Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

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

Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:35 pm

A recent post mentioned a swamp cooler design a camp was using to cool a number of chilled rest spaces. They said the water was fed by wicking, not a pump. I can't find the thread. Anyone have any info on the design or the poster?
Thanks,
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby BAK3R » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:56 pm

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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:06 pm

Thanks.
I'm trying to find the ones made/used by a camp that don't use the water pumps, but the water is supplied by wicking.
I think they said they use a 200 gallon water container to bring their water to playa.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:32 pm

Whale Boy posted it, but I can't find it.

I think it was Wet Dreams camp? :?
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:38 pm

Thanks!
Maybe I've found it.
viewtopic.php?f=162&t=36344&p=585448#p585448

and
whaleboy wrote:last year, chuck made this awesome swamp cooler that used no drip system at all, just a superefficient wicking material set with it's bottom end in a reservoir of water. The wicking membrane was something from a humidifier. It wicked well enough that the water drew up into the membrane on its own. It was also set up with a/c intake air filters so the dust didn't kill the whole operation. Come see ten coolers like this this year at Camp Wet Dreams! Take a midday nap in the air-conditioned shade!


fingers' crossed...
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby whaleboy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:19 am

I don't have the exact details, Chuck designed them, but I can give you a little more detail as I recall them and also forward this to him. I think the wicking material is a replacement part for a humidifier, a webby spongy membrane. It was set vertically into a plastic tub about 14"Hx18"Hx24"L, standard big box store kind of thing. The top of the tub looked like a peaked roof on a swiss chalet, except instead of ye olde shingles it was yellow fibrous air-con filters. A dryer duct mounted to one end with a computer fan in it. Another hidden fan set into

ok never mind here's a quickie drawing

[img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8166/7536071896_5fb8a86acb_m.jpg[/img]
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:44 am

Does it look like this stuff?

http://www.nature-cool.com/


It's a paper cooler pad, so maybe it would wick fast enough, but I don't know.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby whaleboy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:56 am

Yeah, it looks like that, but it wasn't paper, it was some sort of yellowish beige synthetic. And thinner. Looks a lot like the drawn illustration in the lower left corner of that linked web page.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:46 am

Thanks!

So it appears that you need to filter the incoming air to remove the dust before it gets to the wicking filter and clogs it up. Much like some humidifier designs.

Very curious to see what Chuck says his wicking filter is (make/model/size, etc.).
Hope he has photos.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby whaleboy » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:19 pm

Here are the part details from Chuck (Doc) to go with my awesome high-end drawing.

wicking membrane:
Wick filter L15-C for LAsko
(CHF-50)(IA2658)
www.iallergy.com

16x25x1 true blue basic pleated air filter (MERV 7)
that's the air filter on top to keep the dust out of the works
www.filters-now.com

rubermaid roughneck bin. Gray with black top. 12.5 inches tall, we think 17 gallon


Fan- any 12v compiter fan, high CFM is better but you want to minimize power conumption if you're running off solar like us look for low amps. We use variable speed units.

Enjoy!
Or if you don't get around to building one, come and check ours out and take a nap in the coolth at Camp Wet Dreams. We're a subcamp of Barbie Death Village.

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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:53 pm

Thank you very much, both for the info and for the invite!

What size of shelter is one cooling?
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby theOtherDoc » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:32 am

Hi All - Doc here (aka Chuck).

I'm the one that worked up that swamp cooler that Whaleboy's been talking about. Thanks Whaleboy for picking up my reply slack while I've been busy in the default world.

Whaleboy pretty much nailed it with his awesome drawing. I uploaded some pics of the design that show most of the steps here: https://plus.google.com/photos/10275104 ... 4763177169
(I'm currently uploading these pics on a slow connection so they may not all be there if you check this right as this is posted.)

The part numbers for the wicking filter and the air filter are as posted by Whaleboy. The wicking filter works great, it absorbs water from the pool at the bottom of the bin and will go from dry to saturated in about 5 minutes. It'll stay totally saturated as the water evaporates. You must filter the incoming air or the filter will become very dirty and the deposits will impede water absorption. During the week on playa, you will notice mineral deposits forming on the filter due to the minerals in the water (and I suspect from minerals in the playa dust that make it past the air filter). The deposits will result in crusty areas that are not saturated but it's not significant during the time period of the burn. They can be removed with a vinegar solution which will dissolve the minerals but I only tested that once and didn't find the need to do it again. If you want to reuse the filters from year to year, you might want to do this.

