cooling your tent or van

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

Postby Token » Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:49 am

Dammit Figjam, I did the swamp thing on my two carboys with ale fermenting in them.

It chilled them down to 60F and stopped the fermentation. I need 68 - 70 F.

I want a refund!

:)

Great design.
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Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:28 am

Radical self reliance? Thermastat? Checks in the mail? Cant find your order? Did you try customer sevice number in Tierra Del Fuego?......................lol
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Postby Token » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:02 am

Seriously , the swamp thing is awesome!

You cool (pun intended)
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Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:18 am

Did you build the bucket, or the box?
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Postby Token » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:19 am

Bucket
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Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:34 am

Id love to see pics of your set up if youve got em.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:15 am

Pics or it didn't happen. ;)

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Postby kman » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:04 pm

Got my HF solar fountain pump in today. Dang, it's a lot tinier than I thought it would be!

I'll swing by Fry's this week and grab a case fan, that's the last piece I need.

I'll build the bucket cooler this weekend, and will be sure to take lots of pics of both the build and the final product. :)
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:26 am

8)
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Postby ConnieH » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:33 am

Speaking of fans, I got a good deal on 64cfm 92mm fans, so I bought 4 of them (two for me, two for spare or more coolers). I need somewhere around 100cfm for an under 10 minute air exchange in my hexayurt. So my question is - would I get more cfm by mounting 2 fans side by side on the lid of the bucket cooler, or by mounting one fan on the lid and another at the end of the duct (probably will use 4" flexible dryer hose) running from the cooler into the yurt? Since the fans are both the same cfm, it shouldn't slow down the airflow, but will installing them inline increase airflow at all, or just stay the same at 64cfm?
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:41 am

I dont think putting them inline will boost the flow. If you put 10 64cfm fans in a tube, I think you still have 64cfm. Side by side will add the air flow, But I dont see an easy way to mount the fans to the bucket. You could mount the fans on the wall of the yurt as long as you have everything well sealed from the bucket to the fans. Sort of like a canister vacume cleaner. It doesnt matter where the fans are as long as they can pull the air through the damp pads. maybe an 8" tube from the top of the bucket to the wall of the yurt where you could have your array of fans, but I havent tested it that way.

Hope this helps.
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Postby kman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:06 am

That's my guess as well... I don't think you can put them inline.

Perhaps side-by-side on the bucket, and use TWO 4" dryer tubes instead?

I gotta say, I kind of think bigger fans (min. 120mm) are the way to go, rather than multiple smaller fans.
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:19 am

Thats the easy way, and Im always for the easy way.
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Postby ConnieH » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:18 pm

I don't really think inline will work either, but my boyfriend is convinced it will speed the airflow, so I agreed to try it to keep the peace - then I'll try it the other way and we'll see which works better. I wanted to ask you guys, though, to get some second, more experienced, opinions since neither of us really know anything about swamp cooler stuff ;)

I figured if I did two fans on the lid (which the 92mm ones fit nice, could even do 3, but more amp draw), I can buy or fashion a duct reducer from 8" to 4" and still use the dryer hose. Kman, I like your idea of using two dryer hoses (his & hers vents? ;)), I may play with that since I have a gob of hose...and I also like Figjam's idea of mounting both fans in the yurt wall, which we were going to do with the one on the end of the line anyway. Having the fans in the wall might "feel" better? Especially since we plan to put the opening near the bed. Maybe it's time to get the yurt out and do a real life test....once I buy a battery anyway - that's the last piece that's holding me back from a full test.
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Postby kman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:24 pm

Wacky thought: You don't have to buy a battery to test. Just run a line off your car's battery.

Buy a battery at your leisure. 8)
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Postby ConnieH » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:37 pm

kman wrote:Wacky thought: You don't have to buy a battery to test. Just run a line off your car's battery.

Buy a battery at your leisure. 8)


hehe...yeah, I thought of doing that :P Only problem is where I can park my car isn't the best test area (shady/sloped/etc.)...but I'll work it out and let you guys know how it goes. Still need to buy a battery anyway, it's on The List and I want to cross it off!
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:13 pm

I read some where that a regular car battery was equal to a 50ah battery.

