cooling your tent or van

Swamp Coolers, Cooler Management, Dry Ice, Misting Systems, and just plain how to beat the heat.

Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:54 am

You should be able to order it on amazon or ebay and maybe get free shipping. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:48 pm

AS for the head on that pump, I haven't found my hose or connectors for some reason (Home depot is all stupid about it).

I did do a test and used the tube from a Camel back with a nifty valve to control flow. The 2.5' length of 1/4 inch (?) gauge tube got a head about a foot and then some, so its safe to at least 3, maybe 4'. I can run some tests again soon but quickly, it's enough for any of the cooler designs I've seen. I think its a good GPH spec, any more and you have too much amp use and water, any less and not enough water or head . Fig's the expert though, I'm a noob.

I'll edit soon with some exact specs on the new pump trial.

Jeskalgh- if you really don't end up finding colling pads I'll personally bring one too you on the playa! Actually, if you stop by a Home Depot closer to Burning Man- say RENO , im sure the local climate will bless your closest Home Depot with the pads. I actually had someone check at my local Home Depot , and there wasn't a single pad in town, with the exception of one store far away from the coast, inland- where it's hot. They had 'em fine.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:33 pm

Ok, as for the pump I was a little off. The Camelback tube was actually 3.5 feet long. Held straight up, the water left the end of the valve another 6 inches before gravity took hold and tried to dump water on my battery.

The test was powered using one of my old scooter battery's, its holding a 12.65v charge. They are little 7Ah ones.

So, let's call the head of that tube 4' with no issues. You could probably go higher with thinner gauge tube.


Image

(This is regarding the Pump available on Ebay I posted earlier) http://tinyurl.com/bshcnh5

Specs:
-------
This is brand new water pump S-400A, can be used on submersible or above water, high quality and reliable.
Suitable for: Aquarium,solar-panel circulate system, fountain, electronic refrigerator, water heater etc...

Features:
Voltage: 9VDC ~ 12VDC
Current: 450mA / 550mA
Capacity: 6.6 Liter / Minute, 400 Liter / Hour, 1.75 Gallon / Minute, 105 Gallon / Hour
Noise: <=35dBA/10cm
Working temperature: -35°C ~ +80°C
Service life: 26000 hours up
Motor: DC brushless motor
Pump: Centrifugal pump
Weight: 172g (6.08 oz)
Inlet: 9.8mm
Outlet: 5.5mm
Size: 72 x 59 x 50mm (3" x 2-3/8" x 2")
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:09 am

Here are some more specs on that pump.

http://www.goldengadgets.com/400lph-dc-power-submersible-fountain-pond-water-pump.html

I wonder why they say the head is .6m?

I ordered one for testing and interesting enough, the cost with tax and shipping came to $20.12! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:54 am

This box is almost the same dimensions as the box I just built and has straight sides.

Check "deck storage", "outdoor storage bins", "patio storage bins" and you might find the size you want.

http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10886307&cp=2568443.2568444.1260414

8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Pineapple » Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:04 pm

Pineapple wrote:Great thread! My young camp Oontz Pouch uses 3 hexayurts for sleeping, and this year I'm doing A/C for them following your design. Planning to add a 15W solar panel to the system to slow the drain on the battery, though maybe I should just assume I will charge it when the generators are running at night.

I think I found a promising source of pumps, targeted at computer cooling. It isn't self-priming, but maybe that's a good thing--when it runs out of water (a distinct possibility with my camp's occasional responsibility lapses), it should lock up and stop running. From Amazon reviews, would take some poking/prodding with a paper clip to free it up again and re-prime it.

