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RE: [hreg] Digest Number 281

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  • Steve Stelzer
    Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who are they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT
    Message 1 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who are
      they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for me.

      Steve Stelzer
    • Claude Foster
      They must come from a cow, pig or whale who has internet access. I don t want to pay more for meat processing than necessary but the industry must support
      Message 2 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        They must come from a cow, pig or whale who has internet access.

        I don't want to pay more for meat processing than necessary but the industry
        must support itself including recycle of by-products. Waste disposal must be
        minimized in a sustainable system. Write a letter to your legislators but
        make your words soft and sweet -- you never know which ones you may have to
        eat.

        Claude Foster, P.E.

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Steve Stelzer [SMTP:steve@...]
        > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 8:52 AM
        > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [hreg] Digest Number 281
        >
        > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
        > are
        > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
        > me.
        >
        > Steve Stelzer
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
      • William M. Bell, Jr.
        ... are ... me. ... I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
          are
          > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
          me.
          >
          > Steve Stelzer

          I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
          Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
          concerned that this discussion group stays on target.

          By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
          time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
          alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an energy
          source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
          adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used in
          residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable energy.
          Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount of
          electricity that is wasted producing this heat.

          The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia (refrigerant)
          and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and silica
          gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
          dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
          system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
          evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.

          There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much opportunity
          to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
          When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
          other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
          water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could be
          used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
          panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
          the unit works. I like that!

          Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
          http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/

          Billy Bell
          PO Box 926
          Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

          713-439-1115 Telephone
          281-346-0994 Fax
          wmb@...
        • Kevin L. Conlin
          Howdy Folks, Sounds good in theory, but unfortunately thermoelectric coolers are not very efficient, in the 10% range last time I looked. The fact that they
          Message 4 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            Howdy Folks, Sounds good in theory, but unfortunately thermoelectric
            coolers are not very efficient, in the 10% range last time I looked. The
            fact that they are solid state with no moving parts makes them ideal for
            small scale applications, but difficult to scale up to residential size.
            Regards, Kevin

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "William M. Bell, Jr." <wmb@...>
            To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:22 AM
            Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281


            > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
            > are
            > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
            > me.
            > >
            > > Steve Stelzer
            >
            > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
            > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
            > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
            >
            > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
            > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
            > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
            energy
            > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
            > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
            in
            > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
            energy.
            > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
            of
            > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
            >
            > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
            (refrigerant)
            > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
            silica
            > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
            > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
            > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
            > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
            >
            > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
            opportunity
            > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
            > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
            > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
            > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
            be
            > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
            > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
            > the unit works. I like that!
            >
            > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
            > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
            >
            > Billy Bell
            > PO Box 926
            > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
            >
            > 713-439-1115 Telephone
            > 281-346-0994 Fax
            > wmb@...
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
          • Robert Johnston
            Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is hard to find here! However, there wasn t much comment on this note from Billy Bell
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
              hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
              Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
              cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).

              However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
              more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this area
              ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts of
              the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
              Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
              system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.

              Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in our
              area?
              Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
              are:

              1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
              commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient solar
              units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would help
              a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
              as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.

              2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it is
              their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not good?
              A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in the
              heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
              death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight A/C's.
              But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
              gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
              some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
              lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because they
              don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
              What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions I'd
              like to see discussed.

              As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
              be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it was
              managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
              know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
              homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
              FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
              optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops were
              solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
              recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
              their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
              timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
              why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it may
              have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
              institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such an
              unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might have
              caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
              units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could find
              out more by asking around, or writing TDC.

              In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
              just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can get
              a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?

              Robert Johnston

              -----Original Message-----
              From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
              Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281


              > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
              are
              > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
              me.
              >
              > Steve Stelzer

              I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
              Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
              concerned that this discussion group stays on target.

              By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
              time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
              alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an energy
              source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
              adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used in
              residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable energy.
              Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount of
              electricity that is wasted producing this heat.

              The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia (refrigerant)
              and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and silica
              gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
              dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
              system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
              evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.

              There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much opportunity
              to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
              When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
              other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
              water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could be
              used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
              panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
              the unit works. I like that!

              Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
              http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/

              Billy Bell
              PO Box 926
              Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

              713-439-1115 Telephone
              281-346-0994 Fax
              wmb@...





              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • William M. Bell, Jr.
              Robert: Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a little more complicated. I designed a system that used chilled water to
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                Robert:

                Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a
                little more complicated.

                I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.

                I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you looked
                at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of such
                a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information is
                scarce.

                Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is also
                a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated water
                through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with a
                company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I have
                no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has stopped
                me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air conditioner
                blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air. The
                idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in. I
                wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size) and
                have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps. I
                have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to cool
                his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                wells.

                Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                from sharing our knowledge.

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                >
                > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                area
                > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                of
                > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                >
                > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                our
                > area?
                > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                > are:
                >
                > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                solar
                > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                help
                > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                >
                > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                is
                > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                good?
                > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                the
                > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                A/C's.
                > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                they
                > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                I'd
                > like to see discussed.
                >
                > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                was
                > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                were
                > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                may
                > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                an
                > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                have
                > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                find
                > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                >
                > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                get
                > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                >
                > Robert Johnston
                >
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                >
                >
                > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                > are
                > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                > me.
                > >
                > > Steve Stelzer
                >
                > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                >
                > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                energy
                > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                in
                > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                energy.
                > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                of
                > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                >
                > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                (refrigerant)
                > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                silica
                > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                >
                > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                opportunity
                > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                be
                > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                > the unit works. I like that!
                >
                > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                >
                > Billy Bell
                > PO Box 926
                > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                >
                > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                > 281-346-0994 Fax
                > wmb@...
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
                >
              • B ridget Jensen
                I was interested in the geothermal heat pump form of air conditioning. Where space is limited and holes must be drilled rather than simply trenching and
                Message 7 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                • 0 Attachment
                  I was interested in the geothermal heat pump form of air conditioning.
                  Where space is limited and holes must be drilled rather than simply
                  trenching and burying the pipe over a large area, the cost does go up
                  considerably I've been told. Nonetheless, I was still keen on putting in
                  such a system. That is, until my existing system went totally out in the
                  middle of summer and I wanted a/c asap. If most consumers are like me, they
                  won't replace something that's still working. But then, when it does go
                  out, there's no time to wait for installation of the geothermal heat pump,
                  not to mention securing the loans that may be needed to pay for it.

                  With that said, I think the target market would be new home builders. As
                  builders of spec homes are usually trying to keep their costs low, at least
                  for things that are invisible, such as air conditioning, I don't see any of
                  the big homebuilders taking up this technology. Only someone who is
                  involved in the design of their own home would probably employ an
                  alternative a/c system.

                  Bridget Jensen

                  > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                  > Reply-To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  > Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 18:14:18 -0500
                  > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                  >
                  > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                  > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                  > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                  > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                  >
                  > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                  > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this area
                  > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts of
                  > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                  > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                  > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                  >
                  > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in our
                  > area?
                  > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                  > are:
                  >
                  > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                  > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient solar
                  > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would help
                  > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                  > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                  >
                  > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it is
                  > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not good?
                  > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in the
                  > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                  > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight A/C's.
                  > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                  > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                  > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                  > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because they
                  > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                  > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions I'd
                  > like to see discussed.
                  >
                  > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                  > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it was
                  > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                  > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                  > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                  > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                  > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops were
                  > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                  > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                  > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                  > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                  > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it may
                  > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                  > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such an
                  > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might have
                  > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                  > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could find
                  > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                  >
                  > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                  > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can get
                  > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                  >
                  > Robert Johnston
                  >
                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                  > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                  > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                  >
                  >
                  >> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                  > are
                  >> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                  > me.
                  >>
                  >> Steve Stelzer
                  >
                  > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                  > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                  > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                  >
                  > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                  > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                  > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an energy
                  > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                  > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used in
                  > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable energy.
                  > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount of
                  > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                  >
                  > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia (refrigerant)
                  > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and silica
                  > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                  > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                  > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                  > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                  >
                  > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much opportunity
                  > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                  > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                  > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                  > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could be
                  > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                  > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                  > the unit works. I like that!
                  >
                  > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                  > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                  >
                  > Billy Bell
                  > PO Box 926
                  > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                  >
                  > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                  > 281-346-0994 Fax
                  > wmb@...
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                • Terry Ross
                  I know nothing about much of this. However, geothermal is quite interesting. I have a 4 story apartment complex with thru wall heating and cooling units
                  Message 8 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I know nothing about much of this. However, geothermal is quite
                    interesting. I have a 4 story apartment complex with thru wall heating
                    and cooling units (heat-strip). The utility bills, as you might
                    imagine, are quite expensive -- $7,800 for 100 1 BR 560 sf units. I
                    have one central unit that cools/heats the office, community room and
                    part of the hall. I probably have enough land area to lay pipes -- I
                    just don't know the cost. I also don't know if I can replace the thru
                    wall units that are closely akin to window units with water-source heat
                    pumps.

                    There has to be a better method of conditioning the air.

                    Our "president" is pushing nuclear which will cost $2,200 per kw to
                    build a plant and then have a continuing cost to produce the
                    electricity.

                    Solar has got to be cheaper!

                    All I know, is that I'm tired of paying Houston Looting and Plundering!

                    Terry

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                    Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners

                    Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                    is
                    hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                    Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                    thermoelectric
                    cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).

                    However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                    more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                    area
                    ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                    parts of
                    the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                    Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                    closed
                    system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.

                    Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                    our
                    area?
                    Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                    are:

                    1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                    commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                    solar
                    units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                    help
                    a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                    in
                    as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.

                    2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                    it is
                    their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                    good?
                    A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                    the
                    heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                    is
                    death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                    A/C's.
                    But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                    compressed
                    gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                    seen
                    some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is
                    a
                    lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                    they
                    don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                    installation?
                    What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                    I'd
                    like to see discussed.

                    As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                    to
                    be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                    was
                    managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                    also
                    know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                    warden's
                    homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                    FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                    optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                    were
                    solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                    recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                    about
                    their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                    timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                    know
                    why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                    may
                    have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                    institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                    an
                    unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                    have
                    caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                    units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                    find
                    out more by asking around, or writing TDC.

                    In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                    just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                    get
                    a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?

                    Robert Johnston

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                    Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281


                    > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                    Who
                    are
                    > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                    for
                    me.
                    >
                    > Steve Stelzer

                    I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                    Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                    concerned that this discussion group stays on target.

                    By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                    time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                    alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                    energy
                    source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                    adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                    used in
                    residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                    energy.
                    Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                    of
                    electricity that is wasted producing this heat.

                    The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                    (refrigerant)
                    and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                    silica
                    gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                    dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                    a
                    system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                    it
                    evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.

                    There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                    opportunity
                    to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                    When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                    other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                    water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                    could be
                    used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                    panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                    harder
                    the unit works. I like that!

                    Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                    http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/

                    Billy Bell
                    PO Box 926
                    Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

                    713-439-1115 Telephone
                    281-346-0994 Fax
                    wmb@...





                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/








                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                    http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  • ChasMauch@aol.com
                    I did a search under geo thermal air conditioners and come up with 880 listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran seems to be a
                    Message 9 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I did a search under "geo thermal air conditioners" and come up with 880
                      listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran
                      seems to be a big operator in the geo thermal field. They have a lot of
                      general info on their web site at:

                      http://www.attcanada.ca/~newave/geo.html      

                      I'm sure there are a lot more. There are 43 pages of "air conditioning
                      contractors" in the Houston yellow pages and I note that 3 or 4 specifically
                      mention geo thermal in their ads. In fact one outfit's name is "Geo Thermal &
                      A C Systems." Surely we could check with some of these guys to get more info
                      on costs, problems, etc.

                      Charlie
                    • Polly Ledvina
                      The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good: http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm Polly ... From: ChasMauch@aol.com To:
                      Message 10 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good:  http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm
                         
                        Polly
                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 7:56 PM
                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners

                        I did a search under "geo thermal air conditioners" and come up with 880
                        listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran
                        seems to be a big operator in the geo thermal field. They have a lot of
                        general info on their web site at:

                        http://www.attcanada.ca/~newave/geo.html      

                        I'm sure there are a lot more. There are 43 pages of "air conditioning
                        contractors" in the Houston yellow pages and I note that 3 or 4 specifically
                        mention geo thermal in their ads. In fact one outfit's name is "Geo Thermal &
                        A C Systems." Surely we could check with some of these guys to get more info
                        on costs, problems, etc.

                        Charlie


                        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                      • Robert Johnston
                        I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a very casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I d learned
                        Message 11 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a
                          very
                          casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I'd
                          learned
                          about, and none of them could even start working on it for a couple weeks,
                          and
                          then the cost was very high, and they couldn't give me any reliable
                          information
                          about what my cost savings would be on electricity, or whether the mold
                          issue in
                          this area was real or not, etc.

                          I agree with you on the marketing problem. Spec home builders aren't going
                          to do
                          this.

                          However, I think that there really is a dearth of information from sources
                          that
                          people trust. Maybe if the vendors were the majors (Carrier, Goodman, etc.)
                          then
                          people would have more confidence in the product and would invest in it.

                          If the payback is there, and if the data really support the efficiency
                          improvements
                          over time (e.g., not just when new, before pipes scum up and lose heat
                          transfer,
                          etc.) then it would be interesting for an innovative company to offer
                          consumers
                          a replacement unit with guaranteed cost savings, backed by a major bank.
                          E.g.,
                          suppose your replacement Carrier was going to set you back $1500 and this
                          unit
                          costs $5000. If the energy payback time is 4 years, then they could arrange
                          for
                          you to pay $1500 and get a $3500 loan that is paid back by the cost savings
                          on
                          your electricity bill, and if the savings don't happen, then the vendor eats
                          it.

                          I'm obviously not a businessman; this probably wouldn't fly. But somehow
                          people
                          have got to be made to believe in it if it really works. Of course, if it
                          doesn't,
                          then people need to know that, and the sooner the better.

                          Robert

                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: B ridget Jensen [mailto:blj2@...]
                          Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:55 PM
                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                          I was interested in the geothermal heat pump form of air conditioning.
                          Where space is limited and holes must be drilled rather than simply
                          trenching and burying the pipe over a large area, the cost does go up
                          considerably I've been told. Nonetheless, I was still keen on putting in
                          such a system. That is, until my existing system went totally out in the
                          middle of summer and I wanted a/c asap. If most consumers are like me, they
                          won't replace something that's still working. But then, when it does go
                          out, there's no time to wait for installation of the geothermal heat pump,
                          not to mention securing the loans that may be needed to pay for it.

