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 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:34 am

It's more about defusing the air through multiple holes.

The cooler AS DESIGNED provides a very nice breeze of concentrated cool air so that you can direct it where it's needed if it gets really hot outside.

I can sit in the shade outside with this blowing on me from 3' away and be cool when it's 100+ degrees. 8)
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unjonharley
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:21 am

its 80 this morning in the garage.. the cooler is blowing about 63.. Will be able to work out there ,no sweat..
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simstim
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by simstim » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:02 pm

Hey, FigJam.

Thanks for this!
I have all my bits and Im about to start the build. I've been wondering about the size and frequency of the air intake holes though...

Correct me if I'm wrong but, it seems to me the more surface area of the pad you have air passing through the better, provided its not below the water line and maintains the structural integrity of the bucket. I imagine there is a sweet spot because too many holes would slow down the rate that air passes through the individual holes.

With your design it seems the actual evaporation would be very localized on those few areas where you have holes near to top... Im wondering why you went with that configuration rather than say, 4 rows of 1-inch diameter holes?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by olegnyc » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:31 pm

Oh, I see. So if this is used for cooling my tent, where aiming doesn't matter, you don't think it would be less effective if I put the cooler inside the tent to blow air out of the holes in the bucket and guide the intake vent outside?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:39 pm

olegnyc wrote:Oh, I see. So if this is used for cooling my tent, where aiming doesn't matter, you don't think it would be less effective if I put the cooler inside the tent to blow air out of the holes in the bucket and guide the intake vent outside?
Your making a joke.. Right??
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:04 pm

simstim wrote:Hey, FigJam.

Thanks for this!
I have all my bits and Im about to start the build. I've been wondering about the size and frequency of the air intake holes though...

Correct me if I'm wrong but, it seems to me the more surface area of the pad you have air passing through the better, provided its not below the water line and maintains the structural integrity of the bucket. I imagine there is a sweet spot because too many holes would slow down the rate that air passes through the individual holes.

With your design it seems the actual evaporation would be very localized on those few areas where you have holes near to top... Im wondering why you went with that configuration rather than say, 4 rows of 1-inch diameter holes?
Because the pad is about 1/4" away from the holes, it allows the air to flow around the entire pad.

The holes = about three times the fan size.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:05 pm

olegnyc wrote:Oh, I see. So if this is used for cooling my tent, where aiming doesn't matter, you don't think it would be less effective if I put the cooler inside the tent to blow air out of the holes in the bucket and guide the intake vent outside?
Let me make this as simple as I can.

DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:25 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
olegnyc wrote:Oh, I see. So if this is used for cooling my tent, where aiming doesn't matter, you don't think it would be less effective if I put the cooler inside the tent to blow air out of the holes in the bucket and guide the intake vent outside?
Let me make this as simple as I can.

DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
Wait, I missed the rest of the discussion but I see no reason that wouldn't work. That's more or less how my mega cooler was set up the first year I took it out there.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:26 pm

olegnyc wrote:Figjam, thank you so much for helping so many of us!

You mentioned it would be less effective to aim the fan into the bucket than to suck air out of the bucket and I'm assuming that is because negative pressure helps with evaporation. But how much of a difference do you think it makes?

Thanks!
Oleg
I've had luck with both pushing through and pulling through. The negative pressure generated by a fan is so small as to have no real measurable effect on the vapor pressure (and hence evaporation rate) of water.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:03 pm

I thought that this explained it, but it's your cooler and your burn, so have fun with your design. 8)
FIGJAM wrote:It's more about defusing the air through multiple holes.

The cooler AS DESIGNED provides a very nice breeze of concentrated cool air so that you can direct it where it's needed if it gets really hot outside.

I can sit in the shade outside with this blowing on me from 3' away and be cool when it's 100+ degrees. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:09 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I thought that this explained it, but it's your cooler and your burn, so have fun with your design. 8)
FIGJAM wrote:It's more about defusing the air through multiple holes.

The cooler AS DESIGNED provides a very nice breeze of concentrated cool air so that you can direct it where it's needed if it gets really hot outside.

