cooling your tent or van

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

cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 9:50 am

The basic idea for the bucket cooler is just a smaller version of Yellowdog's cooler made from a rubbermade garbage can.

An evaporative cooler will reduce the tempature by 20 to 30 degrees.

Keep in mind that there is more than one way to skin a cat. (WARNING! DO NOT SKIN A CAT, IT WONT HELP THIS PROJECT AND WILL IRRITATE YOUR PUSSY!!!)

All the ideas that people came up with on this thread are a perfect example of radical self relience! (Bravo!!!)

Get a 5 gallon bucket and lid.

Have your trained mice naw some holes in the bucket, or use a hole saw, or 50 caliber sniper rifle. (Honey badgers wont work, they don't give a shit!)

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Find some cooler pad.

I like duracool pads.

http://www.simsupply.com/Items/426741

If your area does'nt have them, find a national chain DIY hardwear store and see if they will order some for you.

This may save you shipping cost. I use home depot.

Cut the first pad 33 1/2x13 inches.

Roll this pad into a tube and silicone or hand stitch the seam.

This will give you a tube 13 inches tall.

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Because the bucket tapers out towards the top, you will not need to line the bucket with shade clothe.

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Cut a second piece of pad 24x13 inches and roll into a tight tube.

You wont need to seam this one.

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Sleeve this inside the first tube.

The reason for the double pad is to have a wide space to set the drip line on and adds more evap surface.

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1/2 inch Drip irrigation line works ok to soak your pads, but poly hose is more flexible and you can buy it by the foot.

I like the T connectors that fit inside the line. I cut the ends of the T shorter so I could keep the holes in the line close enough together so there wont be a dry strip on the pads.

This hose is 3/8 inch.

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The holes in the line need to be uniform for an even flow on the pad.

Drlling holes works, but I found that heating a piece of wire melts a nice, more uniform hole.

I used a piece of 10 gauge copper wire.

Heat the wire with a torch, or the burner on your stove, then press through the line.

Sliding the wire in and out till it cools will make a happy hole! (Don't even think about it Yggy, this is serious!)

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To pump the water through the line, buy a pump.

This is the solar pump.

http://www.harborfreight.com/solar-powered-fountain-pump-66093.html

I like this pump instead because if it's cloudy, it will still let the cooler work.

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http://www.siliconsolar.com/replacement-12v-solar-pump-p-103.html

The 3/8 inch line fits this pump perfectly.

Nice even flow of water.

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When the lid is put on, the line will be pinched between the lid and the pad, so it wont move around.

FANS!

The key to good cooler is a powerful fan.

CFM=cubic feet per minute.

http://www.frozencpu.com/cat/l2/g36/c435/list/p1/Fans-12_Volt_Fans_by_CFM.html

I used this one.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/12959/fan-859/Delta_120_x_38mm_High-Speed_PWM_Fan_-_19048_CFM_AFB1212SHE.html?tl=g36c435s1108

It uses more power, but makes the bucket cooler very effective.

Calculate the cubic footage of the space to be cooled, then get a fan that will replace the air inside the space every 3 to 5 minutes.

I use a single fan cause it suits my design perfectly.

Cut a hole in the lid of the bucket to mount the fan.

I put mine on the bottom of the lid to keep the unit compact and to make ducting easier.

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Any 120mm fan will fit inside the top of the pad tube.

I spliced the wires from the fan to the wires from the pump. (both are 12volt)

Then ran the wire out through one of the holes in the side of the bucket.

Now with the lid on the bucket, I used a 4 inch septic line connector gooped to the lid over the fan.

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Now you can use 4 inch septic line to duct the air into the space to be cooled. You don't need to glue these piceces together.

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These parts are at the hardwear store.

Outside temp!

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Air temp coming from the cooler!

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Water temp inside the bucket!

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This cooler uses 2 gallon of water every 5 hours.

It uses about 1.45amps per hour.

My 105AH deep cycle battery will run this cooler for 47 hours before needing to be recharged.

So running 4 or 5 hours a day, it will let you nap in the hottest part of the day, all week without recharging the battery.

If you need more cooling than this, build the box cooler.

You will need to vent the air out of the space for circulation.

HAPPY NAPPING!!
Last edited by FIGJAM on Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:11 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 9:55 am

8)
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby swampdog » Thu May 20, 2010 10:02 am

Dude, you are my hero du jour. I was trying to think of a way to build something along these lines and it hadn't come together in my head. I will gladly steal your design.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 10:03 am

You can use a larger output fan for bigger spaces or scale up to what stole my design from.....


hes using an electric radiator fan, but they use alot of power.
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 10:08 am

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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 10:16 am

I think you could just use a bigger fan on my bucket up to about a 10x14 tent before making a larger cooler. I was born here in the valley of the sun and we used swamp coolers for most of my life. So i kinda know what im doing and have tested this cooler to make sure it worked before i posted this.
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Postby CapSmashy » Thu May 20, 2010 10:27 am

Fig.

You are awesome.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 10:29 am

Oh, the water inside the bucket gets really cold so when your done napping, a cold foot bath maybe? You can add water through the holes so you dont have to open the bucket. It would also work great as a beer cooler, just dont snap the lid down tight so you have easy access. I may use this thing as a part time fridge mmmmmmmmmmmm..........
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 10:34 am

And save the cutouts from the bucket. Put a nail through the hole in the middle and use to stake your ground cover.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 11:34 am

The ready to use 12 volt swamp coolers that i found online were $300 to $600. I think I spent about $50.
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Postby EmilyD » Thu May 20, 2010 11:41 am

CapSmashy wrote:Fig.

