Monday, July 28, 2008

Solar Cooler

We made a solar evaporative cooler using an existing cooler that I purchesd at Wal Mart several years ago. It has worked well in our drier climate. I have made plans showing how I made it and made them available through our website Living On Solar. You can also view the video at the bottom of the page on the You Tube Section. If you have any questions about the cooler, this is a good place to ask.


  1. What's the noise level like with the 12v fan vs the 110v fan?

  2. It is about the same as the 110v one, or maybe a little louder. The sound level is higher in pitch and maybe contributes to the appearance that it is louder.

  3. If ya wanna quiet it down a bit you can use an S-Blade fan. These fans are reversible and stay spinning over a minute longer than straight blade fans when the power source is disconnected. That means they probably have better bearings and run more efficiently. It is said that straight blade fans move more air but when they are connected in series, side by side, I can't feel any difference. Check em out at KMJ Performance.

  4. Great suggestion. I had to replace my fan last year and I used an s-blade fan. It was late in the season so I have not had an opportunity to notice the difference.

  5. i have planned a project on solar air conditioner! can u help me out with the diagrams and stuff?

  6. I will try to provide as much help as I can.

  7. the lizardhaven low energy space cooler

    i live in the california desert and have run my house on only PV power for over 20 years. i have no backup system.

    i invented a very low energy cooling system. while this could be modified to be inside a box and make sure that it never dripped on the floor, i did not do that.

    when i built the house i piped copper water lines to a few places in the house.t pipes come down from the ceiling and have 1/2" threads an d i made pvc screw on piping that have the arizona tees with holes for mist emmiters. i make an inverted 'T' with one side having a ball valve shut off lets me adjust the amount of mist for season, or time of day, etc.

    i generally just use one fan, but it would be nice to have a fan for each mist emitter.

    i get axial fans on EBAY, a good model is the dayton 4c549a, which uses .18 amps ac, 13.7 watts, putting out 100 cfm. i plan to integrate the pvc with arms to hang the fan or fans from, but now i have hooks in the ceiling and hang then from wires.

    it is important to hang the fan behind the mist emitter an exact distance, so that the air blasts the mist to cool air, and does not drip. you will have to hold the fan at different distances behind the mister to determine the right place to hang it.

    my bedroom is 14' x 14' by 9' high and this system keeps it as much as 35 degrees below outside temperature. this makes it 85 degrees inside when it is 120 outside.

    much of the year the emmiters do not drip without using a fan. more mist is needed as the outside temperature rises. when humidity rises you need more moving air to blast the mist and cool effectively. you adjust windows or doors open to let the moist air move out as you must do in any evaporative cooling system.

    if you are married or have wall to wall carpeting, you should plan to change emitters and clean the old ones several times a year, otherwise they sometimes do not mist as well as they should and you get a misting rain or drops.

    the fans need to have the fins cleaned a couple times a year too.

    pat at

  8. Thanks for the post. Seems you have thought outside the box and come up with a unique way to keep cool.

  9. Can I use another evaporator, can't find the one you use. I live in Jamaica

  10. I have a seven part series documenting the process of building this swamp cooler from concept to operation. This unit uses very little electricity and a minimum of water with no ice or anything else. The parts list totals less than $100.

    I use this cooler on a daily basis in the southern desert, off the grid in temps well above 100 all the time.

  11. Great series proving necessity is the mother of invention. Great idea Albert. Thanks for the link.