cooling your tent or van

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

Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:39 pm

You are going to want a dependable pump.

Yellowdog had a powerful electric radiator fan and plenty of power to run it.

If you're going to try this, make sure the duct is as big as the fan.

I would mount the fan on the wall and be sure everything is sealed up well.

All the air needs to pass through the wet pad.

Good luck! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ShreddinPB » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:44 pm

Ok guys, I have a couple questions.. I think I jumped the gun a little :(
I got so excited when I saw the bucket cooler that I ordered a 120mm 190cfm fan. I just installed it in the lid with a 90 elbow. I was about to drill the holes in the side of the bucket and I had a question, so I came in here to read and see if its ok to do.
I then read that a bucket cooler may be to small for a 8' yurt :( We are building a yurt out of 4'x8' panels.
So I guess a couple questions then.. work this all out at once hopefully.

First, I only have a 2" hole saw, I assume its fine to do two levels of holes at 2", just offsetting them so they are not directly vertical of the other row?

I was planning on using this pump since I already have it (I use it to pump my homebrew threw my 2 stage filter system)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NY ... hs_product
It looks like it draws 4amps.. thats too much for one of these right? My batteries are 4 12v 12ah SLA batteries.

is one bucket and one 190cfm fan enough for the yurt?
Could I just make two buckets, and since my pump is non submersibal, just use a T coupler on both the intake and output of the pump and pump water thru two buckets with that one pump?
I have plenty of computer case fans laying around, so instead of ordering another 190cfm fan, just use 2 regular fans like in the other posts about a dual fan bucket cooler?

I have tried to read thru the thread and figure it out, but there is a lot to digest in here hahaha

finally, if I have to build a unicooler and scrap the bucket :( is this fan sufficient? The blades dont look like they would move much air for some reason
http://www.amazon.com/RoadPro-RP73002-B ... ds=12v+Fan
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:20 pm

FIGJAM thanks! I definitely prefer to have the cooling unit inside our Yurt.
Sorry, I know you said it's just a matter of preference if the unit is inside or out but I'm still confused about this;

When placed inside, a Unicooler has 1 intake vent and all air intake is from outside. But with a Box Cooler there are 3 intake vents and only 1 is against a wall sucking in air from outside the yurt while the other 2 vents only intake air from inside the yurt.
This is why I assumed the unicooler was an inside design, and the box cooler was an outside design. Am I wrong to think these 2 vents that remain fully inside the yurt would somehow be a problem or hinder the flow of things? Don't we want all intake vents to only take in outside air? I'm hoping I am wrong :>}
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ShreddinPB » Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:23 pm

Have been doing more reading.. I should probably buy a pump that takes less Ah, since a 4Ah will drain my batteries pretty quick and I dont want to just be running around trying to charge my pump battery all the time
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby beer » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:02 am

ShreddinPB wrote:Where are people getting their dura-cool pads from? I cant seem to find them anywhere, specially locally :(
Im in LA


Shreddin...
Search on the Home Depot site for Duracool. It will give you a page with all the sizes they sell.
For example, here is the link is for the 30x36 size.
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100346714/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=duracool
Goto the page for the size you want, click the "pick up in store" link on the right and put in your zip code. This will tell you which stores in your area have it in stock. The store by me only had the 30x36, so try a few sizes.


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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:13 am

Jyman wrote:...When placed inside, a Unicooler has 1 intake vent and all air intake is from outside. But with a Box Cooler there are 3 intake vents and only 1 is against a wall sucking in air from outside the yurt while the other 2 vents only intake air from inside the yurt.This is why I assumed the unicooler was an inside design, and the box cooler was an outside design. Am I wrong to think these 2 vents that remain fully inside the yurt would somehow be a problem or hinder the flow of things? Don't we want all intake vents to only take in outside air? I'm hoping I am wrong :>}