                          With that said, I think the target market would be new home builders. As
                          builders of spec homes are usually trying to keep their costs low, at least
                          for things that are invisible, such as air conditioning, I don't see any of
                          the big homebuilders taking up this technology. Only someone who is
                          involved in the design of their own home would probably employ an
                          alternative a/c system.

                          Bridget Jensen

                          > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                          > Reply-To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          > Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 18:14:18 -0500
                          > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                          > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                          >
                          > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                          > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                          > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                          > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                          >
                          > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                          > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                          area
                          > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                          of
                          > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                          > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                          > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                          >
                          > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                          our
                          > area?
                          > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                          > are:
                          >
                          > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                          > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                          solar
                          > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                          help
                          > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                          > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                          >
                          > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                          is
                          > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                          good?
                          > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                          the
                          > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                          > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                          A/C's.
                          > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                          > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                          > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                          > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                          they
                          > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                          > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                          I'd
                          > like to see discussed.
                          >
                          > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                          > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                          was
                          > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                          > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                          > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                          > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                          > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                          were
                          > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                          > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                          > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                          > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                          > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                          may
                          > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                          > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                          an
                          > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                          have
                          > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                          > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                          find
                          > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                          >
                          > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                          > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                          get
                          > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                          >
                          > Robert Johnston
                          >
                          > -----Original Message-----
                          > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                          > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                          > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                          > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                          >
                          >
                          >> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                          > are
                          >> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                          > me.
                          >>
                          >> Steve Stelzer
                          >
                          > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                          > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                          > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                          >
                          > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                          > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                          > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                          energy
                          > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                          > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                          in
                          > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                          energy.
                          > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                          of
                          > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                          >
                          > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                          (refrigerant)
                          > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                          silica
                          > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                          > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                          > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                          > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                          >
                          > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                          opportunity
                          > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                          > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                          > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                          > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                          be
                          > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                          > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                          > the unit works. I like that!
                          >
                          > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                          > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                          >
                          > Billy Bell
                          > PO Box 926
                          > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                          >
                          > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                          > 281-346-0994 Fax
                          > wmb@...
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          >
                          >





                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        • Robert Johnston
                          I hadn t noticed the weblinks in my quick read before. Adsorption/absorption chillers are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are
                          Message 12 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            I hadn't noticed the weblinks in my quick read before.
                            Adsorption/absorption chillers
                            are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are efficient
                            on an
                            industrial scale. I don't know what factors have kept them from scaling
                            down to
                            home use, but it would be interesting if they could.

                            Actually, I suppose you could consider this a variant on the dessicant drier
                            tech
                            I mentioned, since silica after all is a dessicant.

                            The Krum link is to Houston; anyone know these people? They appear just to
                            be
                            distributors, but maybe they might have some idea of the factors that limit
                            downsizing.

                            These units are industrial size, of course. Wonder if scaledown is even
                            practical.
                            These units are 6' x 9' x 9' and the input hot water flow is around 10 cubic
                            feet/min.
                            That is a little fast for most solar hot water heaters to produce! They
                            seem better
                            suited to cogeneration in industrial systems that generate heat.

                            Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

                            Robert

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                            Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:50 PM
                            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                            Robert:

                            Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a
                            little more complicated.

                            I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                            heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                            holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.

                            I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                            solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you looked
                            at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of such
                            a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                            chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                            problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information is
                            scarce.

                            Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                            encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is also
                            a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                            that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated water
                            through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with a
                            company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                            cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                            machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I have
                            no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has stopped
                            me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air conditioner
                            blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air. The
                            idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in. I
                            wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size) and
                            have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps. I
                            have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to cool
                            his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                            wells.

                            Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                            from sharing our knowledge.

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                            To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                            Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                            > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                            > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                            > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                            > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                            >
                            > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                            > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                            area
                            > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                            of
                            > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                            > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                            > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                            >
                            > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                            our
                            > area?
                            > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                            > are:
                            >
                            > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                            > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                            solar
                            > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                            help
                            > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                            > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                            >
                            > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                            is
                            > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                            good?
                            > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                            the
                            > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                            > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                            A/C's.
                            > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                            > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                            > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                            > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                            they
                            > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                            > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                            I'd
                            > like to see discussed.
                            >
                            > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                            > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                            was
                            > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                            > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                            > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                            > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                            > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                            were
                            > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                            > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                            > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                            > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                            > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                            may
                            > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                            > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                            an
                            > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                            have
                            > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                            > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                            find
                            > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                            >
                            > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                            > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                            get
                            > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                            >
                            > Robert Johnston
                            >
                            > -----Original Message-----
                            > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                            > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                            > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                            > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                            >
                            >
                            > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                            > are
                            > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                            > me.
                            > >
                            > > Steve Stelzer
                            >
                            > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                            > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                            > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                            >
                            > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                            > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                            > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                            energy
                            > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                            > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                            in
                            > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                            energy.
                            > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                            of
                            > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                            >
                            > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                            (refrigerant)
                            > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                            silica
                            > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                            > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                            > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                            > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                            >
                            > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                            opportunity
                            > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                            > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                            > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                            > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                            be
                            > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                            > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                            > the unit works. I like that!
                            >
                            > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                            > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                            >
                            > Billy Bell
                            > PO Box 926
                            > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                            >
                            > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                            > 281-346-0994 Fax
                            > wmb@...
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >
                            >





                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • dans1
                            Air Conditioning and other things. One of the major reasons that Biomass A?c has not taken off in the Houston area has to do with the water table around here.
                            Message 13 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Air Conditioning and other things.

                              One of the major reasons that Biomass A?c has not taken off in the Houston
                              area has to do with the water table around here. It would be very difficult
                              for you to build one that didn't have problems with water seapage. This
                              then brings up the problem with Mold and mildew. These two problems by them
                              selves can be solved with proper designed de-humidifier systems in houses.
                              Unfortunally the builders in the Houston area don't know thier head for a
                              hold in the ground when it comes to building a house that uses the current
                              style of air conditioners correctly. I recently moved out of a two story
                              house that was a nightmare to heat and cool and the electrictiy bills were
                              sky high. When the upstairs was cool the down stairs was hot and vice
                              versa. Also the de-humidifier was way too small for the house which
                              resulted in mold buildup inside the walls in areas like the bathrooms and
                              closets. This mold resulted in severe health problems for my wife and her
                              asama. Since moving to a new place, that was a well designed A/C system,
                              all these problems have been eliminated.

                              I see that the major problem with A/C in Houston is not the units them
                              selves but how the houses are designed and built. I think that the Home
                              builders need to go back to school and take a loot at historical houses in
                              Texas and learn how to build a house that will last for over a hundred years
                              and one that uses the natural enviroment to help heat and cool the house. I
                              have been in some old 100 year plus houses in texas in the full heat of the
                              summer that do not have A/C and they are cool inside. Thats becuse the
                              builder knew how to build a house to make use of air flow and shading from
                              large covered porches and cross ventalation from the placement of the
                              windows.

                              But when you have a home builder that is only concerened with making as much
                              money as possible and cramming as many houses on a peice of land as
                              possible, it would almost be impossible to build a enviromentaly passive
                              house. Take my brother's house for an example. The lot is so small and the
                              neighbors houses are so close that you can walk between them and streach out
                              both arms to your side and you would touch both his house and his neighbors.
                              6 feet people. I you wanted to put solar panels on the roof to generate any
                              amount of electricity, it wouldn't do you any good since the two story
                              houses around it would block the panels for half of the day. And as for as
                              installing a Cistern to store rain water for water the grass, thats out
                              cause the back yard is so small that there is not enough space to install a
                              leach field.

                              Until the builders change the way they build in Houston and texas, about the
                              best you can do to use most of the available enviromentally friendly items
                              out there, is to insulate, insulate, use double pane windows and to change
                              to CF lights and energy efficent appliances.

                              This is just my two cents worth.
                              Dan

                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                              To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                              Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                              > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                              > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                              > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                              > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                              >
                              > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                              > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                              area
                              > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                              of
                              > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                              > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                              > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                              >
                              > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                              our
                              > area?
                              > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                              > are:
                              >
                              > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                              > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                              solar
                              > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                              help
                              > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                              > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                              >
                              > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                              is
                              > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                              good?
                              > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                              the
                              > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                              > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                              A/C's.
                              > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                              > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                              > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                              > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                              they
                              > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                              > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                              I'd
                              > like to see discussed.
                              >
                              > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                              > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                              was
                              > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                              > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                              > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                              > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                              > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                              were
                              > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                              > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                              > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                              > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                              > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                              may
                              > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                              > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                              an
                              > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                              have
                              > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                              > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                              find
                              > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                              >
                              > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                              > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                              get
                              > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                              >
                              > Robert Johnston
                              >
                              > -----Original Message-----
                              > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                              > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                              > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                              > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                              >
                              >
                              > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                              > are
                              > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                              > me.
                              > >
                              > > Steve Stelzer
                              >
                              > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                              > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                              > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                              >
                              > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                              > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                              > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                              energy
                              > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                              > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                              in
                              > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                              energy.
                              > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                              of
                              > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                              >
                              > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                              (refrigerant)
                              > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                              silica
                              > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                              > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                              > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                              > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                              >
                              > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                              opportunity
                              > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                              > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                              > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                              > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                              be
                              > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                              > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                              > the unit works. I like that!
                              >
                              > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                              > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                              >
                              > Billy Bell
                              > PO Box 926
                              > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                              >
                              > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                              > 281-346-0994 Fax
                              > wmb@...
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              >
                              >
                            • Kim & Garth Travis
                              Hi, I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My circulating pump is from a 15 diameter swimming pool. I installed my pipe under a
                              Message 14 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi,
                                I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My
                                circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. I installed my
                                pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                feet. In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                be washing the heat away. The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                Kim

                                William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:

                                > Robert:
                                >
                                > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a
                                > little more complicated.
                                >
                                > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                                > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                >
                                > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you looked
                                > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of such
                                > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information is
                                > scarce.
                                >
                                > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is also
                                > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                                > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated water
                                > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with a
                                > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                                > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I have
                                > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has stopped
                                > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air conditioner
                                > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air. The
                                > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in. I
                                > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size) and
                                > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps. I
                                > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to cool
                                > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                > wells.
                                >
                                > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                                > from sharing our knowledge.
                                >
                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                                >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                                >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                                >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                >>
                                >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                                >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                >
                                > area
                                >
                                >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                                >
                                > of
                                >
                                >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                                >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                >>
                                >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                                >
                                > our
                                >
                                >> area?
                                >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                                >> are:
                                >>
                                >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                >
                                > solar
                                >
                                >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                >
                                > help
                                >
                                >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                                >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                >>
                                >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                                >
                                > is
                                >
                                >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                >
                                > good?
                                >
                                >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                                >
                                > the
                                >
                                >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                                >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                >
                                > A/C's.
                                >
                                >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                                >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                                >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                                >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                >
                                > they
                                >
                                >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                                >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                                >
                                > I'd
                                >
                                >> like to see discussed.
                                >>
                                >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                                >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                                >
                                > was
                                >
                                >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                                >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                                >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                >
                                > were
                                >
                                >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                                >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                                >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                >
                                > may
                                >
                                >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                                >
                                > an
                                >
                                >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                >
                                > have
                                >
                                >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                >
                                > find
                                >
                                >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                >>
                                >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                                >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                                >
                                > get
                                >
                                >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                >>
                                >> Robert Johnston
                                >>
                                >> -----Original Message-----
                                >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                                >>
                                >> are
                                >>
                                >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                                >>
                                >> me.
                                >>
                                >>> Steve Stelzer
                                >>
                                >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                >>
                                >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                                >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                >
                                > energy
                                >
                                >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                                >
                                > in
                                >
                                >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                >
                                > energy.
                                >
                                >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                                >
                                > of
                                >
                                >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                >>
                                >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                >
                                > (refrigerant)
                                >
                                >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                >
                                > silica
                                >
                                >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                                >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                                >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                                >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                >>
                                >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                >
                                > opportunity
                                >
                                >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                                >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                                >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                                >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                                >
                                > be
                                >
                                >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                                >> the unit works. I like that!
                                >>
                                >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                >>
                                >> Billy Bell
                                >> PO Box 926
                                >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                >>
                                >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                >> wmb@...
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                >>
                                >>
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              • Kevin L. Conlin
                                Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers don t work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate, plus most
                                Message 15 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers
                                  don't work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate,
                                  plus most solar thermal water heaters are not very efficient in the
                                  temperature range these units need to run efficiently, typically around
                                  boiling, 200 degrees plus. Although evacuated tube absorbers can reach this
                                  range comfortably, they do not work well in Houston because of the
                                  relatively low insolation levels. A large array is required. When I was in
                                  the solar thermal business we did a feasibility to use solar AC at Moody
                                  Gardens. The evacuated tube solar array was huge, as were the insulated
                                  storage tanks, and the system was very expensive. Typically these
                                  absorption units are designed to run on low grade steam left over from
                                  manufacturing. I have seen large industrial systems like you mentioned that
                                  have been running for decades with little maintenance and few problems, so
                                  the technology is sound and proven, just not real compatible with most solar
                                  thermal technologies.

