Using Freezer as Cooler?!

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

Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby JustinWasHere » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:21 pm

Hey folks!

I'm running a theme camp this year for the first time and we're working the kinks out for our food plan. So I just bought a 20 cubic foot chest-style freezer to freeze all my food before we head out to the Playa. My original intention was to freeze the food and put it in coolers with dry ice to take to the Playa.

But then I had the idea of just bringing the whole freezer up. So I'd freeze everything, then put dry ice in the freezer, and bring the whole freezer up to the playa. Has anyone ever done this before? (surely someone has!) How well does a freezer work, compared to a cooler?

It seems well insulated, and I'd Keep it the the shade and under a tarp and only open it once a day to get that day's frozen meal out.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
User avatar
JustinWasHere
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:08 pm
Location: California Nomad

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby SouthernExposure » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:36 pm

A chest-type freezer should work fairly well, much better than an up-right type.

I would suggest two things. Filling it with dry ice is a great idea for keeping stuff frozen for extended periods, but be careful when getting things out of the freezer. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and is a relatively heavy gas. As it changes from solid to gas, the CO2 will collect in the bottom of the chest in high concentrations. Breathing CO2 can render you unconscious very quickly, so don't rummage around in the contents with your head poked down in it looking for the hamburger. Also have an assistant.

The other thing that I have done that helps is to have a space blanket or mylar bubble wrap right on top of the frozen goods. This minimizes the area that the dry ice has to keep cool and makes it more efficient.

Good luck.

SE
User avatar
SouthernExposure
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby CapSmashy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:38 pm

Yes, this will work.

There is one important rule here though. DO NOT run the freezer with the dry ice in it. It will kill it.


Are you going to have a generator for running stuff? Freezers use a surprisingly low amount of power. We have a dorm sized freezer we use all week. Power it for 10 to 12 during the day and leave it off at night.
Playawaste Raiders cordially invites you to suck it.
User avatar
CapSmashy
 
Posts: 1917
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: Awesome Camp 2.0
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Terminal City://404 Village Not Found

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:45 pm

I think I would put a map on the door of the feezer of where items are to cut down on open time. 8)
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
User avatar
FIGJAM
 
Posts: 7072
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby SouthernExposure » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:51 pm

That's a good idea. Another suggestion is to only open the lid in the morning before the winds pick up to minimize mixing warm air into the freezer.

SE
User avatar
SouthernExposure
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby JustinWasHere » Fri Jul 29, 2011 2:58 pm

Thanks for the to tips, guys! Sounds like this will save me lots of cooler space!

And yes, we have a generator. It's a honda 2000 with ac out 120v 13.3 amp. Given the price of dry ice, vs the price of running a generator, what us the best option? run the freezer off the geny? Or load it up with dry ice and not run it?

Also, why would running the freezer with dry ice in it kill the freezer? Seems like it would just make it more efficient.

Btw, the freezer says its 60 hz, 3amps, if that helps at all :)

Thanks again for the tips!
User avatar
JustinWasHere
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:08 pm
Location: California Nomad

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby jojofroyo » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:12 pm

What you could do is put a thermostat on it that turns the whole freezer on and off when it gets to a certain temp. if you set it normal fridge temp, it will only click on about once an hour for a few seconds. it ends up using about half as much power as light bulb! but the chest type freezers are the only ones you can do this to.

I guess that's a little complicated.
jojofroyo
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:21 am
Location: Champagne Lounge
Burning Since: 2006
Camp Name: Champagne Loumge

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby jkisha » Fri Jul 29, 2011 3:52 pm

We have brought up a freezer for several years. Run it off the generator all day and turn it off at night. The freezer can actually keep things frozen for up to 24 hours if everything in it is frozen when you turn the power off and you don't open the lid.

This year we are taking another freezer up as well, which we will be using as a refrigerator. We're using it with this control to make it a refrigerator and not a freezer.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00368D6JA
Image
JK
Image
http://www.mudskippercafe.com
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle.
Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
User avatar
jkisha
 
Posts: 11403
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Mudskipper Cafe

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby CapSmashy » Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:23 pm

JustinWasHere wrote:Thanks for the to tips, guys! Sounds like this will save me lots of cooler space!

And yes, we have a generator. It's a honda 2000 with ac out 120v 13.3 amp. Given the price of dry ice, vs the price of running a generator, what us the best option? run the freezer off the geny? Or load it up with dry ice and not run it?

Also, why would running the freezer with dry ice in it kill the freezer? Seems like it would just make it more efficient.

Btw, the freezer says its 60 hz, 3amps, if that helps at all :)

Thanks again for the tips!


We run ours off of an EU2000. Depending on what else you are running on it, this would be you easiest option. You will spend a crapload on enough dry ice to last a week vs a gallon or two of gas a day to power it off the generator during the day time hours. AT that point it is more about having room to safely transport the extra fuel cans for the generator.

The 3 amp load on the freezer is your peak draw for kicking on the motor.

Dry ice in a freezer tends to kill your thermostat control due to how cold the dry ice is.

