Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.
BurnerSkunk
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Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby BurnerSkunk » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:55 pm

Read a lot of threads here on cooling your tent, and now I have a lot more information, but I have some confusion as well.

What I have right now:
A Tent
A Shade Structure
A Swamp Cooler
A Regular Fan
Reflectix Insulation...

Was thinking of combining these things in the following way...
-- Insulating outside of tent with Reflectix... Should keep the night cool longer into the morning.. But will become an oven in the afternoon.. (perhaps makes night sleeping more comfortable though?)
-Combine this with a swamp cooler, placed outside the tent, piping air in... Cooling the tent.. Insulation keeping the cool air in...
However... The tent will quickly just become humid, and stop cooling off... So it needs to be ventilated? So...
Open up the door, lets the dry air circulate in.. Maybe use the second fan to help (blowing dry air in? and across us?)
But, if we need that much air circulation, will that just defeat the purpose of the insulation? Or will it still help trap some of that cold air in?

Hmmm. What have people done to increase the efficiency of swamp coolers + tents? Am I barking up the wrong tree?

asr9754
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby asr9754 » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:10 pm

Good start, but a couple comments:

Insulating the outside of the tent: Not sure this is a good idea. Keeping a shade over the tent is great, but not actually laying the reflectix directly on the tent. You want an air gap between the tent and the shade material.

Swamp cooler outside the tent, piping cold air into the tent: A+. This is what you want. You can't have the tent air-tight though, the tent must have a vent to let air pressure out or the cooling effect of the swamp cooler fails. Simplest way to vent would be to just leave one window partially unzipped (on the opposite side of the tent from the swamp cooler) and experiment with how much of a gap you need to leave open. (Or your tent may already have a roof-vent built in)

(You don't want another fan blowing dry air in, that won't work/unnecessary). And you probably don't need a fan to blow exhaust air out, the cracked window should work just fine to release the air pressure.

Tent in the Shade + Swamp Cooler + Vent is the recipe for success. KISS.

Since you already have it, you can use the reflectix to insulate the cold air pipe from your Swamp Cooler or as a cooler cover.

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FIGJAM
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:54 pm

The air from the cooler is "Just passing through mam", so wave as it goes by!!! 8)
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BurnerSkunk
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby BurnerSkunk » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:24 pm

FIGJAM I feel like you are laying some Zen-Master knowledge on my ass right there, that is going way over my head :(

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FIGJAM
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 04, 2014 6:28 pm

It's not like AC where you are trying to save the cool air.

It has to be constantly moving through the space and vented out to be efficient.

That's why the humidity doesn't really build up.

Just passing through!!! :lol:
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cyphereal
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby cyphereal » Sun May 31, 2015 8:26 pm

I wonder whether additional thermal insulation of a tent under shade cloth would be useful?

e.g. a tent covered by a blanket with cheap synthetic loft under a shade cloth, with air fed in from a swamp cooler, and a small exhaust at the top of the tent.

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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby Ratty » Sun May 31, 2015 8:32 pm

Like the movers blanket wrapped around my ice chest? Yeah it helps a lot. But then when I let my ice run out it helps to keep my beer hot.
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby cyphereal » Sun May 31, 2015 8:48 pm

Yeah, I think it will help.

I'm weighing up a hexayurt vs using a big shade struct with reflective tarp over a tent + blanket as described. Both would be fed by a swamp cooler, probably a scaled up version of Figjam's http://www.instructables.com/id/Figjams-Swamp-Cooler/.

I guess it's hard to get the 'R' value for such a setup, e.g. I was comparing a 1" Thermax sheet at 6.5 R (thermal resistance, ft2• h•°F/Btu.) in direct sunlight, vs a shaded tent with a synthetic loft blanket. (For comparison I've seen insulating tarps with R about 6.8 ).

I'd be curious whether the insulated tent would be better or worse than a hexayurt for cooling with a swamp cooler.

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Canoe
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby Canoe » Sun May 31, 2015 9:33 pm

  • Insulated tent is better than an uninsulated tent. Reduces hot air from conducting to the inside.
  • Tent under shade is better than tent in sun. Avoids direct radiation, but not the hot air and hot playa ground re-radiating in under the shade structure.
  • A tent with a heat-reflective radiant barrier to reflect heat away is great. Works on direct sun and on secondary re-radiating heat sources.
  • So a combination is more effective.
  • Hence reflectix can be effective, as it's both a radiant barrier (direct & re-radiating) and insulating (conducting).
So the hexayurt with its radiant barrier on the outside, and insulation, and strength in the wind - all playa proven - is a known winner, without wondering if your tent with blanket, other insulation or radiant barrier will be enough, or hold up to the winds.

Figjam's swamp cooler is your ace in the hole. Means the other measures don't have to be perfect.
ONE FAN - sucking air through the swamp cooler, getting cooled, then into the yurt/tent. A vent to let the air already in the yurt/tent be pushed out and replaced by the incoming cooled air. If the air inside is also dusty (you know it is), then the dusty air is being pushed out and replaced by the - also dust filtered - swamp cooler air.
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby AntiM » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:47 am

We do the carport with blanket/quilt covered tent plus swamp cooler thing. We also run colorful sheets along the inside of the carport roof to block more UV. Our camp is usually pleasantly cool, even for daytime napping on the cot in the middle shade area. We tried reflective material outside the carport one year, all we did was bake our neighbors with the reflected sunlight. Not cool.

We put the swamp cooler pipe in the tent door and zip up around it, and unzip the back window just a little. Just enough airflow to capture the cool. I have had to cover up with blankets because it was so cold one afternoon. The swamp coolers can also be used as person spot coolers when hanging out in the shade area. They are very portable.

I cringe at hexayurts because I do not like to be enclosed like that. Our camp would still need to bring the shade structure for the kitchen and socializing; yurts mean no net gain for our camp. Yurts would mean a second trailer/another vehicle; a much larger footprint, and twice as much set-up and tear down. If it is just for a couple people using a shared shade structure with a larger camp, yes, that is workable. For us, nope, more money/work means less fun. But we can sleep in our set up and do not suffer. Same reason we do not have a dome. More money, more work = less fun. It very much depends on personal preference and the camp size and style.
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby festguru » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:46 am

Can you use dry ice in the swamp cooler?

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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby gaminwench » Wed Jul 01, 2015 2:51 am

but, why??
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Canoe
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby Canoe » Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:14 am

festguru wrote:Can you use dry ice in the swamp cooler?

Yes.
But then it won't work.
You'd freeze the water instead of letting it: circulate, keeping the pad flowing with water, letting the incoming hot dry air dwell as it passes through the wet pad, filtering out the dust while water evaporates, thereby dropping the temperature of the air.

It's also a BAD idea to fill your shelter with CO2 from the dry ice sublimating ("melting").
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_ice
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypercapnia
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Re: Tent -- Swamp Cooler + Insulation + Ventilation?

Postby Brightly » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:09 am

festguru wrote:Can you use dry ice in the swamp cooler?


Yes, the water will freeze if you put enough in.

Also, dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide....you don't want to breathe that.
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