Instructables

Step 9: Assemble Your Solar Cooler

This solar cooler is just about ready to go for a test drive. To use it, simply put your food/drink into the capsule, close it up, and put it into the bucket. Then pour water over the capsule until the absorbent medium is full, and take the cooler outside with you. After enough water evaporates, your capsule will be sufficiently cool and ready to eat out of!

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eulaliaaaa!4 years ago
If you look on the mini images, this step looks like Frankenstein!
maewert4 years ago
Nice instructable.  The principle was once used all over the US before electricity became wide spread. 

I noted there was no mention of the color of the outer container.  Black is a good choice when the unit does not see direct sunlight, since the blackbody radiation would help to shed more heat but would absorb the heat if in the sun, so shade that puppy :-)

Also instead of circles, vertical strips might make for more efficient evaporation since the evaporation process creates a slight upward draft which helps speed up the cooling.  (This is why a hanging towel dries more quickly than one laying on the floor.)  I'm thinking one would want to make vertical slots that maximize the exposed surface area for evaporation while retaining the container's structural integrity.

Anyway, these are just possible improvements to an otherwise good instructable. :-)
JamesRPatrick (author)  maewert4 years ago
Thanks for the advice. I'm currently working on a new version which should be up by the end of the week, incorporating vertical drafts and a white exterior.
ziggiau4 years ago
Does it make any difference if you didn't include the middle set of gutter guard (on the inside? i.e. do you need to have some space between the inner can and the wet cloth to allow for air flow, or would it matter if they were touching?
abarson4 years ago
I'm guessing that this could be up-sized to something like a 5-gallon plastic bucket for the outside, and the one gallon paint can on the inside?
1hotpilot4 years ago
Just how much cooler than ambient does it get? i.e. at 90 degrees F will it keep items 40 F?
Nice instructable but wouldn't it be easier to use a coffee can or similar to make the food capsule ? Then you wouldn't have the possibility of your food tasting like propane odorant . It is a great idea though !!