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 guerrillayogi » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:13 pm

Regarding batteries and solar:

Would it be feasible to run at least the CPU fan off a UPS-type 12V battery? such as this:
http://www.amazon.com/UPG-UB1280-Sealed ... 2v+battery

I know that it will only run for ~2 hours, so I'll need at least two of these. I can charge one using my solar panel, and operate using the other one, and rig up a switch to go back and forth. Can this work?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby holymoley » Thu Aug 15, 2013 1:23 pm

TT120 wrote:I spliced longer wires to the pump and fan and then just connected them both to the battery. Works fine.

Image


Thank you!!!!!!!!!!! Have an awesome burn :)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:05 pm

IF YOU JUST WANT TO BUILD YOURSELF A RELIABLE EFFECTIVE SWAMP-COOLER, SKIP THIS POST AND FOLLOW ONE OF FIGJAM'S DESIGNS.
It contains explanations of details you don't need to understand in order to build his designs.

Wendle wrote:I also found these: which I feel help to hold the cooling pad upright against the bucket and even out the airflow over the pad. The gap between the basket and the bucket is perfect to hold one layer of aspen pad against the bucket, which would probably be about the same as one blue pad, but since it kind of directs the air downward over the pad it is increasing the amount of dwell time on the pad and is probably the same effect as having the air go directly across two pads; the air is quite cold coming out.

Good thinking, but holding the pad against the bucket is not the way to go.
As you've described, with the pad held against the bucket and the basket held against the pad:
  • the pad intake area is reduced to the area of the holes,
  • the pad exhaust area is reduced by the the basket grid (which appears to reduce it to half in the grid area, plus what you lose for any of the solid area),
  • the airflow is not evened out as the air will take the path of least resistance, limiting travel sideways through the extra resistance of more filter media to get out through the grid's limited pad exit points,
  • the reduced effective pad intake area causes increased air velocity through the filter media, which greatly increases resistance to airflow, lowering the volume of air flowing through the cooler,
  • the higher air velocity reduces dwell time,
  • when processing hot dry playa air, you may find that the above points combine to deplete water in that greatly reduced air path, creating dry spots that will pass hot dusty air,
  • in addition to possible dry spots, the above adds up to a reduced volume of air processed for the size of the bucket cooler. Well below it's potential.
    It is very similar to using such a bucket as a water reservoir for a tiny filter pad.
Others have gone this way before, only to discover that once on playa, it does not perform well as the limitations become evident with processing hot dry playa air.

Note that aspen pads swelling with water have caused some people complications with their designs. Including swelling and filling the air gap required to maximize the bucket-cooler's potential, as described below.

Note that things touching the filter pad (like your basket) provide an alternate path for water to take, instead of flowing through the filter media, so you're also limiting the water flowing through the pad, thereby increasing the chance of getting dry spots and of limiting the evapoarative cooling. (Note that with the uni-cooler and box-cooler, where the vent-screens contact the pads, they direct any water that gets/goes on them back onto the pad.)


FIGJAM's design requires an air gap between the side of the bucket and the pad.
As the fan sucks air out of the center space of the bucket, the negative pressure created in that space will suck air out of the entire inner surface area of the pad that is above water. That in turn will suck air into the filter pad on it's other side, wherever it is above water. Due to the air gap between the bucket and the pad, this means it sucks air through the entire outside area of the pad that's above water. The air in the gap is replenished by sucking air in through the holes in the side of the bucket. (Due to the extra resistance for air flow between the bucket and the pad, there is some bias for flow through the pad closer to the hole, and there's more dust appears on the pad inline with the hole as the dust doesn't change direction as easily as the air spreading out into the air gap.) As the air flow has the largest possible surface area for entering and exiting the pad, it has the lowest possible air velocity, for the longest dwell time possible and the least resistance to air flow (greatest CFM possible), all contributing to ensure that this maximized air flow gets its maximum possible cooling. The bucket cooler uses a lot more of the pad than one would intuitively conclude based on the size and area of the holes.

