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 sjs » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:26 am

FIGJAM wrote:sjs, have thought about stacking your fans for the pressure and just using a Y fitting on top of the bucket?

Or a single powerful fan with the Y?

It would make the interior design easier. :?


Yes, I agree that it would make the interior design easier, and if I were doing a bucket cooler again this year I'd consider it.

I think that the two-output system will be more stable than a single Y, and works particularly well for my cooler this year because I want the battery to be able to physically sit in-between the two.

I also don't fully understand the benefits of parallel vs. serial fans, even though the mad scientists on this thread have discussed it quite a bit.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Pineapple » Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:41 am

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 68GPM @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
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:11 pm

That pump looks real good!

I think there's a missprint.

Should be 68GPH.

Please let us know if you buy and test this pump! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby sjs » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:36 pm

Cooler-Con is a go!

http://playaevents.burningman.com/2012/ ... vent/7082/

5:00pm on Tuesday at Camp Bioluminati (the "Pimp Yr Bike" camp). I'll post location details once we're placed.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby zonka » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:45 pm

I plan building a bucket cooler. Could I have some guidance regarding batteries and related equipment if needed (charger, inverter, controller, solar charger....)? What to look for, or specific items I need that will work well and will not break the bank ?

My starting point: From this thread I gather I should be looking for a deep cycle battery. Quick search online brings up some rather expensive 12V batteries ($~ 300) . In my local Costco I found few batteries, one of them is 115ah for ~ $90, ( Figjam, is this what you have?) - it says "fitment 16" - but if I am not mistaken it is 27 Volt. There were also Fitment Code 11, 13, 14. But I could not find info on what this means. Also there is an $80 or so solar battery at HarborFreight, but I think it is only 45 ah .
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby zonka » Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:50 pm

Also there is a selection at http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/searc ... le+battery including some at the $80-90 range - but I cannot decipher the specs and understand the capacity, and how those compare to the more expensive ones.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 25, 2012 5:12 pm

zonka wrote:I plan building a bucket cooler. Could I have some guidance regarding batteries and related equipment if needed (charger, inverter, controller, solar charger....)? What to look for, or specific items I need that will work well and will not break the bank ?

My starting point: From this thread I gather I should be looking for a deep cycle battery. Quick search online brings up some rather expensive 12V batteries ($~ 300) . In my local Costco I found few batteries, one of them is 115ah for ~ $90, ( Figjam, is this what you have?) - it says "fitment 16" - but if I am not mistaken it is 27 Volt. There were also Fitment Code 11, 13, 14. But I could not find info on what this means. Also there is an $80 or so solar battery at HarborFreight, but I think it is only 45 ah .



The 115ah for $90 is the best battery for that price.

It is a "group 27" which refers to size.

It is a 12 volt lead acid battery.

Mine are the pricey AGM deka 105ah batteries.

AGM stands for "Absorbed Glass Mat" meaning the acid is in a glass mat so that they cant spill even if broken open.

With proper care, they will last 10 yrs.

You will be able to run your cooler 5 or 6 hours a day, plus a few LED lights for camp, all week without a recharge on the costco battery. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby klondike-SD » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:09 pm

Question for HandJamMasterC:

I'm attempting to build a swamp cooler along the lines of the one you built with the Rubbermaid trash can.

What size grills did you use?
Were the grills necessary for structural strength or was it more of an aesthetic choice or just as a way to keep the cooler pad inside?

I was thinking I could maybe just use some screen door material I have lying around if the grill wasn't required for structural strength.

Any other tips beyond what you've already shared? I've got most of my materials (pump, trash can, endless breeze fan, etc.) but I haven't actually started cutting anything yet, so any late-breaking "be sure not to do <fill-in-the-blank>" tips would be much appreciated. :-)

Thanks,
Klondike


p.s. including your picture just to make it easier for latecomers to follow the thread:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:41 pm

Those "register" covers keep the water inside the cooler.

The angle of the trash can sides would create big leaking problems without them. 8)

Make sure all the air has to pass through the wet pad! (very important)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby klondike-SD » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:36 am

Duh! Thanks, I hadn't taken the slope of the sides into account.


FIGJAM wrote:Those "register" covers keep the water inside the cooler.

