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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LowePro
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by LowePro » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:01 pm

I'd avoid constraining the output from the fan into a funnel as much as feasible. Let the fan's power flow unencumbered and you'll get the best cooling results. Try to find a larger diameter duct or get a piece of foiled bubble wrap (refletix) and tape it into a cylinder to make your own custom sized duct. On the same note, the closer you can get the cooler to the trailer window, the more cold air will get into your trailer. Avoid long ducts and/or sharp bends. I hammered together a simple table w/ 2x4s to lift my swamp cooler to the same height as the trailer window. A folding chair or milk-crate might do the same for you.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:09 pm

I would make a stand for the cooler and direct it through an open window.

Cut a template out of heavy cardboard using the screen from that widow, and cut a hole in that for the fan.
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DanLondon
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DanLondon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:45 pm

Unfortunately this year i will not be able to journey to the desert until the second day of the celebration, so because of this i was wondering if any fellow Burner would be able to help in respect of a swamp cooler by either loaning one to me or being prepared to build me one if they have the necessay tools and don't mind doing this, of coulrse i am quite happy to pay for any associated costs. Because i'm having to fly in from London i am not able to bring my own along as i would sorely like to do. It is sometines hard when having to use airlines to get to the Playa not to be able to take part as fully as if i lived there. :(

Anyhow, thanks for a great thread and i hope to share some good time with you all this year. x

Dan

DanLondon
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DanLondon » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:05 pm

Just following on from the above post i just made, contemplating cooling a 24' rented box truck with a reflective tarp above it, which is separated from the truck below, providing an air gap and wonder whether a swamp cooler has ever been employed in such a setting, for i cannot find any such thing documented here?

Again, many thanks for any advice offered.

Dan.

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fresh
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by fresh » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:09 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I thought you had the 190CFM. :?

You will be much happier if you get one.

You want total air exchange every 1 to 3 minutes for best results. 8)
Looking up the fan specs, I think it actually might be 220 cfm! Although still thinking about the unicooler design, now moved to passenger seat window.

We will see in three weeks when i get back from africa if my campmate who wants one builds it or if I gift him my bucket...
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Fan C
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Fan C » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:27 pm

fresh wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:I thought you had the 190CFM. :?

You will be much happier if you get one.

You want total air exchange every 1 to 3 minutes for best results. 8)
Looking up the fan specs, I think it actually might be 220 cfm! Although still thinking about the unicooler design, now moved to passenger seat window.

We will see in three weeks when i get back from africa if my campmate who wants one builds it or if I gift him my bucket...
I have gennie power so I used a 6" duct fan 240cfm it's providing a solid 10* cooling even with humidity hovering in the 60% range. It's about as effective my buddy's trashcan and box fan cooler (you know the robot voice kind).

I'm going to add a secondary reservoir so I'll have 7 gallons instead of 2.5.

I was thinking of toilet float valve in the cooler and gravity for h2o pressure. Prolly secure it to the top of the trailer.

The bucket will apparently provide enough evap surface to keep up with a fairly powerful fan, reservoir size becomes the real need to move up to that unicooler design.

Ano
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Ano » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:41 pm

Wow... almost done with mine. Never thought I could do it.

Whoops, I don't have a battery charger for home use.

Any recommendations? I don't need anything special or quick charging, just something that won't kill a battery. I was thinking of getting one of these: but the amazon reviews from recently have me worried.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by MouseFish » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:10 am

Hello FigJam! We are about to create two of these for this year's burn. You mention in the instructions splicing together the 12 volt fan and 7 volt pump. Can the two run off of the pump solar source? Or must I buy a 12 volt battery?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by oly14 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:17 am

Ano wrote:Wow... almost done with mine. Never thought I could do it.

Whoops, I don't have a battery charger for home use.

