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Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281

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

      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 2 of 28 , Aug 29, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Howdy Folks, Sounds good in theory, but unfortunately thermoelectric
        coolers are not very efficient, in the 10% range last time I looked. The
        fact that they are solid state with no moving parts makes them ideal for
        small scale applications, but difficult to scale up to residential size.
        Regards, Kevin

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


        > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
        > are
        > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
        > me.
        > >
        > > Steve Stelzer
        >
        > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
        > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
        > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
        >
        > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
        > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
        > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
        energy
        > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
        > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
        in
        > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
        energy.
        > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
        of
        > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
        >
        > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
        (refrigerant)
        > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
        silica
        > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
        > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
        > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
        > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
        >
        > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
        opportunity
        > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
        > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
        > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
        > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
        be
        > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
        > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
        > the unit works. I like that!
        >
        > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
        > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
        >
        > Billy Bell
        > PO Box 926
        > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
        >
        > 713-439-1115 Telephone
        > 281-346-0994 Fax
        > wmb@...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
      • Robert Johnston
        Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is hard to find here! However, there wasn t much comment on this note from Billy Bell
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
          hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
          Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
          cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

          Billy Bell
          PO Box 926
          Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        • William M. Bell, Jr.
          Robert: Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a little more complicated. I designed a system that used chilled water to
          Message 4 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


            > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
            > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
            > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
            > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
            >
            > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
            > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
            area
            > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
            of
            > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
            > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
            > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
            >
            > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
            our
            > area?
            > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
            > are:
            >
            > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
            > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
            solar
            > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
            help
            > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
            > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
            >
            > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
            is
            > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
            good?
            > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
            the
            > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
            > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
            A/C's.
            > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
            > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
            > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
            > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
            they
            > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
            > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
            I'd
            > like to see discussed.
            >
            > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
            > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
            was
            > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
            > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
            > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
            > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
            > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
            were
            > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
            > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
            > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
            > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
            > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
            may
            > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
            > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
            an
            > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
            have
            > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
            > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
            find
            > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
            >
            > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
            > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
            get
            > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
            >
            > Robert Johnston
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
            > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
            > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
            > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
            >
            >
            > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
            > are
            > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
            > me.
            > >
            > > Steve Stelzer
            >
            > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
            > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
            > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
            >
            > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
            > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
            > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
            energy
            > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
            > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
            in
            > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
            energy.
            > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
            of
            > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
            >
            > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
            (refrigerant)
            > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
            silica
            > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
            > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
            > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
            > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
            >
            > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
            opportunity
            > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
            > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
            > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
            > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
            be
            > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
            > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
            > the unit works. I like that!
            >
            > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
            > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
            >
            > Billy Bell
            > PO Box 926
            > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
            >
            > 713-439-1115 Telephone
            > 281-346-0994 Fax
            > wmb@...
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
          • B ridget Jensen
            I was interested in the geothermal heat pump form of air conditioning. Where space is limited and holes must be drilled rather than simply trenching and
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              I was interested in the geothermal heat pump form of air conditioning.
              Where space is limited and holes must be drilled rather than simply
              trenching and burying the pipe over a large area, the cost does go up
              considerably I've been told. Nonetheless, I was still keen on putting in
              such a system. That is, until my existing system went totally out in the
              middle of summer and I wanted a/c asap. If most consumers are like me, they
              won't replace something that's still working. But then, when it does go
              out, there's no time to wait for installation of the geothermal heat pump,
              not to mention securing the loans that may be needed to pay for it.