The angle of the trash can sides would create big leaking problems without them. 8)

Make sure all the air has to pass through the wet pad! (very important)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:27 pm

The best way to get a good seal where the air intake comes into the stucture is to get some 2"x2" foam rubber and glue it around the intake side of the cooler.

That will compensate for the angle of the container when you push it against the opening in your structure. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:39 pm

The good news is I found the original heavy duty pumps!

The bad news is the price has gone way up. :(


http://compare.ebay.com/like/400297468468?var=lv
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby sjs » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:35 pm

My portable swamp cooler is progressing. I've got the cooler pad installed now, with chicken wire on the front to keep it inside and to avoid leaking:

Image

I've hollowed out about half an inch of the insulation that's between the interior and exterior walls all the way around the hole, so there's no room for air to go around the pad.

On the inside, I have a couple of dowels that hold the pad in, and the hose goes inside the cooler wall on top of the pad:

Image

I drilled some holes on the inside of the cooler at the bottom of the "well" under the pad, and as you can see, there's a very steady flow of water out of those holes (indicating that I am achieving good saturation on the pad).

Next stage is getting the power, fans, switches, etc into the lid.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:57 pm

Looks good.

I think I would take it apart and seal the insulation with a layer of silicone all the way around so that water can't saturate between the plastic and insulation.

It may not be needed, but I'd feel better. :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby zonka » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:06 pm

I am looking at a setup of a dome tent (about 9' floor) under a Costco car port (10x20 feet). I thought of building Figjam's 5gal bucket cooler to cool the tent; I assume the cooler should be just outside of the tent, with the cool air pipes short as possible. What I am not sure about: The bucket cooler will be next to the tent, inside the carport; I am concerned it will raise the humidity inside the carport space, and I will not get sufficient cooling action. Should I indeed be concerned? If yes - any suggestions?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Dactylion » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:34 pm

Last year I had what I thought was a really well thought out bucket cooler, using a submersible pump and the blue pads. It cooled very well for the first three hours, then the dust started to clog the pads and it lost a lot of efficiency. After day two it was useless and I had to dump the murky water still in the bucket into our evap pond, use fresh water to rinse out the pad, use more fresh water to fill the bucket again-- pretty soon this thing was very water and labor intensive. And 2011 was "the year without big dust storms" compared to other burns.

Has anyone addressed this "dust loading" issue in their designs? Other than making the pads easy to remove?

(As with all giant threads like this one, if this has been addressed already please tell me which page it's on-- Thanks.)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:10 pm

zonka wrote:I am looking at a setup of a dome tent (about 9' floor) under a Costco car port (10x20 feet). I thought of building Figjam's 5gal bucket cooler to cool the tent; I assume the cooler should be just outside of the tent, with the cool air pipes short as possible. What I am not sure about: The bucket cooler will be next to the tent, inside the carport; I am concerned it will raise the humidity inside the carport space, and I will not get sufficient cooling action. Should I indeed be concerned? If yes - any suggestions?



It should'nt be able to build up the humidity in the carport space unless it's realy sealed.

So you should be fine.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:20 pm

Dactylion wrote:Last year I had what I thought was a really well thought out bucket cooler, using a submersible pump and the blue pads. It cooled very well for the first three hours, then the dust started to clog the pads and it lost a lot of efficiency. After day two it was useless and I had to dump the murky water still in the bucket into our evap pond, use fresh water to rinse out the pad, use more fresh water to fill the bucket again-- pretty soon this thing was very water and labor intensive. And 2011 was "the year without big dust storms" compared to other burns.

Has anyone addressed this "dust loading" issue in their designs? Other than making the pads easy to remove?

(As with all giant threads like this one, if this has been addressed already please tell me which page it's on-- Thanks.)



I based my design on a big cooler that yellowdog has been using on the playa for years.

He said they have never had your problem.

He also said that they change pads ever year because they get dust COLORED, but not clogged, and they've never noticed a reduction in air flow.

I don't know why your water would get murky.

He said the dust just precipitates into a layer at the bottom of the cooler.

Maybe if the silt layer is getting deep enough to cycle mud back up onto the pad, it's creating some kind of buildup over time.

I do know that playa mud is super sticky.

