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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gwyner
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by gwyner » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:53 pm

Say, are there any batteries that will work with this that you can get from Home Depot or Amazon?

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:00 pm

Any 12 volt battery or combination of batteries adding up to 12 volts will work.

The question is, for how long???

http://www.amazon.com/Vmaxtanks-Vmaxslr ... +volt+deep
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gwyner
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by gwyner » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:29 pm

I guess I'm looking for something that will last for the week, using the Delta 120x38mm fan you use and a Magicfly DC30A-1230 12V DC 2 Phase CPU Cooling Car Brushless Water Pump.

My camp has charging facilities via wind/solar, though I'm not entirely sure how much of that will be available during the evening. (There's also the option of charging off of my car battery if I run out early..)

gwyner
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by gwyner » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:33 pm

Also, Amazon has this fan with a 4-pin connector. Can I just ignore 2 of those pins and plug directly into the power supply?

Delta Electronics AFB1212SHE 120x120x38mm Cooling Fan, 151.85 CFM, 58 dBA, 3700 RPM, 1.06 AMP, PWM 4-pin connector

pug
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by pug » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:41 pm

gwyner wrote:Also, Amazon has this fan with a 4-pin connector. Can I just ignore 2 of those pins and plug directly into the power supply?
Yes you can. Something like this, where pins 3 and 4 you leave unconnected.

Pin 1 - Ground - Black
Pin 2 - 12v - Yellow
Pin 3 - Sense - Green
Pin 4 - Control - Blue

I'd expect Pin 2 to also be red in some setups.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by gwyner » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:47 pm

Would this 55Ah battery do the trick for the week?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/UPG-UB12550-12V ... 1e8ae59675

pug
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by pug » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:54 pm

gwyner wrote:Would this 55Ah battery do the trick for the week?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/UPG-UB12550-12V ... 1e8ae59675
The best setup is a small car battery it runs off, along with a solar setup that is keeping the battery charged. Something like http://www.harborfreight.com/45-watt-so ... -8527.html would probably work, along with a small basic car battery. I used a solar setup last year and had it hooked up to a car battery from my MG Midget (little tiny 4 cylinder convertible) - it was no problem at all.
Last edited by pug on Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:58 pm

A "normal" car battery is about 50AH.

With that set up you can run for about 23 hours before recharging.
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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Canoe » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:25 pm

pug wrote:... Doesn't it just have to cover the holes like shown? Seems like this should work, as it's just the air coming in the holes and going through the pad that counts. Ergo just put pad over the holes.
I suppose there could be a bit of wicking of water up from the bucket if it goes all the way down, but that seems pretty unnecessary given one's got a pump soaking that thing all the time...
As Figjam said, leaks.

As to why it works better with a gap:
We've discussed this before, but it's awkward/tedious to explain with just words. So here's some words with a diagram, inspired by yours.
The space between the bucket walls and the pad allows the incoming air to supply air to the entire pad area above the water level, not just pad directly inline with the holes. And it's not just an increase in area: as the water level drops and the area of pad above the water increases, it spreads the CFM volume over a larger area, the air flow velocity through the pad decreases, so the incoming dry air has more dwell time within the wet pad too.
bucket pad spaced from side - hole feeds air to entire intake side of pad above water.jpg
To ensure that gap is maintained, you could add a vertical spacer in places, but the water flowing down the pad could use that as a path to the air holes instead of flowing down the pad and keeping the pad fully wet.

Figjam's worked out a whole lot about these, and they're well tested and proven on the playa. Start deviating, and you could innocently end up with greatly decreased, minimal or no performance, as others have failed. You want to make sure you understand before you stray too far into failure. Smart of you to ask and not assume.

There's no wicking of water up the pad. You need water flow to keep with with the evaporation of water with the meaningful air flow through the pad. You don't want air flow through dry pad.
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Papa_Legba
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Papa_Legba » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:42 pm

anybody have experience with the bonded paper pads in the small cooler? i came across a roll of this (link below), its about 1 in thick. i'd like to be able to use it and save $$ but dont want to risk losing any quality of my cooler. thanks!

http://www.lowes.com/pd_181251-26699-71 ... id=4758904

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by pug » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:50 pm

Canoe wrote:
pug wrote:... Doesn't it just have to cover the holes like shown? Seems like this should work, as it's just the air coming in the holes and going through the pad that counts. Ergo just put pad over the holes.
I suppose there could be a bit of wicking of water up from the bucket if it goes all the way down, but that seems pretty unnecessary given one's got a pump soaking that thing all the time...
As Figjam said, leaks.
Yup, I know how they work - have used them before. See subsequent post with how to put some space in.