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

              Bridget Jensen

              > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
              > Reply-To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              > Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 18:14:18 -0500
              > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
              > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
              >
              > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
              > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
              > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
              > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
              >
              > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
              > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this area
              > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts of
              > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
              > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
              > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
              >
              > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in our
              > area?
              > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
              > are:
              >
              > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
              > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient solar
              > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would help
              > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
              > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
              >
              > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it is
              > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not good?
              > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in the
              > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
              > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight A/C's.
              > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
              > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
              > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
              > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because they
              > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
              > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions I'd
              > like to see discussed.
              >
              > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
              > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it was
              > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
              > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
              > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
              > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
              > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops were
              > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
              > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
              > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
              > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
              > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it may
              > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
              > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such an
              > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might have
              > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
              > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could find
              > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
              >
              > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
              > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can get
              > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
              >
              > Robert Johnston
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
              > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
              > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
              >
              >
              >> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
              > are
              >> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
              > me.
              >>
              >> Steve Stelzer
              >
              > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
              > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
              > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
              >
              > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
              > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
              > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an energy
              > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
              > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used in
              > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable energy.
              > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount of
              > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
              >
              > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia (refrigerant)
              > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and silica
              > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
              > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
              > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
              > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
              >
              > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much opportunity
              > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
              > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
              > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
              > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could be
              > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
              > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
              > the unit works. I like that!
              >
              > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
              > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
              >
              > Billy Bell
              > PO Box 926
              > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
              >
              > 713-439-1115 Telephone
              > 281-346-0994 Fax
              > wmb@...
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              >
              >
            • Terry Ross
              I know nothing about much of this. However, geothermal is quite interesting. I have a 4 story apartment complex with thru wall heating and cooling units
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                I know nothing about much of this. However, geothermal is quite
                interesting. I have a 4 story apartment complex with thru wall heating
                and cooling units (heat-strip). The utility bills, as you might
                imagine, are quite expensive -- $7,800 for 100 1 BR 560 sf units. I
                have one central unit that cools/heats the office, community room and
                part of the hall. I probably have enough land area to lay pipes -- I
                just don't know the cost. I also don't know if I can replace the thru
                wall units that are closely akin to window units with water-source heat
                pumps.

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

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

                Solar has got to be cheaper!

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

                Terry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

                Billy Bell
                PO Box 926
                Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





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








                Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
              • ChasMauch@aol.com
                I did a search under geo thermal air conditioners and come up with 880 listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran seems to be a
                Message 7 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                • 0 Attachment
                  I did a search under "geo thermal air conditioners" and come up with 880
                  listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran
                  seems to be a big operator in the geo thermal field. They have a lot of
                  general info on their web site at:

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

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

                  Charlie
                • Polly Ledvina
                  The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good: http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm Polly ... From: ChasMauch@aol.com To:
                  Message 8 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good:  http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm
                     
                    Polly
                     
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 7:56 PM
                    Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners

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

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

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

                    Charlie


                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                  • Robert Johnston
                    I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a very casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I d learned
                    Message 9 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a
                      very
                      casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I'd
                      learned
                      about, and none of them could even start working on it for a couple weeks,
                      and
                      then the cost was very high, and they couldn't give me any reliable
                      information
                      about what my cost savings would be on electricity, or whether the mold
                      issue in
                      this area was real or not, etc.

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

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

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

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

                      Robert

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


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

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

                      Bridget Jensen

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





                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    • Robert Johnston
                      I hadn t noticed the weblinks in my quick read before. Adsorption/absorption chillers are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are
                      Message 10 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I hadn't noticed the weblinks in my quick read before.
                        Adsorption/absorption chillers
                        are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are efficient
                        on an
                        industrial scale. I don't know what factors have kept them from scaling
                        down to
                        home use, but it would be interesting if they could.

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

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

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

                        Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

                        Robert

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


                        Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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





                        Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      • dans1
                        Air Conditioning and other things. One of the major reasons that Biomass A?c has not taken off in the Houston area has to do with the water table around here.
                        Message 11 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Air Conditioning and other things.

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

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

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

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

                          This is just my two cents worth.
                          Dan

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


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

                            William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:

                            > Robert:
                            >
                            > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a
                            > little more complicated.
                            >
                            > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                            > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                            > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                            >
                            > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                            > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you looked
                            > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of such
                            > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                            > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                            > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information is
                            > scarce.
                            >
                            > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                            > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is also
                            > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                            > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated water
                            > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with a
                            > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                            > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                            > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I have
                            > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has stopped
                            > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air conditioner
                            > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air. The
                            > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in. I
                            > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size) and
                            > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps. I
                            > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to cool
                            > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                            > wells.
                            >
                            > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                            > from sharing our knowledge.
                            >
                            > ----- Original Message -----
                            > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                            > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                            > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                            > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                            >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                            >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                            >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                            >>
                            >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                            >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                            >
                            > area
                            >
                            >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                            >
                            > of
                            >
                            >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                            >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                            >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                            >>
                            >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                            >
                            > our
                            >
                            >> area?
                            >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                            >> are:
                            >>
                            >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                            >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                            >
                            > solar
                            >
                            >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                            >
                            > help
                            >
                            >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                            >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                            >>
                            >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                            >
                            > is
                            >
                            >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                            >
                            > good?
                            >
                            >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                            >
                            > the
                            >
                            >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                            >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                            >
                            > A/C's.
                            >
                            >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                            >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                            >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                            >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                            >
                            > they
                            >
                            >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                            >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                            >
                            > I'd
                            >
                            >> like to see discussed.
                            >>
                            >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                            >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                            >
                            > was
                            >
                            >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                            >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                            >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                            >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                            >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                            >
                            > were
                            >
                            >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                            >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                            >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                            >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                            >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                            >
                            > may
                            >
                            >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                            >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                            >
                            > an
                            >
                            >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                            >
                            > have
                            >
                            >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                            >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                            >
                            > find
                            >
                            >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                            >>
                            >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                            >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                            >
                            > get
                            >
                            >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                            >>
                            >> Robert Johnston
                            >>
                            >> -----Original Message-----
                            >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                            >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                            >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                            >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                            >>
                            >> are
                            >>
                            >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                            >>
                            >> me.
                            >>
                            >>> Steve Stelzer
                            >>
                            >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                            >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                            >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                            >>
                            >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                            >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                            >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                            >
                            > energy
                            >
                            >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                            >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                            >
                            > in
                            >
                            >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                            >
                            > energy.
                            >
                            >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                            >
                            > of
                            >
                            >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                            >>
                            >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                            >
                            > (refrigerant)
                            >
                            >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                            >
                            > silica
                            >
                            >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                            >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                            >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                            >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                            >>
                            >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                            >
                            > opportunity
                            >
                            >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                            >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                            >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                            >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                            >
                            > be
                            >
                            >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                            >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                            >> the unit works. I like that!
                            >>
                            >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                            >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                            >>
                            >> Billy Bell
                            >> PO Box 926
                            >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                            >>
                            >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                            >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                            >> wmb@...
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>
                            >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            >>
                            >>
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Kevin L. Conlin
                            Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers don t work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate, plus most
                            Message 13 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers
                              don't work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate,
                              plus most solar thermal water heaters are not very efficient in the
                              temperature range these units need to run efficiently, typically around
                              boiling, 200 degrees plus. Although evacuated tube absorbers can reach this
                              range comfortably, they do not work well in Houston because of the
                              relatively low insolation levels. A large array is required. When I was in
                              the solar thermal business we did a feasibility to use solar AC at Moody
                              Gardens. The evacuated tube solar array was huge, as were the insulated
                              storage tanks, and the system was very expensive. Typically these
                              absorption units are designed to run on low grade steam left over from
                              manufacturing. I have seen large industrial systems like you mentioned that
                              have been running for decades with little maintenance and few problems, so
                              the technology is sound and proven, just not real compatible with most solar
                              thermal technologies.

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

                                Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

                                Robert

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


                                Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


                                > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                                > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                                > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                                > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                >
                                > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                                > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                area
                                > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                                of
                                > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                                > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                >
                                > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                                our
                                > area?
                                > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                                > are:
                                >
                                > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                solar
                                > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                help
                                > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                                > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                >
                                > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                                is
                                > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                good?
                                > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                                the
                                > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                                > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                A/C's.
                                > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                                > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                                > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                                > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                they
                                > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                                > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                                I'd
                                > like to see discussed.
                                >
                                > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                                > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                                was
                                > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                                > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                                > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                were
                                > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                                > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                                > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                may
                                > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                                an
                                > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                have
                                > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                find
                                > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                >
                                > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                                > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                                get
                                > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                >
                                > Robert Johnston
                                >
                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                >
                                >
                                > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                                > are
                                > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                                > me.
                                > >
                                > > Steve Stelzer
                                >
                                > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                >
                                > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                                > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                energy
                                > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                                in
                                > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                energy.
                                > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                                of
                                > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                >
                                > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                (refrigerant)
                                > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                silica
                                > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                                > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                                > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                                > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                >
                                > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                opportunity
                                > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                                > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                                > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                                > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                                be
                                > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                                > the unit works. I like that!
                                >
                                > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                >
                                > Billy Bell
                                > PO Box 926
                                > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                >
                                > 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                > 281-346-0994 Fax
                                > wmb@...
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > 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 15 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Kim,

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

                                  ccfoster@...



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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

                                    Billy Bell
                                    PO Box 926
                                    Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





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

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

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

                                      Robert

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


                                      Kim,

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

                                      ccfoster@...



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




                                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                    • Robert Johnston
                                      Correction: Make that a pleasant 70?F ! ... From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@brazosport.cc.tx.us] Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 7:01 AM To:
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Correction: Make that "a pleasant 70?F"!

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


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

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

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

                                        Robert

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


                                        Kim,

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

                                        ccfoster@...