                                  To answer your earlier question, I believe the best prospect for splar AC is
                                  the combination of efficient/traditional/passive solar home design, a
                                  geothermal heat pump with a a ground loop. The reality is that if you build
                                  a good passive solar/energy efficient home with a high SEER AC/heating unit,
                                  your utility bills will be reasonable enough that a solar electric system is
                                  no longer needed, but certainly a lot more practical. A few texas
                                  architects, such as Mac Holder, Pliny Fisk, Laverne Williams and Bob Batho
                                  have mastered the Texas climate with these combinations and their homes use
                                  only a fraction of what your and my home use. As for builders getting it,
                                  forget it! These architects are laying the technical groundwork for future
                                  builders, not today's. As observed earlier, most are too stupid and greedy
                                  to care about the people actually living in their homes. Sorry for the long
                                  reply, but this topic sure has generated some interest. Best Regards,
                                  kevin
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                  To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 8:58 PM
                                  Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                  > I hadn't noticed the weblinks in my quick read before.
                                  > Adsorption/absorption chillers
                                  > are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are
                                  efficient
                                  > on an
                                  > industrial scale. I don't know what factors have kept them from scaling
                                  > down to
                                  > home use, but it would be interesting if they could.
                                  >
                                  > Actually, I suppose you could consider this a variant on the dessicant
                                  drier
                                  > tech
                                  > I mentioned, since silica after all is a dessicant.
                                  >
                                  > The Krum link is to Houston; anyone know these people? They appear just
                                  to
                                  > be
                                  > distributors, but maybe they might have some idea of the factors that
                                  limit
                                  > downsizing.
                                  >
                                  > These units are industrial size, of course. Wonder if scaledown is even
                                  > practical.
                                  > These units are 6' x 9' x 9' and the input hot water flow is around 10
                                  cubic
                                  > feet/min.
                                  > That is a little fast for most solar hot water heaters to produce! They
                                  > seem better
                                  > suited to cogeneration in industrial systems that generate heat.
                                  >
                                  > Anybody else have some thoughts on this?
                                  >
                                  > Robert
                                  >
                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                  > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                  > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:50 PM
                                  > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Robert:
                                  >
                                  > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life
                                  a
                                  > little more complicated.
                                  >
                                  > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                                  > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                  > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                  >
                                  > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                  > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                  looked
                                  > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                  such
                                  > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                  > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                  > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information
                                  is
                                  > scarce.
                                  >
                                  > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                  > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                  also
                                  > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                                  > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                  water
                                  > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with
                                  a
                                  > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                  > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                                  > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                  have
                                  > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                  stopped
                                  > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                  conditioner
                                  > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                  The
                                  > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in.
                                  I
                                  > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                  and
                                  > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps.
                                  I
                                  > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                  cool
                                  > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                  > wells.
                                  >
                                  > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                                  > from sharing our knowledge.
                                  >
                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                  > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                  > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                  > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                  is
                                  > > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                                  > > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                  thermoelectric
                                  > > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                  > >
                                  > > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                                  > > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                  > area
                                  > > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                  parts
                                  > of
                                  > > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                  > > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                                  closed
                                  > > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                  > >
                                  > > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                                  > our
                                  > > area?
                                  > > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                                  > > are:
                                  > >
                                  > > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                  > > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                  > solar
                                  > > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                  > help
                                  > > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                  in
                                  > > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                  > >
                                  > > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                  it
                                  > is
                                  > > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                  > good?
                                  > > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                                  > the
                                  > > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                                  is
                                  > > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                  > A/C's.
                                  > > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                  compressed
                                  > > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                                  seen
                                  > > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is
                                  a
                                  > > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                  > they
                                  > > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                  installation?
                                  > > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                                  > I'd
                                  > > like to see discussed.
                                  > >
                                  > > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                  to
                                  > > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                                  > was
                                  > > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                                  also
                                  > > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                  warden's
                                  > > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                  > > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                  > > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                  > were
                                  > > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                  > > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                  about
                                  > > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                  > > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                  know
                                  > > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                  > may
                                  > > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                  > > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                                  > an
                                  > > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                  > have
                                  > > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                  > > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                  > find
                                  > > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                  > >
                                  > > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                                  > > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                                  > get
                                  > > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                  > >
                                  > > Robert Johnston
                                  > >
                                  > > -----Original Message-----
                                  > > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                  > > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                  > > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                  Who
                                  > > are
                                  > > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                  for
                                  > > me.
                                  > > >
                                  > > > Steve Stelzer
                                  > >
                                  > > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                  > > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                  > > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                  > >
                                  > > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                                  > > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                  > > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                  > energy
                                  > > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                  > > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                  used
                                  > in
                                  > > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                  > energy.
                                  > > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                                  > of
                                  > > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                  > >
                                  > > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                  > (refrigerant)
                                  > > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                  > silica
                                  > > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                                  > > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                  a
                                  > > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                  it
                                  > > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                  > >
                                  > > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                  > opportunity
                                  > > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                                  > > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                                  > > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                                  > > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                  could
                                  > be
                                  > > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                  > > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                  harder
                                  > > the unit works. I like that!
                                  > >
                                  > > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                  > > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                  > >
                                  > > Billy Bell
                                  > > PO Box 926
                                  > > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                  > >
                                  > > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                  > > 281-346-0994 Fax
                                  > > wmb@...
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                  http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                  http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                • Mike Ewert
                                  I think the reason absorption hasn t scaled down well is maintenance. Also, solar absorption works, but you need concentrating collectors which cost more.
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    I think the reason absorption hasn't scaled down well is maintenance. Also,
                                    solar absorption works, but you need concentrating collectors which cost
                                    more. Good flat plate collectors can do it, but it is marginal. Given a
                                    little more engineering development and mass production, I have no doubt
                                    they could compete. But, there is the bootstrap problem of getting to that
                                    point.

                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                                    Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 8:58 PM
                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                    I hadn't noticed the weblinks in my quick read before.
                                    Adsorption/absorption chillers
                                    are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are efficient
                                    on an
                                    industrial scale. I don't know what factors have kept them from scaling
                                    down to
                                    home use, but it would be interesting if they could.

                                    Actually, I suppose you could consider this a variant on the dessicant drier
                                    tech
                                    I mentioned, since silica after all is a dessicant.

                                    The Krum link is to Houston; anyone know these people? They appear just to
                                    be
                                    distributors, but maybe they might have some idea of the factors that limit
                                    downsizing.

                                    These units are industrial size, of course. Wonder if scaledown is even
                                    practical.
                                    These units are 6' x 9' x 9' and the input hot water flow is around 10 cubic
                                    feet/min.
                                    That is a little fast for most solar hot water heaters to produce! They
                                    seem better
                                    suited to cogeneration in industrial systems that generate heat.

                                    Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

                                    Robert

                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                    Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:50 PM
                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                    Robert:

                                    Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a
                                    little more complicated.

                                    I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                                    heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                    holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.

                                    I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                    solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you looked
                                    at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of such
                                    a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                    chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                    problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information is
                                    scarce.

                                    Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                    encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is also
                                    a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                                    that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated water
                                    through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with a
                                    company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                    cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                                    machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I have
                                    no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has stopped
                                    me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air conditioner
                                    blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air. The
                                    idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in. I
                                    wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size) and
                                    have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps. I
                                    have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to cool
                                    his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                    wells.

                                    Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                                    from sharing our knowledge.

                                    ----- Original Message -----
                                    From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                    To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                    Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                    > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                                    > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                                    > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                                    > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                    >
                                    > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                                    > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                    area
                                    > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                                    of
                                    > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                    > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                                    > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                    >
                                    > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                                    our
                                    > area?
                                    > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                                    > are:
                                    >
                                    > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                    > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                    solar
                                    > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                    help
                                    > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                                    > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                    >
                                    > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                                    is
                                    > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                    good?
                                    > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                                    the
                                    > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                                    > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                    A/C's.
                                    > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                                    > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                                    > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                                    > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                    they
                                    > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                                    > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                                    I'd
                                    > like to see discussed.
                                    >
                                    > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                                    > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                                    was
                                    > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                                    > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                                    > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                    > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                    > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                    were
                                    > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                    > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                                    > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                    > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                                    > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                    may
                                    > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                    > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                                    an
                                    > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                    have
                                    > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                    > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                    find
                                    > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                    >
                                    > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                                    > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                                    get
                                    > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                    >
                                    > Robert Johnston
                                    >
                                    > -----Original Message-----
                                    > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                    > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                    > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                    > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                    >
                                    >
                                    > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                                    > are
                                    > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                                    > me.
                                    > >
                                    > > Steve Stelzer
                                    >
                                    > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                    > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                    > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                    >
                                    > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                                    > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                    > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                    energy
                                    > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                    > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                                    in
                                    > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                    energy.
                                    > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                                    of
                                    > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                    >
                                    > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                    (refrigerant)
                                    > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                    silica
                                    > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                                    > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                                    > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                                    > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                    >
                                    > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                    opportunity
                                    > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                                    > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                                    > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                                    > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                                    be
                                    > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                    > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                                    > the unit works. I like that!
                                    >
                                    > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                    > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                    >
                                    > Billy Bell
                                    > PO Box 926
                                    > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                    >
                                    > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                    > 281-346-0994 Fax
                                    > wmb@...
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
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                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
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                                  • Claude Foster
                                    Kim, I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly. ccfoster@lan-inc.com
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Kim,

                                      I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.

                                      ccfoster@...



                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                      > Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                      >
                                      > Hi,
                                      > I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My
                                      > circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. I installed my
                                      > pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                      > feet. In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                      > be washing the heat away. The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                      > installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                      > Kim
                                      >
                                      > William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > Robert:
                                      > >
                                      > > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                      > life a
                                      > > little more complicated.
                                      > >
                                      > > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                      > to
                                      > > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                      > > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                      > >
                                      > > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                      > > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                      > looked
                                      > > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                      > such
                                      > > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                      > > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                      > > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                      > information is
                                      > > scarce.
                                      > >
                                      > > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                      > > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                      > also
                                      > > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                      > geothermal
                                      > > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                      > water
                                      > > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                      > with a
                                      > > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                      > > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                      > their
                                      > > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                      > have
                                      > > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                      > stopped
                                      > > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                      > conditioner
                                      > > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                      > The
                                      > > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                      > in. I
                                      > > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                      > and
                                      > > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                      > pumps. I
                                      > > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                      > cool
                                      > > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                      > > wells.
                                      > >
                                      > > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                      > benefit
                                      > > from sharing our knowledge.
                                      > >
                                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                                      > > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                      > > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                      > > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                      > > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                      > is
                                      > >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                      > from
                                      > >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                      > thermoelectric
                                      > >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                      > >>
                                      > >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                      > see
                                      > >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                      > >
                                      > > area
                                      > >
                                      > >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                      > parts
                                      > >
                                      > > of
                                      > >
                                      > >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                      > >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                                      > closed
                                      > >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                      > in
                                      > >
                                      > > our
                                      > >
                                      > >> area?
                                      > >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                      > etc.)
                                      > >> are:
                                      > >>
                                      > >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                      > >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                      > >
                                      > > solar
                                      > >
                                      > >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                      > >
                                      > > help
                                      > >
                                      > >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                      > in
                                      > >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                      > it
                                      > >
                                      > > is
                                      > >
                                      > >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                      > >
                                      > > good?
                                      > >
                                      > >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                      > in
                                      > >
                                      > > the
                                      > >
                                      > >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                                      > is
                                      > >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                      > >
                                      > > A/C's.
                                      > >
                                      > >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                      > compressed
                                      > >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                                      > seen
                                      > >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                      > is a
                                      > >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                      > >
                                      > > they
                                      > >
                                      > >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                      > installation?
                                      > >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some
                                      > questions
                                      > >
                                      > > I'd
                                      > >
                                      > >> like to see discussed.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                      > to
                                      > >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                      > it
                                      > >
                                      > > was
                                      > >
                                      > >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                                      > also
                                      > >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                      > warden's
                                      > >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                      > >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                      > >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                      > >
                                      > > were
                                      > >
                                      > >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                      > >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                      > about
                                      > >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                      > >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                      > know
                                      > >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                      > >
                                      > > may
                                      > >
                                      > >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                      > >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                      > such
                                      > >
                                      > > an
                                      > >
                                      > >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                      > >
                                      > > have
                                      > >
                                      > >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                      > >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                      > >
                                      > > find
                                      > >
                                      > >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                      > or
                                      > >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                      > can
                                      > >
                                      > > get
                                      > >
                                      > >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                      > >>
                                      > >> Robert Johnston
                                      > >>
                                      > >> -----Original Message-----
                                      > >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                      > >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                      > >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                      > Who
                                      > >>
                                      > >> are
                                      > >>
                                      > >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                      > for
                                      > >>
                                      > >> me.
                                      > >>
                                      > >>> Steve Stelzer
                                      > >>
                                      > >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                      > >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                      > >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                      > spare
                                      > >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                      > >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                      > >
                                      > > energy
                                      > >
                                      > >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                      > >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                      > used
                                      > >
                                      > > in
                                      > >
                                      > >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                      > >
                                      > > energy.
                                      > >
                                      > >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                      > amount
                                      > >
                                      > > of
                                      > >
                                      > >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                      > >
                                      > > (refrigerant)
                                      > >
                                      > >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                      > >
                                      > > silica
                                      > >
                                      > >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                      > too
                                      > >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                      > a
                                      > >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                      > it
                                      > >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                      > >>
                                      > >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                      > >
                                      > > opportunity
                                      > >
                                      > >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                      > coolers.
                                      > >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                      > the
                                      > >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                      > our
                                      > >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                      > could
                                      > >
                                      > > be
                                      > >
                                      > >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                      > >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                      > harder
                                      > >> the unit works. I like that!
                                      > >>
                                      > >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                      > >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                      > >>
                                      > >> Billy Bell
                                      > >> PO Box 926
                                      > >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                      > >>
                                      > >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                      > >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                      > >> wmb@...
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      > >>
                                      > >>
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >
                                    • Mike Ewert
                                      Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps. ... From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@brazosport.cc.tx.us] Sent: Friday, August 31,
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.


                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                                        Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                        Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                                        hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                                        Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                                        cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).

                                        However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                                        more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this area
                                        ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts of
                                        the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                        Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                                        system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.

                                        Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in our
                                        area?
                                        Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                                        are:

                                        1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                        commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient solar
                                        units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would help
                                        a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                                        as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.

                                        2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it is
                                        their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not good?
                                        A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in the
                                        heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                                        death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight A/C's.
                                        But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                                        gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                                        some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                                        lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because they
                                        don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                                        What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions I'd
                                        like to see discussed.

                                        As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                                        be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it was
                                        managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                                        know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                                        homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                        FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                        optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops were
                                        solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                        recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                                        their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                        timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                                        why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it may
                                        have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                        institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such an
                                        unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might have
                                        caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                        units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could find
                                        out more by asking around, or writing TDC.

                                        In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                                        just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can get
                                        a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?

                                        Robert Johnston

                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                        Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281


                                        > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                                        are
                                        > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                                        me.
                                        >
                                        > Steve Stelzer

                                        I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                        Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                        concerned that this discussion group stays on target.

                                        By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                                        time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                        alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an energy
                                        source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                        adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used in
                                        residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable energy.
                                        Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount of
                                        electricity that is wasted producing this heat.

                                        The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia (refrigerant)
                                        and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and silica
                                        gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                                        dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                                        system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                                        evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.

                                        There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much opportunity
                                        to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                                        When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                                        other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                                        water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could be
                                        used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                        panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                                        the unit works. I like that!

                                        Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                        http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/

                                        Billy Bell
                                        PO Box 926
                                        Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

                                        713-439-1115 Telephone
                                        281-346-0994 Fax
                                        wmb@...