Yes you are wrong, and you are right.
  • You do not want any air from inside the shelter to be intake air.
  • The opening with the fan is always the opening that is sealed against (or ducted through) the opening in the shelter, only moving air from outside to inside.
  • When the cooler is installed:
    • outside - openings with an irrigated pad intake hot outside air and the opening with the fan is the cooled output.
    • inside - the opening with the fan intakes hot outside air, and openings with an irrigated pad are cooled output.
  • You configure the cooler to be an inside or outside version by the direction of the air flow.
  • You have to install the fan to move air from outside to inside. Most fans have an optimum physical direction, and will move more air in one direction than the other for the same power/electricity, so it's usually not optimum to just switch the polarity of the DC wires. Check to see what your fan's optimum wiring polarity is. If you're using one of the recommended fans, that info is likely already posted within this thread.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby bl00zt00n » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:36 am

FIGJAM wrote:Use to have more holes.

If the outer sleeve of pad is not touching the bucket where the holes are, (as designed) the air flows all around the pad, not just where the holes are.

Plus, no leaks! 8)

1 row of 2 1/2" or 3" holes will work fine.


Boy, I'm glad I asked. I missed the whole "not touching sides" subtlety. I think I now remember reading about that on a much earlier part of this thread (like pre-January). Seems important! Thanks.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:38 am

ShreddinPB wrote:Ok guys, I have a couple questions.. I think I jumped the gun a little :(
I got so excited when I saw the bucket cooler that I ordered a 120mm 190cfm fan. I just installed it in the lid with a 90 elbow. I was about to drill the holes in the side of the bucket and I had a question, so I came in here to read and see if its ok to do.
I then read that a bucket cooler may be to small for a 8' yurt :( We are building a yurt out of 4'x8' panels.
So I guess a couple questions then.. work this all out at once hopefully.

First, I only have a 2" hole saw, I assume its fine to do two levels of holes at 2", just offsetting them so they are not directly vertical of the other row?

I was planning on using this pump since I already have it (I use it to pump my homebrew threw my 2 stage filter system)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NY ... hs_product
It looks like it draws 4amps.. thats too much for one of these right? My batteries are 4 12v 12ah SLA batteries.

is one bucket and one 190cfm fan enough for the yurt?
Could I just make two buckets, and since my pump is non submersibal, just use a T coupler on both the intake and output of the pump and pump water thru two buckets with that one pump?
I have plenty of computer case fans laying around, so instead of ordering another 190cfm fan, just use 2 regular fans like in the other posts about a dual fan bucket cooler?

I have tried to read thru the thread and figure it out, but there is a lot to digest in here hahaha

finally, if I have to build a unicooler and scrap the bucket :( is this fan sufficient? The blades dont look like they would move much air for some reason
http://www.amazon.com/RoadPro-RP73002-B ... ds=12v+Fan



One row of 2" holes will be fine.

If you do 2 rows, the bottom row will let the pad touch the side of the bucket where the holes are and will create a leaking issue.

The slight taper of the bucket is what keeps the pictured design from leaking.

That pump is a power hog.

I would'nt use it.

That fan is similar to a o2cool fan that I tested.

Nice fan, but does'nt work for this cooler.

Plumbing and ducting are harder to do with 2 fans on the bucket lid. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:51 am

Jyman wrote:FIGJAM thanks! I definitely prefer to have the cooling unit inside our Yurt.
Sorry, I know you said it's just a matter of preference if the unit is inside or out but I'm still confused about this;

When placed inside, a Unicooler has 1 intake vent and all air intake is from outside. But with a Box Cooler there are 3 intake vents and only 1 is against a wall sucking in air from outside the yurt while the other 2 vents only intake air from inside the yurt.
This is why I assumed the unicooler was an inside design, and the box cooler was an outside design. Am I wrong to think these 2 vents that remain fully inside the yurt would somehow be a problem or hinder the flow of things? Don't we want all intake vents to only take in outside air? I'm hoping I am wrong :>}



Here are the pics of the unicooler and box cooler and how they get the air into the space. (This is before I put vents on the box to prevent leaking.)


Box outside the space with just the fan inside. (Pad on three sides)

Image

Image

If your walls are thick, it may interfere with your controls.

Unicooler against the inside wall with an intake hole.

Image

Image

I would have liked to make it wide enough to have 2 vents on the intake side, but I did'nt have the room.

