Instructables

DIY baby swampy (small evaporative cooler)

Picture of DIY baby swampy (small evaporative cooler)
Evaporative coolers extract heat from the air in order for the liquid (water) to evaporate. The baby swampy is an idea I've had for quite a while, using the wicking power of common swamp cooler pads, and some household items and tools. We can build a small, portable, personal evaporative cooler. "baby swampy"

Keep in mind, this will not cool off your entire house, or maybe even a room. Evap coolers work best in hot dry climates, when the humidity is very low. The principle however, can cool off an entire house. That being said, become creative, the more air you move through your cooler, the more evaporative capacity your cooler has. I chose this design because it's cheap, simple, and it doesn't require anything other than what I had lying around.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Tools and items.

Picture of Tools and items.
IMG_20120701_125947.jpg
Some things you'll need and others you won't I chose to solder and shrink wrap mine (not a huge fan of house fires or electrocution), you may choose to tape it or use butt connectors (not shown). One thing I didn't label on the picture is the power supply, which deserves it's own paragraph.

* Power supply -  for this I used a 9.6v power supply I robbed from an old guitar pedal or something. I have others lying around but this one had already been used to power a similar fan, so I felt that it was adequate. A switch would have been a nice touch, but I couldn't find one that wasn't in use.

* Solder Iron  - Only needed if you plan to solder and shrink wrap or tape your connections (suggested method). If your not soldering be sure you have an strong connection with your butt connectors and what not. I will not be held responsible for you electrocuting yourself, your children or your pets. Nor will I if you burn your house down. I might feel some sympathy, but I doubt it.

* Swamp cooler padding -  Obtainable from any hardware store, this was left over from replacing mine in my big swamp cooler, if you can't come across or afford any, I'd maybe suggest an old cotton t-shirt, sponges could work, but I don't think they'd let much air through them, I suppose you could consider paper towels.

* Fan, shroud, and mounting hardware - The fan was a 120mm computer fan, they're rated at 12v (I know, I know. My power supply is only 9.6v) try to use a fan that matches up with your power supply as well as possible. Computer fans are all 12v. Household fans are almost all 120v (wouldn't suggest this for the inexperienced). 

* Shrink wrap, electrical tape (or butt connectors) - You have to isolate those connections from the outside world, or worse, each other. I would suggest the shrink wrap, but your choices are your own. If you choose electrical tape, at least solder the connections and inspect before every use. If you use butt connectors, tape it any way, these things have a way of wiggling themselves loose. I've stopped using them almost entirely.

* Scissors - choose some you don't care much about. Your sister's, mother's or wife's best pair will do perfectly ;) for this I chose some that'd already been sprung, and probably should be thrown away, but they're awesome for cutting random things, and cutting open " Otter Pops"

* Container - This can be almost anything, be sure that it has a big enough surface to mount the fan, the one shown is a disposable tupperware type container (these are very brittle). If using a larger fan, I'd totally suggest a five gallon bucket. 

* Screwdriver, pliers and wire strippers - The wire strippers aren't shown here, and I didn't even end up using the pliers, but if I really need to explain these tools to you then maybe you shouldn't try this.

* Drill and bits - At the very minimum you should have a rather large one and one in the range of 11/64 (if using a similar fan). If you're lacking a drill and bits you could possibly get by with a precise cutting instrument and an awl of sorts.

* Heat gun - you'll only need this if you're using shrink wrap, a blow dryer works, or even a cigarette lighter. The gun shown is the type built to remove paint, but it works wonders on shrink wrap in only a few seconds. It's also incredible for scrapping parts from circuit boards, if you're a tinkerer this is a very handy thing to have in your arsenal, and they're rather inexpensive at wal-mart.

* Pile of dishes and dirty working area (kitchen counter) - entirely optional. If you're married you might be in trouble for tinkering instead of cleaning, in my situation the wife thought the baby swampy was cute, and then laid down for a nap. Exercise your own judgement here.
sreeraj1 year ago
Whats the cost of that glue gun, I saw some for 2$ in ebay.. are they that cheap?
Schmidty162 years ago
this would be perfect for me i live in the attic and it gets sometimes above 100 degrees and u have about 500sq ft in my room and i have 3 cieling fans going and and to ground 1s and i need something more this might be my answer
dp69_2001 (author)  Schmidty162 years ago
Give it a try!
ok i might even make it smaller and use sponges
dp69_2001 (author)  Schmidty162 years ago
I wouldn't use sponges, I think the flow of air would be greatly restricted.
r u sure i found some pretty good sponges that have some good sised hole in them
dp69_2001 (author)  Schmidty162 years ago
Well, you might as well. Maybe they'll work better!
i might try it in a couple weeks ill try to sneak the sponges past my parents im only 14 so i hope they dont care
dp69_2001 (author)  Schmidty162 years ago
Um... Wouldn't it be easier to just tell your parents about the project? There's also some parts you'd probably want them to help with: Cutting and soldering.
oh its ok i already know hot to soder and cut and my grandpa puts in air condictions and heat pumps for a liveing ive probly put of 30 of em in so im ok
dp69_2001 (author) 2 years ago
The pads actually draw the water through them really well. Better than I expected really. I had considered slots in the container or larger holes, but the container I used was far too flimsy. I even broke one while making the holes.

The baby swampy actually creates a noticeable temperature difference, the upstairs of our house can sometimes exceed 100f. The trick is just keeping the reservoir full.
jsawyer2 years ago
Very cool!

Question: Do you find the pads wick water up from the bottom?

I have a similar design, using a larger container (2Gal, cylindrical food-bucket with lid)... I used burlap and much larger holes. Just finished it...

I'm thinking you could open the holes in to large slots to maximize airflow and reduce the load on your fan...

Nice 'ible...