Also RE: leaks. Mine from last year had no space and didn't leak (last year at BM). I guess it all depends on how you have the ring setup on top, bucket slope, etc.

I guess I'll just not ask more questions and go try it. Not getting any responses back that says it has to be full bucket beyond "it holds it up" and "it helps with the gap"

** after your image showed up **

OK so mesh half way down the bucket then. It seriously doesn't have to go all the way down to the bottom of the bucket even to get that effect you're showing in the illustration of more air flow. Half seems more than adequate. I'm talking like a 1 foot wide piece, not a little 3" wide piece.

Like I said, i'll just try it. Thanks FIGJAM for all your work.
Last edited by pug on Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:00 pm

Papa_Legba wrote:anybody have experience with the bonded paper pads in the small cooler? i came across a roll of this (link below), its about 1 in thick. i'd like to be able to use it and save $$ but dont want to risk losing any quality of my cooler. thanks!

http://www.lowes.com/pd_181251-26699-71 ... id=4758904
That stuff is ok, but harder to work with for the bucket design.
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pug
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by pug » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:02 pm

edit rolled into previous post

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:11 pm

The main cause of leakage is the pad touching the holes.

The fibers can create a small trickle on the outside of the bucket.

Test your design at home so you don't get caught short on the playa.

Good luck!!! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by rideincircles » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:13 pm

I will add that after looking around, Walfart seemed to have the best deal on a battery. 122ah on their deep cycle marine for around $87. I think Academy had a larger one, but not worth the cost difference. Try and find the 29 or 31 series for the most power. The larger the number, the more ah in most cases. Costco had a 27 series, but I will probably go with Walfart's.

I need to get moving on my unicooler and build the box, but need to buy the battery first. It looks like I will need a minimum of 31" or so pumping height on the small ebay pump. How much height can it handle? I still need to get my battery also which is why I have put it off for a moment. What height should the pump be at? Is vacuuming an issue if its not on the bottom?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by mattcamp » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:28 am

I have a question regarding the tubing and adapters....

I'm helping my camp-mates build 10 Unicoolers this year so I need to work out what tubing works best when used with the small ebay pumps (http://www.ebay.com/itm/171785417432).

As far as I can tell the pump needs a tube with a 1/4" ID... what adapters do you use to connect this to the PVC tube in the top of the Unicooler, and where do you source them from?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:49 am

rideincircles wrote:I will add that after looking around, Walfart seemed to have the best deal on a battery. 122ah on their deep cycle marine for around $87. I think Academy had a larger one, but not worth the cost difference. Try and find the 29 or 31 series for the most power. The larger the number, the more ah in most cases. Costco had a 27 series, but I will probably go with Walfart's.

I need to get moving on my unicooler and build the box, but need to buy the battery first. It looks like I will need a minimum of 31" or so pumping height on the small ebay pump. How much height can it handle? I still need to get my battery also which is why I have put it off for a moment. What height should the pump be at? Is vacuuming an issue if its not on the bottom?
31"s shouldn't be a problem as you are only feeding a short run of pvc.

But test test test!

It's good practice with any project.

If you have a battery charger, you can connect that to the pump for testing.

Hook a long piece of tubing to the pump and put it in a bucket of water.

Power it up and gradually raise the tube and see for yourself how much the flow is affected by how far it has to lift the water.

All this will give you a better understanding of how everything works. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:09 am

mattcamp wrote:I have a question regarding the tubing and adapters....

I'm helping my camp-mates build 10 Unicoolers this year so I need to work out what tubing works best when used with the small ebay pumps (http://www.ebay.com/itm/171785417432).

As far as I can tell the pump needs a tube with a 1/4" ID... what adapters do you use to connect this to the PVC tube in the top of the Unicooler, and where do you source them from?
1/4" poly tube is a very snug fit.

I like 1/2" pvc that is made for hot water lines as it is more compact.

There is a couple of ways to do this with or without connections.

I don't use connectors as I found that different sized tube fits snuggly into each other, like this..........

Image

This doesn't leak!

Add a 90 and a short piece of pvc to make the turn.

The other way (that I just thought of) is to just use a longer piece of the poly tube and melt your drip holes right into that.

You would need to zip tie the tube that goes across the top of the pad to a stiff wire to keep it straight, like a coat hanger, and plug the end.