My experience has been exactly the same as yellowdogs, so I don't know what else to tell you. Sorry. :?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby sjs » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:37 am

FIGJAM wrote:
Dactylion wrote:Last year I had what I thought was a really well thought out bucket cooler, using a submersible pump and the blue pads. It cooled very well for the first three hours, then the dust started to clog the pads and it lost a lot of efficiency. After day two it was useless and I had to dump the murky water still in the bucket into our evap pond, use fresh water to rinse out the pad, use more fresh water to fill the bucket again-- pretty soon this thing was very water and labor intensive. And 2011 was "the year without big dust storms" compared to other burns.

Has anyone addressed this "dust loading" issue in their designs? Other than making the pads easy to remove?

(As with all giant threads like this one, if this has been addressed already please tell me which page it's on-- Thanks.)



I based my design on a big cooler that yellowdog has been using on the playa for years.

He said they have never had your problem.

He also said that they change pads ever year because they get dust COLORED, but not clogged, and they've never noticed a reduction in air flow.

I don't know why your water would get murky.

He said the dust just precipitates into a layer at the bottom of the cooler.

Maybe if the silt layer is getting deep enough to cycle mud back up onto the pad, it's creating some kind of buildup over time.

I do know that playa mud is super sticky.

My experience has been exactly the same as yellowdogs, so I don't know what else to tell you. Sorry. :?


Yeah, I didn't have this problem either. I wonder if it was a lack of water flow... not enough water, then the dust can get dried and caked instead of flowing down to the bottom.

In any case, if you bring a cooler again this year and want to troubleshoot, come by Cooler-Con on Tuesday:
http://playaevents.burningman.com/2012/ ... vent/7082/
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:23 am

This will be my 3rd year with the same pads I started with.

The coolers on houses here run 24/7 for months at a time.

They get changed once a year due to calcium build up reducing air flow.

Even with the big monsoon dust storms here,the dust stays washed out of the pads.

8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby sjs » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:18 pm

Dogs like cooler pads too.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:14 pm

*considers the wisdom of turning this into an "Oh, what a cute little doggy" thread*
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby orchid713 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:06 am

I found this fan, seems to have a very high CFM with very low draw... at least from what I understand, this could be a great fan for this project...
also has a speed switch...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V6FKGM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER
if anyone has any insight, yeah/neigh, please let me know! planning on cooling a small hexayurt, maybe a stretch... we'll see what CL helps me find!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:58 pm

I don't think it will do the job.

I have a NXST fan with the same dimentions that's suposed to put out 200cfm.

It's on the shelf waiting for a job cause it just did'nt cut it.

For a yurt, do yourself a favor, and build the bigger cooler.

Here's what your looking for.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rls=HPIC,HPIC:2010-18,HPIC:en&q=endless+breeze+12+volt+fans&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9866330219626976791&sa=X&ei=Oxb8TdqGGOTf0QGEm5DkAw&ved=0CE4Q8wIwAQ#

or

http://electricalspower.blogspot.com/2011/10/sunforce-solar-garage-fan-with-battery.html
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby voiceinthedarkness » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:59 pm

Lightobject makes a small 12VDC pump, 57GPH, 10' head, 350mA or 4.2W. Slightly outside the 300mA spec but close. Not much more information available, so I'll buy one, see how it works in the cooler. If there's interest I can post additional details - outlet size, wiring information, etc.

http://www.lightobject.com/36Lmin-Mini- ... -P573.aspx
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:03 pm

voiceinthedarkness wrote:Lightobject makes a small 12VDC pump, 57GPH, 10' head, 350mA or 4.2W. Slightly outside the 300mA spec but close. Not much more information available, so I'll buy one, see how it works in the cooler. If there's interest I can post additional details - outlet size, wiring information, etc.

http://www.lightobject.com/36Lmin-Mini- ... -P573.aspx



The higher it has to pump the water, the less gph it will move.

It's the main thing to watch out for! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby snabss » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:12 am

Been reading this thread for the last 3 days! its a long thread! Thanks everyone for posting so much awesome information, though my head is spinning now :)

i would appreciate some expert advice from the gods of swamp (cooler) :P

i have the 10x10 kodiak tent, which roughly translates to 700 cfm (10x10x7). should i be making the "unicooler" ?
i think the fan for the uni cooler is the breeze fan? which pump is the recommended one these days?
i already have a deep cycle battery, and an inverter but the inverter doesn't have a 12v output. how do i connect the pump and fan to the battery? should i directly connect it to the battery terminals? or should there be some device in the middle? something with low voltage detection? something that can tell me when to stop using the battery, how much charge is left etc etc. is there such a thing?