(if you want to mentally reverse that, you'll see why these swamp-coolers work well when sucking air out of the bucket, but not as good when someone decides to reverse the flow and gets the fan to force air through in the other direction)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:29 am

My Homer bucket is a little taller than Fig's.. It left a space in the top where air was coming trough.. I took another lid,cut off the outside ring and cut the center out.. It slips inside the bucket to the top of the pad... No incoming air leak..Have a spare solar pump.. Going to double the pumps. That should be enough water on the pads..
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Dr. Brap » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:15 am

Okay, I figured photo posting out. First off here's the 30 degree evidence.
Before we by figJAMMIN on a nice hot Vegas afternoon:
Image

Now we be figJAMMIN!!
ImageO

Here's how the toilet flange matches the fan size
Image

Overall
Image

Thanks Again!!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby dj_shuze » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:26 pm

FIGJAM wrote:That company stopped selling the pumps.
Now they are here or on ebay.
https://www.greenlivingforu.com/dc-submersible-water-fountain-pump-use-12v-solar-panel-or-battery


Sigh - wish this had shown up weeks ago. :-/ I'm stuck with the 7v one from Harbor Freight. (My bucket is in a truck on the way to the Playa; and I'm _done_ spending money for this Burn...).
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Current cooler pad instructions?

Postby dj_shuze » Sat Aug 17, 2013 8:44 pm

Hey, Figjam -

What page of the thread is the current best-practice on the cooler pads shown? I don't think the front-page post edited & up to date, and I can't remember which thread page has current cooler pad instructions.

If it's not easy to find, here's what I'm assuming.
- Fix the outer pad so it does NOT contact the outside of the bucket, so that air can flow through the holes & be drawn in across the entire pad surface. (I wish I knew how big should this gap be; pad length prior to stitching / bonding would help.)
- The outer pad is also cut shorter than the inner pad, so that it acts as a shelf for the vinyl water ring. (How much shorter? Just a bit more than the tube O.D.?)
- The inner pad is taller, and goes to the top of the bucket, to prevent a gap (where the air would flow with least resistance). A small hole / notch in this allows the water feed tube through to the water ring. (I note that this feels to me like a 1-layer pad, thus less air resistance, thus potentially a place where dust will collect over the week. Experience otherwise?)

I believe sizes for all this are shown on some page somewhere. Figjam, is it possible to edit your first page post so that it has all current data (e.g. revised pump source, alternate vendor I mentioned a few posts ago for the fan (since they're back-ordered at your source), current pad dimensions, and sourcing info)?

RSVP
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:44 pm

Can't edit the first post.

The buckets seem to be different sizes at different home depots, but keep the pad about 1/4" away from the sides of the bucket.

On mine the outer pad is 30"x13 1/2", but some buckets are different.

They are tapered, so I just made the pad tube the size of the bottom of the bucket and the taper kept it away from the sides.

Make the outer pad tall enough so that the halo acts as a seal against the lid.

The inner pad doesn't get seamed, so the gap in the seam holds the T connector and halo in place.

The air draws the moisture toward the inside pad and I've never had a problem with dust clogging anything. 8)

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Bounce530 » Sat Aug 17, 2013 10:39 pm

As I'm amassing 'the pile' in the garage, I went to set the battery for my cooler on the concrete, but then remembered what my father had told me years and years ago. Don't put a car battery directly on the ground. Now whether its true or not that the ground will drain the battery, I think while packing we all should bring something to set the batteries on and not directly on playa.
I'm going to put my battery up on some 2x4's that are just a bit bigger than the footprint of the battery.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:35 am

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby TT120 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:56 am

Yeah, that hasn't been true for a long time. With plastic technology the way it is, batteries can sit on the concrete, Playa, or anything really.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Martiansky » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:47 pm

Major bummer!
I hooked up the pump to the battery and......NOTHING!!!
It's my fault for waiting so long to do this....now I need a pump and I don't know if I can get one locally.
The fan worked great which is a bonus, I guess.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Martiansky » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:51 pm

Just had a thought.....hardware store sells smallish bilge pumps.
I've, looked at them, only thing I would have to deal with is the output which is bigger then 3/8" but I could maybe
get some plastic fittings to downsize it to 3/8"
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Martiansky » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:15 pm

800gph and 3/4" hose outlet

Is that too much?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:34 pm

We're right down the street.