You are awesome.


I second that! Thanks for sharing this excellent idea and with photos too!
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 12:09 pm

This will be my first year at bm, but i thought why wait till i get to the playa to start gifting. I sincerly hope that my posts help others to enjoy their burn, but I do wish others ideas came with more pics and details so they would be easier to take advantage of...........lol.........
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Postby bm_cricket » Thu May 20, 2010 12:13 pm

FIGJAM wrote:This will be my first year at bm, but i thought why wait till i get to the playa to start gifting. I sincerly hope that my posts help others to enjoy their burn, but I do wish others ideas came with more pics and details so they would be easier to take advantage of...........lol.........


Kick ass! I like you already!

One question tho.. Have you run this for a torture test yet?
)'(
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Postby swampdog » Thu May 20, 2010 12:59 pm

The example that he links to that he based his design on looks well playa-fied.

I'm going to build a hexa-yurt with one of these bad boys in it (maybe scaled up). 700 sq ft of shady cool awesome.

FIG, you da best.
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Postby bm_cricket » Thu May 20, 2010 1:04 pm

swampdog wrote:The example that he links to that he based his design on looks well playa-fied.

I'm going to build a hexa-yurt with one of these bad boys in it (maybe scaled up). 700 sq ft of shady cool awesome.

FIG, you da best.


Ah, I did see that. I'm sure the design is sound, I was speaking more of his example. I also wonder how it scales (how big are you building it to cool 700 ft^2)

Still, I think FIGJAM will be a welcome new member of our cult of creation/destruction.
)'(
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 1:05 pm

Heres some more good info.

http://www.outbackteardrop.com/body8.html

Scroll down to see how he built the cooler for his teardrop trailer.
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Postby Snow » Thu May 20, 2010 1:43 pm

Fuck you are good!

I wasn't looking to build one but I have ALL the parts laying around (except for the cloth parts), WHY NOT!
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 1:45 pm

Just Ask Me.............lol........
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Postby swampdog » Thu May 20, 2010 2:06 pm

I haven't thought about how big I'm going to need. Since it will be in a very heat resistant enclosure, I'm thinking I can get away with about 10 gal worth. I'll just have to go shopping for containers and see what appeals to me.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 2:08 pm

bm_cricket wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:This will be my first year at bm, but i thought why wait till i get to the playa to start gifting. I sincerly hope that my posts help others to enjoy their burn, but I do wish others ideas came with more pics and details so they would be easier to take advantage of...........lol.........


Kick ass! I like you already!

One question tho.. Have you run this for a torture test yet?


I havent done destruct testing on my unit, but the parts I bought were all made for continious use. I figure for 4 or 5 hours a day those parts will do fine. The shade clothe will filter the dust so it doesnt clog the pad, but if it does its easy to pull the clothe and pad and rinse with vinager or limon juice.
Last edited by FIGJAM on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 2:16 pm

You could use one of those square totes that come in all sizes. Use 90s at the corners for the dripline and mount a bigger fan on top. Here a 1000 sq. ft. house uses a 3000cfm swamp cooler if thats any help with your calculations. But thats floor space not cubic feet. You shouldnt need much cooling for a yurt unless its ONE BIG ASS YURT............LOL
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 2:28 pm

8)
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu May 20, 2010 5:07 pm

swampdog wrote:I haven't thought about how big I'm going to need. Since it will be in a very heat resistant enclosure, I'm thinking I can get away with about 10 gal worth. I'll just have to go shopping for containers and see what appeals to me.


then why not build two of his size - that way if you need just one there is less power draw. But if one breaks down, you still have 1/2 of your capacity...(or you could loan one).
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 5:34 pm

IMHO that trash barrel cooler could cool a 20x20 structure pretty easily, But check the cfm and amp loads on this site.
http://www.flex-a-lite.com/auto/html/electric-fans.html
They use alot of power and I dont want to use my genie any more than nessisary, since my cooler is whisper quiet.
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Postby yellowdog » Thu May 20, 2010 7:19 pm

I posted that trash can swamp cooler on Instructables
and I love your idea, Figjam. Your cooler is smaller, more transportable, cheaper to make and lower power consumption. Very key attributes. We made ours based partly on what was laying around at the time. And, yes, playa tested for several years. It works so well. I would love to see these all over the playa in the future.
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Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 20, 2010 9:11 pm

Yellowdog.....your design inspired mine. Thanks for the inspiration.
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Postby MrMurdock » Thu May 20, 2010 9:11 pm

this could work as a pretty nice pump!

https://fountainmountain.com/product_de ... prodid=256
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Postby EmilyD » Thu May 20, 2010 10:39 pm

swampdog wrote:I haven't thought about how big I'm going to need. Since it will be in a very heat resistant enclosure, I'm thinking I can get away with about 10 gal worth. I'll just have to go shopping for containers and see what appeals to me.


I think the orange is very nice! ;-)
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Postby chris2010 » Thu May 20, 2010 11:19 pm

Couple of questions...

1) Where did you get the blue cooler pad at?

2) Which way was the fan blowing? :arrow:

Thanks,
Chris
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Postby FIGJAM » Fri May 21, 2010 6:07 am

chris2010 wrote:Couple of questions...

1) Where did you get the blue cooler pad at?

2) Which way was the fan blowing? :arrow:

Thanks,
Chris


The cooler pad, any hardware store should have it. Not all areas are dry enough to stock swamp coolers. but if you build it you can pick up the pad on the way to the burn. they cost about $6.
The fan blows out of the bucket, or up in this case. It draws the air through the wet pad. The dryer vent on top is for directing the flow into a hose, then into your structure.
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