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                                      • Robert Johnston
                                        At a tradeshow in Houston a few years ago I met and chatted briefly with LaVerne Williams. I asked his opinion about cool tubes --those buried PVC pipes that
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          At a tradeshow in Houston a few years ago I met and chatted briefly with
                                          LaVerne
                                          Williams. I asked his opinion about "cool tubes"--those buried PVC pipes
                                          that run
                                          for a length underground and allow you to bring outside air into the home
                                          after
                                          letting it cool in indirect contact with the earth. My recollection of his
                                          comment
                                          was that it was an ideal breeding ground for Legionnaire's Disease, and he
                                          wouldn't
                                          recommend it. Since I had seen such a solution recommended for our area in
                                          the
                                          "Earthship" books, his comment made quite an impression on me and left me
                                          wondering
                                          what kind of cooling WOULD work, and that ongoing question is why I started
                                          this
                                          thread.

                                          I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has in mind. In particular, I'm
                                          wondering,
                                          If you live in a hot humid area, is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                          cold air
                                          or water into the house WITHOUT also having dehumidificatio built into the
                                          cooling
                                          system setting oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                          Disease? e.g.,
                                          suppose you could use water pipes or any other technology to cool the walls
                                          and floor
                                          of your home to a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night. While in
                                          West Texas
                                          that would do quite nicely, would it fail miserably in Houston because there
                                          would
                                          be lots of condensation on the walls and floor, with lots of mold and mildew
                                          on and
                                          in the walls? (A vapor barrier would be meaningless if you are not drying
                                          the air
                                          inside).

                                          LaVerne Williams, are you reading this? Did I summarize your comments
                                          accurately?
                                          Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY approaches to cooling a
                                          house here
                                          without simultaneously providing dehumidification? As long as the house
                                          stays near
                                          ambient temperature I would think things would be OK, but the concern is
                                          that you
                                          might cool the house below ambient in a humid environment. Care to comment
                                          on what
                                          appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water pipes?

                                          Robert

                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: Claude Foster [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                          Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:51 AM
                                          To: 'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                          Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                          Kim,

                                          I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.

                                          ccfoster@...



                                          > -----Original Message-----
                                          > From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                          > Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                          > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                          > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                          >
                                          > Hi,
                                          > I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My
                                          > circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. I installed my
                                          > pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                          > feet. In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                          > be washing the heat away. The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                          > installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                          > Kim
                                          >
                                          > William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                          >
                                          > > Robert:
                                          > >
                                          > > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                          > life a
                                          > > little more complicated.
                                          > >
                                          > > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                          > to
                                          > > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                          > > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                          > >
                                          > > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                          > > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                          > looked
                                          > > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                          > such
                                          > > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                          > > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                          > > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                          > information is
                                          > > scarce.
                                          > >
                                          > > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                          > > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                          > also
                                          > > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                          > geothermal
                                          > > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                          > water
                                          > > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                          > with a
                                          > > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                          > > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                          > their
                                          > > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                          > have
                                          > > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                          > stopped
                                          > > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                          > conditioner
                                          > > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                          > The
                                          > > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                          > in. I
                                          > > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                          > and
                                          > > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                          > pumps. I
                                          > > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                          > cool
                                          > > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                          > > wells.
                                          > >
                                          > > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                          > benefit
                                          > > from sharing our knowledge.
                                          > >
                                          > > ----- Original Message -----
                                          > > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                          > > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                          > > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                          > > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                          > is
                                          > >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                          > from
                                          > >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                          > thermoelectric
                                          > >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                          > >>
                                          > >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                          > see
                                          > >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                          > >
                                          > > area
                                          > >
                                          > >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                          > parts
                                          > >
                                          > > of
                                          > >
                                          > >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                          > >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                                          > closed
                                          > >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                          > in
                                          > >
                                          > > our
                                          > >
                                          > >> area?
                                          > >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                          > etc.)
                                          > >> are:
                                          > >>
                                          > >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                          > >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                          > >
                                          > > solar
                                          > >
                                          > >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                          > >
                                          > > help
                                          > >
                                          > >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                          > in
                                          > >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                          > it
                                          > >
                                          > > is
                                          > >
                                          > >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                          > >
                                          > > good?
                                          > >
                                          > >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                          > in
                                          > >
                                          > > the
                                          > >
                                          > >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                                          > is
                                          > >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                          > >
                                          > > A/C's.
                                          > >
                                          > >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                          > compressed
                                          > >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                                          > seen
                                          > >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                          > is a
                                          > >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                          > >
                                          > > they
                                          > >
                                          > >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                          > installation?
                                          > >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some
                                          > questions
                                          > >
                                          > > I'd
                                          > >
                                          > >> like to see discussed.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                          > to
                                          > >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                          > it
                                          > >
                                          > > was
                                          > >
                                          > >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                                          > also
                                          > >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                          > warden's
                                          > >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                          > >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                          > >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                          > >
                                          > > were
                                          > >
                                          > >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                          > >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                          > about
                                          > >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                          > >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                          > know
                                          > >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                          > >
                                          > > may
                                          > >
                                          > >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                          > >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                          > such
                                          > >
                                          > > an
                                          > >
                                          > >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                          > >
                                          > > have
                                          > >
                                          > >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                          > >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                          > >
                                          > > find
                                          > >
                                          > >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                          > or
                                          > >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                          > can
                                          > >
                                          > > get
                                          > >
                                          > >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Robert Johnston
                                          > >>
                                          > >> -----Original Message-----
                                          > >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                          > >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                          > >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                          > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                          > Who
                                          > >>
                                          > >> are
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                          > for
                                          > >>
                                          > >> me.
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> Steve Stelzer
                                          > >>
                                          > >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                          > >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                          > >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                          > spare
                                          > >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                          > >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                          > >
                                          > > energy
                                          > >
                                          > >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                          > >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                          > used
                                          > >
                                          > > in
                                          > >
                                          > >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                          > >
                                          > > energy.
                                          > >
                                          > >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                          > amount
                                          > >
                                          > > of
                                          > >
                                          > >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                          > >
                                          > > (refrigerant)
                                          > >
                                          > >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                          > >
                                          > > silica
                                          > >
                                          > >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                          > too
                                          > >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                          > a
                                          > >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                          > it
                                          > >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                          > >
                                          > > opportunity
                                          > >
                                          > >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                          > coolers.
                                          > >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                          > the
                                          > >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                          > our
                                          > >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                          > could
                                          > >
                                          > > be
                                          > >
                                          > >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                          > >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                          > harder
                                          > >> the unit works. I like that!
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                          > >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Billy Bell
                                          > >> PO Box 926
                                          > >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                          > >>
                                          > >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                          > >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                          > >> wmb@...
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          >




                                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        • Robert Johnston
                                          Correction: Make that a pleasant 70?F ! ... From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@brazosport.cc.tx.us] Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 7:01 AM To:
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Correction: Make that "a pleasant 70?F"!

                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                                            Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 7:01 AM
                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)


                                            At a tradeshow in Houston a few years ago I met and chatted briefly with
                                            LaVerne
                                            Williams. I asked his opinion about "cool tubes"--those buried PVC pipes
                                            that run
                                            for a length underground and allow you to bring outside air into the home
                                            after
                                            letting it cool in indirect contact with the earth. My recollection of his
                                            comment
                                            was that it was an ideal breeding ground for Legionnaire's Disease, and he
                                            wouldn't
                                            recommend it. Since I had seen such a solution recommended for our area in
                                            the
                                            "Earthship" books, his comment made quite an impression on me and left me
                                            wondering
                                            what kind of cooling WOULD work, and that ongoing question is why I started
                                            this
                                            thread.

                                            I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has in mind. In particular, I'm
                                            wondering,
                                            If you live in a hot humid area, is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                            cold air
                                            or water into the house WITHOUT also having dehumidificatio built into the
                                            cooling
                                            system setting oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                            Disease? e.g.,
                                            suppose you could use water pipes or any other technology to cool the walls
                                            and floor
                                            of your home to a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night. While in
                                            West Texas
                                            that would do quite nicely, would it fail miserably in Houston because there
                                            would
                                            be lots of condensation on the walls and floor, with lots of mold and mildew
                                            on and
                                            in the walls? (A vapor barrier would be meaningless if you are not drying
                                            the air
                                            inside).

                                            LaVerne Williams, are you reading this? Did I summarize your comments
                                            accurately?
                                            Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY approaches to cooling a
                                            house here
                                            without simultaneously providing dehumidification? As long as the house
                                            stays near
                                            ambient temperature I would think things would be OK, but the concern is
                                            that you
                                            might cool the house below ambient in a humid environment. Care to comment
                                            on what
                                            appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water pipes?

                                            Robert

                                            -----Original Message-----
                                            From: Claude Foster [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                            Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:51 AM
                                            To: 'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                            Kim,

                                            I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.

                                            ccfoster@...



                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                            > Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                            > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                            >
                                            > Hi,
                                            > I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My
                                            > circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. I installed my
                                            > pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                            > feet. In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                            > be washing the heat away. The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                            > installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                            > Kim
                                            >
                                            > William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                            >
                                            > > Robert:
                                            > >
                                            > > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                            > life a
                                            > > little more complicated.
                                            > >
                                            > > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                            > to
                                            > > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                            > > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                            > >
                                            > > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                            > > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                            > looked
                                            > > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                            > such
                                            > > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                            > > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                            > > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                            > information is
                                            > > scarce.
                                            > >
                                            > > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                            > > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                            > also
                                            > > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                            > geothermal
                                            > > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                            > water
                                            > > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                            > with a
                                            > > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                            > > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                            > their
                                            > > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                            > have
                                            > > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                            > stopped
                                            > > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                            > conditioner
                                            > > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                            > The
                                            > > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                            > in. I
                                            > > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                            > and
                                            > > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                            > pumps. I
                                            > > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                            > cool
                                            > > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                            > > wells.
                                            > >
                                            > > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                            > benefit
                                            > > from sharing our knowledge.
                                            > >
                                            > > ----- Original Message -----
                                            > > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                            > > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                            > > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                            > > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                            > is
                                            > >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                            > from
                                            > >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                            > thermoelectric
                                            > >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                            > >>
                                            > >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                            > see
                                            > >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                            > >
                                            > > area
                                            > >
                                            > >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                            > parts
                                            > >
                                            > > of
                                            > >
                                            > >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                            > >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                                            > closed
                                            > >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                            > in
                                            > >
                                            > > our
                                            > >
                                            > >> area?
                                            > >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                            > etc.)
                                            > >> are:
                                            > >>
                                            > >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                            > >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                            > >
                                            > > solar
                                            > >
                                            > >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                            > >
                                            > > help
                                            > >
                                            > >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                            > in
                                            > >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                            > it
                                            > >
                                            > > is
                                            > >
                                            > >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                            > >
                                            > > good?
                                            > >
                                            > >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                            > in
                                            > >
                                            > > the
                                            > >
                                            > >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                                            > is
                                            > >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                            > >
                                            > > A/C's.
                                            > >
                                            > >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                            > compressed
                                            > >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                                            > seen
                                            > >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                            > is a
                                            > >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                            > >
                                            > > they
                                            > >
                                            > >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                            > installation?
                                            > >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some
                                            > questions
                                            > >
                                            > > I'd
                                            > >
                                            > >> like to see discussed.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                            > to
                                            > >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                            > it
                                            > >
                                            > > was
                                            > >
                                            > >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                                            > also
                                            > >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                            > warden's
                                            > >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                            > >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                            > >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                            > >
                                            > > were
                                            > >
                                            > >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                            > >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                            > about
                                            > >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                            > >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                            > know
                                            > >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                            > >
                                            > > may
                                            > >
                                            > >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                            > >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                            > such
                                            > >
                                            > > an
                                            > >
                                            > >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                            > >
                                            > > have
                                            > >
                                            > >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                            > >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                            > >
                                            > > find
                                            > >
                                            > >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                            > or
                                            > >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                            > can
                                            > >
                                            > > get
                                            > >
                                            > >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Robert Johnston
                                            > >>
                                            > >> -----Original Message-----
                                            > >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                            > >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                            > >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                            > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                            > Who
                                            > >>
                                            > >> are
                                            > >>
                                            > >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                            > for
                                            > >>
                                            > >> me.
                                            > >>
                                            > >>> Steve Stelzer
                                            > >>
                                            > >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                            > >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                            > >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                            > spare
                                            > >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                            > >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                            > >
                                            > > energy
                                            > >
                                            > >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                            > >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                            > used
                                            > >
                                            > > in
                                            > >
                                            > >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                            > >
                                            > > energy.
                                            > >
                                            > >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                            > amount
                                            > >
                                            > > of
                                            > >
                                            > >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                            > >
                                            > > (refrigerant)
                                            > >
                                            > >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                            > >
                                            > > silica
                                            > >
                                            > >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                            > too
                                            > >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                            > a
                                            > >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                            > it
                                            > >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                            > >>
                                            > >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                            > >
                                            > > opportunity
                                            > >
                                            > >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                            > coolers.
                                            > >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                            > the
                                            > >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                            > our
                                            > >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                            > could
                                            > >
                                            > > be
                                            > >
                                            > >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                            > >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                            > harder
                                            > >> the unit works. I like that!
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                            > >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Billy Bell
                                            > >> PO Box 926
                                            > >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                            > >>
                                            > >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                            > >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                            > >> wmb@...
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                            > >>
                                            > >>
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                            > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
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                                          • Kim & Garth Travis
                                            Hi, ... I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web. PEX hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8 height. Roth is
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                              Hi,




                                              > I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has in mind.

                                              I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web. PEX
                                              hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8' height. Roth
                                              is using such systems commercially and has an extensive web site. At
                                              roth.com I think.

                                              In particular, I'm
                                              > wondering,
                                              > If you live in a hot humid area,

                                              I live 100 miles north-northwest of Houston.

                                              is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                              > cold air
                                              > or water into the house WITHOUT also having dehumidificatio built into the
                                              > cooling
                                              > system setting oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                              > Disease? e.g.,
                                              > suppose you could use water pipes or any other technology to cool the walls
                                              > and floor
                                              > of your home to a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night.

                                              We may need to bring in a dehumidifier, but I like my home at 50%
                                              humidity. In Canada we used humidifiers to raise it this high.
                                              Anything below this, we find uncomfortable. I am sorry, but I do not
                                              find 70 degrees comfortable. The joy of living in Texas is I never need
                                              to be cool or cold again. We are ranchers and work outside, a
                                              temperature of 76 to 78 is comfortable to us. Our guest room has a
                                              separate control so company can sleep in cooler temperatures. [We are
                                              putting in a well screened sleeping porch for most of the year]

                                              Our closets are 6" deeper than normal to allow air circulation. We do
                                              not use wall to wall carpet, only area rugs. The big trick is to have a
                                              super insulated building with wide porches, good ventilation and never
                                              let it get hot. We first looked at the historical buildings in Texas and
                                              how they kept them cool without electricity. Then we tried to design as
                                              many of those ideas as possible into our buildings so our cooling
                                              demands are not those of a normal tract home.

