Keeping your rabbits cool during a hot Australian summer can be difficult, so I had to come up with a 5-star solution for ours.
This was a very simple setup. It consisted of 4 parts
- PC Fan
- Solar Panel
The principle was to have water splashing up in front of the fan and blowing into the rabbit cage. It wasn’t too bad, but not ideal.
This was a bit more complex but could function as an Evaporative Cooler ( or Swamp Cooler for people in the USA ) for other purposes.
- Bucket with a lid
- Empty M&M’s bucket
- PC fan
- Tea Towel or similar fabric
- PVC Pipe
- PVC 90 degree angle
- Solar Panel
- Cut the bottom off the M&M’s bucket
- Cut a matching hole in the lid of the bigger bucket
- Lay the towel around the outside of the big bucket up near the top so you have space for water to sit in the bottom.
- Draw a line either side so you know the width of the towel
- Remove the towel and drill decent size holes between the two lines all around the bucket
- Get your flexible pipe and plug up one end
- Glue the pipe around the top-level of all the holes you just drilled and run the unblocked end down to the bottom of the bucket
- Cut the pipe to size and attach the pump
- Using a pin or similar, pierce holes in the side of the pipe so water sprays towards the middle of the bucket
- At this point, it is a good time to test the plumbing
- Put a bit of water in the bucket to cover the pump and power it either with a 12v supply
- You should have water spraying into the middle of the bucket from all the holes. Adjust any that are not spraying enough
- Empty the bucket and dry it all
- Next glue the top and bottom of the towel inside the bucket. If the towel overlaps, cut it to size, or if it is not long enough you will need a second towel. The key is to make sure there are no gaps so all the air goes through the moist towel
- Attach the fan to the M&M’s bucket, then attach the M&M’s bucket to the lid
- Connect the pump power to the fan power and put the lid on the bucket.
- You can then attach the PVC angle pipe to the top of the M&M bucket. I put screws in the bucket into the PVC pipe to hold it
- Once it is all dry you can put some water in the bottom of the bucket and power it up
- If you want to direct the airflow into something like a rabbit cage, it is easy to attach a length of PVC pipe to the 90 deg angle
- You can either power it with a 12v power brick, or solar. If you use a power brick, make sure the mains power side is waterproof.
- The advantage of solar power is that you don’t need timers for night-time. The sun goes down, the fan turns off. The disadvantage is that it can still be quite hot at night.
An upgrade to the rabbit cooler to fix the night-time problem was a small battery backup.
I purchased a cheap solar battery charger from eBay and a 12v UPS battery.
It was a simple method of connecting the solar panel to the charger, the battery to the charger, and the cooler to the charger.
I chose a small battery so it would only run for a few hours after the sun went down.
This setup worked perfect but I overlooked one key issue, water.
It was all enclosed in a waterproof box with rubber seals, but to get the cables in and out, I drilled holes. That would have been fine if I then sealed around the cables, but I forgot to. After a few months of it working fine, I noticed it was no longer running. I opened the box to find everything corroded and swimming in water. Fail.
So, for now, I have the panel connected back up directly to the cooler. Maybe I will get around to rebuilding the charger.