I like the agm deep cycle because they cant spill, but they are pricey.
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:40 pm

Before you cut a hole in the top of your bucket, test the fans and see what breeze you get. Better to get the fan your going to use than to buy a bunch of bucket lids due to changing your mind.......lol
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Postby ConnieH » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:53 pm

Actually, we get buckets w/lids for free from my boyfriend's work, they just throw them away...he had a great idea to try hooking the fans to his battery charger to test - worked great! Need to wait for the heat of tomorrow to do a real test...supposed to be 99 degrees - perfect. Found a toggle switch while I was shopping for other things and it works...it will be so nice to be laying in bed and just roll over and flip a switch to turn on the fan :)
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Postby kman » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:07 pm

ConnieH wrote:Actually, we get buckets w/lids for free from my boyfriend's work, they just throw them away...he had a great idea to try hooking the fans to his battery charger to test - worked great! Need to wait for the heat of tomorrow to do a real test...supposed to be 99 degrees - perfect. Found a toggle switch while I was shopping for other things and it works...it will be so nice to be laying in bed and just roll over and flip a switch to turn on the fan :)

What sort of business does your boyfriend work at? I need a free bucket so I don't have to cut up an otherwise perfectly good home depot bucket. They're cheap, sure, but free is much better (and doesn't kill one of my good buckets). :)
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Postby ConnieH » Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:56 pm

he works at a restaurant ;-) Got the fans wired up to the switch and she's running like a champ - pics to follow!
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Postby kman » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:26 pm

Finished my swamp cooler today. (mostly) Pics to follow.

I think I may end up going for a higher-speed fan after all, regardless of amp draw. The cooler master fan I got is unbelievably quiet, but it's not pushing quite as much air as I'd like. Oddly, the specs on the package are different than the specs on Amazon's site.

I don't have a dryer tube yet, nor have I found a sacrificial bucket to make a retaining ring. I'll be fine-tuning some things, such as the size of the drip ring around the top. (It's a smidge too big and keep wanting to climb out... and the holes I drilled should angle inward a little more, I think.)

But it seems to be working! Relatively cool air is coming out the top, although it's really diffuse without a hose to route the air through. I don't have any temperature-measuring tools, either, so it's hard to say for sure. I'll see if I can find some cheap measuring tools or borrow something to get some hard numbers.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:39 pm

Can you cut a smidge off the hose? It should rest on top of the pad like a small hula hoop. If you make it smaller you may not have to change the holes.

Now you know why I was doing so much research on fans. It seem to be the most critical part.

Youve got the jist of it, now fine tune that mutha till it does your bidding!!!!!!!! :twisted:
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Postby kman » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:09 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Can you cut a smidge off the hose? It should rest on top of the pad like a small hula hoop. If you make it smaller you may not have to change the holes.

You can make another smaller loop to act as a pad retainer.

Now you know why I was doing so much research on fans. It seem to be the most critical part.

Youve got the jist of it, now fine tune that mutha till it does your bidding!!!!!!!! :twisted:

I'd probably be happier if the specs on the fans were the ones on Amazon's page. As it is, they look like they're actually 70cfm fans, not 90.

I did order two, though, and I've mounted the first one on the bucket. There is room for both, side-by-side, so I may try that to see if two fans (140 cfm will be nice, actually) do the job I need better than one.

Photos coming in the next post. :)
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Postby kman » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:24 pm

Parts List:

Home Depot "Homer" 5 gallon Bucket: $2.50
Home Depot Bucket Lid: $1

Home Depot "DuraCool" 30x36 Swamp Cooler Mesh Pad: $8.77
Home Depot: Poly Tube 1/2" Irrigation Tube (50' roll): $5.99

OSH: Shade Cloth, 6' wide (purchased 2 ft long): $2/ft, $4 total

Amazon: 120mmx120mm computer cooling fan, 12v: $7

Harbor Freight: Solar Fountain Pump Kit: $14
(No longer available, check eBay)

ll also need some sort of way to push the completed pad up against the sides of the bucket. A ring cut from a sacrificed 5 gal bucket works well (see FigJam's initial post), or improvise something.