Any recommendations? I don't need anything special or quick charging, just something that won't kill a battery. I was thinking of getting one of these: but the amazon reviews from recently have me worried.
Way to go Ano. I got the Battery Tender Junior last year and it has served me well.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:18 am

I never mentioned connecting a 12 volt fan to a 7 volt pump!!!!! :shock:

I use a 12 volt pump, splice that to the fan, and connect the two to a deep cycle battery.

I'm not confident enough in my knowledge of solar to try it. 8)
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oly14
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by oly14 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:21 am

DanLondon wrote:Just following on from the above post i just made, contemplating cooling a 24' rented box truck with a reflective tarp above it, which is separated from the truck below, providing an air gap and wonder whether a swamp cooler has ever been employed in such a setting, for i cannot find any such thing documented here?
I'm bringing a 14' box truck this year and I was concerned my bucket cooler wouldn't be sufficient so I built a unicooler. FIGJAM will have to step in but he did mention in a way back post that people were trying to use the bucket cooler on spaces larger than it could handle.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:07 am

The unicooler and box cooler have been used in box trucks with great success.

Some were building a wall for the back opening of the truck with a door and cut out for the cooler. 8)
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Fan C
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Fan C » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:30 am

oly14 wrote:
DanLondon wrote:Just following on from the above post i just made, contemplating cooling a 24' rented box truck with a reflective tarp above it, which is separated from the truck below, providing an air gap and wonder whether a swamp cooler has ever been employed in such a setting, for i cannot find any such thing documented here?
I'm bringing a 14' box truck this year and I was concerned my bucket cooler wouldn't be sufficient so I built a unicooler. FIGJAM will have to step in but he did mention in a way back post that people were trying to use the bucket cooler on spaces larger than it could handle.
Based on mine I think the limit to the bucket cooler is fan flow and or resevoir size. My bucket will cool down a 10x16 tent pretty well. With the divider up cooling only a third of the tent its real nice.

The 24' truck is probably beyond the buckets ability.

schickimiki
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by schickimiki » Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:56 am

Hi fellow burners

We are in desperate need of your support! A couple of friends and I will be travelling from Europe to BRC this year to experience BM and we are so looking forward to it! I have been back home twice already (with RVs) but this year I have the desire to "go green" and build 2 10' H15 hexayurts with 5G swamp coolers, an evapotron and a solar power system to power the swamp coolers and camp lights and possibly recharge some devices. We cannot pre-test and ship because too bulky so we really need to be sure what we order and is delivered to my dear friend in California will work out on the playa... I have been researching a lot but I am no expert and have no experience with these things so I would appreciate if you could let me know if what I am planning will work out at BM. All the question marks below is where I am not confident enough :-).

1. Fans for Figjam's 5G swamp cooler:
Its about the fans cfm vs power consumption. We know that the 5G is a small swamp cooler and will not be able to cool down a 10' hexayurt with roughly 1200 cubic feet properly and exchange the air in 3-4mins. Our goal is simply to be able to sleep in the afternoon (not too hot air) and have that nice humid air feeling of the swamp coolers. We are not really used to AirCons here in Europe so we might be able to live with a lower exchange rate? With which fans would you go to maximize the output of the 5G swamp cooler without sucking to much power from the battery? 150 cfm draw roughly 2Amp while 140 cfm fans already draw 4Amps which would steal a lot of power from the solar system. I have seen this one which draws only 0.25Amp but runs on 110V so I would have to plug into an inverter and then I don't know if that would soak more power than regular 12V fans? Somehow the specs of that fan seem to be to good to be true ;-).

2. Pump for Figjam's 5G swamp cooler:
Do you guys think this pump will be ok for the Figjam 5G swamp cooler?

3. Solar power system
I know this forum topic is about cooling but some swamp coolers are driven by solar power so I dare to ask anyway. My idea is getting a 100W solar panel and a 85AmpH deep cycle battery (any recommendations on battery?). What is your experience at BM? Will such a setup be ok to power 2 swamp coolers (my estimation is 3Amp/Cooler?) for 4h a day and 3 of these led stripes camp lightings (estimating 5Amp power consumption?) also 4h a day and every now and then recharge small devices like smartphones etc? Doing the math I get: 4h*3Amp for each swamp cooler and 4h*5Amp which would make 54AmpHours. A 100W panel running on 70% due to sun angle, dust and consumption of wireing would give me 80W/12V=6.6Amp and in 5h of peak sun hours = 33.3AmpHours meaning there would not be enough power so I would need a 200W panel? Seems like a lot of panel for what I want to power though and therefore I need to know if my calculations make any sense. I have the gut feeling that a 100W panel should suffice.