Do you want to use my spare?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Martiansky » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:37 pm

(((FIGJAM)))

You are a dear! Thank you for your offer!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby doober831 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:06 pm

Finally got the cooler up and running! It's too humid around here to tell how well it's working so I'm just gonna trust that it'll work. It's gotta be better than nothing!
Question: Is there any way to muffle the high pitch noise the fan makes? I' notice if i put my hands over the opening that high pitch noise pretty much disappears and you just hear the rushing air. Any suggestions? I'm thinkin a length of flex tubing may help but I haven't tested that theory yet.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:10 pm

doober831 wrote:Question: Is there any way to muffle the high pitch noise the fan makes?

remove any unnecessary grid/grill on intake and output of the fan
duct it so there is no 'line of sight' to the fan
the softer the sides of the duct, the less it will reflect the noise - some will travel through the air to you anyway - you're minimizing not eliminating
you might try (I haven't yet) tapeing a duct together from bubble-wrap
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Aleksey » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:18 am

Wow, what a thread :)
Forgive if this was asked on one of the 80 pages, but how big is FIGJAM's tent in cubic feet?
The recommendation was to cycle air every 3 to 5 minutes, but the choice was 150 CFM fan which will translate into 450-750 cubic feet, that's one big tent or van.

I cannot seem to find any 150 CFM fans that I can quickly get my hands on, but I can get 60CFM and my 2 people tent is less than 100 cubic feet. Would that do the job?

I could also connect the fans in series, there are venting systems like that, but I think they are designed for it, like say, shape of rotors and making sure they are moving with a certain shift in the phase, but will these computer fans increase CFM when arranged like that?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:59 am

Is your tent going to be shaded?

Testing has shown that under 100cfm just doesn't move enough air.

My bucket has a 190cfm fan and is good up to about 600 cubic feet of cooling.

I don't sleep in a tent. 8)

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The hatch in this pic is the intake on my cooler.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby strangeloop » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:03 am

Quick question for anyone that hasn't yet left for the playa with electronics experience.

I bought this pump from Amazon this week:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0018W ... UTF8&psc=1

It has a standard 3-prong wall plug, no transformer or anything. I tried to strip it last night to connect to my deep-cycle battery, but it didn't work. Am I missing a step here?

There's a green, white, and black wire inside. I'm assuming the green is ground, and I have nothing to connect that to.

Please help! and thanks!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:25 am

That pump runs on house current which is AC.

You need a 12 volt DC pump, or an inverter to use with that pump. :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Aleksey » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:43 am

FIGJAM wrote:Is your tent going to be shaded?
Testing has shown that under 100cfm just doesn't move enough air.
My bucket has a 190cfm fan and is good up to about 600 cubic feet of cooling.


Yes, I'm planning to have a tarp over it, with a foot or so space from the tent on the top and sides.

Proportionally, I'd only need 30cfm to cool 100 cubic feet of space, or will it simply not be able to pull the air through the cooler pads?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:16 am

Mathmaticly you are correct, but with swamp coolers the rule of thumb is "More is better"! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby strangeloop » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:23 pm

FIGJAM wrote:That pump runs on house current which is AC.

You need a 12 volt DC pump, or an inverter to use with that pump. :(


FAIL!