Sold for $11.50 before shipping via Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Brushless-Submers ... d_sbs_sg_1
3.6L/min Mini DC Brushless Submersible Water. Ideal for CPU cooling
This is a compact size submersible water pump(none self-prime). It can be used inline or submersed for water pumping. It's built by a brushless motor providing smooth and quiet operation than a non-brushless water pump. Plus,it will not generate 'electric spark' like what a brush type does so it's more safe. It can be used to pump dilute oil as well (no gasoline*)

Specification
Power: DC12V
Output: 3.6L/m or 68GPH @12V
Vertical lift: 3m (10ft)
Current: 320mA@ DC12V
Intake: 8mm ID/10mm OD Dia.
Outlet: 5 mm ID/8mm OD Dia.
Self-priming: No
Life span: > 20,000hrs @ 1600rpm~4200rpm
Noise: << 38dB
Working Temp: 55'C (non-submersed)
Size(L*W*D): 2.0"x1.7"x1.36" (52mm X 42.7mm X 34mm)
Weight (net): 5.0oz


I just tested this pump out attached to a deep cycle marine battery (12.6 V). I'll have to bring it to work to measure its current draw, but with a 2' head (slightly more than my application), this pumped 2 gallons in about 2 minutes 10 seconds, so it probably would do 68 GPH with no lift, and its output is plenty for my plan.

I bought 4 32 gallon sterililite tote bins, 19.5" high, 19" wide, 29" long. Thinking there will be a "U" shaped arc of blue water mat inside, with space around the U for air to flow in from the outside hole. Fan in either the inside of the "U" (opposite wall from intake) or in the lid, again inside the U. Not sure if it will make much difference. Fan in the lid would have the benefit of weighting down the lid to squeeze water distribution tube down against the blue mat.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:21 pm

With that design, use 1/2" pvc.

Use some small wire and tie the top of the pad to the pvc.

As long as all the air has to pass through the wet pad, the lid doesn't matter as long as it seals closed. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:48 pm

My lil pump got here today. I had my doubts when I first saw it:

Image

Advertised specs are ~1gpm, max 10 foot lift. I tested it out and the published numbers seem to be pretty accurate. I could only test to about 7 feet but I was still getting flow out of it. Amazing little machine, this! was only $12, too.

http://www.amazon.com/Brushless-Submers ... bject+pump
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kstlfido » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:13 pm

Hi folks-

I'm going to make at least one swamp cooler, maybe 2. A unicooler and 5 gallon bucket cooler. I've ordered the fans. Going to the stores today to look for fittings and the swamp material. Thanks Fig for the link to the ACE box- I might use that for the Uni. Probably going to run these off a 12 v battery.

Pumps- so many referred to on this thread. Here are two of the recent links-

http://www.amazon.com/Brushless-Submers ... bject+pump

http://www.goldengadgets.com/400lph-dc- ... -pump.html

Did I miss any other pumps? Any recommendations? The 400lph/105gph looks like it will work well. I don't expect my Unicooler to be taller than ~30".

Are there any problems when these run dry? I don't want a seized pump If I forget to turn the cooler off.

Cheers- Kent
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:19 pm

The pump might heat up and burn out if you let it run dry for too long. :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kstlfido » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:52 pm

Ok, thanks! I'll get a float switch.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby melodiousdirge » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:34 pm

The brushless submersible pump certainly makes a point of saying not to run it dry. Any pump's lifespan will be shortened by running dry, especially if there is any playa dust in the water to begin with (there will be). If you are that worried about it I'd recommend some kind of failsafe or a spare pump (For $12, that's the route I'm going).
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Picking a fan for solar swamp cooler

Postby mankx » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:39 pm

I'm making a substantial swamp cooler (not a bucket type) and trying to pick the most efficient cost/cfm/min Amperage fan.
(powering with Harbor Freight 45W solar rig {I think I can add up to 3 more panels on the same controller}, along with a hefty deep cycle marine battery)
--I understand the ducted (squirrel cage) blowers are far more efficient than regular bladed fans in general. But most I find online are either tiny PC blowers or BIG $120 furnace blowers.
--Also, the ducted types are better with back pressure (from flex ducting to/from cooler & evap pad choked with dust) than the radiator fans designed for open use.
--I see in the forum that the Endless Breeze seems to be popular choice, but wonder what happens to its 900 cfm when it is in a pressurized system.
--Auto parts stores' generic fit radiator fans seem to run $80++ and look wimpier than the Endless, and probably draw more (no specs listed).
--Ebay has many generics for only $20+, but they look just as wimpy.
--For $30 or so, 4" ducted bilge fans (not squirrel cage) seem to be made for lots of back pressure, but are rated only about 100 CFM under load (200 open, so I'd guess the radiator type/Endless would lose even more than 50%) and about 2.5A (same as Endless on "Hi".

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

May your burn be cool & fulfilling,

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:31 am

First, the reduction in cfm is so minimal you won't notice.

How large is the space you want to cool?

That will determine how much cooler you need.

What do you mean by "pressurized system"?

Radiator fans use from 8 to 30amps! 8)

I looked at all the fans you mentioned when I first got started and the ones in the designs are the best for the power infested.

If you can go ac power, it changes your options to build cheaper and with a lot more cfm, but it's a trade off in power infestment and you'll need an inverter.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Bursha » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:06 pm

Just finished building my first bucket version. I went with the HFT solar pump, costco marine battery and the Delta 120 x 38mm High-Speed Fan - 190 CFM from Frozen CPU. I live by the coast so there's a lot of moisture in the air and hard to tell how much "cooling" power its putting out, but the fan seems to have some serious air output.

Thanks to everyone for your help/input. Special thanks to you Fig, you the man!!!

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:09 pm

Nice job!

I suggest you get some dura cool pads as back up since I don't know how well those aspen pads will do on playa. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Max Callahan » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:37 pm

I did well with aspen pads, I had them sandwiched between window screening, shed like hell getting them cut and set up, but they were fine once they were enclosed.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kstlfido » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:59 am

So I scored a 30x24x18 clear acrylic box today at Urban Ore Reuse. 1/4" thickness with 2 shelves. Butt joints. Cool breeze fan and pumps on the way.

Doing dimensions, I can make two 24" tall, 18" wide, 15" deep box coolers. Picked up the vents too. Does anyone know where I can find any duracool padding in my area (Berkeley)? Can't seem to find any here in the hardware shops, so I might have to mail order.

Now to figure out how to cut and glue acrylic....
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:06 pm

Berkley may be to humid for them to carry the pads.

I found acrylic tricky to cut.

Tape both sides where your cut will be, and mark your cut in the middle of the tape.

Use a small tooth on your saw blade and go SLOW.

I hope someone has a better method, as even being very carfull, I've still had it try to split and craze. :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby DasMachina » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:48 pm

Hi guys,
First, thanks for so much awesome information and all the help you provide for those embarking on creating their own swamp cooler. After much review, I have it down to the following setup:

- 72L/~19Gal rubbermaid type container (will hold ~6Gal of water, slightly translucent so I can see the water level)
- Endless Breeze fan mounted on top reducing down to an 8" aluminum foil duct which goes up to the "stove" vent on our beloved Alaknak tent (12'x12'x5' avg height, ~720sqft)
- Likely using 1 or 2(?) 16"x8" vent grills with evap pads (1 on each of the long sides of the container) with drilled PVC pipe carrying the water to the pads
- DC powered from deep cycle battery with solar charger

What I'm wondering is:
1) What size/number of intakes do you think I should go for? I'm assuming the more pads I have, the more evaporation occurs, which should further cool the air but also presumably use more water.
2) What size pump should I aim for? The total rise is ~16". I'm guessing too much flow will produce a heavier stream through the pads thus making air intake tougher and probably reducing effective evaporation.
3) Do you foresee a problem or recommend one solution or the other between either splitting the water flow to the pads on each of the container (i.e. a T split) or running the PVC in one direction with a solid joiner (i.e. no drilled holes) going from one side to the other?
4) I know you want the intake air to be dry and warm, but any thoughts on the temperature of the water and container? For instance, does it make sense to keep it off the ground to keep cooler? Is it better to have the unit in the shade so that the water stays cool? We plan on putting our cooler ice in large ziploc bags so that we can either drink it or add it to the swamp cooler as needed (and eliminating any grey water from our coolers) - any thoughts on if colder water or even adding ice to the swamp cooler will have an impact?
5) Any tips on finding the right balance of pressure within the tent? Will a outlet fan help?