It works fine for my small playapod. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:05 am

Got the fan! I am sure these are answered somewhere in the previous 53 pages, but ... questions:

1. What volume are you cooling with your bucket cooler? (my tent is 250 ft3)
2. Bucket in tent vs. Bucket out of tent? Is one more efficient or effective?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:19 am

The bucket has to be outside to work and will cool up to 600 cubic feet of space with the 190 cfm fan. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:30 am

[quote="FIGJAM"]The bucket has to be outside to work and will cool up to 600 cubic feet of space with the 190 cfm fan. 8)[/quote]
Sweet! I think it might work. I am going to do a test run this weekend.

Clarification. If the bucket is inside, the fan would suck air through a tube from outside of the tent, and push the air into the bucket ... throught the pad and out the bucket holes.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:35 am

All of my design PULL the air through the wet pad and blow it into the space!!! 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:40 am

If you are using the HF solar pump, bring a backup.

With all the dust and smoke and clouds and whatnot you will still want your cooler to work. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ShreddinPB » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:53 am

With how dusty it is supposed to be this year.. is there any benefit to wrapping something around the bucket if its outside? kinda like a filter for it?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:17 am

Canoe wrote:
Jyman wrote:...When placed inside, a Unicooler has 1 intake vent and all air intake is from outside. But with a Box Cooler there are 3 intake vents and only 1 is against a wall sucking in air from outside the yurt while the other 2 vents only intake air from inside the yurt.This is why I assumed the unicooler was an inside design, and the box cooler was an outside design. Am I wrong to think these 2 vents that remain fully inside the yurt would somehow be a problem or hinder the flow of things? Don't we want all intake vents to only take in outside air? I'm hoping I am wrong :>}

Yes you are wrong, and you are right.
  • You do not want any air from inside the shelter to be intake air.
  • The opening with the fan is always the opening that is sealed against (or ducted through) the opening in the shelter, only moving air from outside to inside[/u].
  • When the cooler is installed:
    • outside - openings with an irrigated pad intake hot outside air and the opening with the fan is the cooled output.
    • inside - the opening with the fan intakes hot outside air, and openings with an irrigated pad are cooled output.
  • You configure the cooler to be an inside or outside version by the direction of the air flow.
  • You have to install the fan to move air from outside to inside. Most fans have an optimum physical direction, and will move more air in one direction than the other for the same power/electricity, so it's usually not optimum to just switch the polarity of the DC wires. Check to see what your fan's optimum wiring polarity is. If you're using one of the recommended fans, that info is likely already posted within this thread.


Thanks Canoe, but doesn't the irrigated pad always have to be the intake on the unit, and the fan has to always be the cooled output?

I thought it's just a matter of:

Outside: Fan is against outside wall of shelter
Inside: Irrigated pad is up a against inside wall of shelter

I think FIGJAM said all his designs are in this configuration whether inside or outside the shelter: Pad= Intake>Fan= Cooled Output.
It seems necessary to have the fan be on the same side of the unit that the human is on, and directing air out of the box regardless of placing the unit in or outside. You suggest having the fan direction towards the inside of the cooler?

Canoe, "The opening with the fan is always the opening that is sealed against (or ducted through) the opening in the shelter, [u]only moving air from outside to inside"

I can't see how this is correct - In the case of the Unicooler, the Pad intake side is sealed against the opening in the shelter and the fan is closest to the human (as a cooled output).
So I'm thinking that if I want to increase intake area and make a unit with 3 sides of Pad intake (like FIGJAM's Box Cooler) with a "Fan-Side Cooled Output" then the cooler must be outside the shelter. Thoughts?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:31 am

FIGJAM wrote:All of my design PULL the air through the wet pad and blow it into the space!!! 8)


Thanks for clarifying this. So if you have a box cooler with 3 paded intake walls, then it probably is incorrect to have it inside the shelter right? Because then 2 of the padded vents wouldn't be sucking air from outside.
I'm trying to increase my sq. footage of pad intake but also want my unit inside my yurt.

