Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Solar Air Conditioners

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
      Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
      hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
      Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
      cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

      Billy Bell
      PO Box 926
      Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
    • William M. Bell, Jr.
      Robert: Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a little more complicated. I designed a system that used chilled water to
      Message 2 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
        Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


        > Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
        > hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
        > Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
        > cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
        >
        > However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
        > more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
        area
        > ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
        of
        > the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
        > Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
        > system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
        >
        > Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
        our
        > area?
        > Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
        > are:
        >
        > 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
        > commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
        solar
        > units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
        help
        > a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
        > as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
        >
        > 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
        is
        > their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
        good?
        > A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
        the
        > heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
        > death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
        A/C's.
        > But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
        > gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
        > some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
        > lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
        they
        > don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
        > What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
        I'd
        > like to see discussed.
        >
        > As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
        > be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
        was
        > managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
        > know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
        > homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
        > FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
        > optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
        were
        > solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
        > recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
        > their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
        > timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
        > why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
        may
        > have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
        > institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
        an
        > unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
        have
        > caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
        > units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
        find
        > out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
        >
        > In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
        > just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
        get
        > a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
        >
        > Robert Johnston
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
        > Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
        > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
        >
        >
        > > Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
        > are
        > > they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
        > me.
        > >
        > > Steve Stelzer
        >
        > I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
        > Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
        > concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
        >
        > By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
        > time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
        > alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
        energy
        > source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
        > adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
        in
        > residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
        energy.
        > Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
        of
        > electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
        >
        > The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
        (refrigerant)
        > and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
        silica
        > gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
        > dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
        > system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
        > evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
        >
        > There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
        opportunity
        > to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
        > When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
        > other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
        > water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
        be
        > used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
        > panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
        > the unit works. I like that!
        >
        > Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
        > http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
        >
        > Billy Bell
        > PO Box 926
        > Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
        >
        > 713-439-1115 Telephone
        > 281-346-0994 Fax
        > wmb@...
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • B ridget Jensen
        I was interested in the geothermal heat pump form of air conditioning. Where space is limited and holes must be drilled rather than simply trenching and
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
          I was interested in the geothermal heat pump form of air conditioning.
          Where space is limited and holes must be drilled rather than simply
          trenching and burying the pipe over a large area, the cost does go up
          considerably I've been told. Nonetheless, I was still keen on putting in
          such a system. That is, until my existing system went totally out in the
          middle of summer and I wanted a/c asap. If most consumers are like me, they
          won't replace something that's still working. But then, when it does go
          out, there's no time to wait for installation of the geothermal heat pump,
          not to mention securing the loans that may be needed to pay for it.

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

          Bridget Jensen

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

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

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

            Solar has got to be cheaper!

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

            Terry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

            Billy Bell
            PO Box 926
            Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





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








            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
            http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • ChasMauch@aol.com
            I did a search under geo thermal air conditioners and come up with 880 listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran seems to be a
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
              I did a search under "geo thermal air conditioners" and come up with 880
              listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran
              seems to be a big operator in the geo thermal field. They have a lot of
              general info on their web site at:

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

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

              Charlie
            • Polly Ledvina
              The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good: http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm Polly ... From: ChasMauch@aol.com To:
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good:  http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm
                 
                Polly
                 
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 7:56 PM
                Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners

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

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

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

                Charlie


                Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              • Robert Johnston
                I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a very casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I d learned
                Message 7 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                  I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a
                  very
                  casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I'd
                  learned
                  about, and none of them could even start working on it for a couple weeks,
                  and
                  then the cost was very high, and they couldn't give me any reliable
                  information
                  about what my cost savings would be on electricity, or whether the mold
                  issue in
                  this area was real or not, etc.

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

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

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

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

                  Robert

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


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

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

                  Bridget Jensen

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





                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • Robert Johnston
                  I hadn t noticed the weblinks in my quick read before. Adsorption/absorption chillers are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are
                  Message 8 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                    I hadn't noticed the weblinks in my quick read before.
                    Adsorption/absorption chillers
                    are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are efficient
                    on an
                    industrial scale. I don't know what factors have kept them from scaling
                    down to
                    home use, but it would be interesting if they could.

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

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

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

                    Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

                    Robert

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


                    Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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





                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  • dans1
                    Air Conditioning and other things. One of the major reasons that Biomass A?c has not taken off in the Houston area has to do with the water table around here.
                    Message 9 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
                      Air Conditioning and other things.