Thanks again and look forward to enjoying a cooler if dustier burn with y'all soon!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:20 pm

The reason for more exposed pad is so the fan does'nt have a problem pulling all the air it can handle.

Get a pump that will deliver 60 to 80 gallons an hour.

To much flow is not a problem as it just turns the cooler into a water chilled unit which is just as effective.

You don't need an exhaust fan, just some place for the air to vent out.

Adding ice is a waste of money.

The water temp will be about 58 degrees no matter what.

Shading the cooler will help a little.

You are changing the design, so I can't tell how well your cooler will work.

Just do the pvc in a U and don't drill holes where you don't want water. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby robrob » Thu Aug 02, 2012 11:12 pm

damnit. i tried to get fancy (ok, i just had a dremel and no hole cutter) and i think i cut the holes too low :/

think this is salvagable, or is it new bucket time?

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:11 am

It will still hold 2 gallons, but it looks like you'll have leak issues as I can see pad sticking out.

Put a ring of drip line 2"s below the holes in the bucket to keep the pad away from the holes.

The design is cool, but what's left needs to be wider for structural integratee. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby DasMachina » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:29 am

Awesome, thanks Figjam, you are the man.

I'll try to post some pics and results once done.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby lteuwen » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:27 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I think it will do the job.

If you can calculate how much cubic feet of space you are cooling and divide that by the cfm of your fan and your answer is between 3 and 5, it will work.

If you can create a vent hole near the peak of the roof so the air can cycle out at the same rate that it enters from the fan, thats perfect! 8)


Thanks for all the info! Figjam - does it follow that if I'm making 2 swamp coolers, each with a cfm rating of 133, the calculation would be: cubic footage of yert/266?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Pineapple » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:13 pm

For those cooling hexayurts, the typical design is in the neighborhood of 900-1000 cubic feet of volume. For hexayurts made with 8' x 4' insulation panels, the lower hexagonal prism is 665 cubic feet, approximating the roof section as a cone with radius 8' and height 4' is 268 cubic feet. Largest corner radius is 9.53 feet, so the cone is less than a maximum of 339 cubic feet.

So, on high, the endless breeze at 900 cfm is overkill, but it will probably be great on low. I could probably get away with cooling multiple yurts with one bigger cooler, but all that ducting is a PITA. So, I'm building coolers for each of 3 yurts. The folks in my camp paying $$$$$ to rent RVs to stay cool will definitely have their eyes opened by my A/C system for under $30 per person.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:22 pm

Make sure you have enough intake area for the fan to blow freely.

The unicooler works great for my space, but was designed for the small area I had to mount it.

2sq' to 3sq' of intake will make it exeptional.

This can all be on one side of the cooler (unicooler) or on 3 sides like the box cooler.

The unicooler sets against an inside wall with an opening for the intake.

The box will set against the outside wall with just the fan inside.

Both are equally effective! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:50 pm

The site I store my pics on sends a weekly email about which pics were viewed the most.

Never really paid it much attention.

Then this time I clicked to see what they were talking about.

Bucket cooler has had 500,000 views!!!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Pineapple » Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:14 pm

Thanks for the intake size tip. I was thinking in smaller terms, but my storage bin is 30" long, 19" high so I should be able to get a 28" long by 12" intake on one side and still have more than enough depth for 8 gallons of water.

I was thinking about adding a switch to these, but I just took a blind flier on this programmable timer switch. I'll set it to run starting at 7:30 am for 5 hours or whatever my water supply will allow.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/320938562033?ss ... 1497.l2649

Will report back when I get this switch in and have an idea how user-friendly it is.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby robrob » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:10 pm

you were right figjam, way too leaky, even with some spacer... redid the bucket. can't test fan output till tomorrow (solar)

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