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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EGAZ
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:27 pm

Image
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:39 pm

Yup.

Clouds happen!!! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by silverfish » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:04 pm

Kenny - I've gotten by (barely) with a 18Ah battery and a 14 watt panel - but I only run for 3-4 hours a day. I get 1.17 Amps max theoretical from my 14 watt panel, probably closer to .8-.9 Amps realistically. My pump uses a max of 350 mA, and my fan on low runs 1.1 ah for a total of about 1.4-1.5 Amps/hr. So I use about 5-6 Amp hours a day (3.5 hours x1.5 A = 5.25 Ah). I need 7 hours of noon sun (Thankfully the 13 hours of daylight in late august is the equivalent of about 7-7.5 hours of noon sun) @ .8 amps/hr to fully recharge, .8 A x 7 hours = 5.6 Ah. But if I run my fan on medium (1.6 A/h) or high (2.6 A/h) I'll need to recharge off a car battery or a generator or run for less time. Clouds will also cause issues.

Another lesson learned - battery maintenance. I haven't charged my battery in between burns - and after a year of not charging the battery (a Sealed Lead Acid AGM battery) it won't hold a decent charge. So I had to buy a new battery for this year - and now its going to get charged on a regular basis by a trickle charger during the other 51 weeks a year. I'm also considering another solar panel to supplement my current one. If there is a magical way to power this system on the cheap I haven't found it.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by KennyReff » Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:31 pm

Holy shit, this forum rocks. But how could it be otherwise, give the bad ass Burners on board. Thanks, everyone, for taking the time to help out this electrical engineering Burgin. It all makes perfect sense now, and due to your help I should have a happy girlfriend, for whom this entire project is intended.

And you know what a happy girlfriend means...

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by knobdyspcl » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:33 pm

OOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhh, you guys are quoting mmmaaaaatttthhhhhh... and that just makes my knees week. :mrgreen:

So, on the battery maintenance topic... I've had a battery on trickle charge, it's not sealed, you can pull the tops off the cells to add water... so, pointing to the blood hair... guess what I forgot to do?

So will the battery come back to life now that it's had a drink? I really hate it when I do stupid stuff. :oops:
Mir
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Captain Goddammit » Thu Jul 21, 2016 3:44 am

Just making sure you or anyone who reads this knows, only put distilled water in batteries!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Mr Gizmo » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:55 am

knobdyspcl wrote:OOOOOOOhhhhhhhhhh, you guys are quoting mmmaaaaatttthhhhhh... and that just makes my knees week. :mrgreen:

So, on the battery maintenance topic... I've had a battery on trickle charge, it's not sealed, you can pull the tops off the cells to add water... so, pointing to the blood hair... guess what I forgot to do?

So will the battery come back to life now that it's had a drink? I really hate it when I do stupid stuff. :oops:
Depends how low it was but generally; no.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by KennyReff » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:48 am

Id like to advise others that the substitute cooling pad I found at Home Depot made by NaturalAire in my previous post is NOT anywhere the same consistency as the Dura Cool brand pad. I'm very glad I decided to go the tried and true Figjam route.

Use this:
http://www.lowes.com/pd/Dial-Foamed-Pol ... ad/3092791

Not this:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/NaturalAire- ... /203143924

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Dasein » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:48 pm

Question for all you "to spec" people:

I built one of Figjam's designs after meeting him on Playa in 2014... Missed last year so this is the first time I'll get to actually use it.

It's working and during a quick test, cold air is blowing out at ~63 degrees on an 84 degree day. I haven't had a chance to test it in the tent - and I may not until right before the burn.

The potential problem is that I have a pretty large tent - and I'm wondering how well it will help reduce temperature during the hot days. The tent is relatively well sealed (other than ventilation at the top (which is probably a good thing). That said, I am guesstimating that the size is around 14ftx14ftx7ft. I only read through the first few pages of this thread and settled on a 200CFM fan. After doing the calculations, I see that I might need double that. I'll try and get measurements the week before the burn, but if my estimate is accurate, is it going to be a big problem?

... Also I've noticed that the outer pad seems to get fairly wet, but the inner circle stays relatively dry. Is it worth trying to get two coils of silicon tubing to drip water from the top to saturate as large of an area of the pads as possible? ... or does that not really matter? Or is there another way to align the silicon tubing to get better water flow over the entire area of the pads? Right now they are just set on top of the pads like in Figjam's original post.

Thanks!
Last edited by Dasein on Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by LowePro » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:08 pm

is your drip tube ring positioned approx right in between the two rings of blue pad? I would't try 2 separate rings, but the position of the ring and the size/distribution of the drip-holes might need refinement.