So the alternative is to go unicooler style (1 intake paded wall). But if I only have 1 intake vent on the cooler that is only 1.6 sq feet I'm worried it's not enough air intake to cool the yurt. Do you think a 1.6 sq ft vent is enough intake for a yurt?

You did recommend a 2-3 sq. ft intake for better results in a yurt, I wonder if 1.6 will cut it.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:44 am

That's what I ment by "Make the unicooler wider."

The vents I put on the wood box cooler are 12"X12" but you can easily put 2 or 3 on the intake side by just making the unicooler WIDER to have room to put the vents side by side all on one side.

Or you can do the box cooler with just the fan sticking through the wall from the outside.

8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:11 pm

I see, so my task now is to find a suitable box. I'm trying to find something complete with a lid and non-tapered walls. So far I found this but it's not big enough!!

http://www.amazon.com/Buddeez-Inc-CHARC ... ford+kaddy

It's 20"H x 10"W x 19"D. It would allow a single 15 X 15 intake vent - and 8 X 15 intakes on the sides.
There would only be 4-6" of depth below the fan, and only hold roughly 2.5-3 Gal below the vent level. The pump would barely be submerged and I'd have to re-fill every couple hours at most. I do like the clear plastic though. Would be nice to see how full it is and see it working (or easily view if it's not working). Too bad they don't make a larger model of this can
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:42 pm

Trying to find a "cash & carry" box has been a challenge.

That one looks pretty good for a box cooler.

It will hold enough water for a once a day fill if you only run your fan on low. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Canoe » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:43 pm

Jyman wrote:Thanks Canoe, but doesn't the irrigated pad always have to be the intake on the unit, and the fan has to always be the cooled output?
I thought it's just a matter of:
Outside: Fan is against outside wall of shelter
Inside: Irrigated pad is up a against inside wall of shelter
I think FIGJAM said all his designs are in this configuration whether inside or outside the shelter: Pad= Intake>Fan= Cooled Output.
It seems necessary to have the fan be on the same side of the unit that the human is on, and directing air out of the box regardless of placing the unit in or outside. You suggest having the fan direction towards the inside of the cooler?
Canoe, "The opening with the fan is always the opening that is sealed against (or ducted through) the opening in the shelter, only moving air from outside to inside"
I can't see how this is correct - In the case of the Unicooler, the Pad intake side is sealed against the opening in the shelter and the fan is closest to the human (as a cooled output).
So I'm thinking that if I want to increase intake area and make a unit with 3 sides of Pad intake (like FIGJAM's Box Cooler) with a "Fan-Side Cooled Output" then the cooler must be outside the shelter. Thoughts?


WARNING: what follows are technical details that are totally unnecessary to successfully building and successfully using one of FIGJAM's designs as he designed and tested them.
If you simply want to build and use one of his proven designs, or you're in a rush, or get confused by details, skip this.

I jumped the gun in stating absolutes. The hot dry air has to move through the irrigated filter - the filter and the cooling evaporation doesn't care which way the air flows. However, FIGJAM configures his designs to pull air through both the filter and box. Why? This creates a negative pressure inside the container/box between the irrigated pads and the fan, which (for reasons we won't confuse the issue by discussing) results in more efficient air flow than if the fan pushes hot dry air into a box to have it exit through the irrigated filter. Any of the three can be run with negative pressure inside or positive pressure inside, but you're much much better off if you run it with negative pressure - as FIGJAM's recommended configurations are. To be setup for negative pressure, this means that, except for the unicooler (with intake on only one side of the box, which makes it unique in that it doesn't matter if it's installed inside or outside, you get to run it with the efficient negative internal pressure), they have to be installed outside (or, to be technically correct, installed inside but have a shrouding outer containment box built around the entire cooler - not recommended, especially for such little benefit and potential problems from additional failure points).

So if you take your idea of FIGJAM's outside box cooler with three sides open to the irrigated filter and install the box inside with one intake sucking air from outside - it will not work properly, and for the reason you identified, that the inside air would be sucked through the other two sides. This completely destroys the dynamics of why these coolers work so well on-playa for various shelters.
If you HAD to install the three-sided box cooler inside, then you have to rotate it 180 degrees to have the fan side on the outside wall with its hole, and reverse the direction of the air flow. With everything appropriately sealed, this will cool, but as it's now running a positive pressure configuration it will not work as well as FIGJAM's recommended and tested configurations. Same for the bucket cooler, with the duct sucking hot air from outside, and the cooled air spilling out through all the bucket holes. Works, but not as well (and you have a hot-air heated duct running inside to the cooler).

