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RE: [hreg] Digest Number 281

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  • 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 1 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
      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 2 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
        > 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 3 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
          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 4 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
            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 5 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
              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 6 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                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 7 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                  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 8 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                    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 9 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                      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 10 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                        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 11 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                          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 12 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                            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 13 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                              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 14 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                                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 15 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                                  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@...
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > 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/
                                • Claude Foster
                                  Kim, I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly. ccfoster@lan-inc.com
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                                    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 17 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                                      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@...





                                      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
                                      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 18 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                        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 19 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                          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/
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > 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/
                                        • 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 20 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                            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/
                                            >>
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > 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/
                                          • 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 21 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                              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/
                                              >
                                              >>
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > 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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                                            • 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 22 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                                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@...
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>>
                                                > >>>> 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
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
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                                                > >>
                                                > >>
                                                > >>
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                                                > >
                                                > >
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                                                > >
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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 23 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                                  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 24 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                                    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 25 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                                      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 26 of 28 , Sep 8, 2001
                                                        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 27 of 28 , Sep 9, 2001
                                                          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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