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




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                                        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 19 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          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 20 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            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/
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > >
                                            > > 
                                            > >
                                            > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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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 21 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              Thanks Laverne for the clarification.  I just remember that your comments were sufficiently sobering that
                                              I started looking for other avenues.  Your new comments only add to those concerns.  I think you are
                                              right about the mold and mildew liabilities.  It may be tougher for the class action lawyers since there isn't
                                              a single deep pocketed company like Johns Mansville, but I imagine there are enough major builders like
                                              U.S. Homes etc. that they can find enough targets to keep them in BMW's for a few years at least.
                                               
                                              Robert
                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                              Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 1:05 PM
                                              To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

                                              > Hi,
                                              >
                                              >  
                                              >
                                              >
                                              > > I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has in mind.
                                              >
                                              > I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web.  PEX
                                              > hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8' height.  Roth
                                              > is using such systems commercially and has an extensive web site.  At
                                              > roth.com I think.
                                              >
                                              >   In particular, I'm
                                              > > wondering,
                                              > > If you live in a hot humid area,
                                              >
                                              > I live 100 miles north-northwest of Houston.
                                              >
                                              > is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                              > > cold air
                                              > > or water into the house WITHOUT also having dehumidificatio built into the
                                              > > cooling
                                              > > system setting oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                              > > Disease?  e.g.,
                                              > > suppose you could use water pipes or any other technology to cool the walls
                                              > > and floor
                                              > > of your home to a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night. 
                                              >
                                              > We may need to bring in a dehumidifier, but I like my home at 50%
                                              > humidity.  In Canada we used humidifiers to raise it this high.
                                              > Anything below this, we find uncomfortable.  I am sorry, but I do not
                                              > find 70 degrees comfortable.  The joy of living in Texas is I never need
                                              > to be cool or cold again.  We are ranchers and work outside, a
                                              > temperature of 76 to 78 is comfortable to us.  Our guest room has a
                                              > separate control so company can sleep in cooler temperatures.  [We are
                                              > putting in a well screened sleeping porch for most of the year]
                                              >
                                              > Our closets are 6" deeper than normal to allow air circulation. We do
                                              > not use wall to wall carpet, only area rugs. The big trick is to have a
                                              > super insulated building with wide porches, good ventilation and never
                                              > let it get hot. We first looked at the historical buildings in Texas and
                                              > how they kept them cool without electricity.  Then we tried to design as
                                              > many of those ideas as possible into our buildings so our cooling
                                              > demands are not those of a normal tract home.
                                              >
                                              > The temperature difference between the cooling and ambient temperatures
                                              > can not be too great, [say over 15 degrees] or you have a real problem.
                                              > The water we are using to cool is 65 degrees. The cool water comes in at
                                              > the wall, where it has a drip tray built under it, then circulates in
                                              > the floor before exiting.
                                              >
                                              > If we ever let it get hot in the building, we would have to use some
                                              > window units or something to cool the building or wait a long time to
                                              > gradually lower the temperature.  We have not built our main house yet,
                                              > we are working on our shops and installing all of our ideas there, first.
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >  (A vapor barrier would be meaningless if you are not drying
                                              > > the air
                                              > > inside).
                                              >
                                              > We do not use vapor barriers as our buildings are fibrous adobe.
                                              >
                                              > >
                                              > > LaVerne Williams, are you reading this?  Did I summarize your comments
                                              > > accurately?
                                              > > Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY approaches to cooling a
                                              > > house here
                                              > > without simultaneously providing dehumidification?  As long as the house
                                              > > stays near
                                              > > ambient temperature I would think things would be OK, but the concern is
                                              > > that you
                                              > > might cool the house below ambient in a humid environment.  Care to comment
                                              > > on what
                                              > > appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water pipes?
                                              > >
                                              > > Robert
                                              > >
                                              > > -----Original Message-----
                                              > > From: Claude Foster [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                              > > Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:51 AM
                                              > > To:
                                              'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                              > > Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > > Kim,
                                              > >
                                              > > I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              ccfoster@...
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >
                                              > >> -----Original Message-----
                                              > >> From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                              > >> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                              > >> To:
                                              hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                              > >>
                                              > >> Hi,
                                              > >> I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building.  My
                                              > >> circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool.  I installed my
                                              > >> pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                              > >> feet.  In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                              > >> be washing the heat away.  The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                              > >> installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                              > >> Kim
                                              > >>
                                              > >> William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                              > >>
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> Robert:
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                              > >>
                                              > >> life a
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> little more complicated.
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                              > >>
                                              > >> to
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                              > >>> holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                              > >>> solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                              > >>
                                              > >> looked
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                              > >>
                                              > >> such
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                              > >>> chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                              > >>> problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                              > >>
                                              > >> information is
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> scarce.
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                              > >>> encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                              > >>
                                              > >> also
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                              > >>
                                              > >> geothermal
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                              > >>
                                              > >> water
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                              > >>
                                              > >> with a
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                              > >>> cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                              > >>
                                              > >> their
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                              > >>
                                              > >> have
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                              > >>
                                              > >> stopped
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                              > >>
                                              > >> conditioner
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                              > >>
                                              > >> The
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                              > >>
                                              > >> in. I
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                              > >>