Luckily I have last year's pump. I'll just have to consolidate back to one swamp cooler from two. :(
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Dr. Brap » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:42 pm

Aleksey wrote:Wow, what a thread :)
Forgive if this was asked on one of the 80 pages, but how big is FIGJAM's tent in cubic feet?
The recommendation was to cycle air every 3 to 5 minutes, but the choice was 150 CFM fan which will translate into 450-750 cubic feet, that's one big tent or van.

I cannot seem to find any 150 CFM fans that I can quickly get my hands on, but I can get 60CFM and my 2 people tent is less than 100 cubic feet. Would that do the job?

I could also connect the fans in series, there are venting systems like that, but I think they are designed for it, like say, shape of rotors and making sure they are moving with a certain shift in the phase, but will these computer fans increase CFM when arranged like that?


Two fans in series should double air pressure and two fans in parallel should double flow rate.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby guerrillayogi » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:19 am

I'm going 100% solar. This was my last shopping spree on Amazon. Unfortunately, the parts are going to meet me in the desert, so I can only test in real conditions!

40w solar panel (for direct power): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007YT7P94
12VDC pump: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009X6ADCM/
12VDC case fan: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001NPEBGU
12VDC vent fan for my dome (repurposed)
Timer switch (to avoid burnout when dry): http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000B8WJZU

Gonna hook up all the parts in parallel (except timer) and cross my fingers! Got the harbour freight pump just as a backup :D
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:10 am

I think I got it right this time. :D will see soon enough. It's almost 70% RH here in El Segundo CA so I can't get cooling results til I reach the playa.
MEGA THANKS TO FIGJAM for everything here!, replying to all the questions etc!
Image
IMG_0162 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0163 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0169 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0117 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0119 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0120 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0123 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0149 by J Hy One, on Flickr

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IMG_0150 by J Hy One, on Flickr


I had to chop off the lip on the side that interfaces the yurt wall in order to get a flush seal. I reinforced the flimsy plastic with a couple of metal rulers to stiffen it up and give the lid a better rim to sit on.
Image
IMG_0115 by J Hy One, on Flickr


The grille was a bit tight in this trash bin, so I had to chop off around 1/2", used a dremel. Made the grille flimsy but once attached was solid.
Image
IMG_0066 by J Hy One, on Flickr


Cut my lid from some 1/8" acrylic. Gonna hold it on with a couple small clamps
Image
IMG_0077 by J Hy One, on Flickr


Here's one way I didn't go the recommended route and tried something else. To attach my vents and fan, I used DUCK brand PERMANENT mounting tape. I didn't want to deal with silicone, which definitely wouldn't hold the weight of my vents and fan on my plastic box.
http://duckbrand.com/products/invisible ... nting-tape
It held fine on my cooler last yr and is still holding strong today. Can hold 1/4 lb per 1.5" of tape. Since I sealed the hole edge of every piece (over 2' of tape per mount), the hold is so strong that if I pulled the fan off it would break open my fan before the adhesive gave out. I even tested a piece submerged in water for a week and it held fine after that, even though it's not rated as waterproof. In my cooler it will barely be dampened so I'm pretty confident in it. It's also rated at 150 degrees F, so its temp should be fine. For those that want to try it, make sure you don't accidentally get the removable version of this tape, this one is permanent thus stronger.
Yo can see it here between the box and the vent. It's about 1/16" thick.
Image
IMG_0075 by J Hy One, on Flickr
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:45 pm

That's amazeballs!!!!!!! 8)

As long as the pump can keep the pads wet it will work great!

WARNING: DO NOT LET THE COOL AIR CAUSE YOU TO HIBERNATE IN CAMP ALL WEEK!!!!!!!! :lol:

Excellent job.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby otakup0pe » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:06 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Don't get excited about the bowl on top as we found that connectors worked better for ducting, but the creativity of the bucket still tickles me! 8)

Image


That is quite the pretty swamp cooler.

Got ours working. Took about an hour or so not counting waiting for Goop to dry.

Too balmy to really tell if it's working at home. The pump and fan seem to work so I guess it's coming with us to the playa.
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