I can sit in the shade outside with this blowing on me from 3' away and be cool when it's 100+ degrees. 8)
OK, I can see why you'd want that - it's definitely nice to sit in front of a concentrated cool breeze. Having said that, just in terms of pure function, it should work in either direction.
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unjonharley
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:41 pm

Figjam, Just give it up.. These guys know so much more about your design than you do...
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:44 pm

unjonharley wrote:Figjam, Just give it up.. These guys know so much more about your design than you do...
You're right you know, I hear that nobody has ever taken someone else's design and tweaked it to suit them better. Ever.
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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:01 pm

Everyone is free to do it any way they want.

Funny how many then PM me wondering why theirs didn't work as well.

It's just a HUGE prank that I've been playing on burners for the last 5 years!!! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by lavamatrix » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:19 pm

Has anyone used one of those portable batteries that usually charge cellphones/tablets/laptops?

I found one (Poweradd Pilot Pro 32000mAh) that can output at 12V, has a 32000mAh rated battery (probably actually somewhere closer to 27000 mAh) and it can output up to 4.5A.

I personally would prefer to use this battery because it is lighter, smaller and I can use it for things outside of the burn. My plan is to have a fan that draws about 1.4A and a pump that draws about .6A so total draw per hour is about 2A which gives me about 12 hours of usage depending on the actual power draw from the fan/pump and the actual mAh of the battery. That gives me about 3 days of use per full charge, not too bad. My camp has a generator where I can charge it so I dont need to fuss with solar if I dont want to (trying not to spend the cash on it).

Since this would be my first swamp cooler build I wanted to double check with the experts and see if this battery solution was a good idea. The only thing I can think of that might be a problem is that the playa dust could eventually kill the electronics on the battery. In which case I plan to put it in a zip lock bag and tape the seal shut around the input/output wire.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:09 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Everyone is free to do it any way they want.

Funny how many then PM me wondering why theirs didn't work as well.

It's just a HUGE prank that I've been playing on burners for the last 5 years!!! :lol:
I think we cleared up the beat I missed in the conversation. The design tweaking comment wasn't directed your way.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by olegnyc » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:48 am

DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
Figjam, I hope I didn't sound like I'm critiquing your design here - I'm actually hoping you guys could help me understand why my version wouldn't work well. The reason for me wanting to reverse the fan direction is that I'm using a large electric Vornado fan (my camp provides limited electricity) and its design might make it a lot easier for me to mount it nose-first rather than tail-first.

Given that I'm hoping to mostly use mine for napping in my tent and the colder air should settle on the bottom of my tent around my sleeping space, does the ability to direct the stream still matter so much?

My main concern with aiming the fan into the bucket is dust from unfiltered playa air destroying the fan... what do you guys think?

- Oleg

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:11 am

Oleg,
You are designing a different cooler than the Figjam.. If you blow into the Figjam there will be uncontrolled water coming out the side holes.. The Figjam works by drawing warm air through the damp pads..A to large fan will suck water and throw it out the top.. The bucket cooler is a good design.. I can not figure a way to tweek it..
It work the way it works.. Your idea is a complete departure from this design..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by melodiousdirge » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:34 am

olegnyc wrote:
DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!!!!! :lol:
Figjam, I hope I didn't sound like I'm critiquing your design here - I'm actually hoping you guys could help me understand why my version wouldn't work well. The reason for me wanting to reverse the fan direction is that I'm using a large electric Vornado fan (my camp provides limited electricity) and its design might make it a lot easier for me to mount it nose-first rather than tail-first.

Given that I'm hoping to mostly use mine for napping in my tent and the colder air should settle on the bottom of my tent around my sleeping space, does the ability to direct the stream still matter so much?

My main concern with aiming the fan into the bucket is dust from unfiltered playa air destroying the fan... what do you guys think?

- Oleg
Being able to direct the output definitely adds a lot to the effectiveness of the cooler. Imagine a hot day in your car, if you have the AC blowing in your face it's much more effective than blowing away from you, though it does help in both cases. I don't know how handy you are, or how much time/thought you want to put into this project, but as long as you can 1) get a cooler pad wet somehow, and 2) move air through the pad, you will be achieving some cooling. More surface area, more water, and more airflow means more cooling.