I haven't tested that yet, but I can't see why it wouldn't work. 8)
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Danielpops
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Danielpops » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:20 pm

I finished my bucket cooler setup, with the low-water level automatic pump-switch-off, wireless transmitter/receiver to control the fan/pump separately and from within my yurt, PLUS two physical override switches just in case I lose the remote, batteries die, or the receiver/relays fail for one reason or another. Super excited for this year's burning man and my nice cool yurt :)

While testing the cooling effect here in San Francisco, I don't really observe the bucket cooler dropping the temp by more than ~6 degrees or so. Is this to be expected due to Carl the Fog's presence? I basically don't see much (if any) difference when the pad is wet or dry. Should I be concerned?!

Additionally, I have a single row of holes like in FigJam's example. I feel plenty of air flow, but I wonder if another row of holes would be beneficial (or harmful?) to the ultimate goal of providing the cooling effect?
/dp

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lucky420
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by lucky420 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:53 pm

Bucket coolers/swamp coolers really are more efficient in drier climates. So yeah probably humidity/fog
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by mattcamp » Fri Jul 31, 2015 1:56 am

FIGJAM wrote: 1/4" poly tube is a very snug fit.

I like 1/2" pvc that is made for hot water lines as it is more compact.
Ah, I thought 1/2" would be too big for that little pump... I'll have to give it a go.
The other way (that I just thought of) is to just use a longer piece of the poly tube and melt your drip holes right into that.

You would need to zip tie the tube that goes across the top of the pad to a stiff wire to keep it straight, like a coat hanger, and plug the end.

I haven't tested that yet, but I can't see why it wouldn't work. 8)
I had a similar idea.... I might give it a go with some of these as end plugs: http://www.ebay.com/itm/12-Hard-Plastic ... 1468085889

Has anyone ever tried using the little micro-sprinklers designed for irrigation systems that HD sells (e.g, http://www.homedepot.com/p/Rain-Bird-18 ... /202078391) ? I'm wondering if you couldn't just run a rigid tube directly up from the pump in the centre of the cooler and have a directional sprinkler onto the cooler pad.... not really sure it would be any less hassle though.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:35 am

I don't know if the pump would generate enough pressure to spray.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 31, 2015 7:24 am

As far as those plugs are concerned, You can probably just pinch the end of the tube and melt it shut.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by Danielpops » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:47 am

Danielpops wrote: While testing the cooling effect here in San Francisco, I don't really observe the bucket cooler dropping the temp by more than ~6 degrees or so. Is this to be expected due to Carl the Fog's presence? I basically don't see much (if any) difference when the pad is wet or dry. Should I be concerned?!

I tested again last night. This time, I changed two things -- 1. Noticed a few holes in the ring weren't big enough so they weren't flowing well. I opened those puppies up. 2. I let the pump run for a while ( ~10-15 minutes ) before turning on the fan and measuring the temperature drop. I observed ~10-11 degrees of temperature drop at the mouth of the exhaust vs the ambient temperature in the room (!!), which is definitely better than what I was seeing before. I guess the pad was simply not getting saturated enough before.
/dp

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FIGJAM
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:56 am

If the playa is it's normal dry self you will get a 30 degree drop.
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benstpierre
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by benstpierre » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:42 am

I am unclear, do you need to keep one of these coolers outside your structure/yurt and pipe cold air in or can you just run it inside?

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TT120
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 10:45 am

You need to have the cooler outside to draw in hot dry air and pipe the cool moist air into your tent/yurt. Also you need a vent in your tent/yurt to exhaust the hot air out as you pipe the cool air in.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by benstpierre » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:12 am

I picked up one of these fans at the local computer store.

http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX37348

Specs are 156.27 CFM and 1.81 mmH2O pressure. Runs nearly silent.

This this enough or should I go for a louder/faster fan?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by rideincircles » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:17 am

benstpierre wrote:I am unclear, do you need to keep one of these coolers outside your structure/yurt and pipe cold air in or can you just run it inside?
Bucket swamp coolers have to be outside so it sucks in the outside air thru the vent holes. If using a unicooler, you will still need to suck in outside air, but you can make it inside if needed and just have an air intake from inside. I was considering that route, but will probably make mine outside to keep my space available in the hexayurt.

Regarding the fan above, what are you planning on cooling? Scroll thru about 5-10 pages in this thread and most questions will have been answered. It is getting massive to read the whole thing now.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Post by TT120 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:18 am

That fan will work but you probably wont be satisfied with the airflow. I run at least 190 cfm. It sounds loud on my back patio but at TTITD, with all the background noise, you'll never hear your fan.
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