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yeti 120 , water frozen in the bottom then dry ice packed around..
I thought id bring up a great old topic in light of the cooler posts of recent. i dont even look into the cooler til about day 15, on a grand trip. which is the only time i feel it prudent to have a 30 day cooler. any tips?
 

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If your goal is to keep ice drain it. Water conducts heat better than air so if your ice is sitting in water it will melt faster.
 

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Its gonna be sitting in 32 degree water. So the ice will only melt at the rate at which heat leaves the cooler. One could argue that when you open the cooler that some of the air leaves. Meaning the ice has to cool that replaced air

Maybe i need to do an experiment to confirm this, although its time consuming

If you do drain, the melt water makes nice cold water for drinks, and easy to filter. No sense wasting 32 degree water when it tastes so good in a coolaid/alcohol combo

Another option is to use gallon jugs and decant the melt water
 

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A buddy of mine and i have identical igloo marine coolers. When the weather heats up in Portland I will put the coolers to the test and see which stays colder longer. I know the two schools of thought will never see eye to eye though.
 

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A buddy of mine and i have identical igloo marine coolers. When the weather heats up in Portland I will put the coolers to the test and see which stays colder longer. I know the two schools of thought will never see eye to eye though.
I am a member of team 'drain'. Something to consider in your test when you drain; since the water that comes out is replaced in the ice chest with the surrounding air I only drain in the early morning when the air temperature is the coolest.
 

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I am a member of team 'drain'. Something to consider in your test when you drain; since the water that comes out is replaced in the ice chest with the surrounding air I only drain in the early morning when the air temperature is the coolest.
I drain because it makes carrying the cooler to camp lighter and reduces the chances of water getting into my not so well sealed tupperware.

I was planning on letting the coolers sit in my house for a week with the top open to make sure they are the same temp in and out. Add a block or two of ice to each cooler the first morning as well as a remote temp sensor in each cooler. Put the coolers side by side in my backyard and take temp readings twice a day. I will drain the drain cooler each morning. Outside of opening the drain plug each morning the coolers will not be opened the entire time. The the race to 38 degrees is on. The first cooler to reach 38 is the looser.
 

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The heat will enter the cooler slower if it is an airspace along the walls and not water. However this ignores convection, which is going to be more substantial with air than water. The heat will also enter the ice nooks and crannies faster if it is in water vs airspace. That's why insulation is full of air, and not water ;) Drain that sucker

Interestingly, a guy that posts on GCPBA is doing an over the top cooler experiment. I think it's been over a year in the making, and he's not finalized it yet. The data I saw actually may have indicated that non-drained coolers stay colder longer, but I'm not sure. Since he's not actually completed his testing, it's probably too soon to really try to interpret his data. That is probably best left to him also.

Until it is proven otherwise, I say drain. It also helps prevent food from rotting.
 

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Hello 2012 !

Those who dis regard history are bound to make the same mistakes again

or something to that effect.

To drain or not, that is the question.
 

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lhowemt said:
It also helps prevent food from rotting.
As long as there is ice in the cooler the water temp will be 32 degrees and the food will not rot. It might get soggy but it will not rot

Ice to water is 80cal/gram heat of fusion. Water is 1cal/g/degree C specific heat. Air is neglible, i think. So when you run out of ice and just have air you have lost all cooling capacity. If you have 32 degree water it can continue to insulate, accepting one calorie per gram of water to raise its temperature by one degree C

So the question is whether a cooler with ice surrounded by ice water will gain heat faster than a cooler which has ice surrounded by air. I'm curious to see the experimental conclusions

My gut tells me the cooler innerds touching 32 degree air vs 32 degree water is negligible

A much greater difference is obtained by draping a wet towel over the cooler and maintaining the outer temperature cooler through paco insulation and evaporative cooling (540 cals/gram heat of vaporization)
 

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TriBri1 said:
I drain because it makes carrying the cooler to camp lighter and reduces the chances of water getting into my not so well sealed tupperware.

I was planning on letting the coolers sit in my house for a week with the top open to make sure they are the same temp in and out. Add a block or two of ice to each cooler the first morning as well as a remote temp sensor in each cooler. Put the coolers side by side in my backyard and take temp readings twice a day. I will drain the drain cooler each morning. Outside of opening the drain plug each morning the coolers will not be opened the entire time. The the race to 38 degrees is on. The first cooler to reach 38 is the looser.
What size igloo marine? I've got a few maybe we can try a third with a damp towel? I've got a huge chest freezer i can supply the ice
 

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As someone how has gone both ways in the past, I am now a firm believer in drain once a day.

We are talking about coolers, right!
 