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

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

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

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

                      This is just my two cents worth.
                      Dan

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


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

                        William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:

                        > Robert:
                        >
                        > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a
                        > little more complicated.
                        >
                        > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                        > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                        > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                        >
                        > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                        > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you looked
                        > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of such
                        > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                        > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                        > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information is
                        > scarce.
                        >
                        > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                        > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is also
                        > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                        > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated water
                        > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with a
                        > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                        > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                        > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I have
                        > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has stopped
                        > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air conditioner
                        > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air. The
                        > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in. I
                        > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size) and
                        > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps. I
                        > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to cool
                        > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                        > wells.
                        >
                        > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                        > from sharing our knowledge.
                        >
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                        > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                        > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                        >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                        >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                        >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                        >>
                        >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                        >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                        >
                        > area
                        >
                        >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                        >
                        > of
                        >
                        >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                        >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                        >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                        >>
                        >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                        >
                        > our
                        >
                        >> area?
                        >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                        >> are:
                        >>
                        >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                        >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                        >
                        > solar
                        >
                        >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                        >
                        > help
                        >
                        >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                        >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                        >>
                        >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                        >
                        > is
                        >
                        >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                        >
                        > good?
                        >
                        >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                        >
                        > the
                        >
                        >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                        >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                        >
                        > A/C's.
                        >
                        >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                        >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                        >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                        >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                        >
                        > they
                        >
                        >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                        >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                        >
                        > I'd
                        >
                        >> like to see discussed.
                        >>
                        >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                        >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                        >
                        > was
                        >
                        >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                        >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                        >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                        >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                        >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                        >
                        > were
                        >
                        >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                        >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                        >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                        >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                        >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                        >
                        > may
                        >
                        >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                        >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                        >
                        > an
                        >
                        >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                        >
                        > have
                        >
                        >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                        >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                        >
                        > find
                        >
                        >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                        >>
                        >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                        >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                        >
                        > get
                        >
                        >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                        >>
                        >> Robert Johnston
                        >>
                        >> -----Original Message-----
                        >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                        >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                        >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                        >>
                        >> are
                        >>
                        >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                        >>
                        >> me.
                        >>
                        >>> Steve Stelzer
                        >>
                        >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                        >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                        >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                        >>
                        >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                        >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                        >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                        >
                        > energy
                        >
                        >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                        >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                        >
                        > in
                        >
                        >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                        >
                        > energy.
                        >
                        >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                        >
                        > of
                        >
                        >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                        >>
                        >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                        >
                        > (refrigerant)
                        >
                        >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                        >
                        > silica
                        >
                        >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                        >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                        >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                        >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                        >>
                        >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                        >
                        > opportunity
                        >
                        >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                        >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                        >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                        >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                        >
                        > be
                        >
                        >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                        >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                        >> the unit works. I like that!
                        >>
                        >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                        >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                        >>
                        >> Billy Bell
                        >> PO Box 926
                        >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                        >>
                        >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                        >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                        >> wmb@...
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >>
                        >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >>
                        >>
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      • Kevin L. Conlin
                        Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers don t work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate, plus most
                        Message 11 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                          Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers
                          don't work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate,
                          plus most solar thermal water heaters are not very efficient in the
                          temperature range these units need to run efficiently, typically around
                          boiling, 200 degrees plus. Although evacuated tube absorbers can reach this
                          range comfortably, they do not work well in Houston because of the
                          relatively low insolation levels. A large array is required. When I was in
                          the solar thermal business we did a feasibility to use solar AC at Moody
                          Gardens. The evacuated tube solar array was huge, as were the insulated
                          storage tanks, and the system was very expensive. Typically these
                          absorption units are designed to run on low grade steam left over from
                          manufacturing. I have seen large industrial systems like you mentioned that
                          have been running for decades with little maintenance and few problems, so
                          the technology is sound and proven, just not real compatible with most solar
                          thermal technologies.

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

                            Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

                            Robert

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


                            Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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





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








                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Claude Foster
                            Kim, I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly. ccfoster@lan-inc.com
                            Message 13 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                              Kim,

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

                              ccfoster@...



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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

                                Billy Bell
                                PO Box 926
                                Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





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








                                Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                              • Robert Johnston
                                At a tradeshow in Houston a few years ago I met and chatted briefly with LaVerne Williams. I asked his opinion about cool tubes --those buried PVC pipes that
                                Message 15 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                  At a tradeshow in Houston a few years ago I met and chatted briefly with
                                  LaVerne
                                  Williams. I asked his opinion about "cool tubes"--those buried PVC pipes
                                  that run
                                  for a length underground and allow you to bring outside air into the home
                                  after
                                  letting it cool in indirect contact with the earth. My recollection of his
                                  comment
                                  was that it was an ideal breeding ground for Legionnaire's Disease, and he
                                  wouldn't
                                  recommend it. Since I had seen such a solution recommended for our area in
                                  the
                                  "Earthship" books, his comment made quite an impression on me and left me
                                  wondering
                                  what kind of cooling WOULD work, and that ongoing question is why I started
                                  this
                                  thread.

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

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

                                  Robert

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


                                  Kim,

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

                                  ccfoster@...



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




                                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                • Robert Johnston
                                  Correction: Make that a pleasant 70?F ! ... From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@brazosport.cc.tx.us] Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 7:01 AM To:
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                    Correction: Make that "a pleasant 70?F"!

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


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

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

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

                                    Robert

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


                                    Kim,

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

                                    ccfoster@...



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




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








                                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                  • Kim & Garth Travis
                                    Hi, ... I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web. PEX hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8 height. Roth is
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                      Hi,




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

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

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

                                      I live 100 miles north-northwest of Houston.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

                                      >
                                      > LaVerne Williams, are you reading this? Did I summarize your comments
                                      > accurately?
                                      > Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY approaches to cooling a
                                      > house here
                                      > without simultaneously providing dehumidification? As long as the house
                                      > stays near
                                      > ambient temperature I would think things would be OK, but the concern is
                                      > that you
                                      > might cool the house below ambient in a humid environment. Care to comment
                                      > on what
                                      > appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water pipes?
                                      >
                                      > Robert
                                      >
                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                      > From: Claude Foster [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                      > Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:51 AM
                                      > To: 'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                      > Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Kim,
                                      >
                                      > I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.
                                      >
                                      > ccfoster@...
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >> -----Original Message-----
                                      >> From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                      >> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                      >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                      >>
                                      >> Hi,
                                      >> I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My
                                      >> circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. I installed my
                                      >> pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                      >> feet. In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                      >> be washing the heat away. The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                      >> installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                      >> Kim
                                      >>
                                      >> William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                      >>
                                      >>
                                      >>> Robert:
                                      >>>
                                      >>> Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                      >>
                                      >> life a
                                      >>
                                      >>> little more complicated.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                      >>
                                      >> to
                                      >>
                                      >>> heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                      >>> holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                      >>> solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                      >>
                                      >> looked
                                      >>
                                      >>> at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                      >>
                                      >> such
                                      >>
                                      >>> a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                      >>> chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                      >>> problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                      >>
                                      >> information is
                                      >>
                                      >>> scarce.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                      >>> encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                      >>
                                      >> also
                                      >>
                                      >>> a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                      >>
                                      >> geothermal
                                      >>
                                      >>> that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                      >>
                                      >> water
                                      >>
                                      >>> through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                      >>
                                      >> with a
                                      >>
                                      >>> company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                      >>> cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                      >>
                                      >> their
                                      >>
                                      >>> machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                      >>
                                      >> have
                                      >>
                                      >>> no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                      >>
                                      >> stopped
                                      >>
                                      >>> me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                      >>
                                      >> conditioner
                                      >>
                                      >>> blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                      >>
                                      >> The
                                      >>
                                      >>> idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                      >>
                                      >> in. I
                                      >>
                                      >>> wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                      >>
                                      >> and
                                      >>
                                      >>> have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                      >>
                                      >> pumps. I
                                      >>
                                      >>> have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                      >>
                                      >> cool
                                      >>
                                      >>> his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                      >>> wells.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                      >>
                                      >> benefit
                                      >>
                                      >>> from sharing our knowledge.
                                      >>>
                                      >>> ----- Original Message -----
                                      >>> From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                                      >>> To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                      >>> Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                      >>> Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                      >>>
                                      >> is
                                      >>
                                      >>>> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                      >>>
                                      >> from
                                      >>
                                      >>>> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                      >>>
                                      >> thermoelectric
                                      >>
                                      >>>> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                      >>>
                                      >> see
                                      >>
                                      >>>> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                      >>>
                                      >>> area
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                      >>>
                                      >> parts
                                      >>
                                      >>> of
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                      >>>> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                                      >>>
                                      >> closed
                                      >>
                                      >>>> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                      >>>
                                      >> in
                                      >>
                                      >>> our
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> area?
                                      >>>> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                      >>>
                                      >> etc.)
                                      >>
                                      >>>> are:
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                      >>>> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                                      >>>
                                      >>> solar
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                      >>>
                                      >>> help
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                      >>>
                                      >> in
                                      >>
                                      >>>> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                      >>>
                                      >> it
                                      >>
                                      >>> is
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                                      >>>
                                      >>> good?
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                      >>>
                                      >> in
                                      >>
                                      >>> the
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                                      >>>
                                      >> is
                                      >>
                                      >>>> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                      >>>
                                      >>> A/C's.
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                      >>>
                                      >> compressed
                                      >>
                                      >>>> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                                      >>>
                                      >> seen
                                      >>
                                      >>>> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                      >>>
                                      >> is a
                                      >>
                                      >>>> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                      >>>
                                      >>> they
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                      >>>
                                      >> installation?
                                      >>
                                      >>>> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some
                                      >>>
                                      >> questions
                                      >>
                                      >>> I'd
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> like to see discussed.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                      >>>
                                      >> to
                                      >>
                                      >>>> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                      >>>
                                      >> it
                                      >>
                                      >>> was
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                                      >>>
                                      >> also
                                      >>
                                      >>>> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                      >>>
                                      >> warden's
                                      >>
                                      >>>> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                      >>>> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                                      >>>> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                      >>>
                                      >>> were
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                      >>>> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                      >>>
                                      >> about
                                      >>
                                      >>>> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                                      >>>> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                      >>>
                                      >> know
                                      >>
                                      >>>> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                      >>>
                                      >>> may
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                      >>>> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                      >>>
                                      >> such
                                      >>
                                      >>> an
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                      >>>
                                      >>> have
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                                      >>>> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                                      >>>
                                      >>> find
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                      >>>
                                      >> or
                                      >>
                                      >>>> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                      >>>
                                      >> can
                                      >>
                                      >>> get
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Robert Johnston
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> -----Original Message-----
                                      >>>> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                      >>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                      >>>> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                      >>>> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                      >>>>
                                      >> Who
                                      >>
                                      >>>> are
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                      >>>>
                                      >> for
                                      >>
                                      >>>> me.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>> Steve Stelzer
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                      >>>> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                      >>>> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                      >>>
                                      >> spare
                                      >>
                                      >>>> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                      >>>> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                      >>>
                                      >>> energy
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                      >>>> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                      >>>
                                      >> used
                                      >>
                                      >>> in
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                      >>>
                                      >>> energy.
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                      >>>
                                      >> amount
                                      >>
                                      >>> of
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                      >>>
                                      >>> (refrigerant)
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                      >>>
                                      >>> silica
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                      >>>
                                      >> too
                                      >>
                                      >>>> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                      >>>
                                      >> a
                                      >>
                                      >>>> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                      >>>
                                      >> it
                                      >>
                                      >>>> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                      >>>
                                      >>> opportunity
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                      >>>
                                      >> coolers.
                                      >>
                                      >>>> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                      >>>
                                      >> the
                                      >>
                                      >>>> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                      >>>
                                      >> our
                                      >>
                                      >>>> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                      >>>
                                      >> could
                                      >>
                                      >>> be
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                      >>>> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                      >>>
                                      >> harder
                                      >>
                                      >>>> the unit works. I like that!
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                      >>>> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Billy Bell
                                      >>>> PO Box 926
                                      >>>> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                      >>>> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                      >>>> wmb@...
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                      >>>
                                      >> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                      >>>
                                      >> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >>
                                      >>>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>>
                                      >>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                      >>
                                      >> http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >>
                                      >>
                                      >>
                                      >>
                                      >>
                                      >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >>
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                    • LaVerne Williams
                                      Dear Kim & Garth & Robert Johnston: Robert: You have a good memory. I wish I could comment in detail but my current commitments are not leaving me much free
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                        Dear Kim & Garth & Robert Johnston:
                                         
                                        Robert:  You have a good memory.  I wish I could comment in detail but my current commitments are not leaving me much free time at all, but Kim is not talking about a "cool tube" concept, which would be a disaster health wise in probably most of Texas.  I think he is describing a system that is similar to a system being promoted from Dallas that has piping (metal. I think) that runs around a room with troughs below to catch the condensate to drain it.  I believe the McDermott Engineering building in West Houston used the system for a while but I believe they abandoned it.
                                         
                                        Being only 100 miles from Houston, Kim & Garth, I wouldn't recommend such a system here or even in dessert areas.  They are having terrific mold problems in desert area homes.  I am not sure why because I am not currently working on any projects in such areas, but it may be a combination of tight homes and the use of "swamp type coolers".  Or it just may be tight homes with conventional HVAC systems and poor construction not having a drainage plane or oversized cooling systems.  Of course, compared to conditions that are set up to have mold growth in dessert areas means horrendous blossoming of mold growth in the humid Gulf Coast and Central Texas areas.
                                         
                                        Anyway, mold will eventually form in the trough and if you could see what I am experiencing with people who have come to me because of very serious health problems they are having from mold in their houses, you would do everything possible to prevent mold from forming. (I'm working with a couple right now who decided to design and build their own house and now his wife has had around 17 strokes in her brain (MRI confirmed) primarily because of what mold  (and formaldehyde in common building materials)  can do.  They also have twins who are 5 years old who have only developed to that of 2 year olds, and one of them is not showing any signs of recovery.   I am helping them create a safe haven until we can do something more permanent for them).  I also have an Industrial Hygienist friend who is involved as an expert witness in over 1500 lawsuits because of mold growth and health problems with houses and buildings.  From what he has seen, the litigation concerning mold in buildings will dwarf what happened with asbestos in buildings
                                         
                                        Hope this helps. 
                                         
                                        To Everyone:  Molds kill.   Do everything you can to make your home mold free!!!  It is not something to take lightly.  Anytime and any place the relative humidity inside a home goes over 60% RH, mold grows!  (Aim for 50% RH or less year-round)  This woman was in such perfect health before they built their home 7 years ago that she worked out 2 hours a day!  Now she can barely care for herself and her twins.  They have had to abandon their house.
                                         
                                        LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                        laverne@...
                                        Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                        5828 Langfield Road
                                        Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                        713.528.0000
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                         
                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "Kim & Garth Travis" <gartht@...>
                                        Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:22 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

                                        > Hi,
                                        >
                                        >
                                         
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > > I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has
                                        in mind.
                                        >
                                        > I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company
                                        on the web.  PEX
                                        > hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls
                                        at the 8' height.  Roth
                                        > is using such systems commercially and has
                                        an extensive web site.  At
                                        > roth.com I think.
                                        >
                                        >
                                          In particular, I'm
                                        > > wondering,
                                        > > If you live in a
                                        hot humid area,
                                        >
                                        > I live 100 miles north-northwest of
                                        Houston.
                                        >
                                        > is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                        > >
                                        cold air
                                        > > or water into the house WITHOUT also having
                                        dehumidificatio built into the
                                        > > cooling
                                        > > system setting
                                        oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                        > >
                                        Disease?  e.g.,
                                        > > suppose you could use water pipes or any other
                                        technology to cool the walls
                                        > > and floor
                                        > > of your home to
                                        a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night. 
                                        >
                                        > We may
                                        need to bring in a dehumidifier, but I like my home at 50%
                                        >
                                        humidity.  In Canada we used humidifiers to raise it this high.
                                        >
                                        Anything below this, we find uncomfortable.  I am sorry, but I do not
                                        > find 70 degrees comfortable.  The joy of living in Texas is I
                                        never need
                                        > to be cool or cold again.  We are ranchers and work
                                        outside, a
                                        > temperature of 76 to 78 is comfortable to us.  Our
                                        guest room has a
                                        > separate control so company can sleep in cooler
                                        temperatures.  [We are
                                        > putting in a well screened sleeping porch
                                        for most of the year]
                                        >
                                        > Our closets are 6" deeper than normal to
                                        allow air circulation. We do
                                        > not use wall to wall carpet, only area
                                        rugs. The big trick is to have a
                                        > super insulated building with wide
                                        porches, good ventilation and never
                                        > let it get hot. We first looked at
                                        the historical buildings in Texas and
                                        > how they kept them cool without
                                        electricity.  Then we tried to design as
                                        > many of those ideas as
                                        possible into our buildings so our cooling
                                        > demands are not those of a
                                        normal tract home.
                                        >
                                        > The temperature difference between the
                                        cooling and ambient temperatures
                                        > can not be too great, [say over 15
                                        degrees] or you have a real problem.
                                        > The water we are using to cool is
                                        65 degrees. The cool water comes in at
                                        > the wall, where it has a drip
                                        tray built under it, then circulates in
                                        > the floor before
                                        exiting.
                                        >
                                        > If we ever let it get hot in the building, we would
                                        have to use some
                                        > window units or something to cool the building or wait
                                        a long time to
                                        > gradually lower the temperature.  We have not built
                                        our main house yet,
                                        > we are working on our shops and installing all of
                                        our ideas there, first.
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >  (A vapor barrier would
                                        be meaningless if you are not drying
                                        > > the air
                                        > >
                                        inside).
                                        >
                                        > We do not use vapor barriers as our buildings are
                                        fibrous adobe.
                                        >
                                        > >
                                        > > LaVerne Williams, are you
                                        reading this?  Did I summarize your comments
                                        > >
                                        accurately?
                                        > > Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY
                                        approaches to cooling a
                                        > > house here
                                        > > without
                                        simultaneously providing dehumidification?  As long as the house
                                        > > stays near
                                        > > ambient temperature I would think things would be
                                        OK, but the concern is
                                        > > that you
                                        > > might cool the house
                                        below ambient in a humid environment.  Care to comment
                                        > > on
                                        what
                                        > > appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water
                                        pipes?
                                        > >
                                        > > Robert
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        -----Original Message-----
                                        > > From: Claude Foster
                                        [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                        > > Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001
                                        7:51 AM
                                        > > To:
                                        size=2>'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                        > > Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        Kim,
                                        > >
                                        > > I will do some calculations for you if you will
                                        contact me directly.
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        href="mailto:ccfoster@...">ccfoster@...
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >> -----Original Message-----
                                        > >> From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                        > >>
                                        Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                        > >> To:
                                        href="mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com">hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                        > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                        > >>
                                        > >> Hi,
                                        > >> I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. 
                                        My
                                        > >> circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. 
                                        I installed my
                                        > >> pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled
                                        with plants that like wet
                                        > >> feet.  In the testing we have
                                        done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                        > >> be washing the heat
                                        away.  The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                        > >> installed
                                        at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                        > >>
                                        Kim
                                        > >>
                                        > >> William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                        > >>
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> Robert:
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It
                                        simply makes
                                        > >>
                                        > >> life a
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> little more complicated.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                        > >>
                                        > >> to
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> heat. The
                                        main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                        > >>>
                                        holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> I found a simpler design that used silica gel
                                        and water. It uses
                                        > >>> solar-heated water to squeeze the water
                                        out of the silica gel. If you
                                        > >>
                                        > >> looked
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> at the web site that I listed, you can see a
                                        commercial application of
                                        > >>
                                        > >> such
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> a system. It has much going for it: few moving
                                        parts; no corrosive
                                        > >>> chemicals; no excessive pressures or
                                        temperatures; and simple. The only
                                        > >>> problem is that I can't
                                        find any residential applications and
                                        > >>
                                        > >>
                                        information is
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> scarce.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main
                                        problem that I have
                                        > >>> encountered is that it is expensive to
                                        drill several wells and there is
                                        > >>
                                        > >> also
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> a fear that you could contaminate your drinking
                                        water. That is
                                        > >>
                                        > >> geothermal
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal
                                        that circulated
                                        > >>
                                        > >> water
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of
                                        mine worked
                                        > >>
                                        > >> with a
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber
                                        optic
                                        > >>> cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an
                                        easy matter to use
                                        > >>
                                        > >> their
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest
                                        obstacle, is that I
                                        > >>
                                        > >> have
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of
                                        knowledge has
                                        > >>
                                        > >> stopped
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in
                                        my air
                                        > >>
                                        > >> conditioner
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my
                                        air.
                                        > >>
                                        > >> The
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to
                                        kick
                                        > >>
                                        > >> in. I
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what
                                        size)
                                        > >>
                                        > >> and
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more
                                        it
                                        > >>
                                        > >> pumps. I
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it
                                        to
                                        > >>
                                        > >> cool
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with
                                        his
                                        > >>> wells.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                        > >>
                                        > >> benefit
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> from
                                        sharing our knowledge.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> ----- Original
                                        Message -----
                                        > >>> From: "Robert Johnston" <
                                        href="mailto:rjohnsto@...">rjohnsto@...>
                                        > >>> To: <
                                        size=2>hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                        > >>>
                                        Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                        > >>> Subject: [hreg] Solar
                                        Air Conditioners
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> Between the
                                        Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> is
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> hard to find
                                        here!  However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> from
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> Billy Bell
                                        except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> thermoelectric
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> cooling
                                        (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd
                                        love to
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> see
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> more discussion on.  This is obviously one of the main
                                        barriers to this
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> area
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> ever achieving the
                                        kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> parts
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> of
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> the country can do.  The
                                        use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                        > >>>> Arizona
                                        but not Houston--too humid already!  In any case, even in a
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> closed
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>>
                                        system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Anybody want to comment on what they
                                        think has the greatest potential
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>
                                        in
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> our
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> area?
                                        > >>>> Things
                                        that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> etc.)
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> are:
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> 1.  Dessicators.  I know
                                        that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                        > >>>>
                                        commercial buildings in some locations.  I don't know if any efficient
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> solar
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> units have been designed. 
                                        But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> help
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> a lot.  And then you might even be able to put a little
                                        cool water back
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> in
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> 2.  Geothermal units.  I'm
                                        puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> it
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> is
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> their installation
                                        expense.  Why are they so expensive?  Are they not
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> good?
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of
                                        problems with mold and odor
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> in
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> the
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> heat pump part of the installation.  I don't know
                                        if that is true.  He
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> is
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> death on heat pumps **period** for that
                                        reason, and prefers straight
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        A/C's.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> But
                                        there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> compressed
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> gas with
                                        ground temperature rather than air temperature medium.  I've
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> seen
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>>
                                        some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> is a
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>>
                                        lot of hype by vendors.  Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> they
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> don't work that well in
                                        practice, or is it just the cost of
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>
                                        installation?
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> What is the payback
                                        period in this area, then?  These are some
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> questions
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> I'd
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> like to see
                                        discussed.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> As far as ammonia
                                        goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> to
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> be used in
                                        refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> it
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> was
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> managed OK. 
                                        (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience).  I
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> also
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>>
                                        know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> warden's
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner
                                        of
                                        > >>>> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36.  It is a duplex
                                        unit.  The houses have
                                        > >>>> optimally sloping roofs
                                        aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> were
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> solar collectors.  They may have had solar hot water
                                        too--I don't
                                        > >>>> recall--but I remember reading in the
                                        newspaper when they built them
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>
                                        about
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> their ammonia cooling
                                        systems.  This would have been around 1981-85
                                        > >>>>
                                        timeframe.  I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> know
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> why.  It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with
                                        them--e.g., it
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> may
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> have been
                                        environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                        > >>>> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for
                                        handling
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> such
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> an
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite
                                        A/C's might
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> have
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> caused rethinking of the project
                                        down the road.  Or, it may be that the
                                        > >>>> units just
                                        didn't hold up to use.  I don't know, but I assume you could
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> find
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> out more by asking around, or writing
                                        TDC.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> In any case, if any of
                                        you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> or
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> just more efficient air
                                        conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> can
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> get
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> a discussion going on this
                                        subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Robert Johnston
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> -----Original Message-----
                                        > >>>> From:
                                        William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                        > >>>> Sent:
                                        Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                        > >>>> To:
                                        href="mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com">hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                        > >>>> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the
                                        whales.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >> Who
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> are
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>> they from?  tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <
                                        href="mailto:envir_456@...">envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >> for
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> me.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>> Steve Stelzer
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a
                                        renewable? Just
                                        > >>>> Kidding  ; )  Although I
                                        appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                        > >>>>
                                        concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking
                                        around in my
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> spare
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners.
                                        There a number of
                                        > >>>> alternatives out there. It sounds
                                        strange until you view solar as an
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        energy
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                        > >>>> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that
                                        could be
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> used
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> in
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> residential cooling would be an important contribution to
                                        renewable
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> energy.
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> Think of the amount
                                        of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> amount
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> of
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> electricity that is wasted
                                        producing this heat.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> The
                                        adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> (refrigerant)
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other
                                        chemical) or water and
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> silica
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> gel. The water and
                                        silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> too
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> dangerous to have inside
                                        my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> a
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> system in which I can keep
                                        it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> it
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> evaporates, absorbs a
                                        great deal of heat.
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> There is
                                        also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> opportunity
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in
                                        small outdoor
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> coolers.
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one
                                        side gets hot and
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> the
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot
                                        side to pre-heat
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> our
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to
                                        chill water that
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> could
                                        > >>
                                        > >>> be
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached
                                        to solar
                                        > >>>> panels that produce the 12V current. The
                                        hotter it is outside, the
                                        > >>>
                                        > >> harder
                                        > >>
                                        > >>>> the unit works. I like that!
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Some helpful web sites:
                                        href="http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm">http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                        > >>>> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                        >
                                        >>>>
                                        > >>>> Billy Bell
                                        > >>>>
                                        PO Box 926
                                        > >>>> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                        > >>>> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                        > >>>>
                                        href="mailto:wmb@...">wmb@...
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is
                                        subject to
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>
                                        href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>> Your use of
                                        Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>
                                        href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >>
                                        > >>>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>>
                                        > >>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                        > >>
                                        > >>
                                        size=2>http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >>
                                        > >>
                                        > >>
                                        > >>
                                        > >>
                                        > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                        href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >>
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                        href="http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/">http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > 
                                        > >
                                        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                        http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
                                        ---------------------~-->
                                        > FREE COLLEGE MONEY
                                        > CLICK HERE to
                                        search
                                        > 600,000 scholarships!
                                        >
                                        href="http://us.click.yahoo.com/47cccB/4m7CAA/ySSFAA/xbTolB/TM">http://us.click.yahoo.com/47cccB/4m7CAA/ySSFAA/xbTolB/TM
                                        > ---------------------------------------------------------------------~->
                                        >
                                        >  
                                        >
                                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                        http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                        >
                                        >
                                      • 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 19 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                          Thanks Laverne for the clarification.  I just remember that your comments were sufficiently sobering that
                                          I started looking for other avenues.  Your new comments only add to those concerns.  I think you are
                                          right about the mold and mildew liabilities.  It may be tougher for the class action lawyers since there isn't
                                          a single deep pocketed company like Johns Mansville, but I imagine there are enough major builders like
                                          U.S. Homes etc. that they can find enough targets to keep them in BMW's for a few years at least.
                                           