                                              The temperature difference between the cooling and ambient temperatures
                                              can not be too great, [say over 15 degrees] or you have a real problem.
                                              The water we are using to cool is 65 degrees. The cool water comes in at
                                              the wall, where it has a drip tray built under it, then circulates in
                                              the floor before exiting.

                                              If we ever let it get hot in the building, we would have to use some
                                              window units or something to cool the building or wait a long time to
                                              gradually lower the temperature. We have not built our main house yet,
                                              we are working on our shops and installing all of our ideas there, first.


                                              (A vapor barrier would be meaningless if you are not drying
                                              > the air
                                              > inside).

                                              We do not use vapor barriers as our buildings are fibrous adobe.

                                              >
                                              > LaVerne Williams, are you reading this? Did I summarize your comments
                                              > accurately?
                                              > Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY approaches to cooling a
                                              > house here
                                              > without simultaneously providing dehumidification? As long as the house
                                              > stays near
                                              > ambient temperature I would think things would be OK, but the concern is
                                              > that you
                                              > might cool the house below ambient in a humid environment. Care to comment
                                              > on what
                                              > appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water pipes?
                                              >
                                              > Robert
                                              >
                                              > -----Original Message-----
                                              > From: Claude Foster [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                              > Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:51 AM
                                              > To: 'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                              > Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > Kim,
                                              >
                                              > I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.
                                              >
                                              > ccfoster@...
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >> -----Original Message-----
                                              >> From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                              >> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                              >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                              >>
                                              >> Hi,
                                              >> I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My
                                              >> circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. I installed my
                                              >> pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                              >> feet. In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                              >> be washing the heat away. The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                              >> installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                              >> Kim
                                              >>
                                              >> William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                              >>
                                              >>
                                              >>> Robert:
                                              >>>
                                              >>> Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                              >>
                                              >> life a
                                              >>
                                              >>> little more complicated.
                                              >>>
                                              >>> I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                              >>
                                              >> to
                                              >>
                                              >>> heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                              >>> holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                              >>>
                                              >>> I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                              >>> solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                              >>
                                              >> looked
                                              >>
                                              >>> at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                              >>
                                              >> such
                                              >>
                                              >>> a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                              >>> chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                              >>> problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                              >>
                                              >> information is
                                              >>
                                              >>> scarce.
                                              >>>
                                              >>> Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                              >>> encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                              >>
                                              >> also
                                              >>
                                              >>> a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                              >>
                                              >> geothermal
                                              >>
                                              >>> that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                              >>
                                              >> water
                                              >>
                                              >>> through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                              >>
                                              >> with a
                                              >>
                                              >>> company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                              >>> cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                              >>
                                              >> their
                                              >>
                                              >>> machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                              >>
                                              >> have
                                              >>
                                              >>> no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                              >>
                                              >> stopped
                                              >>
                                              >>> me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                              >>
                                              >> conditioner
                                              >>
                                              >>> blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                              >>
                                              >> The
                                              >>
                                              >>> idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                              >>
                                              >> in. I
                                              >>
                                              >>> wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                              >>
                                              >> and
                                              >>
                                              >>> have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                              >>
                                              >> pumps. I
                                              >>
                                              >>> have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                              >>
                                              >> cool
                                              >>
                                              >>> his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                              >>> wells.
                                              >>>
                                              >>> Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                              >>
                                              >> benefit
                                              >>
                                              >>> from sharing our knowledge.
                                              >>>
                                              >>> ----- Original Message -----
                                              >>> From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                              >>> To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                              >>> Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                              >>> Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                              >>>
                                              >> is
                                              >>
                                              >>>> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                              >>>
                                              >> from
                                              >>
                                              >>>> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                              >>>
                                              >> thermoelectric
                                              >>
                                              >>>> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                              >>>
                                              >> see
                                              >>
                                              >>>> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                              >>>
                                              >>> area
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                              >>>
                                              >> parts
                                              >>
                                              >>> of
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                              >>>> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                                              >>>
                                              >> closed
                                              >>
                                              >>>> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                              >>>
                                              >> in
                                              >>
                                              >>> our
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> area?
                                              >>>> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                              >>>
                                              >> etc.)
                                              >>
                                              >>>> are:
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                              >>>> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                              >>>
                                              >>> solar
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                              >>>
                                              >>> help
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                              >>>
                                              >> in
                                              >>
                                              >>>> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                              >>>
                                              >> it
                                              >>
                                              >>> is
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                              >>>
                                              >>> good?
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                              >>>
                                              >> in
                                              >>
                                              >>> the
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                                              >>>
                                              >> is
                                              >>
                                              >>>> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                              >>>
                                              >>> A/C's.
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                              >>>
                                              >> compressed
                                              >>
                                              >>>> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                                              >>>
                                              >> seen
                                              >>
                                              >>>> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                              >>>
                                              >> is a
                                              >>
                                              >>>> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                              >>>
                                              >>> they
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                              >>>
                                              >> installation?
                                              >>
                                              >>>> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some
                                              >>>
                                              >> questions
                                              >>
                                              >>> I'd
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> like to see discussed.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                              >>>
                                              >> to
                                              >>
                                              >>>> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                              >>>
                                              >> it
                                              >>
                                              >>> was
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                                              >>>
                                              >> also
                                              >>
                                              >>>> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                              >>>
                                              >> warden's
                                              >>
                                              >>>> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                              >>>> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                              >>>> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                              >>>
                                              >>> were
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                              >>>> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                              >>>
                                              >> about
                                              >>
                                              >>>> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                              >>>> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                              >>>
                                              >> know
                                              >>
                                              >>>> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                              >>>
                                              >>> may
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                              >>>> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                              >>>
                                              >> such
                                              >>
                                              >>> an
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                              >>>
                                              >>> have
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                              >>>> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                              >>>
                                              >>> find
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                              >>>
                                              >> or
                                              >>
                                              >>>> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                              >>>
                                              >> can
                                              >>
                                              >>> get
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> Robert Johnston
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> -----Original Message-----
                                              >>>> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                              >>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                              >>>> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              >>>> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                              >>>>
                                              >> Who
                                              >>
                                              >>>> are
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                              >>>>
                                              >> for
                                              >>
                                              >>>> me.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>> Steve Stelzer
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                              >>>> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                              >>>> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                              >>>
                                              >> spare
                                              >>
                                              >>>> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                              >>>> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                              >>>
                                              >>> energy
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                              >>>> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                              >>>
                                              >> used
                                              >>
                                              >>> in
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                              >>>
                                              >>> energy.
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                              >>>
                                              >> amount
                                              >>
                                              >>> of
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                              >>>
                                              >>> (refrigerant)
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                              >>>
                                              >>> silica
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                              >>>
                                              >> too
                                              >>
                                              >>>> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                              >>>
                                              >> a
                                              >>
                                              >>>> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                              >>>
                                              >> it
                                              >>
                                              >>>> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                              >>>
                                              >>> opportunity
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                              >>>
                                              >> coolers.
                                              >>
                                              >>>> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                              >>>
                                              >> the
                                              >>
                                              >>>> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                              >>>
                                              >> our
                                              >>
                                              >>>> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                              >>>
                                              >> could
                                              >>
                                              >>> be
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                              >>>> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                              >>>
                                              >> harder
                                              >>
                                              >>>> the unit works. I like that!
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                              >>>> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> Billy Bell
                                              >>>> PO Box 926
                                              >>>> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                              >>>> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                              >>>> wmb@...
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                              >>>
                                              >> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                              >>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                              >>>
                                              >> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                              >>
                                              >>>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>>
                                              >>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                              >>
                                              >> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                              >>
                                              >>
                                              >>
                                              >>
                                              >>
                                              >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                              >>
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >
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                                              >
                                              >
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                                            • LaVerne Williams
                                              Dear Kim & Garth & Robert Johnston: Robert: You have a good memory. I wish I could comment in detail but my current commitments are not leaving me much free
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                                Dear Kim & Garth & Robert Johnston:
                                                 
                                                Robert:  You have a good memory.  I wish I could comment in detail but my current commitments are not leaving me much free time at all, but Kim is not talking about a "cool tube" concept, which would be a disaster health wise in probably most of Texas.  I think he is describing a system that is similar to a system being promoted from Dallas that has piping (metal. I think) that runs around a room with troughs below to catch the condensate to drain it.  I believe the McDermott Engineering building in West Houston used the system for a while but I believe they abandoned it.
                                                 
                                                Being only 100 miles from Houston, Kim & Garth, I wouldn't recommend such a system here or even in dessert areas.  They are having terrific mold problems in desert area homes.  I am not sure why because I am not currently working on any projects in such areas, but it may be a combination of tight homes and the use of "swamp type coolers".  Or it just may be tight homes with conventional HVAC systems and poor construction not having a drainage plane or oversized cooling systems.  Of course, compared to conditions that are set up to have mold growth in dessert areas means horrendous blossoming of mold growth in the humid Gulf Coast and Central Texas areas.
                                                 
                                                Anyway, mold will eventually form in the trough and if you could see what I am experiencing with people who have come to me because of very serious health problems they are having from mold in their houses, you would do everything possible to prevent mold from forming. (I'm working with a couple right now who decided to design and build their own house and now his wife has had around 17 strokes in her brain (MRI confirmed) primarily because of what mold  (and formaldehyde in common building materials)  can do.  They also have twins who are 5 years old who have only developed to that of 2 year olds, and one of them is not showing any signs of recovery.   I am helping them create a safe haven until we can do something more permanent for them).  I also have an Industrial Hygienist friend who is involved as an expert witness in over 1500 lawsuits because of mold growth and health problems with houses and buildings.  From what he has seen, the litigation concerning mold in buildings will dwarf what happened with asbestos in buildings
                                                 
                                                Hope this helps. 
                                                 
                                                To Everyone:  Molds kill.   Do everything you can to make your home mold free!!!  It is not something to take lightly.  Anytime and any place the relative humidity inside a home goes over 60% RH, mold grows!  (Aim for 50% RH or less year-round)  This woman was in such perfect health before they built their home 7 years ago that she worked out 2 hours a day!  Now she can barely care for herself and her twins.  They have had to abandon their house.
                                                 
                                                LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                                laverne@...
                                                Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                                5828 Langfield Road
                                                Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                                713.528.0000
                                                 
                                                 
                                                 
                                                 
                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                From: "Kim & Garth Travis" <gartht@...>
                                                Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:22 AM
                                                Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                > Hi,
                                                >
                                                >
                                                 
