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Old 06-19-2014, 09:05 AM
MontyJ MontyJ is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 13

Those are some great ideas!

Being in Mexico, retired, and on a budget, I tend to do things incrementally, out of necessity. While we do have a Home Depot, it is not near as complete as those in the USA. Insulation, for example, is almost unheard of here on a consumer level. I have not checked at the Home Depot in a larger city like Hermosillo yet; they may have a better stock situation.

I have been trying to find some of that hard insulation to build a "cover" for the reservoir and the mini-fridge. I had not thought of putting some sheet material under the buckets; that is another incremental thing that will certainly help.

Part of my issue, which I didn't go into in my system description, is that I started this project in conjunction with a solar panel (100W) as my power supply. The idea (I do a blog for South-of-the-Border folks about the hydroponics and solar stuff) was to make the hydroponics totally "off-grid". I succeeded as far as the pumps, timers, sensors, and bubbler, but when I put in the mini-fridge, I had to plug into household grid power. 100W handles the hydroponic stuff just fine, but any serious cooling efforts need a boost beyond that. That is why I did the Peltier cooler tests; they were run on 12V and could be powered directly from the solar system; not full time of course, but I had hoped to be able to run it intermittently. No way in this heat, LoL.

The Igloo 150 qt cooler is reasonable on Amazon/eBay, but way to expensive here (almost double that!). I see a price of $95 for one with free shipping, so had my eye on that one. Of course another factor is the potential customs duty when crossing the border back into Mexico if I am over my 'limit'.

I had read a little about 'swamp coolers', but wanted to try all the little incremental things first. I think wrapping the buckets and tubing will help tremendously. And if I do that, I can probably get rid of the Panda wrap as well.

Yes, had done the "frozen water bottle" ice thing. My poor refrigerator/freezer had been running overtime to try to keep up with the load, not to mention the increased electric bill. Thankfully the Mexican govt subsidizes the electricity here a bit during the summer or it would be a deal killer.

Again, thanks for the great ideas and offer of more info! This gave me some great ideas I can have in place for next years 'heat wave', LoL.

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