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 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:51 pm

Some kind of deoderizer, but I've never used one.

That's when you run your cooler 24/7 for months at a time.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:20 am

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Photo0651 by J Hy One, on Flickr

My Pad was touching the drip tube before I started the pump. Guess I gotta use something different than zip-ties to hold the pad in place. The water made it sag.

Clear case for water level monitoring! Can't think of a name for it...invisicooler? ...nah
Image
Photo0659 by J Hy One, on Flickr

Image
Photo0657 by J Hy One, on Flickr

Radio Shack 12V DC connectors are toooo expensive. But it's late and I don't wanna get too hi-tech. So they work. I put a 12V male plug on the pump, and joined it with the fans plug in a Y cable that then goes to a 10' extension (outside my hexayurt) to the Kirkland Deep Cycle Battery where I installed a cig lighter input on the battery box. I don't know why Radio Shack put the switch on the Male end of the extension, not the end closest to me in the yurt! I'll swap that for next yr I guess, but this time I'll step out to hit the switch.
Image
Photo0654 by J Hy One, on Flickr
Image
Photo0653 by J Hy One, on Flickr

When testing I noticed that putting the fan on 3 is useless in my box. The size of my intake vent doesn't allow enough air through to let the fan really push air at you. I checked this by opening the lid and seeing how the fan breeze kicked properly when the open air was free to move through. It's fine on the 1 or 2 position. I now see what you meant FIGJAM when you recommended having 2-3 square feet of intake vent. I only have around 1.3 I think, just the 12x14" size vent.
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Photo0658 by J Hy One, on Flickr
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:54 am

Cool bin, where did you pick that up?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby reymis1981 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:12 am

can anyone give me ideas to power this. I dont have solar panels and cant afford them.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:02 am

12 volt deep cycle battery. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby LadyOcelot » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:35 am

Jyman,

Love the clear bin. Question: how do you plan to compensate for the inward slope of the bin vs the flat wall of your structure? I'm in the same boat and would love your thoughts.

Mr. Figjam,

Is there a reason why you use PVC instead of poly tube for the top of the drip line?

Cheers.
So excited!
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:53 am

Any place I have a straight run, I like the pvc.

Easy to drill the holes uniformly.

I just set the pvc on top of the pad.

Others put brackets or hangers to hold it in place

It's easy to use bread ties to ancore the poly to the top of the pad to keep the flow lined up with the pad.

So I use poly for circles and pvc for straight runs.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:57 am

The easiest way to compensate for the angle on your container is to stick some foam rubber around where you want to seal it to the wall.

The foam will give enough for you to just push the cooler against the hole in the wall for a good seal.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:58 pm

FIGJAM wrote:The easiest way to compensate for the angle on your container is to stick some foam rubber around where you want to seal it to the wall.

The foam will give enough for you to just push the cooler against the hole in the wall for a good seal.


I'm thinking this and a combination of using that spray foam crap that expands. Make a nice little mold for it.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Bama » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:52 pm

Hey Figjam, just wanted to say thanks for the awesome design and continued info.

Ive been wanting to make one of these since my first burn. Made a kilt last year, so I decided to try my hand at the cooler this year.

So Ive got it built, and got it packed to fly out in the morning. I just wish I could hear the TSA agents comments when it rolls through xray! Wires, and fans, and motors, and tutus? Gotta be a first for Birmingham airport.

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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ShreddinPB » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:08 pm

I have two questions about powering these..

I went ahead and nerded up my bucket cooler.
I added a Arduino micro controller, photoresistor, and a float switch.

Now the cooler will turn on when it gets light enough outside, and if there is water in the cooler so I dont run my pump dry!
My main question is next I am planning on adding a way to check battery voltage. At what point should I stop drawing from the battery and charge it up?
I have heard 50%, what voltage is 50%? do I take the battery down to 6v??

I already have a second pump that is very energy hungry 4Ah :( is there a way to limit it to say 1Ah?
That way I could hammer together a second cooler using two case fans maybe.

btw, I also added a PIR motion sensor that will turn on my LED light strip in the shade structure at night ;) only at 50% power at first, then I will have a wall switch to turn it on normal.
I am trying to get my vrbot voice recognition going also, but I dont think there will be enough time lol
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Aug 23, 2012 4:15 pm

Depends on the battery.

This chart shows 12.06 as 50% discharged.

Full charge at 12.7.

http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Battery_FAQ.htm

Not sure hoe to put your 4amp pump on a "Diet". 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:21 pm

captain mcguiver wrote:Cool bin, where did you pick that up?


Got it at Petsmart. I went on a mission to find a ready to use case...couldn't find this online anywhere. Was pretty pricey though..$50. Doesn't leak at all.

As for the slight taper on the box...I tried resting it on my inside Yurt wall and it seems flush enough. The picture makes it look more tapered than it really is. The tapering is under an inch from top to bottom. The lid sticks out a little but if I have to I'll yurt-tape a seal around the vent to around the intake window.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Jyman » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:15 am

LadyOcelot wrote:Jyman,

Love the clear bin. Question: how do you plan to compensate for the inward slope of the bin vs the flat wall of your structure? I'm in the same boat and would love your thoughts.