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > > I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has
                                                in mind.
                                                >
                                                > I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company
                                                on the web.  PEX
                                                > hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls
                                                at the 8' height.  Roth
                                                > is using such systems commercially and has
                                                an extensive web site.  At
                                                > roth.com I think.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                  In particular, I'm
                                                > > wondering,
                                                > > If you live in a
                                                hot humid area,
                                                >
                                                > I live 100 miles north-northwest of
                                                Houston.
                                                >
                                                > is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                                > >
                                                cold air
                                                > > or water into the house WITHOUT also having
                                                dehumidificatio built into the
                                                > > cooling
                                                > > system setting
                                                oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                                > >
                                                Disease?  e.g.,
                                                > > suppose you could use water pipes or any other
                                                technology to cool the walls
                                                > > and floor
                                                > > of your home to
                                                a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night. 
                                                >
                                                > We may
                                                need to bring in a dehumidifier, but I like my home at 50%
                                                >
                                                humidity.  In Canada we used humidifiers to raise it this high.
                                                >
                                                Anything below this, we find uncomfortable.  I am sorry, but I do not
                                                > find 70 degrees comfortable.  The joy of living in Texas is I
                                                never need
                                                > to be cool or cold again.  We are ranchers and work
                                                outside, a
                                                > temperature of 76 to 78 is comfortable to us.  Our
                                                guest room has a
                                                > separate control so company can sleep in cooler
                                                temperatures.  [We are
                                                > putting in a well screened sleeping porch
                                                for most of the year]
                                                >
                                                > Our closets are 6" deeper than normal to
                                                allow air circulation. We do
                                                > not use wall to wall carpet, only area
                                                rugs. The big trick is to have a
                                                > super insulated building with wide
                                                porches, good ventilation and never
                                                > let it get hot. We first looked at
                                                the historical buildings in Texas and
                                                > how they kept them cool without
                                                electricity.  Then we tried to design as
                                                > many of those ideas as
                                                possible into our buildings so our cooling
                                                > demands are not those of a
                                                normal tract home.
                                                >
                                                > The temperature difference between the
                                                cooling and ambient temperatures
                                                > can not be too great, [say over 15
                                                degrees] or you have a real problem.
                                                > The water we are using to cool is
                                                65 degrees. The cool water comes in at
                                                > the wall, where it has a drip
                                                tray built under it, then circulates in
                                                > the floor before
                                                exiting.
                                                >
                                                > If we ever let it get hot in the building, we would
                                                have to use some
                                                > window units or something to cool the building or wait
                                                a long time to
                                                > gradually lower the temperature.  We have not built
                                                our main house yet,
                                                > we are working on our shops and installing all of
                                                our ideas there, first.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >  (A vapor barrier would
                                                be meaningless if you are not drying
                                                > > the air
                                                > >
                                                inside).
                                                >
                                                > We do not use vapor barriers as our buildings are
                                                fibrous adobe.
                                                >
                                                > >
                                                > > LaVerne Williams, are you
                                                reading this?  Did I summarize your comments
                                                > >
                                                accurately?
                                                > > Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY
                                                approaches to cooling a
                                                > > house here
                                                > > without
                                                simultaneously providing dehumidification?  As long as the house
                                                > > stays near
                                                > > ambient temperature I would think things would be
                                                OK, but the concern is
                                                > > that you
                                                > > might cool the house
                                                below ambient in a humid environment.  Care to comment
                                                > > on
                                                what
                                                > > appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water
                                                pipes?
                                                > >
                                                > > Robert
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                > > From: Claude Foster
                                                [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                                > > Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001
                                                7:51 AM
                                                > > To:
                                                size=2>'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                                > > Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                Kim,
                                                > >
                                                > > I will do some calculations for you if you will
                                                contact me directly.
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                href="mailto:ccfoster@...">ccfoster@...
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >
                                                > >> -----Original Message-----
                                                > >> From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                                > >>
                                                Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                                > >> To:
                                                href="mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com">hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                                > >>
                                                > >> Hi,
                                                > >> I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. 
                                                My
                                                > >> circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. 
                                                I installed my
                                                > >> pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled
                                                with plants that like wet
                                                > >> feet.  In the testing we have
                                                done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                                > >> be washing the heat
                                                away.  The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                                > >> installed
                                                at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                                > >>
                                                Kim
                                                > >>
                                                > >> William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> Robert:
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It
                                                simply makes
                                                > >>
                                                > >> life a
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> little more complicated.
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                                > >>
                                                > >> to
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> heat. The
                                                main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                                > >>>
                                                holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> I found a simpler design that used silica gel
                                                and water. It uses
                                                > >>> solar-heated water to squeeze the water
                                                out of the silica gel. If you
                                                > >>
                                                > >> looked
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> at the web site that I listed, you can see a
                                                commercial application of
                                                > >>
                                                > >> such
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> a system. It has much going for it: few moving
                                                parts; no corrosive
                                                > >>> chemicals; no excessive pressures or
                                                temperatures; and simple. The only
                                                > >>> problem is that I can't
                                                find any residential applications and
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                information is
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> scarce.
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main
                                                problem that I have
                                                > >>> encountered is that it is expensive to
                                                drill several wells and there is
                                                > >>
                                                > >> also
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> a fear that you could contaminate your drinking
                                                water. That is
                                                > >>
                                                > >> geothermal
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal
                                                that circulated
                                                > >>
                                                > >> water
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of
                                                mine worked
                                                > >>
                                                > >> with a
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber
                                                optic
                                                > >>> cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an
                                                easy matter to use
                                                > >>
                                                > >> their
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest
                                                obstacle, is that I
                                                > >>
                                                > >> have
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of
                                                knowledge has
                                                > >>
                                                > >> stopped
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in
                                                my air
                                                > >>
                                                > >> conditioner
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my
                                                air.
                                                > >>
                                                > >> The
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to
                                                kick
                                                > >>
                                                > >> in. I
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what
                                                size)
                                                > >>
                                                > >> and
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more
                                                it
                                                > >>
                                                > >> pumps. I
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it
                                                to
                                                > >>
                                                > >> cool
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with
                                                his
                                                > >>> wells.
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                                > >>
                                                > >> benefit
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> from
                                                sharing our knowledge.
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> ----- Original
                                                Message -----
                                                > >>> From: "Robert Johnston" <
                                                href="mailto:rjohnsto@...">rjohnsto@...>
                                                > >>> To: <
                                                size=2>hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                                > >>>
                                                Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                                > >>> Subject: [hreg] Solar
                                                Air Conditioners
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> Between the
                                                Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> is
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> hard to find
                                                here!  However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> from
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> Billy Bell
                                                except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> thermoelectric
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> cooling
                                                (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd
                                                love to
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> see
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> more discussion on.  This is obviously one of the main
                                                barriers to this
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> area
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> ever achieving the
                                                kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> parts
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> of
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> the country can do.  The
                                                use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                                > >>>> Arizona
                                                but not Houston--too humid already!  In any case, even in a
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> closed
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>>
                                                system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> Anybody want to comment on what they
                                                think has the greatest potential
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>
                                                in
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> our
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> area?
                                                > >>>> Things
                                                that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> etc.)
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> are:
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> 1.  Dessicators.  I know
                                                that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                                > >>>>
                                                commercial buildings in some locations.  I don't know if any efficient
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> solar
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> units have been designed. 
                                                But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> help
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> a lot.  And then you might even be able to put a little
                                                cool water back
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> in
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> 2.  Geothermal units.  I'm
                                                puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> it
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> is
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> their installation
                                                expense.  Why are they so expensive?  Are they not
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> good?
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of
                                                problems with mold and odor
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> in
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> the
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> heat pump part of the installation.  I don't know
                                                if that is true.  He
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> is
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> death on heat pumps **period** for that
                                                reason, and prefers straight
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                A/C's.
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> But
                                                there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> compressed
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> gas with
                                                ground temperature rather than air temperature medium.  I've
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> seen
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>>
                                                some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> is a
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>>
                                                lot of hype by vendors.  Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> they
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> don't work that well in
                                                practice, or is it just the cost of
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>
                                                installation?
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> What is the payback
                                                period in this area, then?  These are some
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> questions
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> I'd
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> like to see
                                                discussed.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> As far as ammonia
                                                goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> to
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> be used in
                                                refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> it
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> was
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> managed OK. 
                                                (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience).  I
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> also
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>>
                                                know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> warden's
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner
                                                of
                                                > >>>> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36.  It is a duplex
                                                unit.  The houses have
                                                > >>>> optimally sloping roofs
                                                aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> were
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> solar collectors.  They may have had solar hot water
                                                too--I don't
                                                > >>>> recall--but I remember reading in the
                                                newspaper when they built them
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>
                                                about
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> their ammonia cooling
                                                systems.  This would have been around 1981-85
                                                > >>>>
                                                timeframe.  I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> know
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> why.  It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with
                                                them--e.g., it
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> may
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> have been
                                                environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                                > >>>> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for
                                                handling
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> such
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> an
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite
                                                A/C's might
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> have
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> caused rethinking of the project
                                                down the road.  Or, it may be that the
                                                > >>>> units just
                                                didn't hold up to use.  I don't know, but I assume you could
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> find
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> out more by asking around, or writing
                                                TDC.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> In any case, if any of
                                                you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> or
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> just more efficient air
                                                conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> can
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> get
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> a discussion going on this
                                                subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> Robert Johnston
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> -----Original Message-----
                                                > >>>> From:
                                                William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                                > >>>> Sent:
                                                Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                                > >>>> To:
                                                href="mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com">hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                > >>>> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the
                                                whales.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >> Who
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> are
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>> they from?  tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <
                                                href="mailto:envir_456@...">envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >> for
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> me.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>> Steve Stelzer
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a
                                                renewable? Just
                                                > >>>> Kidding  ; )  Although I
                                                appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                                > >>>>
                                                concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking
                                                around in my
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> spare
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners.
                                                There a number of
                                                > >>>> alternatives out there. It sounds
                                                strange until you view solar as an
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                energy
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                                > >>>> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that
                                                could be
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> used
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> in
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> residential cooling would be an important contribution to
                                                renewable
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> energy.
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> Think of the amount
                                                of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> amount
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> of
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> electricity that is wasted
                                                producing this heat.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> The
                                                adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> (refrigerant)
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other
                                                chemical) or water and
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> silica
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> gel. The water and
                                                silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> too
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> dangerous to have inside
                                                my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> a
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> system in which I can keep
                                                it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> it
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> evaporates, absorbs a
                                                great deal of heat.
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> There is
                                                also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> opportunity
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in
                                                small outdoor
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> coolers.
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one
                                                side gets hot and
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> the
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot
                                                side to pre-heat
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> our
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to
                                                chill water that
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> could
                                                > >>
                                                > >>> be
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached
                                                to solar
                                                > >>>> panels that produce the 12V current. The
                                                hotter it is outside, the
                                                > >>>
                                                > >> harder
                                                > >>
                                                > >>>> the unit works. I like that!
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> Some helpful web sites:
                                                href="http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm">http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                                > >>>> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                                >
                                                >>>>
                                                > >>>> Billy Bell
                                                > >>>>
                                                PO Box 926
                                                > >>>> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                                > >>>> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                                > >>>>
                                                href="mailto:wmb@...">wmb@...
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is
                                                subject to
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>
                                                href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                >
                                                >>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> Your use of
                                                Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>
                                                href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                >
                                                >>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>>
                                                > >>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                size=2>http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                >
                                                >>
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                                href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                                                >>
                                                > >
                                                > >
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                                                > >
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                                                href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                                              • Robert Johnston
                                                Thanks Laverne for the clarification. I just remember that your comments were sufficiently sobering that I started looking for other avenues. Your new
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Thanks Laverne for the clarification.  I just remember that your comments were sufficiently sobering that
                                                  I started looking for other avenues.  Your new comments only add to those concerns.  I think you are
                                                  right about the mold and mildew liabilities.  It may be tougher for the class action lawyers since there isn't
                                                  a single deep pocketed company like Johns Mansville, but I imagine there are enough major builders like
                                                  U.S. Homes etc. that they can find enough targets to keep them in BMW's for a few years at least.
                                                   
                                                  Robert
                                                  -----Original Message-----
                                                  From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                                  Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 1:05 PM
                                                  To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                  Dear Kim & Garth & Robert Johnston:
                                                   
                                                  Robert:  You have a good memory.  I wish I could comment in detail but my current commitments are not leaving me much free time at all, but Kim is not talking about a "cool tube" concept, which would be a disaster health wise in probably most of Texas.  I think he is describing a system that is similar to a system being promoted from Dallas that has piping (metal. I think) that runs around a room with troughs below to catch the condensate to drain it.  I believe the McDermott Engineering building in West Houston used the system for a while but I believe they abandoned it.
                                                   
                                                  Being only 100 miles from Houston, Kim & Garth, I wouldn't recommend such a system here or even in dessert areas.  They are having terrific mold problems in desert area homes.  I am not sure why because I am not currently working on any projects in such areas, but it may be a combination of tight homes and the use of "swamp type coolers".  Or it just may be tight homes with conventional HVAC systems and poor construction not having a drainage plane or oversized cooling systems.  Of course, compared to conditions that are set up to have mold growth in dessert areas means horrendous blossoming of mold growth in the humid Gulf Coast and Central Texas areas.
                                                   
                                                  Anyway, mold will eventually form in the trough and if you could see what I am experiencing with people who have come to me because of very serious health problems they are having from mold in their houses, you would do everything possible to prevent mold from forming. (I'm working with a couple right now who decided to design and build their own house and now his wife has had around 17 strokes in her brain (MRI confirmed) primarily because of what mold  (and formaldehyde in common building materials)  can do.  They also have twins who are 5 years old who have only developed to that of 2 year olds, and one of them is not showing any signs of recovery.   I am helping them create a safe haven until we can do something more permanent for them).  I also have an Industrial Hygienist friend who is involved as an expert witness in over 1500 lawsuits because of mold growth and health problems with houses and buildings.  From what he has seen, the litigation concerning mold in buildings will dwarf what happened with asbestos in buildings
                                                   
                                                  Hope this helps. 
                                                   
                                                  To Everyone:  Molds kill.   Do everything you can to make your home mold free!!!  It is not something to take lightly.  Anytime and any place the relative humidity inside a home goes over 60% RH, mold grows!  (Aim for 50% RH or less year-round)  This woman was in such perfect health before they built their home 7 years ago that she worked out 2 hours a day!  Now she can barely care for herself and her twins.  They have had to abandon their house.
                                                   
                                                  LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                                  laverne@...
                                                  Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                                  5828 Langfield Road
                                                  Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                                  713.528.0000
                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                   
                                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                                  From: "Kim & Garth Travis" <gartht@...>
                                                  Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:22 AM
                                                  Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                  > Hi,
                                                  >
                                                  >  
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > > I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has in mind.
                                                  >
                                                  > I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web.  PEX
                                                  > hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8' height.  Roth
                                                  > is using such systems commercially and has an extensive web site.  At
                                                  > roth.com I think.
                                                  >
                                                  >   In particular, I'm
                                                  > > wondering,
                                                  > > If you live in a hot humid area,
                                                  >
                                                  > I live 100 miles north-northwest of Houston.
                                                  >
                                                  > is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                                  > > cold air
                                                  > > or water into the house WITHOUT also having dehumidificatio built into the
                                                  > > cooling
                                                  > > system setting oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                                  > > Disease?  e.g.,
                                                  > > suppose you could use water pipes or any other technology to cool the walls
                                                  > > and floor
                                                  > > of your home to a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night. 
                                                  >
                                                  > We may need to bring in a dehumidifier, but I like my home at 50%
                                                  > humidity.  In Canada we used humidifiers to raise it this high.
                                                  > Anything below this, we find uncomfortable.  I am sorry, but I do not
                                                  > find 70 degrees comfortable.  The joy of living in Texas is I never need
                                                  > to be cool or cold again.  We are ranchers and work outside, a
                                                  > temperature of 76 to 78 is comfortable to us.  Our guest room has a
                                                  > separate control so company can sleep in cooler temperatures.  [We are
                                                  > putting in a well screened sleeping porch for most of the year]
                                                  >
                                                  > Our closets are 6" deeper than normal to allow air circulation. We do
                                                  > not use wall to wall carpet, only area rugs. The big trick is to have a
                                                  > super insulated building with wide porches, good ventilation and never
                                                  > let it get hot. We first looked at the historical buildings in Texas and
                                                  > how they kept them cool without electricity.  Then we tried to design as
                                                  > many of those ideas as possible into our buildings so our cooling
                                                  > demands are not those of a normal tract home.
                                                  >
                                                  > The temperature difference between the cooling and ambient temperatures
                                                  > can not be too great, [say over 15 degrees] or you have a real problem.
                                                  > The water we are using to cool is 65 degrees. The cool water comes in at
                                                  > the wall, where it has a drip tray built under it, then circulates in
                                                  > the floor before exiting.
                                                  >
                                                  > If we ever let it get hot in the building, we would have to use some
                                                  > window units or something to cool the building or wait a long time to
                                                  > gradually lower the temperature.  We have not built our main house yet,
                                                  > we are working on our shops and installing all of our ideas there, first.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >  (A vapor barrier would be meaningless if you are not drying
                                                  > > the air
                                                  > > inside).
                                                  >
                                                  > We do not use vapor barriers as our buildings are fibrous adobe.
                                                  >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > LaVerne Williams, are you reading this?  Did I summarize your comments
                                                  > > accurately?
                                                  > > Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY approaches to cooling a
                                                  > > house here
                                                  > > without simultaneously providing dehumidification?  As long as the house
                                                  > > stays near
                                                  > > ambient temperature I would think things would be OK, but the concern is
                                                  > > that you
                                                  > > might cool the house below ambient in a humid environment.  Care to comment
                                                  > > on what
                                                  > > appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water pipes?
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Robert
                                                  > >
                                                  > > -----Original Message-----
                                                  > > From: Claude Foster [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                                  > > Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:51 AM
                                                  > > To:
                                                  'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                                  > > Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Kim,
                                                  > >
                                                  > > I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  ccfoster@...
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >
                                                  > >> -----Original Message-----
                                                  > >> From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                                  > >> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                                  > >> To:
                                                  hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> Hi,
                                                  > >> I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building.  My
                                                  > >> circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool.  I installed my
                                                  > >> pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                                  > >> feet.  In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                                  > >> be washing the heat away.  The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                                  > >> installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                                  > >> Kim
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> Robert:
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> life a
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> little more complicated.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> to
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                                  > >>> holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                                  > >>> solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> looked
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> such
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                                  > >>> chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                                  > >>> problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> information is
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> scarce.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                                  > >>> encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> also
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> geothermal
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> water
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> with a
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                                  > >>> cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> their
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> have
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> stopped
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> conditioner
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> The
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> in. I
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> and
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> pumps. I
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> cool
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                                  > >>> wells.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >> benefit
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> from sharing our knowledge.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> ----- Original Message -----
                                                  > >>> From: "Robert Johnston" <
                                                  rjohnsto@...>
                                                  > >>> To: <
                                                  hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                                  > >>> Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                                  > >>> Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> is
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> hard to find here!  However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> from
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> thermoelectric
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> see
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> more discussion on.  This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> area
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> parts
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> of
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> the country can do.  The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                                  > >>>> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already!  In any case, even in a
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> closed
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> in
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> our
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> area?
                                                  > >>>> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> etc.)
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> are:
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> 1.  Dessicators.  I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                                  > >>>> commercial buildings in some locations.  I don't know if any efficient
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> solar
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> units have been designed.  But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> help
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> a lot.  And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> in
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> 2.  Geothermal units.  I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> it
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> is
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> their installation expense.  Why are they so expensive?  Are they not
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> good?
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> in
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> the
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> heat pump part of the installation.  I don't know if that is true.  He
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> is
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> A/C's.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> compressed
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium.  I've
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> seen
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> is a
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> lot of hype by vendors.  Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> they
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> installation?
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> What is the payback period in this area, then?  These are some
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> questions
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> I'd
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> like to see discussed.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> to
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> it
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> was
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> managed OK.  (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience).  I
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> also
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> warden's
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                                  > >>>> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36.  It is a duplex unit.  The houses have
                                                  > >>>> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> were
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> solar collectors.  They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                                  > >>>> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> about
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> their ammonia cooling systems.  This would have been around 1981-85
                                                  > >>>> timeframe.  I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> know
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> why.  It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> may
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                                  > >>>> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> such
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> an
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> have
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> caused rethinking of the project down the road.  Or, it may be that the
                                                  > >>>> units just didn't hold up to use.  I don't know, but I assume you could
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> find
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> or
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> can
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> get
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> Robert Johnston
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> -----Original Message-----
                                                  > >>>> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                                  > >>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                                  > >>>> To:
                                                  hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                  > >>>> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >> Who
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> are
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>> they from?  tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <
                                                  envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >> for
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> me.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>> Steve Stelzer
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                                  > >>>> Kidding  ; )  Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                                  > >>>> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> spare
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                                  > >>>> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> energy
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                                  > >>>> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> used
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> in
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> energy.
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> amount
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> of
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> (refrigerant)
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> silica
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> too
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> a
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> it
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>> opportunity
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> coolers.
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> the
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> our
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> could
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>> be
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                                  > >>>> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >> harder
                                                  > >>
                                                  > >>>> the unit works. I like that!
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> Some helpful web sites:
                                                  http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                                  > >>>> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> Billy Bell
                                                  > >>>> PO Box 926
                                                  > >>>> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                                  > >>>> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  wmb@...
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
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                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>
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                                                  > >>>>
                                                  > >>>>
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                                                  > >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>
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                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
                                                  > >>>
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                                                  > >>
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                                                • Robert Johnston
                                                  It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it! Here are a few comments/questions... 1. (Comment--anyone else reading this paper in
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it!
                                                    Here are a few comments/questions...

