I almost posted this in the HexaYurt thread, but realized it probably applies more than just yurt dwellers who would bother reading that thread.
I'm interested in nailing down cooling ideas my yurt (or your van, or tent or whatever) ... preferably those that don't involve responses like "buy an AC and a generator or banks of batteries", since that's not an option. I've read FigJam's thread on a swamp cooler with interest, but (a) that's not an option for everyone, and (b) there's still the power issue to resolve. Not to mention the extra water that has to be hauled out to the playa to feed the cooler.
Ideally, I'd like to be all solar, if that's not an improbable dream, and I've been trying to figure out how the heck I can get some moderately reasonable airflow through the yurt without spending many hundreds on big spendy solar panels. The combination of low budget and solar is tricky, I know. There are tons of killer commercial solar attic fans that might do the trick nicely, but they seem to start above $200 and climb rapidly from there. Plus they're one-trick ponies.
Any thoughts? I was looking at eBay, which has some pretty sweet looking 40w solar panels
for $100 ($120 w/ shipping) that seems like it might be strong enough to push a 12v fan (like perhaps the endless breeze
fan, the best I've found) without needing any supplemental power sources. My buddy has been cooling his yurt with a pair of car radiator fans connected to a deep cycle marine battery, but I'm trying to avoid that route if possible, since recharging the battery remains an issue. And even if I had both the battery and the 40w panel, at that level it starts to get a lot more complicated, needing battery charge control modules to avoid overcharging, etc. Direct power seems so much more simple... if it's enough.
Any thoughts? I'm sure there are a number of experts on the topic here, and I'd love to pick your brains a bit, and comb the collective mind for great ideas I'd never come up with on my own.