I think the camera on my phone exaggerates the perspective a bit. The slope isn't as bad as it looks. But if it is a problem I'd think a small extension (about 2") from wall to vent would compensate. When we did a test build of our yurt the cooler seemed to fit well against the wall
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trouble shooting: cooling your tent or van

Postby Nicky Pickles » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:22 pm

Hey all, I just put together my 5 gal, solar pump, with a 12v/0.32A fan, and put it under the sun to see what happens.
Result is running water, but no fan action.

My thoughts are:
-The components are in series, I'm considering swapping to parallel.
-My fan was a used fan salvaged from an old PC power supply, so I'm also considering the fan being faulty and trying another salvaged fan from a PC Power supply.

What suggestions do the epayans have?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:26 pm

Disconnect the wires to the fan and do a touch test to the battery.

Sometimes they only work in one configuration. 8)

Make sure the fan is DC.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby Nicky Pickles » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:39 pm

I connected to a DC 12v battery and still had no motion on the fan, must be a seized fan. replacement is en route :)
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Re: Cooler-Con 2012

Postby sjs » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:09 am

Hello my beautiful swamp cooler people. One last reminder:

Cooler-Con at 5:00pm on Tuesday at Camp Bioluminati (we are the "Pimp Yr Bike" folks). We are located on the 5:30 road between Alyssum and the Esplanade... basically near the "p" in "Center Camp" on this map:
Image
(click the image for more detail)


So, as noted on PlayaEvents and in your What Where When book:

Bring your swamp cooler or come to learn! Meet the fabulous people from the epic eplaya thread! Fix, troubleshoot, and invent!


Bring your own battery if you can, but still come if you can't (we can share).
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby captain mcguiver » Tue Sep 04, 2012 2:56 pm

Great seeing those of you who showed up to CoolerCon 2012!

My Swamp Cooler worked almost perfect. The only thing wrong was it let me sleep TOO much! The interior of my truck was so cool, I didn't even have to install the reflectix on the roof. Whenever I felt hot, I just turned on the cooler. Having the 55 gallon tank next to it made filling a breeze. I charged the battery once all week. It came home in one piece with my door plug. Looks like I will be re-using it next time, I may even try it here at home.

On a funny side note. Would you believe my neighbors next to me ( I think they were israeli ) basically gifted me two store-bought swamp coolers they didn't want to lug back home. Yes: two. So my truck came home with 3 swamp coolers total. It's funny how they are basically Unicoolers with some bells and whistles. Instead of Duracool Pads they use a "unique cellulose based" pad, which to me looks like card board. They have an Ionizer mode as well. The fans inside of them pump out 1000 Cfm. Pretty cool. Now what am I going to do with 3 of them? I guess I will have 2 really good friends at camp next burn. They are Newair brand, and can be seen at http://www.air-n-water.com/product/af-351.htm.

Here's some pics of my door plug and cooler in action on the playa.

Door Plug (Rmax 4x8 with magnetic front door, closeable cooler plug, and exterior vent hole):
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Inside View next to 55 gallon tank
Image
Guts (12volt lighted switch for pump tied into fan power, 5 gallon capacity, duracool pad + pvc)
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Exhale (dryer duct vented outside starting from highest point in truck)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:21 am

Dang, I missed CoolerCon. My bucket cooler worked well, and allowed for comfortable sleep in our tent during any part of the day :)

1. The no-pump/wicking filters worked as long as I prefiltered the inlet air. Otherwise, they turned to a mud-bog quickly.
2. I ran off of my car battery, while recharging from a small solar panel and idling my car every other day. (monitored with a digital volt meter).
3. I almost chopped the tip of my finger off ... that FIGJAM recommended computer fan is strong.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:12 am

LET'S HEAR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How did your cooler do?

Mine worked great, to the point where I had to nap under a fleece from 1 to 3pm saturday.

When I was at camp during the day, I had the bucket cooler blowing on me and call people of the street for some "cool air".

You would think I was a magician who just pulled a buzzard out of my ass.

The expretions on peoples faces were priceless.

They would sit in my chair while I explained the build and how they worked.

By the time I finished they were getting "chilly"!

100 hugs burn!!!


8) 8) 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ShreddinPB » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:46 pm

Sadly, I missed cooler con also, and it was at pimp your bike, and I had a pimp bike, but had trouble with the batteries :(

Well, our standard bucket cooler worked AWESOME! I am going to step it up to a box cooler next year tho. I am also going to either use a deep cycle or solar to run it. I had 4 12 SLA 12Ah batteries, and they would run about a day and a half. I would just rather not have to think about it.
The "Camp Controller" Arduino I set up worked like a charm also! The float switch kept the pump from running dry, and the photoresistor turned on the swamp cooler when it got light outside. This, by the way, was a GREAT thing! It was very cold in the morning when the sun came up.. so the swamp cooler would turn on and flood the yurt with cold air. As long as we kept an eye on keeping the door shut, the super cold morning air would last inside the yurt till about 1pm!