We hard freeze everything and pack it in a regular cooler with about 10 pounds of dry ice and seal it up for the trip out from Texas. Once we hit camp, generator gets set up and the freezer gets plugged in. Takes a few hours to get good and cold and then we transfer everything into the freezer from the cooler minus the dry ice. If you have any left over, you can make fun fizzy drinks the first night. :)
Playawaste Raiders cordially invites you to suck it.
User avatar
CapSmashy
 
Posts: 1917
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:29 pm
Location: Awesome Camp 2.0
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: Terminal City://404 Village Not Found

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby ygmir » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:09 pm

I've seen several folks run the small chest freezers from a 2K genny.....works fine.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan
User avatar
ygmir
 
Posts: 25985
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: nevada county
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:16 am

SouthernExposure wrote:A chest-type freezer should work fairly well, much better than an up-right type.


SE



Why do you think that?
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
User avatar
oneeyeddick
 
Posts: 5588
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: Probably in your pants
Burning Since: 1996

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby melodiousdirge » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:37 am

CapSmashy wrote:DO NOT run the freezer with the dry ice in it. It will kill it.


Can you elaborate? I'm curious: This doesn't make sense to me. It seems to me the Dry ice would keep the interior of the freezer cold enough that the compressor would not kick on. Even if the compressor did kick on though, I'm not sure I understand why dry ice being in there would cause it any harm.
More ideas than time.
User avatar
melodiousdirge
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:29 pm
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: Bakka Sevin: 30

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby SnowBlind » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:45 am

melodiousdirge wrote:
CapSmashy wrote:DO NOT run the freezer with the dry ice in it. It will kill it.


Can you elaborate? I'm curious: This doesn't make sense to me. It seems to me the Dry ice would keep the interior of the freezer cold enough that the compressor would not kick on. Even if the compressor did kick on though, I'm not sure I understand why dry ice being in there would cause it any harm.


He already answered that question three posts above:

CapSmashy wrote:Dry ice in a freezer tends to kill your thermostat control due to how cold the dry ice is.
User avatar
SnowBlind
 
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:27 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby melodiousdirge » Sat Jul 30, 2011 12:53 am

SnowBlind wrote:He already answered that question three posts above:


Oops. Thanks, makes more sense now.
More ideas than time.
User avatar
melodiousdirge
 
Posts: 240
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:29 pm
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Burning Since: 2011
Camp Name: Bakka Sevin: 30

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby SouthernExposure » Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:08 am

oneeyeddick wrote:
SouthernExposure wrote:A chest-type freezer should work fairly well, much better than an up-right type.
SE


Why do you think that?


Cold air is heavier than warm air and therefore it sinks to the lowest area of the container that it is in. When you open an up-right freezer door, the cold air at the bottom of the interior pours out of the door like water. A chest-type freezer doesn't allow the cold air to pour out and it stays cold, requiring less energy to maintain the temperature and by extension, less dry ice.

SE
User avatar
SouthernExposure
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby Boomr » Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:41 am

I would be tempted to put at least some of the dry ice on top of the food. When I did my dry ice experiment in my little cooler with the dry ice block in the bottom, I was surprised by the temperature difference between the dry ice at the bottom of the cooler (which would be -109°F) and the upper part of the cooler, where water ice melted. My cooler is less than 3' deep, so a deeper box would have more of a problem with temperature stratification.

If the freezer was turned on the fan would mix the air up, but it would also cause the dry ice to sublimate quickly. Along with the killing the thermostat problem (which I have no experience with) it doesn't sound like it would do you any favors to run the freezer with the ice in it. The ice does a very good job of keeping things frozen all by itself.

Dry ice manufacturers do sell the product in plastic bags of pellets. That way you could interlayer your food with baggies of ice pellets, which would keep the temperature uniform and they are easy to move around to find that elusive package of hot dogs. Remember the gloves. But since you are going to use the electrics anyway once you arrive, you could just put the blocks on top of the food, and remove them when you plug in. And make creepy fog to entertain your neighbors.

Here's what the pellets look like, and where you can buy them if If you live in the Midwest or East:
http://www.continentalcarbonic.com/dryice/sales.php
http://totheburn.posterous.com/ The story of two burgins who think they know what they are talking about.
User avatar
Boomr
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:49 am
Location: A place where the chicken dance is high theater.

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:24 am

SouthernExposure wrote:
oneeyeddick wrote:
SouthernExposure wrote:A chest-type freezer should work fairly well, much better than an up-right type.
SE


Why do you think that?


Cold air is heavier than warm air and therefore it sinks to the lowest area of the container that it is in. When you open an up-right freezer door, the cold air at the bottom of the interior pours out of the door like water. A chest-type freezer doesn't allow the cold air to pour out and it stays cold, requiring less energy to maintain the temperature and by extension, less dry ice.