As you can see from the photos, the wicking filter is simply placed almost vertical in the bin, leaning slightly against the wire that is used to hold it upright. The size of the filter is selected to fit the bin rather well. The top of the filter gets squeezed a little by the lid to the bin and you should check on it now and then to make sure that it hasn't shifted which could allow air around the filter.

I selected the fan based on design compromises between power use, noise and airflow. I don't have the fan model with me but I believe that at the high-end, I used a fan with a huge Cubic Foot per Minute (CFM) that drew .6 amps for my first build but we used a lower flow that only drew around .3-.4 amps for most of our swamp coolers. The more flow, the more better if you have the juice to supply it. Just about any normal sized 12 volt DC computer fan will work. Ones with an adjustable air flow knob are a plus but I believe I just maxed mine out the whole time. You'll see that in the pictures, I screwed the fan on but on playa, for most of our coolers, we simply hot-glued it in place and might have added some duct tape. You must hot glue it well and quickly because of the slipperyness of the bin.

The air filter is selected to fit the bin. We made an inverted v shape by folding it and then duct taped it to the bin lid and cut triangles of plastic for the ends. The bins are kinda slippery and the duct tape didn't adhere very well. That aspect of the design was the weakest link. It was selected for low cost and simplicity but I suspect there are better ways to do it. Make sure it is sealed well to prevent the playa dust. Playa dust is a killer of wicking filters and the reason that people dis this method for the playa. Many have failed because of the failure to add an air filter to the design. The air filters that I selected are a reasonable compromise between low air-flow restriction, fine particle filtration capability and cost. Conventional felted (blue) AC filters will not provide adequate dust filtration.

The bin is a Rubbermaid Roughneck 14 gallon bin. This size is optimal and the bin is high quality and rugged. The filters fit nicely to this size and it holds an adequate supply of water.

On playa, the swamp cooler performed well in the extreme low humidity. I've recorded a 35-40 degree temperature drop. It does humidify the environment inside the tent which isn't ideal but it is very comfortable. For this to work well, you must input the hot, dry air from outside your tent into the cooler. Then port the cool, wet air that leaves the cooler inside the tent. If you put the cooler inside the tent, (thus recycling the air) you'll be comfortable at first and then gradually get warmer and wetter. I've recorded a consumption of approximately 1/2 gallon/hour of water with this design. I would say that it is adequate to cool a large sized tent that is not in the sun. If your tent is in the sun, you will probably need the air flow to be pointed directly at your body to stay cool but even then you will probably not sleep past 9.

Future design tweaks that could be investigated:
- better connection of air filter.
- porting the air flow directly under a very light, thin parachute material sleeping blanket that is weighted at the edges so that it inflates and only cools the burners underneath. This may allow use in a sunny tent.
- I'm currently exploring "indirect evaporative cooling" which would use a heat exchanger to separate the wet air and transfer the cold to a dry stream to keep the tent cool and dry which would be extremely comfortable.
Those tweaks are only for nerdiness though as the thing works pretty well as it is.

I think that covers it - happy to answer questions.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:55 am

All I get is a 404 error on the link.

Wanna see pics!!! 8)
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:02 am

Thank you!

Link to photos goes to page wanting me to get a Google+ account.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:11 am

theOtherDoc wrote:... I'm currently exploring "indirect evaporative cooling" which would use a heat exchanger to separate the wet air and transfer the cold ...

DIY Heat Pipes
Sealed tube with dionized water filling small volume (1/4, 1/8, ?), vacuum out remaining air (the tricky part - need a valve).
Installed on an angle, it functions as a one-way heat conductor.
Low end absorbs heat, causing latent evaporation of the water.
Water vapour rushes to the lower pressure condensing end at the top of the tube, where you've exposed that end to cooling air/water.
As the cooling source absorbs heat, the vapour condenses, the water runs back down the tube to the absorbing end.
Doesn't need a big height difference; just enough for the water to know where to go.
Insulate the tube/pipe in between the two ends to maximize practical efficiency.
As been done with 1/2" copper pipe and with 3" ABS.