Flexible conduit to direct cooled air: varies
(4" dryer conduit is about $5-6 and should work pretty well)

Tools needed:

Drill for bucket holes and fan mount holes
Common size bits for fan mount
2" Hole Cutter Bit for Drill ($5 at Harbor Freight) for bucket vent holes
Box Knife to cut poly hose and bucket lid
Scissors to cut shade cloth
Screwdriver to screw in fan

Power needed:

12v power source, size depends on how long you want to run it and what size fan and pump you use.

The whole thing CAN run on solar power if desired. A 10-15w panel will push fans like mine directly, or via a deep cycle marine battery, and the pump can either be solar or also run from a small panel or the battery. Bigger fans and bigger pumps may need more juice.

Also needed:

Water. It's predicted that the system, assuming no leaks, will use approx 1 gal of water every hour. (I'll revise this later as I confirm with testing)

Wife is calling for dinner so I don't have time to link the photos right now. You can see them here: Photo Diary: DIY Bucket Swamp Cooler Construction

There are 6 screens of photos so be sure to click Next (at the bottom)!

I'll try to get back later and post them directly in this thread, but bigger photos will be on that page, regardless.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:03 pm

Great job! The T I bought fit INSIDE the drip line so it was easier to work with.

The water consumtion on the bucket cooler is 2gal. for 5 hrs.

Other than that..............KIGJAM...........Kman Is Good Just Ask Me. :D :D :D
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Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:36 pm

8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:10 pm

8)
Last edited by FIGJAM on Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:11 pm

FIGJAM wrote:YURT ALERT!!!!! Ok you dont have to have a yurt, but I liked saying it. Swamp cooler 2.0.

Image

I made the box out of some left over material from my tube surround. I dont remember what its called, but its water proof and light. Fiber glass or plastic panels will work if their thick enough, but if you are patient, look in the thrift stores for a plastic or lexan display case with roughly the same dementions. 15x15x24in. Then you wont have to build a box.

Image

The endless breeze fan is awsome. I thought I had a problem with it, but it turns out that I reversed the connection which made the fan run backwards, so it wasnt pushing much air. Now I can feel the breeze from 10ft away when its on low(1.18 amps 250cfm) medium 500cfm 1.68 amps, and high is 900cfm at 2.50 amps. Great for a 12 volt fan. The cheepest price new that I found was $60. Mine was a display and I got it for $25.

Image

1/2in. pvc and three 90s and a cap.

Image

The feed line was a little small till I put a short piece of pvc in the 90. with a little sillycone, its perfect. No need to glue the other pvc parts together.

Image

Image

By folding the pad instead of cutting individual pieces, It gets a snugger fit. The piece of strap keeps the pad snug at the front of the cooler. This is needed because if your fan is real strong, it will try to vacume your pad away from the sides. The pad retains its shape real well, so folding the inside corners is perfect.
The black tape is there because I got a little high on the sides with my holes and you want all the air to be drawn through damp pad.


Image

Im waiting for the little bit stronger pump so I can test, but it should work fine...........FIGJAM........Oh .....check rv places to locate this fan. I sillyconed all the joints on the box exept the lid and this unit holds 8 gal. of water. Theres room for a case of pbr in the bottom. I have to check, but I think the water temp when running is close to 40 degrees. Unite dry wieght 13 pounds.
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Postby FIGJAM » Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:12 pm

FIGJAM wrote:I dont know if you can see it in this picture, but I had some small wire that I cut some short lengths of and just ran them through the top of the pad and around the pvc. This keeps the pad from sucking away from the side.

Image

If you do have an issue with leaks just push the pad in at that point, because the wire ties still keep the top of the pad in place.

Image

Once the breeze died down, I could feel a cool breeze from 10ft away.

Image

I think thats everything. If I missed something, just ask, and Ill be happy to try and help.
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