Swamp cooler: Solar or battery?

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

Swamp cooler: Solar or battery?

Postby Island Brian » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:16 pm

Hello!

Burning Man virgin here looking for some advice in regards to powering a 5 gallon bucket swamp cooler. I see most people advise the use of a battery, and if need be, a solar panel to recharge the battery. I was wondering if anyone has exclusively used solar panels to power the swamp cooler, and if there were any disadvantages of using solar over the battery, and vice versa? For example; is the battery more reliable because it doesn't depend on environmental factors?

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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:09 pm

My battery runs my cooler all week without having to recharge!
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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby Island Brian » Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:26 pm

That sounds extremely reliable.

Thanks for the response!
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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby some seeing eye » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:32 am

Sno Koan Solar camp will charge batteries. Then you would need 2 - they charge in the day. But if you use Mr Figjam's system and sizing, you may not need charging in the week.
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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby Eric » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:27 am

Figjam is the creator of one of the most reliable swamp-cooling systems on the playa, trust his advice. Just google "figjam cooler" and you'll find complete instructions, and there's a thread somewhere on the board with lots of details (which I'm sure Figjam can find easily!)
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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby chuckularone » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:04 am

Here's Figjam's swamp cooler thread: https://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic ... 80&t=33842
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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:48 am

"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby tatonka » Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:42 am

we bought a expensive marine batt to run cooler and a extra regular batt incase. We started with the regular one to see how long it would last. It ran the cooler all week. :) Never had to use the deep cycle marine batt.
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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby Island Brian » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:36 am

So we've decided battery is the safest way to run the swamp cooler. Can any recommend an inexpensive but reliable 12v battery that is between 105Ah-115Ah? We found these at Walmart, but read that it's 125Ah at 1 amp which sounds like it's not nearly powerful enough to run the cooler for a week?

http://answers.walmart.com/answers/1336 ... stions.htm

http://www.walmart.com/ip/EverStart-Max ... y/20531539

Thank you all for the informative responses! You all rule!

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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby TT120 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:52 am

I got that same battery from Wallymart and it ran my Figjam Bucket Cooler and charged 2 phones all week long without even breaking a sweat.

If you had to, you could charge it back up from your car with a set of jumper cables in about 30 minutes.
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Re: Solar or battery?

Postby Island Brian » Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:56 am

That's awesome news! And thanks for the speedy response, TT120!

You've all been incredibly helpful, and I thank you all for your time!
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Re: Swamp cooler: Solar or battery?

Postby Papa_Legba » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:24 pm

"If you had to, you could charge it back up from your car with a set of jumper cables in about 30 minutes."

is this true? i'm finding conflicting information online

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Re: Swamp cooler: Solar or battery?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:28 pm

Connect the jumpers to the battery you want to charge and let them set for an hour.

Then start the car and let it idle for an hour.
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Re: Swamp cooler: Solar or battery?

Postby Papa_Legba » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:29 pm

thank you!

and disconnect the battery & jumpers during pt 2 when letting the car idle?
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Re: Swamp cooler: Solar or battery?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:44 pm

NO!!!

The first hour is whats called balancing.

If the alternator detects a full battery, it may not throw a full charge to the batteries.

The idle hour will then charge both batteries equally. 8)
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Re: Swamp cooler: Solar or battery?

Postby Papa_Legba » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:21 pm

much appreciated! :D
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