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“Poor Man’s” Air Conditioner
Leslie Shamburg, Monte Vista, Colo., recently sent FARM SHOW photos of the evaporative “swamp cooler” he built out of a 55-gal. plastic barrel.
    “I call it a ‘poor man’s’ air conditioner. It cost only about $150 to put together,” says Shamburg.
  He started with a 55-gal. plastic barrel and used a hole saw to cut the lid out. A 120-volt water pump sets on the bottom of the barrel and a 20-in. dia. fan lays face down on top of the barrel. The bottom 1/4 of the barrel is filled with water.
    Water is pumped up into a clear plastic hose that wraps around the outside of the barrel, which has a row of 5 spray nozzles inside it. The nozzles, spaced 1 1/2 ft. apart, mount 1 1/2 ft. above a row of 2-in. dia. holes that Shamburg cut into the barrel. He bolted a 6-in. wide strip of “miner’s moss” (Home Depot or Amazon.com) over the holes inside the barrel. The nozzles spray water onto the miner’s moss and the fan blows the cool, saturated air out through the holes.
   “I made it early this summer for a friend who owns a local bar and bowling alley. Cool, moist air is evenly dispersed out through the 24 holes in the barrel,” says Shamburg. “I got the idea from the internet where someone was using a 5-gal. bucket with a fan on top. I used a 55-gal. barrel to get more capacity. If I want real cold air I place a block of ice in the water.”
  To hold the miner’s moss tight against the barrel, Shamburg cut a length of plumber’s strap into 3-in. long pieces that serve as washers. He uses a shut-off valve mounted inside the barrel to turn the water on or off.
  He got the barrel from a local chemical dealer and says he spent about $35 for the fan, pump and fittings. “I use a 130-gal. per hour fountain pump that doesn’t use a lot of electricity,” he says.
  Shamburg also made a similar air conditioner for his own use except that it has 2 rows of holes - 48 in all - for increased cooling ability and a 12-in. wide strip of miner’s moss. He says he’s willing to sell plans for the air conditioner.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Leslie Shamburg, 120 Franklin St., Monte Vista, Colo. 81144 (ph 719 849-0026; shamburgg@gmail.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #5