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Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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/
                                      >




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








                                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                    • Kim & Garth Travis
                                      Hi, ... I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web. PEX hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8 height. Roth is
                                      Message 18 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 19 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/
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                                          >>
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > 
                                          > >
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                                        • 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 20 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
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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 21 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it!
                                              Here are a few comments/questions...

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                              Thanks for your comments,

                                              Robert Johnston


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


                                              Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.
                                            • LaVerne Williams
                                              Robert: Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                Robert: 
                                                Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are who the attorneys are going after.  Listen to Tom Tynon on KTRH Radio, AM740.
                                                 
                                                LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                                laverne@...
                                                Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                                5828 Langfield Road
                                                Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                                713.528.0000
                                                 
                                                 
                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:06 PM
                                                Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

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

                                              • Robert Johnston
                                                I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance
                                                Message 23 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 24 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 25 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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