                                                    1. (Comment--anyone else reading this paper in MS Word should note that in
                                                    p. 2 there is a formatting glitch [at least in my installation of Word 2000]
                                                    that makes the text jump from near the top of the first column to the top of
                                                    the 2nd column, and then continue on the 1st column after a paragraph. If
                                                    you have trouble making sense of that section, maybe this document did the
                                                    same thing on your system as it did on mine).

                                                    2. Mike, given the low efficiencies and high costs of PV, it seems
                                                    inefficient and costly to do the schemes that use PV to drive vapor
                                                    compression heat pumps. Yet that is what you spent much of the paper
                                                    describing. I assume this is because that is what NASA sees as most suited
                                                    to space (especially where cost doesn't matter). But for terrestrial
                                                    applications, doesn't your review suggest that solar thermal heat engines
                                                    would be the better way to go? If so, why not more work in that area (or
                                                    did you just not choose to focus on it in your review)? (You did mention an
                                                    interesting study in Sacramento, CA (Bergquam, et al, 1997)--any updates on
                                                    the second phase of that study using evacuated tube solar collectors)?
                                                    Seems to me that with metallized plastics, one could readily make a low cost
                                                    trough concentrator. Not true?

                                                    3. We've discussed this briefly in the past (I lost all my email due to
                                                    computer glitch, so forgive me if I repeat earlier questions), but after
                                                    your lab tour a couple years ago, I was wondering what the barriers to
                                                    efficient vacuum insulation were, and you mentioned they were hard to
                                                    fabricate. I've been wondering, what if you had a dynamic system? E.g.,
                                                    what if your house insulation were cheaper vacuum panels that may have
                                                    pinhole leaks but which are actively pumped by a vacuum pump to maintain
                                                    insulation? The vacuum could be removed if it were desirable for heat
                                                    transfer purposes to remove the insulation (e.g., maybe at night you'd
                                                    remove it in the spring and fall to allow cooling of the home interior, or
                                                    maybe on sunny mild winter days you'd remove it to allow heat into the
                                                    house). Then it could be reapplied if needed for insulation again.
                                                    Probably crazy idea, but what do you think? I suspect your answer will be
                                                    that to effectively insulate, you have to get a SUPER vacuum so it isn't
                                                    practical to do this, e.g., would require a two stage vaccuum pump and long
                                                    pumping times, but thought I'd ask. Do you happen to have a good reference
                                                    for vacuum pressure vs. insulation ability (R value or something)? What is
                                                    the vacuum pressure in your test refrigerator vacuum panels in the lab?

                                                    4. Why haven't solar regenerated dessicant systems found more use? Why
                                                    couldn't you combine that kind of trying with some of the techniques like
                                                    cool water tubes (see separate discussion with Kim, LaVerne Williams) to
                                                    have dry cool air/thermal mass?

                                                    5. I was curious about this conclusion: "Engineering trade-off studies
                                                    have shown that with current technology, vapor compression heat pumps have a
                                                    distinct mass advantage over thermally driven heat pumps for human
                                                    spacecraft and planetary base cooling (Ewert, 1993) (Swanson, 1993). The
                                                    thermal heat pumps have lower coefficients of performance and thus need to
                                                    reject a large amount of relatively low temperature waste heat. In space
                                                    there is no atmospheric heat sink and heat rejection must be via thermal
                                                    radiation. This means larger, heavier radiators for the thermal control
                                                    system, leading to higher launch-to-orbit costs." While true in space, is
                                                    it true for planetary base cooling? Why couldn't you use the planetary soil
                                                    to build radiators? For example, what if you pulverized it to a powder,
                                                    mixed it with a binder, and molded it? A relatively small mass of binder
                                                    would enable large mass of radiator. Or, maybe just use the planet surface
                                                    as a heat sink (perhaps after shielding it with aluminized film), with fluid
                                                    circulating in pipes buried beneath the surface. Just wondering; seemed
                                                    like the planet itself was an untapped resource...

                                                    6. Elastomers/rubber undergo heating/cooling during stretching/retraction.
                                                    I've seen proposals (I think even funded by NBS) to use elastomers as
                                                    refrigerants in heat pumps, replacing the gas with an elastomer undergoing
                                                    cyclic mechanical deformation. Right now I can't see how that would
                                                    necessarily help you in solar, but just curious if you'd run across it in
                                                    your reading.

                                                    Thanks for your comments,

                                                    Robert Johnston


                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mike.ewert@...]
                                                    Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 8:32 AM
                                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                                    Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.
                                                  • LaVerne Williams
                                                    Robert: Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      Robert: 
                                                      Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are who the attorneys are going after.  Listen to Tom Tynon on KTRH Radio, AM740.
                                                       
                                                      LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                                      laverne@...
                                                      Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                                      5828 Langfield Road
                                                      Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                                      713.528.0000
                                                       
                                                       
                                                      ----- Original Message -----
                                                      Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:06 PM
                                                      Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                      Thanks Laverne for the clarification.  I just remember that your comments were sufficiently sobering that
                                                      I started looking for other avenues.  Your new comments only add to those concerns.  I think you are
                                                      right about the mold and mildew liabilities.  It may be tougher for the class action lawyers since there isn't
                                                      a single deep pocketed company like Johns Mansville, but I imagine there are enough major builders like
                                                      U.S. Homes etc. that they can find enough targets to keep them in BMW's for a few years at least.
                                                       
                                                      Robert
                                                      -----Original Message-----
                                                      From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                                      Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 1:05 PM
                                                      To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                      Dear Kim & Garth & Robert Johnston:
                                                       
                                                      Robert:  You have a good memory.  I wish I could comment in detail but my current commitments are not leaving me much free time at all, but Kim is not talking about a "cool tube" concept, which would be a disaster health wise in probably most of Texas.  I think he is describing a system that is similar to a system being promoted from Dallas that has piping (metal. I think) that runs around a room with troughs below to catch the condensate to drain it.  I believe the McDermott Engineering building in West Houston used the system for a while but I believe they abandoned it.
                                                       
                                                      Being only 100 miles from Houston, Kim & Garth, I wouldn't recommend such a system here or even in dessert areas.  They are having terrific mold problems in desert area homes.  I am not sure why because I am not currently working on any projects in such areas, but it may be a combination of tight homes and the use of "swamp type coolers".  Or it just may be tight homes with conventional HVAC systems and poor construction not having a drainage plane or oversized cooling systems.  Of course, compared to conditions that are set up to have mold growth in dessert areas means horrendous blossoming of mold growth in the humid Gulf Coast and Central Texas areas.
                                                       
                                                      Anyway, mold will eventually form in the trough and if you could see what I am experiencing with people who have come to me because of very serious health problems they are having from mold in their houses, you would do everything possible to prevent mold from forming. (I'm working with a couple right now who decided to design and build their own house and now his wife has had around 17 strokes in her brain (MRI confirmed) primarily because of what mold  (and formaldehyde in common building materials)  can do.  They also have twins who are 5 years old who have only developed to that of 2 year olds, and one of them is not showing any signs of recovery.   I am helping them create a safe haven until we can do something more permanent for them).  I also have an Industrial Hygienist friend who is involved as an expert witness in over 1500 lawsuits because of mold growth and health problems with houses and buildings.  From what he has seen, the litigation concerning mold in buildings will dwarf what happened with asbestos in buildings
                                                       
                                                      Hope this helps. 
                                                       
                                                      To Everyone:  Molds kill.   Do everything you can to make your home mold free!!!  It is not something to take lightly.  Anytime and any place the relative humidity inside a home goes over 60% RH, mold grows!  (Aim for 50% RH or less year-round)  This woman was in such perfect health before they built their home 7 years ago that she worked out 2 hours a day!  Now she can barely care for herself and her twins.  They have had to abandon their house.
                                                       
                                                      LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                                      laverne@...
                                                      Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                                      5828 Langfield Road
                                                      Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                                      713.528.0000
                                                       
                                                       
                                                       
                                                       

                                                    • Robert Johnston
                                                      I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance companies with the any punitive damages.  If this is true, then the overall liability to the insurance companies wouldn't be astronomical.  But I'm no lawyer.  They do some amazing things, especially in Texas.  It is a wonder sometimes that there are any companies left selling anything!  Maybe eventually everyone will build everything themselves and have only themselves to blame for failure.  I don't know what lawyers would do for a living then.  Probably sue parents on behalf of children upset that they were born into such a miserable world.  :-)
                                                         
                                                        Robert
                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                                        Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 12:40 PM
                                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                        Robert: 
                                                        Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are who the attorneys are going after.  Listen to Tom Tynon on KTRH Radio, AM740.
                                                         
                                                        LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                                        laverne@...
                                                        Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                                        5828 Langfield Road
                                                        Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                                        713.528.0000
                                                         
                                                         
                                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                                        Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:06 PM
                                                        Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                        Thanks Laverne for the clarification.  I just remember that your comments were sufficiently sobering that
                                                        I started looking for other avenues.  Your new comments only add to those concerns.  I think you are
                                                        right about the mold and mildew liabilities.  It may be tougher for the class action lawyers since there isn't
                                                        a single deep pocketed company like Johns Mansville, but I imagine there are enough major builders like
                                                        U.S. Homes etc. that they can find enough targets to keep them in BMW's for a few years at least.
                                                         
                                                        Robert
                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                                        Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 1:05 PM
                                                        To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                                        Dear Kim & Garth & Robert Johnston:
                                                         
                                                        Robert:  You have a good memory.  I wish I could comment in detail but my current commitments are not leaving me much free time at all, but Kim is not talking about a "cool tube" concept, which would be a disaster health wise in probably most of Texas.  I think he is describing a system that is similar to a system being promoted from Dallas that has piping (metal. I think) that runs around a room with troughs below to catch the condensate to drain it.  I believe the McDermott Engineering building in West Houston used the system for a while but I believe they abandoned it.
                                                         
                                                        Being only 100 miles from Houston, Kim & Garth, I wouldn't recommend such a system here or even in dessert areas.  They are having terrific mold problems in desert area homes.  I am not sure why because I am not currently working on any projects in such areas, but it may be a combination of tight homes and the use of "swamp type coolers".  Or it just may be tight homes with conventional HVAC systems and poor construction not having a drainage plane or oversized cooling systems.  Of course, compared to conditions that are set up to have mold growth in dessert areas means horrendous blossoming of mold growth in the humid Gulf Coast and Central Texas areas.
                                                         
                                                        Anyway, mold will eventually form in the trough and if you could see what I am experiencing with people who have come to me because of very serious health problems they are having from mold in their houses, you would do everything possible to prevent mold from forming. (I'm working with a couple right now who decided to design and build their own house and now his wife has had around 17 strokes in her brain (MRI confirmed) primarily because of what mold  (and formaldehyde in common building materials)  can do.  They also have twins who are 5 years old who have only developed to that of 2 year olds, and one of them is not showing any signs of recovery.   I am helping them create a safe haven until we can do something more permanent for them).  I also have an Industrial Hygienist friend who is involved as an expert witness in over 1500 lawsuits because of mold growth and health problems with houses and buildings.  From what he has seen, the litigation concerning mold in buildings will dwarf what happened with asbestos in buildings
                                                         
                                                        Hope this helps. 
                                                         
                                                        To Everyone:  Molds kill.   Do everything you can to make your home mold free!!!  It is not something to take lightly.  Anytime and any place the relative humidity inside a home goes over 60% RH, mold grows!  (Aim for 50% RH or less year-round)  This woman was in such perfect health before they built their home 7 years ago that she worked out 2 hours a day!  Now she can barely care for herself and her twins.  They have had to abandon their house.
                                                         
                                                        LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                                        laverne@...
                                                        Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                                        5828 Langfield Road
                                                        Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                                        713.528.0000
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         
                                                         



                                                        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                                      • Mike Ewert
                                                        Robert, I hope I can answer all your questions. They are good ones. You re an inventor at heart, aren t you? 2. The conclusion I drew is that, although PV
                                                        Message 27 of 28 , Sep 8, 2001
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Robert, I hope I can answer all your questions. They are good ones. You're
                                                          an inventor at heart, aren't you?

