VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

-POSTING RULES
-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

  #1  
Old 06-02-2017, 09:45 AM
civengpe civengpe is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 212
Talking Camping Air Conditioner Project

One of the issues that I have while camping in HBC at Sun-n-Fun & Oshkosh is that the heat at night can almost unbearable in tent. It sometimes takes several hours before the temperature comes down to a tolerable level to sleep comfortably. My usual choices are to just suck it up or to drink until it doesn?t bother me anymore! While the second option is OK occasionally, I really do like to enjoy the show the next day.

This year, I decided to try to do something about it by building something to knock the edge off of the temperature in the evenings. My major goals are as follows:
  • Portable and light weight. I don?t want something that is too big to easily carry in the plane
  • Utilize multipurpose items. I want to try to utilize things I already bring or can at least replace something I already bring
  • Easy to power in HBC
  • Provide directed temperature relief in the tent when needed
  • Last at least 3-4 hours until it naturally cools down

Keeping these in mind, my first thought was one of the portable ice chest air conditioners that are out on the market. The problem with this solution is that it requires a lot of power. I would need to bring a car battery with me along with the necessary recharging devices. But it did give me an idea.

I decided to work off of some of the numerous homemade ice chest Air conditioner designs floating around and modify that to meet my needs. Here is a photo of the proof of concept I threw together last night:



It is a basic Coleman 28qt ice chest with a USB powered fan ($8 at Fry?s) drawing 500ma. I ran it yesterday evening about half full of ice utilizing my 20,100mah battery for 5 hours. I was really surprised how cold the air was coming out. Since I was just mucking around and didn?t have a temperature probe, I estimate that the temperature coming out was 45-50 deg, while the temperature in the garage was in the 90s. At the end of the 5 hours, most of the ice was gone, but the air was still cool coming out. The battery showed no signs of depletion.

It looks like the concept meets all of my wants:
  • The entire contraption minus ice only adds a couple of pounds to my total usual packing items
  • I already bring a portable battery pack to charge my phone and Ipad at night and I can utilize the empty ice chest to store items in the plane for the trip.
  • I usually charge my battery back in HBC daily while everyone is out and about and ice has always been readily available by the wonderful hosts.
  • It was definitely cool enough to knock the edge off for sleeping
  • The first run only started with a half load of ice and was still producing cool air at 5 hours with minimal impact to my battery.

With this proof of concept done, I am actually going to run a few documented tests showing the actual exhaust temperature and ambient temperature starting with a full ice load over a period of time. If this all works out, I am going to build a complete unit with some better fans and a real lid.
__________________
Shannon
RV-10
Flying September 2015
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-02-2017, 09:49 AM
civengpe civengpe is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 212
Default

I did a quick video too if anyone is interested.

https://youtu.be/DcoIjvpVS34
__________________
Shannon
RV-10
Flying September 2015
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-02-2017, 09:59 AM
John Tierney John Tierney is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vonore, TN
Posts: 444
Smile

Looks like something out of Apollo 13.
__________________
John Tierney
Vonore, TN
RV-7A - N777JT Flying
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-02-2017, 10:47 AM
gfb gfb is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 754
Default

You should totally make a nice riveted aluminum kit for this. I bet you could retire on the money
__________________
---
RV-9A - started 01/2015, completed 07/19/2018, 500hrs 03/14/2020
RV-10 - started 04/2020
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-02-2017, 10:50 AM
TS Flightlines TS Flightlines is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ridgeland, SC
Posts: 2,748
Default

Shannon is a steely eye missle man!
Tom
__________________
Tom Swearengen, TS Flightlines LLC, AS Flightlines
Joint Venture with Aircraft Specialty
Teflon Hose Assemblies for Experimentals
Proud Vendor for RV1, Donator to VAF
RV7 Tail Kit Completed, Fuse started-Pay as I go Plan
Ridgeland, SC
www.tsflightlines.com, www.asflightlines.com
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-02-2017, 11:04 AM
civengpe civengpe is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 212
Default

I really am looking at this as a fun project. I'm fighting the temptation to really over complicate it for sure.

Today, I am going to see what a full load of ice does to the temperature/run time. It's 100% humidity and 87 here today, so I should get a good representative run.

As to the Frankenstein's monster appearance...yeah I know, I just want to nail down what works best before I start hacking into my cooler top. cardboard and masking tape are cheap!
__________________
Shannon
RV-10
Flying September 2015
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-02-2017, 12:01 PM
JonJay's Avatar
JonJay JonJay is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Battleground
Posts: 4,348
Default

Cool. No pun intended.
__________________
Smart People do Stupid things all the time. I know, I've seen me do'em.

RV6 - Builder/Flying
Bucker Jungmann
Fiat G.46 -(restoration in progress, if I have enough life left in me)
RV1 - Proud Pilot.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-02-2017, 12:17 PM
n816kc n816kc is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Winter Haven, FL
Posts: 275
Default swamp cooler

they do work well in the short term. but, it will put a lot of moisture in the air, especially an enclosed area like a tent. you'll need a towel to wipe down the walls every now and again to avoid taking a shower when the wind blows or someone bumps the tent.
__________________
Kevin Crews
Bartow, FL
RV-6 'Woo hoo!'
2021 =VAF= donor
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-02-2017, 12:27 PM
civengpe civengpe is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 212
Default

Good point on the moisture. I need to really measure the moisture content exiting the unit. I know my B-Kool that I use for the -10 actually lowers the total humidity in the plane. It works on a different principle though.
__________________
Shannon
RV-10
Flying September 2015
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-02-2017, 12:37 PM
Plummit's Avatar
Plummit Plummit is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,271
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by n816kc View Post
they do work well in the short term. but, it will put a lot of moisture in the air, especially an enclosed area like a tent. you'll need a towel to wipe down the walls every now and again to avoid taking a shower when the wind blows or someone bumps the tent.
Maybe not. When the air gets recirculated back to the cooler, any moisture *should* condense on the cold interior of the chest, which would remove it from the air. Cycling the fan run-time might be possible too.

Adding a radiator and water pump would make it more efficient, but add to the power draw.

~Marc
__________________
RV-10
N814RV
2021 Donation Made
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:53 PM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.