You don't put the swampie inside your tent! You put it outside the tent and run the duct into a window or door. Zip the window or door around the duct. The swampie itself MUST be outside in the hot dry air.
You can hang a curtain inside the tent to cordon off a sleep-chamber and trap the cold air where you need it most, that will help maximize the cooling for a large tent. My swampie cools a 19' trailer. I have a curtain around the bed chamber and it gets frigid in there!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Dasein » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:14 pm

The tube is positioned right in between the two rings ... however all of the holes are facing straight down. Should I be off setting these so that they aim forward and backward? I've got extra tubing, so I'm happy to try again if necessary.

Also - I'm aware it has to be outside the tent. The "in" i was referring to was the air going into the tent. Thanks though!

Good idea with the curtain. I'll play around with that and see if there is something I can bring to section off the tent a little!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:34 pm

If my math is right:

14 x 14 x 7 = 1372CuFt divided by 200CFM = 6.8mins (assuming proper size vent at the top of the tent/yurt).

It will take almost 7 minutes to flush the total volume of air 'once' with a 200CFM fan.

Adding a second fan/bucket cooler will flush it in 3.5 minutes. More inline with what is recommended, space volume flushed every 3-5 mins.

1372CuFt divided by 400CFM = 3.43mins

If your bucket is doing a 20'F Temp Difference (TD) you are doing very good. The TD will rise as the Dew Point temp drops & visa versa. 15-20'F is a good range.

As long as the first pad is fully soaked its fine. Do check to see if a large amount of water is dripping between the pads. I would make the tube header a larger diameter (bigger circle) so it sits on top of the outer pad. See if it changes your outer pad wetting and TD. Any water that migrates to the second pad will evaporate too. Adding a second header may hurt the wetting of both pads depending on pump size. ie: too small GPH to fill both header. So a second pump or larger pump may be required.

Remember the best you will do is 20'-22'F below ambient temp. Then its a matter of flushing the air.

So either add a second bucket or build a bin cooler with 400CFM rated fan(s).
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:24 pm

If the tent won't be in the shade, the cooler will need to be directed AT YOU to be comfortable in that size tent.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by The CO » Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:15 am

As it hit over 104 here in LA last week, I pulled out my FIGJAM bucket cooler at the shop and set it up to cool my desk.

The boss now wants me to make some box cooler/unicoolers for the shop and office. :D :D :D
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:43 am

Make him build his own damn coolers while you supervise!!! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by The CO » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:41 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Make him build his own damn coolers while you supervise!!! :lol:
And miss out on the opportunity to get paid to make Playa projects?

Never!!!
M*A*S*H 4207th: An army of fun.
I don't care what the borg says: feather-wearers will NOT be served in Rosie's Bar.
When I ask how many burns, I mean at BRC.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Dasein » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:10 pm

Ok... I'm back with some more specifics.

If my math is correct, I would need a 250ish CFM fan for 3 minute changes... My fan is only 200 CFM - but should be good enough in the right circumstances.

However, my tent has a shit load more mesh than I remember.

It looks like this with the top off: http://bn.craigslist.org/spo/5667255942.html

That's a metric fuck ton of mesh on the top of the tent.

There is a top rain protection piece that tightens up pretty well over that, so that the final tent looks like this: http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/L7sAAOSwH ... s-l300.jpg

... So - am I going to notice any difference with the swamp cooler if it isn't blowing directly on me? Should I think about going through a painful process of blocking the top mesh area - or just say, "fuck it"?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:37 pm

I'm sorry to say, that is not a Playa Tent with all that mesh. Gotta cover that up or you might as well just sit in front of the Swampy in the common area. Or get a more sealed up Playa proven tent.... :coffee:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Dasein » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:27 am

Any thoughts on a better way to cover it up (other than the stuff in the second picture)?

The tent has held up REALLY well on playa - but we've never used a swamp cooler before. The top part is pretty tight - but obviously it is isn't air tight.

Damn.

Any thoughts?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:47 am

Tarps, blankets, visqueen, anything to tape over the mesh to seal it up. (leave a small port for air to leave the tent)
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Leap » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:58 am

Anyone see a problem with a 39 watt panel trickling into a 100+ AH battery that will power two FIGJAM buckets? I know I can run one without the panel all week. I figure the panel will compensate for the extra system.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by LowePro » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:48 am

Get a charge controller and your golden with that setup. 39w is high enough that you should use one to prevent damaging the battery. But not so high that toy need a fancy extreme one. I have fine luck with an ebay cheapy and 30w panel. Tilt the panel slighty to face south, wipe it off each day. A ok.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Leap » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:42 pm

Thank you! I've got a controller that's pimped out with two USB ports too! I plugged it in and it just works.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Cinnabar » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:42 pm

Alright then! Finally going to get Figjam's Bucket Cooler done this year. 3 in fact.