                                              > >> and
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                              > >>
                                              > >> pumps. I
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                              > >>
                                              > >> cool
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                              > >>> wells.
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                              > >>
                                              > >> benefit
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> from sharing our knowledge.
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> ----- Original Message -----
                                              > >>> From: "Robert Johnston" <
                                              rjohnsto@...>
                                              > >>> To: <
                                              hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                              > >>> Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                              > >>> Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> is
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> hard to find here!  However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> from
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> thermoelectric
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> see
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> more discussion on.  This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> area
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> parts
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> of
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> the country can do.  The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                              > >>>> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already!  In any case, even in a
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> closed
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> in
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> our
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> area?
                                              > >>>> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> etc.)
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> are:
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> 1.  Dessicators.  I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                              > >>>> commercial buildings in some locations.  I don't know if any efficient
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> solar
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> units have been designed.  But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> help
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> a lot.  And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> in
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> 2.  Geothermal units.  I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> it
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> is
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> their installation expense.  Why are they so expensive?  Are they not
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> good?
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> in
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> the
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> heat pump part of the installation.  I don't know if that is true.  He
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> is
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> A/C's.
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> compressed
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium.  I've
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> seen
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> is a
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> lot of hype by vendors.  Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> they
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> installation?
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> What is the payback period in this area, then?  These are some
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> questions
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> I'd
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> like to see discussed.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> to
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> it
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> was
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> managed OK.  (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience).  I
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> also
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> warden's
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                              > >>>> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36.  It is a duplex unit.  The houses have
                                              > >>>> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> were
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> solar collectors.  They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                              > >>>> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> about
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> their ammonia cooling systems.  This would have been around 1981-85
                                              > >>>> timeframe.  I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> know
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> why.  It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> may
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                              > >>>> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> such
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> an
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> have
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> caused rethinking of the project down the road.  Or, it may be that the
                                              > >>>> units just didn't hold up to use.  I don't know, but I assume you could
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> find
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> or
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> can
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> get
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> Robert Johnston
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> -----Original Message-----
                                              > >>>> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                              > >>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                              > >>>> To:
                                              hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                              > >>>> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >> Who
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> are
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>> they from?  tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <
                                              envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >> for
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> me.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>> Steve Stelzer
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                              > >>>> Kidding  ; )  Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                              > >>>> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> spare
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                              > >>>> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> energy
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                              > >>>> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> used
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> in
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> energy.
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> amount
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> of
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> (refrigerant)
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> silica
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> too
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> a
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> it
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>> opportunity
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> coolers.
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> the
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> our
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> could
                                              > >>
                                              > >>> be
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>
                                              > >>>> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                              > >>>> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                              > >>>
                                              > >> harder
                                              > >>
                                              > >>>> the unit works. I like that!
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> Some helpful web sites:
                                              http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                              > >>>> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> Billy Bell
                                              > >>>> PO Box 926
                                              > >>>> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                              > >>>> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                              > >>>>
                                              wmb@...
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>>
                                              > >>>> 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/
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                                              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                            • 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 22 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
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                                                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 23 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
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                                                  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 24 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance companies with the any punitive damages.  If this is true, then the overall liability to the insurance companies wouldn't be astronomical.  But I'm no lawyer.  They do some amazing things, especially in Texas.  It is a wonder sometimes that there are any companies left selling anything!  Maybe eventually everyone will build everything themselves and have only themselves to blame for failure.  I don't know what lawyers would do for a living then.  Probably sue parents on behalf of children upset that they were born into such a miserable world.  :-)
                                                     
                                                    Robert
                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                                    Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 12:40 PM
                                                    To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

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

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



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                                                  • 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 25 of 28 , Sep 8, 2001
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                                                      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.






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                                                    • 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 26 of 28 , Sep 9, 2001
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Thanks, Mike.

                                                        Regarding your responses to the numbered points:

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

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

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

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

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

                                                        Robert

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


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

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

                                                        I have not followed up on Bergquam.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                        Thanks for your comments,

                                                        Robert Johnston


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


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






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







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