Potential use for making a playa fridge/chiller.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby theOtherDoc » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:16 am

Sorry about that bad link from my previous post folks. Here's a new one:
https://plus.google.com/photos/10275104 ... iLqahvqxKA
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby theOtherDoc » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:27 am

Canoe wrote:
theOtherDoc wrote:... I'm currently exploring "indirect evaporative cooling" which would use a heat exchanger to separate the wet air and transfer the cold ...

DIY Heat Pipes
Sealed tube with dionized water filling small volume (1/4, 1/8, ?), vacuum out remaining air (the tricky part - need a valve).
Installed on an angle, it functions as a one-way heat conductor.
Low end absorbs heat, causing latent evaporation of the water.
Water vapour rushes to the lower pressure condensing end at the top of the tube, where you've exposed that end to cooling air/water.
As the cooling source absorbs heat, the vapour condenses, the water runs back down the tube to the absorbing end.
Doesn't need a big height difference; just enough for the water to know where to go.
Insulate the tube/pipe in between the two ends to maximize practical efficiency.
As been done with 1/2" copper pipe and with 3" ABS.

Potential use for making a playa fridge/chiller.


Hmmm. Interesting Canoe. I'll look into that. cool.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:03 pm

theOtherDoc wrote:Sorry about that bad link from my previous post folks. Here's a new one:
https://plus.google.com/photos/10275104 ... iLqahvqxKA

Great!
Thanks
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby whaleboy » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:21 am

I'm so glad Doc's in my camp.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:05 am

But I'm not theOtherDoc. I'm the other other Doc.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby theOtherDoc » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:11 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:But I'm not theOtherDoc. I'm the other other Doc.


Oh shit. If that's the case, then who the hell is Doc?
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Jared » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:27 am

theOtherDoc wrote:Sorry about that bad link from my previous post folks. Here's a new one:
https://plus.google.com/photos/10275104 ... iLqahvqxKA


I don't see the filter? Couldn't this be built exactly the same way as FIGJAM's swamp coolers but replace the plastic cooling pad with something that wicks and put filters over the holes in the box?
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby Canoe » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:55 pm

Jared wrote:Couldn't this be built exactly the same way as FIGJAM's swamp coolers but replace the plastic cooling pad with something that wicks and put filters over the holes in the box?

Wicking filters will have limits to the height they will lift water and at what rate. In a quick look at their use in ready-made products, the humidifiers seem to have a lift design limit of 10.5 inches, with the taller wicking filters used in designs that have a top-fed water source, like FIGHAM's evap-cooler designs.

theOtherDOc has found a filter/container/air-openings/dust-filters combination that works for that water lift and air flow.

Such a wicking filter may not lift as high as necessary to reach the holes in FIGJAM's designs, or perhaps not at a fast enough rate, with either limitation allowing hot dry air to pass through bypassing moisture so it doesn't get cooled. Dust filters over FIGJAM's designs may block air flow too much.

This is why designs that are proven as Playa-Tested are great. Especially when someone shares the details of how to build one and with what exact parts, and what to expect performance wise so you know how much water and battery you'll need, and how large a space you can cool with it.

Start substituting other parts or layouts, and it's no longer Playa-Tested.

Someone would have to try and build one that's a cross between them and then playa test it.
That usually takes someone who has the time to do so, and hopefully already has one of the proven designs as backup on-playa should the new variation or combination design not work as hoped.

If you want to play with designs, then play.
If you want to be cooler on the playa, then clone a proven Playa-Tested design. You want something that works when it's 100.5 F. viewtopic.php?f=3&t=53926&start=210#p853583
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby whaleboy » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:31 pm

Just for clarification, the design that theOtherDoc posted is totally playa-tested. IT works.
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Re: Evap Cooler: wicking fed in recent post?

Postby gjenkins » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:46 am

This guy built one using the wicking filter , but no pump. He uses a gravity/siphon to regulate the water supply to the filter.

[url]http://www.appropedia.org/Burning_Man_Evaporative_Cooler[/url]
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