If you deviate from FIGJAM's recommendations in a manner that you don't run it with the fan pulling air through the box, you won't have the same air flow which means reduced cooling capacity, therefore it has to run longer to get the same cooling, which may mean it doesn't have enough cooling capacity for your shelter, and it will also mean you'll be using more power/electricity for the cooling you get.

If you're going to deviate from FIGJAM's designs and recommendations, you have to understand how and why they work, and the consequences of your deviations.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:05 pm

Plus, my way keeps the fan motor cool. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby kstlfido » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:03 pm

Box cooler working! :)

To hold the dura-cool pads, I used some vinyl-covered garden fencing. Little loops of bailing wire from fencing to grills to hold it all in place. Keeps it nice and tidy.
Looking down into the cooler, you can see the tiny pump and float switch.

The little pump seems to provide plenty of water to the pads. All got wet in 30 seconds.

It's around 40% humidity today, but I can definitely tell when the pump is on and water is cooling the air. Looks like I'm going to have a nice chill yurt for the playa (and a pretty good dust filter!)

Just need to install hinges and seals on lid and I can finally get ready for the burn.

THANKS Figjam! Thanks to others as well, for parts feedback. You've all been a great help.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:38 pm

Very nice job!!!

Now that it's done you can see how easy it would be to make it a little taller for more water, but I think you will only have to fill once a day. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:41 pm

FIGJAM wrote:Trying to find a "cash & carry" box has been a challenge.

That one looks pretty good for a box cooler.

It will hold enough water for a once a day fill if you only run your fan on low. 8)


Because of the time issue, I've stopped at every spot I could think of to find a "cash & carry" case.
Surprised but glad you actually approve of this one because I thought it would be too short and not deep enough.
http://www.amazon.com/Buddeez-Inc-CHARC ... ford+kaddy

How deep must the water be for this pump to work properly?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/12VOLT-DC-SUBME ... 5d3396a234
Since the "Kingsford" case is 20"H x 10"W x 19"D, I wasn't sure the water can be deep enough for the pump to be submerged. I've never used a pump like this, and since the pumps height is 3" off the floor I'm not sure it will work properly in only 4-5" of shallow water. Should the pump work ok if the most I can fill the bottom of the box is an area of 15" x 8" x 4"?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:56 pm

If it's the big square one like I have, about 1" of water is when it starts sucking air.

You could add a float valve going to another container of water to feed the cooler, but that may be more tech than you want to tackle.

Your box isn't perfect, but it will work.

I could'nt find what I wanted so I built my own.

We've come to the conclution that almost any container can be made into a cooler with enough imagination. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:09 pm

Well thanks for the encouragement! I understand I may have to re-fill more as a result, but finding a workable box without too much tech has been a bitch. I thought of using and additional box to fulfill more water but as you said that's more tech to deal with.

This box is cheap and right around the corner. Hopefully I can make this "compact" version of the unicooler work for me.
And just to make sure, I can't fill the water higher than the bottom of the fan and vents right? or the water would spill out through the fan and vents? Sorry if that's a "duh" question.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:17 am

I've done some reading in the history here and think I've answered my own question. Place the fan and vents high as possible to achieve a large as possible reservoir.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:56 am

Jyman wrote:I've done some reading in the history here and think I've answered my own question. Place the fan and vents high as possible to achieve a large as possible reservoir.



Yes please! :lol:
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:49 pm

Looks like a good ready-with-lid box.

http://www.irisusashop.com/Index.asp?KB ... SID=301073

Has some tapering but the rest is good. Now to get it quick enough. Got my fan & pump already. I would've liked to get all this done throughout the yr but I didn't get a ticket till the final 1000 ticket sale!
Jyman
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:41 pm
Burning Since: 2011

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