One thing I didnt do that I found out I should.. I didnt put a furnace filter vent on the other side of the yurt.. I think the cooler was blowing so much air in and couldnt let the hot air out.. it was pretty funny cause you would open the yurt door and it would FLY open from the air pressure inside hahahah.

I will take some pictures of the camp controller and float switch and post them here, along with the very basic arduino code.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:34 pm

Yes!

There has to be a place for the air to escape or the cooler can't do it's job.

People keep confusing the cooler with AC.

With AC you try to contain the cool.

With the evap coolers the air should get completely replaced every 1 to 3 minutes for the best results. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:22 am

My next upgrades:

1. 12v Deep Cycle Battery
2. 50 watt Solar Panel
3. Complete rebuild to increase capacity :)

Question: Does the circulating water design scrub all of the particulates from the incoming air? and wash them into the bottom of the bucket/box?
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:12 am

Yes.

The dura cool pad is very porse and the flowing water is a very affective filter.

My pads are on their 3rd year.

My pump started making a little noise about half way through the week. (it's 3rd year also)

It pops apart easily, so I popped it apart and there was a thin film of sludge on the interior.

Rinsed it with clean water and everything was fine. ( again, first time in three years)

If you're not getting full flow from the pump, make sure the plug on the impeller is all the way in place.

The vibration on the drive in dislodged mine a little, but it pushed right back into place. 8)
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby ShreddinPB » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:57 am

Hey figjam, to make a good box cooler, how much GPH do you need?

Maybe there should be a post/tutorial for a box cooler also, all in one post.. 57 pages is a pain to sort thru hahahah
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:02 am

I want a NASCAR type cooling helmet with a Homer bucket cooler for the trike.
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Re:

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:04 am

FIGJAM wrote:YURT ALERT!!!!! Ok you dont have to have a yurt, but I liked saying it. Swamp cooler 2.0.

Image

I made the box out of some left over material from my tub surround. I dont remember what its called, but its water proof and light. Fiber glass or plastic panels will work if their thick enough, but if you are patient, look in the thrift stores for a plastic or lexan display case with roughly the same dementions. 15x15x24in. Then you wont have to build a box.

Image

The endless breeze fan is awsome. I thought I had a problem with it, but it turns out that I reversed the connection which made the fan run backwards, so it wasnt pushing much air. Now I can feel the breeze from 10ft away when its on low(1.18 amps 250cfm) medium 500cfm 1.68 amps, and high is 900cfm at 2.50 amps. Great for a 12 volt fan. The cheepest price new that I found was $60. Mine was a display and I got it for $25.

Image

1/2in. pvc and three 90s and a cap.

Image

The feed line was a little small till I put a short piece of pvc in the 90. with a little sillycone, its perfect. No need to glue the other pvc parts together.

Image

Image

By folding the pad instead of cutting individual pieces, It gets a snugger fit. The piece of strap keeps the pad snug at the front of the cooler. This is needed because if your fan is real strong, it will try to vacume your pad away from the sides. The pad retains its shape real well, so folding the inside corners is perfect.
The black tape is there because I got a little high on the sides with my holes and you want all the air to be drawn through damp pad.


Image

Im waiting for the little bit stronger pump so I can test, but it should work fine...........FIGJAM........Oh .....check rv places to locate this fan. I sillyconed all the joints on the box exept the lid and this unit holds 8 gal. of water. Theres room for a case of pbr in the bottom. I have to check, but I think the water temp when running is close to 40 degrees. Unite dry wieght 13 pounds.



Instead of holes, use the registers!

Their better at keeping the water in.

Water use is about 3/4gal. per hour and the pump moves 80gph. 8)
Last edited by FIGJAM on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re:

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:05 am

FIGJAM wrote:The pumps just arrived! I installed one on the new cooler and I cant think of any way it could be more suited to this purpose.

Image

Image

It uses .23amps and has a built in filter. Cost $14.95. Heres a pic of the pad to give an idea of how porse it is.

Image

If you want your controls to be inside your structure cut the box with an extention where you will attatch the fan. this is how I set mine up.

Image

Image

I didnt need an extention. I tried it without the shade clothe first. When I had just the pump on there was minor leaking untill I turned the fan on low and the leaking stopped. If I sand the holes it may stop that entirely as any little snag tends to direct a small leak. And now the best part.....

Image

Image

The cooler on low (1.4 amps with the pump) is setting on the desk in the background and is about 4ft. away, but I couldnt get a good pic of the temp with the cooler in the shot. But damn AM I EVER HAPPY HAPPY WITH THIS THING...............FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGJAM............


You can use some small pieces of wire to hold the pad against the registers to keep them in place.
Last edited by FIGJAM on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cooling your tent or van

Postby gjenkins » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:12 am

Oh yeah, we had a bad experience with non-clean melt water from the cooler. It is not pleasant to sleep in cool cooked chicken air! I do not recommend gray water :)
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