                                                          2. The conclusion I drew is that, although PV efficiency is low,
                                                          refrigeration cycle efficiency is low for the thermal cycles, so the net
                                                          "solar coefficient of performance" is similar for the 2 types of systems.
                                                          Given that vapor compression and absorption heat pumps and solar thermal
                                                          collectors are all more mature than PV, I expect the most progress in PV
                                                          vapor compression refrigeration systems in the next 10 years.

                                                          I have not followed up on Bergquam.

                                                          3. Vacuum pumps take quite a bit of power. I suspect that is why they have
                                                          only been used for cryogenic insulation systems. I have a reference for
                                                          pressure vs. thermal resistance but I'll have to look for it at work.

                                                          4. Cost, I guess. I think there is hope.

                                                          5. Planetary soil (regolith) is a very good insulator. I suppose some day
                                                          we may make things out of it, but I'm not sure if it will ever make good
                                                          radiators.

                                                          6. Yes, we have had some "rubber band" cooling system proposals. I don't
                                                          think we have funded any. It just didn't seem practical how many bands you
                                                          would have to have to provide significant cooling.

                                                          -----Original Message-----
                                                          From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                                                          Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 10:16 PM
                                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                                          It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it!
                                                          Here are a few comments/questions...

                                                          1. (Comment--anyone else reading this paper in MS Word should note that in
                                                          p. 2 there is a formatting glitch [at least in my installation of Word 2000]
                                                          that makes the text jump from near the top of the first column to the top of
                                                          the 2nd column, and then continue on the 1st column after a paragraph. If
                                                          you have trouble making sense of that section, maybe this document did the
                                                          same thing on your system as it did on mine).

                                                          2. Mike, given the low efficiencies and high costs of PV, it seems
                                                          inefficient and costly to do the schemes that use PV to drive vapor
                                                          compression heat pumps. Yet that is what you spent much of the paper
                                                          describing. I assume this is because that is what NASA sees as most suited
                                                          to space (especially where cost doesn't matter). But for terrestrial
                                                          applications, doesn't your review suggest that solar thermal heat engines
                                                          would be the better way to go? If so, why not more work in that area (or
                                                          did you just not choose to focus on it in your review)? (You did mention an
                                                          interesting study in Sacramento, CA (Bergquam, et al, 1997)--any updates on
                                                          the second phase of that study using evacuated tube solar collectors)?
                                                          Seems to me that with metallized plastics, one could readily make a low cost
                                                          trough concentrator. Not true?

                                                          3. We've discussed this briefly in the past (I lost all my email due to
                                                          computer glitch, so forgive me if I repeat earlier questions), but after
                                                          your lab tour a couple years ago, I was wondering what the barriers to
                                                          efficient vacuum insulation were, and you mentioned they were hard to
                                                          fabricate. I've been wondering, what if you had a dynamic system? E.g.,
                                                          what if your house insulation were cheaper vacuum panels that may have
                                                          pinhole leaks but which are actively pumped by a vacuum pump to maintain
                                                          insulation? The vacuum could be removed if it were desirable for heat
                                                          transfer purposes to remove the insulation (e.g., maybe at night you'd
                                                          remove it in the spring and fall to allow cooling of the home interior, or
                                                          maybe on sunny mild winter days you'd remove it to allow heat into the
                                                          house). Then it could be reapplied if needed for insulation again.
                                                          Probably crazy idea, but what do you think? I suspect your answer will be
                                                          that to effectively insulate, you have to get a SUPER vacuum so it isn't
                                                          practical to do this, e.g., would require a two stage vaccuum pump and long
                                                          pumping times, but thought I'd ask. Do you happen to have a good reference
                                                          for vacuum pressure vs. insulation ability (R value or something)? What is
                                                          the vacuum pressure in your test refrigerator vacuum panels in the lab?

                                                          4. Why haven't solar regenerated dessicant systems found more use? Why
                                                          couldn't you combine that kind of trying with some of the techniques like
                                                          cool water tubes (see separate discussion with Kim, LaVerne Williams) to
                                                          have dry cool air/thermal mass?

                                                          5. I was curious about this conclusion: "Engineering trade-off studies
                                                          have shown that with current technology, vapor compression heat pumps have a
                                                          distinct mass advantage over thermally driven heat pumps for human
                                                          spacecraft and planetary base cooling (Ewert, 1993) (Swanson, 1993). The
                                                          thermal heat pumps have lower coefficients of performance and thus need to
                                                          reject a large amount of relatively low temperature waste heat. In space
                                                          there is no atmospheric heat sink and heat rejection must be via thermal
                                                          radiation. This means larger, heavier radiators for the thermal control
                                                          system, leading to higher launch-to-orbit costs." While true in space, is
                                                          it true for planetary base cooling? Why couldn't you use the planetary soil
                                                          to build radiators? For example, what if you pulverized it to a powder,
                                                          mixed it with a binder, and molded it? A relatively small mass of binder
                                                          would enable large mass of radiator. Or, maybe just use the planet surface
                                                          as a heat sink (perhaps after shielding it with aluminized film), with fluid
                                                          circulating in pipes buried beneath the surface. Just wondering; seemed
                                                          like the planet itself was an untapped resource...

                                                          6. Elastomers/rubber undergo heating/cooling during stretching/retraction.
                                                          I've seen proposals (I think even funded by NBS) to use elastomers as
                                                          refrigerants in heat pumps, replacing the gas with an elastomer undergoing
                                                          cyclic mechanical deformation. Right now I can't see how that would
                                                          necessarily help you in solar, but just curious if you'd run across it in
                                                          your reading.

                                                          Thanks for your comments,

                                                          Robert Johnston


                                                          -----Original Message-----
                                                          From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mike.ewert@...]
                                                          Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 8:32 AM
                                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                          Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                                          Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.






                                                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                        • Robert Johnston
                                                          Thanks, Mike. Regarding your responses to the numbered points: 2. Good point. I hear so much more about PV, though (I think it is more
                                                          Message 28 of 28 , Sep 9, 2001
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            Thanks, Mike.

                                                            Regarding your responses to the numbered points:

                                                            2. Good point. I hear so much more about PV, though (I think it is more
                                                            "clean"/"elegant"/"sexy" than thermal technologies), that I wonder if the
                                                            thermal arena doesn't still have some significant untapped potential. In
                                                            particular, with new materials invented constantly, I should think this
                                                            could continue to be developed.

                                                            3. If you get a chance, I'd be curious to know the curve. Actually, I
                                                            should look it up in my CRC Handbook. I wouldn't be surprised if it is
                                                            in there.

                                                            4. Sometime I'll have to root around and see what has been done here since
                                                            the last I read about it. I think there is some potential here. What I
                                                            like
                                                            is that it could be readily supplemented by gas or wood burning, so one
                                                            could
                                                            still get by even off-grid on overcast/rainy days.

                                                            5. It is a good INSULATOR? Really! I would have thought it to be a
                                                            conductor.
                                                            I thought those moon rocks were high in iron and other metals. Is planetary
                                                            soil a lot different than moonrocks? I assume we're talking about Mars.
                                                            Of course, upon reflection, I suppose that for a material to be a good
                                                            radiator on a planet you're really talking about black body radiation rather
                                                            than conduction of heat to the atmosphere. That's different than on earth.
                                                            Is the atmospheric pressure on Mars lower than on earth?

                                                            6. The one I know of was a consortium that included a pretty major
                                                            professor
                                                            in rubber elasticity theory at the Univ. of Cincinnati, Prof. James Mark.
                                                            You
                                                            wouldn't of course use rubber banks as in the bands you buy at the office
                                                            supply store. More likely you'd use just a handful of very large bands.
                                                            The
                                                            key is to minimize hysteretic losses, so perfect endlinked networks are
                                                            preferred,
                                                            which is why J. Mark was involved, since he is an expert on endlinked
                                                            polysiloxane
                                                            networks.

                                                            Robert

                                                            -----Original Message-----
                                                            From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mike.ewert@...]
                                                            Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2001 3:20 PM
                                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                                            Robert, I hope I can answer all your questions. They are good ones. You're
                                                            an inventor at heart, aren't you?

                                                            2. The conclusion I drew is that, although PV efficiency is low,
                                                            refrigeration cycle efficiency is low for the thermal cycles, so the net
                                                            "solar coefficient of performance" is similar for the 2 types of systems.
                                                            Given that vapor compression and absorption heat pumps and solar thermal
                                                            collectors are all more mature than PV, I expect the most progress in PV
                                                            vapor compression refrigeration systems in the next 10 years.

                                                            I have not followed up on Bergquam.

                                                            3. Vacuum pumps take quite a bit of power. I suspect that is why they have
                                                            only been used for cryogenic insulation systems. I have a reference for
                                                            pressure vs. thermal resistance but I'll have to look for it at work.

                                                            4. Cost, I guess. I think there is hope.

                                                            5. Planetary soil (regolith) is a very good insulator. I suppose some day
                                                            we may make things out of it, but I'm not sure if it will ever make good
                                                            radiators.

                                                            6. Yes, we have had some "rubber band" cooling system proposals. I don't
                                                            think we have funded any. It just didn't seem practical how many bands you
                                                            would have to have to provide significant cooling.

                                                            -----Original Message-----
                                                            From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@...]
                                                            Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 10:16 PM
                                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                                            It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it!
                                                            Here are a few comments/questions...

                                                            1. (Comment--anyone else reading this paper in MS Word should note that in
                                                            p. 2 there is a formatting glitch [at least in my installation of Word 2000]
                                                            that makes the text jump from near the top of the first column to the top of
                                                            the 2nd column, and then continue on the 1st column after a paragraph. If
                                                            you have trouble making sense of that section, maybe this document did the
                                                            same thing on your system as it did on mine).

                                                            2. Mike, given the low efficiencies and high costs of PV, it seems
                                                            inefficient and costly to do the schemes that use PV to drive vapor
                                                            compression heat pumps. Yet that is what you spent much of the paper
                                                            describing. I assume this is because that is what NASA sees as most suited
                                                            to space (especially where cost doesn't matter). But for terrestrial
                                                            applications, doesn't your review suggest that solar thermal heat engines
                                                            would be the better way to go? If so, why not more work in that area (or
                                                            did you just not choose to focus on it in your review)? (You did mention an
                                                            interesting study in Sacramento, CA (Bergquam, et al, 1997)--any updates on
                                                            the second phase of that study using evacuated tube solar collectors)?
                                                            Seems to me that with metallized plastics, one could readily make a low cost
                                                            trough concentrator. Not true?

                                                            3. We've discussed this briefly in the past (I lost all my email due to
                                                            computer glitch, so forgive me if I repeat earlier questions), but after
                                                            your lab tour a couple years ago, I was wondering what the barriers to
                                                            efficient vacuum insulation were, and you mentioned they were hard to
                                                            fabricate. I've been wondering, what if you had a dynamic system? E.g.,
                                                            what if your house insulation were cheaper vacuum panels that may have
                                                            pinhole leaks but which are actively pumped by a vacuum pump to maintain
                                                            insulation? The vacuum could be removed if it were desirable for heat
                                                            transfer purposes to remove the insulation (e.g., maybe at night you'd
                                                            remove it in the spring and fall to allow cooling of the home interior, or
                                                            maybe on sunny mild winter days you'd remove it to allow heat into the
                                                            house). Then it could be reapplied if needed for insulation again.
                                                            Probably crazy idea, but what do you think? I suspect your answer will be
                                                            that to effectively insulate, you have to get a SUPER vacuum so it isn't
                                                            practical to do this, e.g., would require a two stage vaccuum pump and long
                                                            pumping times, but thought I'd ask. Do you happen to have a good reference
                                                            for vacuum pressure vs. insulation ability (R value or something)? What is
                                                            the vacuum pressure in your test refrigerator vacuum panels in the lab?

                                                            4. Why haven't solar regenerated dessicant systems found more use? Why
                                                            couldn't you combine that kind of trying with some of the techniques like
                                                            cool water tubes (see separate discussion with Kim, LaVerne Williams) to
                                                            have dry cool air/thermal mass?

                                                            5. I was curious about this conclusion: "Engineering trade-off studies
                                                            have shown that with current technology, vapor compression heat pumps have a
                                                            distinct mass advantage over thermally driven heat pumps for human
                                                            spacecraft and planetary base cooling (Ewert, 1993) (Swanson, 1993). The
                                                            thermal heat pumps have lower coefficients of performance and thus need to
                                                            reject a large amount of relatively low temperature waste heat. In space
                                                            there is no atmospheric heat sink and heat rejection must be via thermal
                                                            radiation. This means larger, heavier radiators for the thermal control
                                                            system, leading to higher launch-to-orbit costs." While true in space, is
                                                            it true for planetary base cooling? Why couldn't you use the planetary soil
                                                            to build radiators? For example, what if you pulverized it to a powder,
                                                            mixed it with a binder, and molded it? A relatively small mass of binder
                                                            would enable large mass of radiator. Or, maybe just use the planet surface
                                                            as a heat sink (perhaps after shielding it with aluminized film), with fluid
                                                            circulating in pipes buried beneath the surface. Just wondering; seemed
                                                            like the planet itself was an untapped resource...

                                                            6. Elastomers/rubber undergo heating/cooling during stretching/retraction.
                                                            I've seen proposals (I think even funded by NBS) to use elastomers as
                                                            refrigerants in heat pumps, replacing the gas with an elastomer undergoing
                                                            cyclic mechanical deformation. Right now I can't see how that would
                                                            necessarily help you in solar, but just curious if you'd run across it in
                                                            your reading.

                                                            Thanks for your comments,

                                                            Robert Johnston


                                                            -----Original Message-----
                                                            From: Mike Ewert [mailto:mike.ewert@...]
                                                            Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 8:32 AM
                                                            To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                            Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners


                                                            Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.






                                                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/







                                                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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