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I believe in both philosophies. I drain my food cooler to keep the moisture from contaminating meat and veggies. The beer cooler never gets drained. Beer gets added to the cooler in the morning when the beer is the coldest nature will make it. Ice stays longer in the food cooler with the water gone - cold water gets drained into the beer cooler. As the food disappears and gets consolidated the left over ice goes into the beer cooler. Nothing better than ice cold beer still on day 9. Trips longer than 9 days get the same treatment only some coolers are never opened until the 2nd half of the trip and then the same process applies.

Begging ice from rangers on patrol in motor boats is also a must for the beer cooler!
 

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As long as there is ice in the cooler the water temp will be 32 degrees and the food will not rot. It might get soggy but it will not rot

Ice to water is 80cal/gram heat of fusion. Water is 1cal/g/degree C specific heat. Air is neglible, i think. So when you run out of ice and just have air you have lost all cooling capacity. If you have 32 degree water it can continue to insulate, accepting one calorie per gram of water to raise its temperature by one degree C

So the question is whether a cooler with ice surrounded by ice water will gain heat faster than a cooler which has ice surrounded by air. I'm curious to see the experimental conclusions

My gut tells me the cooler innerds touching 32 degree air vs 32 degree water is negligible

A much greater difference is obtained by draping a wet towel over the cooler and maintaining the outer temperature cooler through paco insulation and evaporative cooling (540 cals/gram heat of vaporization)
Think about it this way. When you want to insulate something, what do you use? Something that makes lots of air pockets. When you want to cool something, what do you use? Liquid/water. It is not so much how many heat it can hold, but how easily/much it will transfer it. Heat transfer, not heat capacity. Capacity does come into play, and those experiments will really show which is more significant.

You've never had anything go bad in a cooler? Wet muggy air will rot food fast, a nicely drained cooler is better for food storage. The air that the food is in certainly is not 32.
 

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What size igloo marine? I've got a few maybe we can try a third with a damp towel? I've got a huge chest freezer i can supply the ice
I've got the 94qt. Sounds like a fun time... We can load up coolers and drink warm PBR while we watch the ice melt...
 

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I've got a 94 i can bring with the jugs of ice. Pm me !
 

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For me it's more a question of.........did I remember to drain the cooler? If I look in the cooler and things are a floating, I'll do some draining. I think there is a happy water level medium in there somewhere........which usually comes from within. :) When on a trip if it makes you happy...do it. Forcing that happiness upon others sometimes causes unnecessary friction and sadness within the group. I prefer to float with happy groups.
 

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As long as there is ice in the cooler the water temp will be 32 degrees and the food will not rot. It might get soggy but it will not rot

Ice to water is 80cal/gram heat of fusion. Water is 1cal/g/degree C specific heat. Air is neglible, i think. So when you run out of ice and just have air you have lost all cooling capacity. If you have 32 degree water it can continue to insulate, accepting one calorie per gram of water to raise its temperature by one degree C

So the question is whether a cooler with ice surrounded by ice water will gain heat faster than a cooler which has ice surrounded by air. I'm curious to see the experimental conclusions

My gut tells me the cooler innerds touching 32 degree air vs 32 degree water is negligible

A much greater difference is obtained by draping a wet towel over the cooler and maintaining the outer temperature cooler through paco insulation and evaporative cooling (540 cals/gram heat of vaporization)
This is what they taught us in thermodymanics in engineering school and still holds true today.

Yeti 120. I use 3 -2 gallon frozen water jugs in the bottom of my cooler. Keeps the cooler and contents dry and I am not pouring out cold water that is still adsorbing calories or BTU's (depending upon your units of choice) from the surrounding warmer air in the cooler. And I can melt the ice and have 6 gallons of drinkable water just in case.

The use of wet towels or gunny sacks is a great trick that really helps on those hot sunny days on the desert rivers.
 

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It would be nice if a cooler mfg offered a cooler cozie that would hug the cooler base and allow for evaporative cooler

Btw i sucked at thermo could never understand enthalpy versus entropy
 

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You must have missed Unit Ops, when they talked about heat transfer, how easily a materials allows the heat to move. Unfortunately the methods in school are pretty poor at really demonstrating this, at least in thermo. You needed unit ops to have seen it in school, as far as I know. Air holds less heat, thus it is a better insulator. Water holds more heat, thus it is an inferior insulator. What is the more significant factor, holding the heat, or transferring it? I still believe it is the transfer, if it weren't we'd be insulating with water as I think I'd mentioned before. No, water is what we use when we want to transfer heat better. Ultimately those experiments will be interesting to see the results. There is the convection in both spaces (whether it's air or water), the film effects (which favors transfer), so on and so forth.

This side of the argument assumes that since the ice lasts longer with the water drained (again, back to heat transfer since ice submerged in water melts faster), does it really keep the cooler colder longer? Does the loss of that cool mass adversely affect the cooler's air temperature? For me I'm trying to keep food cool, so air temperature is important. If you're cooling beer you may not care about the air as you'll put it in the water. I'm very interested to see his results.
 
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