Here are some useful links regarding solar power at BM:
http://www.playachecklist.com/diy-solar ... r-camping/
http://ae-zone.org/category/solar/solar-how-tos/

We would really appreciate your help! If you could give me contacts to people who could help us out with our questions please let us know.

Cheers!

Gazmatron
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Gazmatron » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:27 am

1. Fans for Figjam's 5G swamp cooler
I’m also building coolers for the first time this year. I’ve done a lot of fan research and testing as I want my cooler to be as quiet as possible. All of the fans I found with a decent CFM and static pressure specification were relatively noisy, including those in this thread. I appreciate this isn’t a problem for many, but I’m a bit OCD when it comes to my 2nd favourite pastime …for some reason high-pitched fan noise just drives me mad ;)

In the trade-off between Amps, CFM, mmH2O, and dB, I found this fan to be a real stand-out:
http://www.noctua.at/main.php?show=prod ... g=en&set=1
(Note that there are multiple variants with a similar model number. I used the 3000RPM version).

The spec says 0.55A, 158CFM, 10.5mmH2O, and 41.3dB. I read somewhere that this manufacturer lists conservative specs, and when I tested the CFM myself, I got over 190 using an 8” duct at just under 0.5A. (this dropped to about 140CFM when I stuck a radiator behind it to test it under load). It is also IP52 rated for dust/water ingress and has a 6 year warranty. At $35 (AUD), it’s more expensive than many 12V computer fans, but for my specific requirements it’s worth it so far.

Can’t offer much advice on your other points, other than to note that it seem unnecessary to look at AC fans/pumps when there are so many 12V DC options available, which (particularly if power conservation is an issue) would save you losing efficiency through an inverter.

trance728
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by trance728 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:49 am

Is there a minimum air volume that the unicooler should have? I was thinking of making a slim box to hang through my window so its not too heavy and more portable and then using a 5 gallon bucket sitting below it to hold the water. This would also make it easier for me to refill the water when necessary.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:58 am

Calculate the cubic footage of the space to be cooled and get a fan that will completely replace the air every 1 to 3 minutes. 8)
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Swope904
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Swope904 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:02 am

How many GPH or LPH would be necessary for effective cooling?

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:07 am

I try to get 60 GPH actually running through the drip line. (more like a drizzle)

Be careful buying your pump.

The specs may say they pump X GPH, but once they have to LIFT that water that number can drop off drastically! 8)
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Swope904
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Swope904 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:37 am

Well fuck.... Cause I bought these... Two of them.




4.5-10v (Solar Panel is 7v)
Lift height 150cm (59 inches)
200LPH (53GPH)

Assuming the 150cm lift and 200LPH were at 10v. Something the little solar panel or I should say single solar cell could not reach to 100%.

So assuming I get 50-70% efficiency (on a bright sunny day) I could expect

100-125LPH (26-33 GPH)
100-125CM (39-49 inches)

Am I gonna be alright using these for my swamp cooler?

I always have the option of hooking the pumps to a 9v or 10v Battery to get 100% out of them... Not a big deal but its possiblie. Which would get me close to that 60GPH you spoke of FIG.

You 2 cents would be appreciated FIG.

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Swope904
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Swope904 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:52 pm

So after doing some small testing runs I have concluded that my small pumps working with 100% direct sunlight and 100% on the motor with the supplied solar cell is getting around 30-35GPH.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:11 pm

If it can actually get that volume through the drip line, I think it will be ok.

Look at the pic of the water flow from my line.

That's what it should look like! 8)

Image

Image
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Swope904 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:28 pm

Yup I see. Well... We will see what happens. These pumps are like toys lol. There like 2" by 2". Can't believe how small they are but are actually decently powerful. I will post pics when I get the rest of the supplies in the mail. I.E. = Dura cool pads and 10w DC fans. Took forever to find a 10w DC fan under $25. The ones i got off ebay were only $12 plus shipping.

DestinyRoyale
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DestinyRoyale » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:24 pm

Hello! I just started building my swamp cooler and bought the Silver Stone SST-AP181, which is almost 7" in diameter...crazy. Anyway, I mounted the fan to the 5gal bucket, but now need to splice the water pump to the fan and am not clear on the process. The water pump has black, white and green wires while the fan has black, red and yellow. Can anyone help me match the color coding so I don't fry it? Thank you!

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GreyCoyote
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by GreyCoyote » Sat Jul 19, 2014 8:31 pm

DR: On the fan, the red wire is (+), the black wire is (-), and the yellow wire is the tachometer/speed sensor pulse output and you can leave it disconnected.

On the pump... I have no idea. :mrgreen:
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Gazmatron
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Gazmatron » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:34 pm

DestinyRoyale wrote:Hello! I just started building my swamp cooler and bought the Silver Stone SST-AP181, which is almost 7" in diameter...crazy. Anyway, I mounted the fan to the 5gal bucket, but now need to splice the water pump to the fan and am not clear on the process. The water pump has black, white and green wires while the fan has black, red and yellow. Can anyone help me match the color coding so I don't fry it? Thank you!
Sounds like it might be an AC pump motor, which wouldn't be much use to you :(
Do you have a link?

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Swope904
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Swope904 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:20 pm

what would be the risk of running a small 10v water pump on a small 12v 17ah battery?

DestinyRoyale
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DestinyRoyale » Sun Jul 20, 2014 8:16 am

Dang it. Yup it's AC, I went back and found the one you mentioned at the beginning of the thread. Round 2

benjamd
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by benjamd » Sun Jul 20, 2014 3:37 pm

So last year we upgraded our Burning Man setup to a Kodiak 10x10 canvas tent, we took the little bucket cooler we had made 2 years ago that worked great in our previous tent but in the new tent it was barely functional. It output a nice breeze but it didn't cool the tent. Then the pump died mid week, so this year I thought I would upgrade to a unicooler design for this years burn.

We're pretty tight on space in the car so I'm going to try and slim down the unicooler design as much as possible. Couple of things I'm thinking of trying.

1. Remove the Endless Breeze fan from its housing and place it inside the unicooler
This would let me reduce the width of the unicooler a little and will make it easier to fit into the car without damaging it. Obviously this opens the fan up to a little more risk of getting wet during filling, so I might just fit a filling tube to avoid splashes, any other concerns with this? I was hoping to get the width down to about a foot, but the Endless Breeze has not yet arrived so I need to see how big the fan mechanism itself is.

2. Make the unicooler a little thinner
So I think the standard design is 9" deep, do you think I could take this down to say 6"? I'm probably going to CNC cut holes into the sides for additional airflow, and I could add some fold out feet or something to keep it upright and stable when in use.

I noticed some have used Plywood for this design, and others the FRP stuff. I'm surprised the FRP is stable at just over 2mm thick. Any other recommendations on material use for this design?

Finally, the recommended pump is this one still correct? https://www.greenlivingforu.com/dc-subm ... or-battery Seems like its rather expensive now at $45 + shipping, are there any alternatives or is this still the best bang for buck for a unicooler design?

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Jul 20, 2014 5:58 pm

I would just put the whole EB inside rather than dismantling it.

You can narrow the cooler almost as much as you like.

I chose those dimensions so that I only had to fill it once a day.

There are cheaper pumps, just make sure it can supply enough water to the dripline.

Here's an example, but I haven't tried it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-DC-3W-5-5V- ... 1c3a9266dd
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