SE


that sounds like a good theory, but in reality it all depends on how effecient your freezer is in the first place, and also how long you have the door open.
Dry ice may or may not be a factor, depending on how far away you live from the Playa.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
User avatar
oneeyeddick
 
Posts: 5588
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 6:08 pm
Location: Probably in your pants
Burning Since: 1996

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby ygmir » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:31 am

I know the effect of the upright cold air spill in uprights is very real.
The only way to moderate it is to have a super full freezer, so, there is less cold air to spill.
I can't see that CO2 itself would be heavier than air, only if it's low temp would it become more dense.
YGMIR

Unabashed Nordic
Pagan
User avatar
ygmir
 
Posts: 25985
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 8:36 pm
Location: nevada county
Burning Since: 2017
Camp Name: qqqq

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby EspressoDude » Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:40 am

dry ice pellets will cool everything to damn f'n cold real quick, but because of the large surface area, will vaporise/sublimate faster than a couple blocks.
leave the blocks in the bags, and put them on top. the cold will settle over the food. put a large towel or blanket on top of the dry ice for more insulation. you should still have ice cream thursday!


I think what kills freezers is that with dry ice the freon does not evaporate in the freezing chamber and is returned to the compressor as a liquid which can't be compressed. stalled compressor = toast
Is 4 shots enuff? no foo-foo drinks; just naked Espresso
Tactical Espresso Service http://home.comcast.net/~espressocamp/
Field Artillery Tractor
FOGBANK, GOD OF HELLFIRE
BLACK ROCK f/x Trojan Horse,Anubis,2014Temple
burn shit and blow shit up
User avatar
EspressoDude
 
Posts: 4713
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:30 pm
Location: the first Vancouver

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby JustinWasHere » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:09 am

Wow! Thanks for all the great responses, folks! Gotta love the collective wisdom of eplaya! :)

I think I just have to sort out a couple more gas cans (I have 3 five gallon cans already) and I should be set. I'll pack in some dry ice for the journey from San Fran, just to ensure things stay frozen, and Then I'll run the remove any leftover dry ice and run the freezer off the genny during the day.

If anything fails, we're only a block from ice 9! :)

Thanks again!
User avatar
JustinWasHere
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:08 pm
Location: California Nomad

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby BlackRockCityPimp » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:11 am

EspressoDude wrote:dry ice pellets will cool everything to damn f'n cold real quick, but because of the large surface area, will vaporise/sublimate faster than a couple blocks.
leave the blocks in the bags, and put them on top. the cold will settle over the food. put a large towel or blanket on top of the dry ice for more insulation. you should still have ice cream thursday!


I think what kills freezers is that with dry ice the freon does not evaporate in the freezing chamber and is returned to the compressor as a liquid which can't be compressed. stalled compressor = toast


Correct. Tho the aforementioned thermostat damage might also be true as well.

I use a chest freezer in the bus and only run the genny during the day and NEVER use dry ice in it. I do however keep some homemade small blocks of ice in obtainium/recycled gatorade bottle bottom halfs. I dont use too many tho, just enough to keep some extra cold blocks handy and to help keep it colder when the power is off.
BlackRockCityPimp
 
Posts: 185
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:48 am
Location: Tent

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby jcliff » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:29 am

This topic kind of fits my question too. The fridge in my RV doesn't work. If I load the bottom with dry ice, could I expect to keep it cool for most of the Burn? I've never worked with dry ice before, so I don't know what to expect. I don't plan on bringing a bunch of cold food, but it would be nice to bring a bit and keep some beer cold.
User avatar
jcliff
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:56 am
Location: Sollitt, Illinois
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Lamplighter Village

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:48 am

My first two years the camp that I was with brought a chest freezer. It was run off one of those small, under $100 Harbor Freight gennies, with no issues. It'd run most of the day, and only part of the night.
TomServo wrote:Pickles are cucumbers soaked in EVIL!
User avatar
Bounce530
 
Posts: 1535
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:26 am
Location: H at about 4:25ish
Burning Since: 2007
Camp Name: BRC Guardian docking pad

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:30 pm

jcliff wrote:This topic kind of fits my question too. The fridge in my RV doesn't work. If I load the bottom with dry ice, could I expect to keep it cool for most of the Burn? I've never worked with dry ice before, so I don't know what to expect. I don't plan on bringing a bunch of cold food, but it would be nice to bring a bit and keep some beer cold.



If you put dry ice in your broken RV fridge, it will kill you!!!!!!!!!!

Don't do that. :shock:
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
User avatar
FIGJAM
 
Posts: 7072
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:39 am
Location: apache junction az.

Re: Using Freezer as Cooler?!

Postby jcliff » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:59 am

FIGJAM wrote:
jcliff wrote:This topic kind of fits my question too. The fridge in my RV doesn't work. If I load the bottom with dry ice, could I expect to keep it cool for most of the Burn? I've never worked with dry ice before, so I don't know what to expect. I don't plan on bringing a bunch of cold food, but it would be nice to bring a bit and keep some beer cold.



If you put dry ice in your broken RV fridge, it will kill you!!!!!!!!!!

Don't do that. :shock:


Yikes! I'm glad I asked! Note to self: "No dry ice in the fridge." :shock:
User avatar
jcliff
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:56 am
Location: Sollitt, Illinois
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Lamplighter Village


Return to Keeping Cool

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests