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

Postby EGAZ » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:30 am

didjeridude

You're way over thinking this. Not the first, won't be the last.

Residential and industrial evap coolers fall into two styles. The 'cell deck media' found in MasterCool units which do use a single media deck. And the rest of the mfg's three or four sided units. These use expanded paper, poly or aspen chunks for media.

If you start to look a industrial evap towers, (same thing, much larger scale) they come in all shapes, sizes & configurations.

One can take all the time to create a laminar flow across the media making sure every square inch of media as seeing the same air flow. If for home or industrial use where the goal is long life and most efficient operation you will see 'some' improvement. For a week in the dust its just not worth the effort for what gains you achieve. Just look at the millions of three and four sided coolers out there.

If you take the time to look through even the last 10 pages or so you will see others have tried the single pad design with varying success. Will it work? Sure. Has it been done? Yes. So build it if you want. nobody is stopping you.

Note: You don't need a filter ahead of the media. The water does a fine job of removing any dust. Adding an air filter just adds restriction to air flow.

As we have told many, don't over think it, do what has been proven for almost a decade now. Spend the time on other things. :mrgreen:
2nd time better than the first. And the first was pretty Freakin' Great!
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didjeridude
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby didjeridude » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:22 am

EGAZ wrote:didjeridude

You're way over thinking this. Not the first, won't be the last.

Residential and industrial evap coolers fall into two styles. The 'cell deck media' found in MasterCool units which do use a single media deck. And the rest of the mfg's three or four sided units. These use expanded paper, poly or aspen chunks for media.

snip
Sure, but I'm a scientist. It's my job to over think anything which has a scientific basis, and besides, I enjoy it ;-)
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Mistress Amanita
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Mistress Amanita » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:55 am

Fig, the link to https://www.greenlivingforu.com/products/fountains no longer works.

Have you the brand and or P/N of the fountain pump of your dreams for the Unicooler?

Thanks!

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:18 pm

didjeridude wrote:Has anyone experimented with a rectangle or box shaped design (such as a regular cooler) ?
1. Dust filter at air intake vent
2. Tape either one big chunky pad or a series of multiple thinner pads up tightly to the interior sides of the cooler
3. A simple "in parallel" sprinkler irrigation system to evenly distribute the water across this thicker larger pad or the multiple thinner pads
4. insulating foam taped on the lid which fits snuggly up against the top of the evap padding thus preventing any gaps for air to bypass the evaporative layer
5. Nice big fan sucking from output end
The key idea is to generate a more laminar airflow running across the pad (or pads) in a single direction. The round bucket design has no choice but to create non-laminar turblent airflow stream which reduces effectiveness (according to science on the topic).
It's just a DIY version of a commercial / industrial design.
Thoughts??
edit: I didn't want to read the entire 136 pages of this thread, but I didn't have to. There is an example of this design on this page above. I realise the cylindrical bucket coolers work, but it doesn't look as though that design is commonly used in commercial/industrial applications.


It's pretty much all been done before. Tons of failures where people either didn't follow the design or didn't understand how/why they work and made changes on how they "felt" or guessed they work.

As to a box design, I like this style. viewtopic.php?f=280&t=33842&start=3990#p1144171
You can see how it fits various of your concerns.

As EGAZ says, no pre-filter. For use on the playa, use the blue filter or risk falling into the failed designs.

"Nice big fan" makes me worried you think more is better. You don't want the airflow "across" the pad, but through the pad. The fine fibres make for the surface area and herd/regulate/manage the airflow; proper airfow at the correct speed makes for the dwell time; combining to provide effective evaporative cooling. If there's too much air flow, there's reduced dwell time.

Laminar/non-laminar airflow is irrelevant with these designs at their velocities. Once the air is at and is being pulled through the pad, it's airflow is defined/controlled by the wet pad structure. Which is why for playa use you need the blue pad. Simplifies so many things.

You'll find that the bucket design, with the pad properly spaced out from the bucket sidewall, at the velocities it operates, the air into through the intake holes meets the pulled airflow from the negative pressure on the inside of the pad roll. With the bucket sitting outside, a big blow comes at velocities that overwhelm the size of the holes, which will limit overwhelming the bucket - yes that has turbulence.

IF (and that's a very big IF) you understand why the nicely working designs work well, then various box designs can be easily engineered.

Start with the example at the link to earlier in this thread that I gave above, and read through the logic behind those corrections/enhancements.

The end "functioning well" on the playa is not simply a matter of any design and mechanical assembly. If you stick to the designs that are known to work, then for the size of fan, type of fan, pump, pad, pad type, etc., you know you will have a balance between water flow, air flow, surface area, dwell time, and a pad that will be cleansed by the water flow, and will last with the playa soil/dust. If you deviate away too far (or by simply having the wrong type of fan, or pad, ), then you'll have to balance all of the factors yourself, or it's not going to work well... Complaints all the time from people who didn't understand ALL of the factors that combine to make an efficient and practical design, and once they were too off of spec... they were just doing hit & miss.
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Token
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Token » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:40 pm

All this crazy effort to replicate this:

.

Image

~

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Canoe
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:48 pm

Token wrote:All this crazy effort to replicate this:.
Image
~

Well, yes. But ours has more parts (looks cooler), is automated (except for adding water, charging, scooping wet dust), and makes noise so you know it's working. :)
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
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... but don't harm the red dragon that frequents the area from time to time. He and I have an agreement.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Token » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:48 am

Canoe wrote:
Token wrote:All this crazy effort to replicate this:.
Image
~

Well, yes. But ours has more parts (looks cooler), is automated (except for adding water, charging, scooping wet dust), and makes noise so you know it's working. :)


Far Out! Making it shiny is definitely a bonus!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby worldjoe » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:33 am

arroyo wrote:Thank you for all the help. I've never done a project anything like this before. Heck, before this, I was afraid to even touch a car battery. I am bringing a large Soulpad 5000 tent (16 ft across, 10 ft center pole), and I plan to duct this into it with the fan on medium.

23 gal trash can (returned my genuine joe because I didn't like the walls) with 14x14 air grille. Using a float pump to stop the pump if it runs out of water. Goop and brackets support the fan and grill.

Figjam, thank you.

Image

I built one based on this design. Can you go into more details on your goop/bracket solution for keeping the fan and especially the grill attached? I tried JB Weld and 100% silicone and the grill detaches regularly. Right now I have the fan ratchet strapped to the outside of the trashcan with some weather stripping between it - which works well.
Joseph Elwell.

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Sham
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Sham » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:19 am

It appears that this thing is the same principle as the swamp cooler.
Image

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:11 pm

World joe: get some small L brackets and small nuts and bolts.

Mount them top and bottom of the fan, then anchor to the bin.

seal with silly cone.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby worldjoe » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:17 pm

FIGJAM wrote:World joe: get some small L brackets and small nuts and bolts.

Mount them top and bottom of the fan, then anchor to the bin.

seal with silly cone.

I tested this out this weekend in the desert and it worked MUCH better than the bucket cooler for my VW van. I still only get about a 10 degree temperature difference. Ambient temperature was about 76 with 10% humidity. The bucket cooler saw similar drops, nothing close to what I've read is possible. But at least with this design the van was cooler than simply opening all the doors and letting the wind through. Which tells me I wasn't getting enough CFM with the bucket design, even though I did the math on the fan I it should have worked - maybe there are too many leaks in the van to push all air up to the roof vent.

I used duct tape becuase the silly cone'd grill kept detaching from the trash can. It might be as simple as using the provided holes in the grill to run a bolt through to a nut on the other side and silicone to make a water tight seal - but I'm afraid to drill a hole in the trash can, I'm worried I won't end up with an airtight/watertight seal.

For the fan I just used a ratchet strap to pull the fan tight to the outside of the trash can with a weatherstrip in between the fan and the can. I don't want to mount the fan permanently as we use that fan in the van more often than I need a swamp cooler.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby BrotherNomad » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:12 am

I'm going to build the 2-stage evaporative cooler this year and looking at using Seaflo High Flow Blower Fan, 320 CFM 12 Volt fans sold at the rainforest online store. I'm posting this as ideas and don't recommend these fans unless you have the power and airflow requirements. Centrifugal blowers exert positive pressure, are used in whole house residential coolers, and are the most efficient fan design to channel lots of air through a duct, hence their use in HVAC systems. Since the fan will be next to the bedroom in my rig design, a hum is much better than a whirr if there's going to be fan noise, and the ductability and thus versatility of centrifugal blower fans is a big plus over the Fantastic Fans Endless Breeze.

Figjam, what do you think about using centrifugal fans compared of turbines in the unicooler and possibly even the bucket cooler, as there are small 12v centrifugal blower fans available which won't be overkill?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:38 am

If I understand that "blower fan" means it has a squirrel cage on it, then yes they are very good for coolers.

It was my first choice.

I wanted to use a blower motor from a junkyard as I could get it cheap and local.

When I found out how much power they used I searched the internet for days trying to find a blower with the power parameters that I was looking for.

Nothing I found could run a week on a single deep cycle battery.

The design is what the average burner can handle and has room in their car for.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby BrotherNomad » Sat Apr 21, 2018 10:01 am

How about this one? Brushless Radial Blower - UTUO DUAL Ball Bearing High Speed 12V DC Centrifugal Fan with XH-2.5 Plug 120mm by 120mm by 32mm (4.72x4.72x1.26 inch. It's small which means it may not have enough airflow.

What is the max airflow I can get out of the bucket cooler before it doesn't get sufficient dwell time? How many BTUs does it output in good playa conditions, bad playa? The unicooler?

Where on the internet did you learn the physics for evaporative coolers? Is there a book I can buy? I need to learn the physics of evaporative cooling to best build my 2-stage evaporative cooler.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:06 pm

It says it's only 42 CFM.

That won't do.

I was born in AZ. in 1953, so most houses here didn't have AC.

I've lived with swamp coolers my whole life and just used my experience to build what I wanted.

I didn't consider dwell time.

As long as the pads are wet enough you can pull all the air you want through them as long as it's not actually sucking the water off the pad into your fan. :lol:
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