting) but it will be home.
Obviously this larger, less-insulated space demands a beefier cooling solution. So I decided to build the box cooler. Parts:
+ Suncast outdoor garden box (has a nice tall shape and a folding top lid for easy access to water/beer)
+ Pump from eBay (same one I used in the bucket)
+ PVC for the internal water channels
+ 3 air registers and Duracool wired to them
+ And of course the Endless Breeze, gifted by a lovely fellow burner
It'll all be wired into my 220ah golf cart battery system.
The only major hurdle was the box itself:
1. It's not watertight out of the box, so I caulked it up with some silicone caulk. Unfortunately the first batch from the local hardware store was expired ... the whole box at the store was expired! ... but I didn't realize this until after 2 days and noticing that the caulk hadn't cured. A couple of hours of scraping later...
2. The box itself has some "style" ... which means the internal edges aren't uniformly flat. It made for some very strategic PVC layout internally. It also meant the air registers didn't fit internally, so on the outside they went. I don't think it shouldn't hinder performance, but it forced me to double the layers of duracool since the registers couldn't help the duracool "stick out" far enough to live under the PVC. I suppose if anything the double-layers could help cooling.
Doing it again I would probably choose a more "box" looking box!
Unfortunately being in the PacNW (during the hottest most humid couple of weeks we've seen in a while), testing has been minimal. We'll have to do the temperature testing on the road to BRC. But doing a smoke test with the fan running showed lots of intake right through all three evap surfaces, even on the lowest setting. That Endless Breeze is amazing!!
Photos below (this is before installing the pump).
Can't wait to try it out on-playa. If it's half as effective as the bucket cooler, we're gonna be blissed. FIGJAM... we are so thankful for your hard labors and dedication to this monster thread. Can't wait to meet you (and the rest of the folks in this thread) at Cooler-Con 2012!!
* Some of the yurt insulation panels are happily serving new lives as insulating window-blockers for the bus.