As unjonharley said, using a big fan blowing into the figjam bucket cooler is likely to carry water over out the holes. You may be able to help this by spacing the cooler pad away from the bucket walls slightly using some spacers. I'm thinking that if you have access to 110v power, you may want to take a step back all the way to the drawing board. Being able to use a 110v fan gives you some options that aren't available to someone using a computer fan, and honestly is probably waaay overkill for a bucket sized cooler. I would consider some of the designs people have put together that use a rectangular container if you've got space. Otherwise, if a bucket is what you want, and all you're trying to do is avoid the hassle of mounting your vornado fan, I'd use a computer fan for your figjam cooler, and/or just use your vornado to just blow regular ambient air on yourself to stay cool.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:11 pm

OK, the air cool air doesn't really get a chance to settle before the ambient temperature warms it up.

The efficiency of the swamp cooler is dependent upon completely exchanging the air in the space every 1 to 3 minutes.

So the air doesn't settle.

If you have 110 available, there are small desk fans for about $10 that should work and be closer to the designed size. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:16 pm

You can get a 8 inch 12 volt fan at a auto part store..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:28 pm

Those tend to use a lot of power since they figure the fan will be only running while you're driving.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:02 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Those tend to use a lot of power since they figure the fan will be only running while you're driving.
Had one on the input basket in the van last year.. Worked ok.. I'll go out to the shop and check the spec's
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 30, 2014 1:14 pm

The name on the fan is Cyclone, FP105,12 volt 6 inch car fan 1.2A.

Fit nicely into a 7 to 6 inch duct reducer..

Am about to rebuild the intake basket..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 30, 2014 5:09 pm

Turn the cooler off out in the garage.. Run two days about seven hours a day.. Tested the battery when it started read 12.56 volts at the end of 14 hours battery read 12.38.. This a lead acid battery the size that gos in the van..

I did a lot of work on it. New tubes and halo.. Rewired the whole thing.. Each junction was hand twisted them heat shrink applied.. Heat shrink on all the wire runs.. Them put in harness.. There is a little resistance heat heat in the step down from 12 to 6 volt for the two water pumps..

Checked the output both day against the chart on page 94 of "cooling your tent or van".. The cooler was kicking ass..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TEXLANYC » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:57 pm

Hey @figjam great design! I'm stoked on building this thing.

A couple questions:
-Will I need to change out the cooling pads during the week or are those built to last for 7 days of 4-5 hours/day usage?
-Will this fan (http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-powe ... -66093.html) provide enough juice to power both the fan and the pump with the wires spliced together?

Thanks again for the design!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:04 pm

HF solar fountain pumps are a little under six volt.. I use a lighter plug voltage reducer.. I use two fountain pumps.. Wire both pumps to 6 volt setting.. My fan is 12 volt..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:28 pm

TEXLANYC wrote:Hey @figjam great design! I'm stoked on building this thing.

A couple questions:
-Will I need to change out the cooling pads during the week or are those built to last for 7 days of 4-5 hours/day usage?
-Will this fan (http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-powe ... -66093.html) provide enough juice to power both the fan and the pump with the wires spliced together?

Thanks again for the design!
I've been using the same pad for 4 years.

No, the panel will barely power the pump under perfect conditions, and is only 6 volts.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by DeeL2003 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:14 am

@FigJam or anyone----Will this pump be more than suitable for the bucket cooler: [url] The first pump I ordered from ebay is not arriving on time and I need it by Monday so I'm looking at Amazon Prime for alternatives.



Also, are the Duracool pads still THE pad to get compared to Aspen?


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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by snardy » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:56 am

Figjam, I've got the swamp cooler down but I am a total n00b when it comes to the electrical. I have a 12V pump and fan, but I need to pick up a marine battery at Costco.

Can you discuss a bit more about A.) how to splice the fan and pump wires together and B.) how to attach the spliced wire to a marine battery?

Also, my camp has a generator. I own a Battery Tender Junior trickle charger. If I wanted to charge the marine battery, all I would need to do is place the clamps of my trickle charger on the marine battery's terminals, yes? Is there anything I should keep in mind while charging it in order to not ruin my battery?

Thanks!

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