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Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by johnson, Apr 24, 2006.
they make gas freezers, so how hard would it be to make a gas air conditioner?
Really it should not be very hard to do.
Ammonia is easy to work with, so is soldering the pipes, so go for it.
I would like to hear answers from "the company man"
You would still need blowers to move the air...........
And I suspect they would suck a lot of fuel.
There ain't no free lunch for AC.
Back in the early 1970s when I went to my first solar heating classes, there were people experimenting with adapting gas-fired air conditioning to using solar heat to provide the heat instead of gas. They were adapting existing commercial gas (absorption) air conditioning units. I would think that similar gas fired absorption A/C would still be available. I don't think that I have seen household size units, though, just commercial/industrial ones.
i like the idea of combining a solar ice builder into a ventilation system.
here is the ice maker. http://www.homepower.com/files/solarice.pdf
Some friends of mine had a natural gas air conditioner if that is what you mean. Not common, but certainly done.
I just tried to access that link and it doesn't work any more does anybody know any other links to a diy ice maker?
Gas air conditioners were common in the 1970s, but they were phased-out for some reason. Those units used an aqueous salt solution to create absorptive cooling.
Another variant uses air, water, and a salt water solution. Warm moist air is passed through a sprayed solution of salt water. The spray lowers the humidity. The less humid warm air is then passed through an evaporative cooler which cools and rehumidifies. Humidity is removed from the cooled air with another spray of salt solution. The salt solution is regenerated by heating it under low pressure, causing water to evaporate. The water evaporated from the salt solution is recondensed, and rerouted back to the evaporative cooler.
I believe that those units used lithium bromide as the absorptive salt.
I have thought about this for a long time and have even 'talked' (via email) to a HVAC instructor at a tech school. And there are a few problems/draw backs to them.
One is the amount of energy needed. IIRC, to make enough energy to cool the average suburban home you'd have to cover more area than the average suburban yard. Not only would this cost a lot how many people would want their yard covered in mirrors?
Also the powers get a bit testy when you have NH3 near homes. They think, and I tend to agree, the average home owner shouldn't be trusted with the stuff when he has neighbors living a mere dozens of feet from him. Now days its even worse. You have the meth heads who would think nothing about drilling holes into a system to get the NH3.
Another factor is what do you do if the sun isn't shining? You MIGHT be able to have a large enough thermal storage to provide cooling over night but what about when you have a couple of days of hot, muggy cloudy days?
With all that said, when we build our concrete dome home I plan on having, at the very least, a solar powered supplemental AC unit. I'm wavering between a thermal NH3 system or using a Minto wheel to power a mechanical unit. Right now the Minto wheel is in the lead because I could use a single unit. When there was enough sun the wheel could run a mechanical unit but if there was not enough sun a standard electrical compressor would kick in.
watcher, have you actually seen a Minto water wheel in action in person or on YouTube or via other media?
I wish once and for all a Keelynet follower, a home tinkerer, Popular Science, Mother Earth News or someone would actually build a proper working unit with scientifically measured output.
I think Minto was onto something but so far all I've seen on YouTube are glass units and units of such poor design and poorly built that they don't work well to say the least. I'd really like to see a good working unit with measured output. Know of a video showing such? I would appreciate having a link.
With the mandated change in propane bottle valves I had hoped to buy a lot of old cylinders and make a unit but instead dealers simply switched out the valves---often at a cost greater than a new tank.
I think the potential is there but----
I built a water powered cooler for a mobile home I lived in years ago. I was using about 2 gallons of well water at 56 degrees and had two coils that came from meat coolers that were mounted outside. The were monsters as far as weight went. They were made from stainless steel and have 1/2 " supply and return lines coming from both of them.
I tied the two together with regular copper pipe and fittings and sweated fittings on the first line coming in and the one leaving the second one. I still had a pile of 1" plastic pipe from when Daddy drilled welld and used it for the supply from the well and and the waste down to the creek. Oh yea, I put a hose bib on the outside of the last coil to fill the pipes up from the well pump.
I dropped the supply pipe down in the well and after I filled the whole thing up with water and cut the supply off, the water siphoned the water from the well, through the coils and then down to the creek.
I enclosed the whole thing with OSB board, ( I didn't have the money for the 16 gauge sheet metal I wanted, LOL) and put a big blower at the bottom that sucked the air through the coils and on to the floor. The intake for the air was about 6" from the ceiling where all the hot air was and the contraption worked great.
We had a 10,500 BTU and two 8,000 BTU window units in a trailer and it stayed hot if the sun was shineing untill then.
A BTU is the amount of energy to change one pound ow water one degree.
I was running a little better than 2 GPM of water through the whateveryouwanttocallit, LOL. I measured it in a 5 gallon bucket at the creek.
2 x 8.34 lbs. per gal., = 16.68 lbs X 60 minutes per hour = 1000.8 BTU's for every degree the water changed.
It was going in at 56* and coming out of the coils at 88* on it's best day that i checked it.
So that is 1000.8 x 32* = 32,025.6*.... That was the biggest number I recorded.
It did change back and forth and when it was cloudy and wasn't as hot it was only removing in the 20,000's of BTU's Toward the end of the summer it got down to 15 - 18,000 BTU's but it sure did help when the sun was shineing in August.
Any one that lives on a hill side can drill two wells for cooling there house. One at the highest place they can and another at the lowest. The water will siphon from one level to the other. (I only had about 10 feet difference from the water level after it evened out down to the creek. It sucked the well down about 1 feet so I didn't get as much flow as I thought I would but it was enough it kept the trailer cool.)
If you could run a pair of sets of coils and 1 1/2" to 2" pipe to it to get a better flow you could get 50-75,000 BTU's for nothing but the cost of the blower running. And I also toyed with the idea of using a pump for a turbine to power the blower. You already have the water at hand and flowing. Why not use it also????
I had to make baffles to direct the air away from the couch because it would just about freeze you setting directly in front of it.
Just thought I would add this in since it was about AC.
It seems to me that York has been selling a natural gas heating/AC unit more recently, but I'm not having any luck at Google finding anything about it. They may have discontinued it.
If I recall correctly, it was a heat pump that was operated by a specially designed Briggs & Stratton engine that runs all the time on natural gas. It was pricey for a home unit, like $10,000 maybe 5 or 10 years ago.