One to use in our small (about 375 cubic feet) bunkhouse camper which sits in the bed of our pickup. Another in an 8 x 10 canvas Kodiak which will be under a carport shade structure adjacent to the truck and the 3rd might be a gift for some deserving soul.

We have plenty of power with a 100 W solar panel recharging a heavy duty 12v deep cycle marine battery in the camper which goes to a fuse bus which we can extend to an exterior truck wall to power coolers outside the truck. There is also an inverter giving us AC power outlets on the back of the camper.

All is clear except the wiring of the fan and pump. We like the idea of splicing the wires and possibly having an on/off or fan speed controller on the top. But we don't know what the 4 wires are that lead to the 4 pin connector and/or which ones correlate to the pump. My husband is very handy and knowledgeable, but has no familiarity with the components of the 4 wire.

Using a Delta AFB1212SHE 120x120x38mm 151.85 CFM 58 dBA 3700 RPM 1.60 AMP PWM 4-pin connector

and thinking of this pump if it seems right for the job. http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBME ... 1777718381

but could go with Figjam's choice from Silicon Solar, but would rather not spend the extra $16/ea

Any help on this final step would be much appreciated. I've searched the thread from many angles, but am not seeing this addressed.

Many Thanks,
CinnabarScout

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EGAZ
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:43 pm

On that fan its:

Red = 12vdc positive
Back = 12vdc negative

White or Yellow = RPM signal from fan
Blue = PWM signal from controller(speed control) Don't worry about speed control. Let her fly 100%.

We will not use white/yellow or blue wires. Cut them off and heat shrink or tape them so they don't touch anything.

Here is another fan that works too. Cut n tape the blue wire on this one.

Your pump link is no dead and gone. These little pumps work. Buy a spare, they are only $5
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by filippo » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:51 pm

Hi guys, sorry if I hijack this thread a little, I'm trying to build a bucket swamp cooler and you seem pretty experienced about it.

My main issue is that cooling pads can't be found anywhere in Europe. Evap cooling doesn't seem that popular here, probably the climate is not dry enough... You can find maybe wholesale cardboard like filters but they're pretty expensive and difficult to obtain.

So far I've tried kitchen exhaust fan filters, but they are pretty thin and even if I stack up a couple of layers they tend to collapse when wet...
Do you have any suggestion about alternative filter materials?
Right now I'm looking at aquarium sponges like this one or this.
Think they could work?

Cinnabar wrote: Using a Delta AFB1212SHE 120x120x38mm 151.85 CFM 58 dBA 3700 RPM 1.60 AMP PWM 4-pin connector
Hi, I'm using a similar fan: http://partner.delta-corp.com/Products/ ... 2D-F00.pdf
It's supposed to be PWM controlled, you have 2 pins for power (12V), one pin takes a logic level square wave signal (usually 3.3V or 5V) with variable duty cycle to control fan speed. The last one you can ignore it, it provides a way to sense current fan rpm.
I built a simple pwm controller for it, but you should be able to power it at full speed just providing a logic high signal in the pwm pin: shorting it to the 12V one should work.

Don't trust the pin colors too much, usually red is 12V, black is ground and blue is PWM. The one I got has yellow for PWM and blue for RPM sensing.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by EGAZ » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:56 pm

The blue one is better than the black one. Would need to see how the black one absorbs water. These would work too.
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
I am Camp2. - A solo camp - Stop by and say Hey!, 8) Gotta beer?

If you are another Solo Burner & very 'Radically Self Reliant' - Maybe we can 'Do What We Do!' :P

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by filippo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 1:09 am

Thank you, same doubts about the black one. Went with the chinese blue filter as Marineland seller doesn't ship outside UK.
Seems promising from the photos, though it's only 2 cm thick, will need at least two layers.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:20 am

There is a little confusion with the fan model numbers.

Mine has the same basic model number, but has CF00 at the end, which has 40 more cfm. (190.47 cfm)



filipo: you could try some synthetic upholstery batting like this at a local fabric shop.

I haven't tried it, but it looks like it will work.

http://www.fabricfarms.com/FM19.html?gc ... aQodOGcECw
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by filippo » Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:43 am

FIGJAM wrote:There is a little confusion with the fan model numbers.

Mine has the same basic model number, but has CF00 at the end, which has 40 more cfm. (190.47 cfm)



filipo: you could try some synthetic upholstery batting like this at a local fabric shop.

I haven't tried it, but it looks like it will work.

http://www.fabricfarms.com/FM19.html?gc ... aQodOGcECw
Thanks, my fan is actually a TFC1212DE, with PWM control and rated for 252 CFM, but Delta seems to know nothing about it. No spec, no datasheet can be found in the website... Definitely some confusion going on with model numbers!

Will definitely try with some batting if the aquarium filter doesn't work.

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