And finally you guys (and gals) rock!!!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 04, 2012 7:00 am

For that size space I would build the unicooler.

These are the pumps I'm using.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBMERSIBLE-WATER-FOUNTAIN-PUMP-FOR-USE-W-12V-SOLAR-PANEL-OR-BATTERY-/400297468468?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d3396a234

The Endless Breeze fan.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rls=HPIC,HPIC:2010-18,HPIC:en&q=endless+breeze+12+volt+fans&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9866330219626976791&sa=X&ei=Oxb8TdqGGOTf0QGEm5DkAw&ved=0CE4Q8wIwAQ#

You don't need an inverter.

Hook the cooler direct to the battery. (cheap clamps from harbor fraight will work)

Get a cheap volt meter and check the battery.

When it reads 11 volts your battery is at 50%.

Or you'll notice the fan slowing down.

If you get the costco 115 ah battery, it will last all week. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Dactylion » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:09 am

You guys gave me a couple of clues. I'm going to raise the water pickup higher off the bottom to avoid ingesting silt and also increase the flow with a better water pump. Thanks. --Dax


sjs wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:
Dactylion wrote:Last year I had what I thought was a really well thought out bucket cooler, using a submersible pump and the blue pads. It cooled very well for the first three hours, then the dust started to clog the pads and it lost a lot of efficiency. After day two it was useless and I had to dump the murky water still in the bucket into our evap pond, use fresh water to rinse out the pad, use more fresh water to fill the bucket again-- pretty soon this thing was very water and labor intensive. And 2011 was "the year without big dust storms" compared to other burns.

Has anyone addressed this "dust loading" issue in their designs? Other than making the pads easy to remove?

(As with all giant threads like this one, if this has been addressed already please tell me which page it's on-- Thanks.)



I based my design on a big cooler that yellowdog has been using on the playa for years.

He said they have never had your problem.

He also said that they change pads ever year because they get dust COLORED, but not clogged, and they've never noticed a reduction in air flow.

I don't know why your water would get murky.

He said the dust just precipitates into a layer at the bottom of the cooler.

Maybe if the silt layer is getting deep enough to cycle mud back up onto the pad, it's creating some kind of buildup over time.

I do know that playa mud is super sticky.

My experience has been exactly the same as yellowdogs, so I don't know what else to tell you. Sorry. :?


Yeah, I didn't have this problem either. I wonder if it was a lack of water flow... not enough water, then the dust can get dried and caked instead of flowing down to the bottom.

In any case, if you bring a cooler again this year and want to troubleshoot, come by Cooler-Con on Tuesday:
http://playaevents.burningman.com/2012/ ... vent/7082/
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby snabss » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:35 pm

Thanks Figjam!

I was digging through my old aquarium stuff and found a minjet 606 pump. its a 6w upto 159gph (adjustable) pump with a height of 46".
i think this would work fine. requires a little more power but i have enough batteries so i still wont need to recharge during the week.

my questions is, do we know of a fan comparable to the "endless breeze" that will run on AC. I will have to use the inverter for the pump, might as well use an AC fan so they can both be connected together and placed away from the battery and inverter (if needed) with the use of extension chords.

i know the inverter will introduce some loss in the system but with power requirements this low, it should be ok.

thoughts?




FIGJAM wrote:For that size space I would build the unicooler.

These are the pumps I'm using.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBMERSIBLE-WATER-FOUNTAIN-PUMP-FOR-USE-W-12V-SOLAR-PANEL-OR-BATTERY-/400297468468?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5d3396a234

The Endless Breeze fan.

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rls=HPIC,HPIC:2010-18,HPIC:en&q=endless+breeze+12+volt+fans&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=9866330219626976791&sa=X&ei=Oxb8TdqGGOTf0QGEm5DkAw&ved=0CE4Q8wIwAQ#

You don't need an inverter.

Hook the cooler direct to the battery. (cheap clamps from harbor fraight will work)

Get a cheap volt meter and check the battery.

When it reads 11 volts your battery is at 50%.

Or you'll notice the fan slowing down.

If you get the costco 115 ah battery, it will last all week. 8)
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