                                          Robert
                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                          Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 1:05 PM
                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

                                          > Hi,
                                          >
                                          >  
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > > I'm wondering what kind of cooling Kim has in mind.
                                          >
                                          > I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web.  PEX
                                          > hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8' height.  Roth
                                          > is using such systems commercially and has an extensive web site.  At
                                          > roth.com I think.
                                          >
                                          >   In particular, I'm
                                          > > wondering,
                                          > > If you live in a hot humid area,
                                          >
                                          > I live 100 miles north-northwest of Houston.
                                          >
                                          > is ANY kind of cooling based on bringing
                                          > > cold air
                                          > > or water into the house WITHOUT also having dehumidificatio built into the
                                          > > cooling
                                          > > system setting oneself up for mold, mildew and perhaps Legionnaire's
                                          > > Disease?  e.g.,
                                          > > suppose you could use water pipes or any other technology to cool the walls
                                          > > and floor
                                          > > of your home to a pleasant 70?C and keep it there day and night. 
                                          >
                                          > We may need to bring in a dehumidifier, but I like my home at 50%
                                          > humidity.  In Canada we used humidifiers to raise it this high.
                                          > Anything below this, we find uncomfortable.  I am sorry, but I do not
                                          > find 70 degrees comfortable.  The joy of living in Texas is I never need
                                          > to be cool or cold again.  We are ranchers and work outside, a
                                          > temperature of 76 to 78 is comfortable to us.  Our guest room has a
                                          > separate control so company can sleep in cooler temperatures.  [We are
                                          > putting in a well screened sleeping porch for most of the year]
                                          >
                                          > Our closets are 6" deeper than normal to allow air circulation. We do
                                          > not use wall to wall carpet, only area rugs. The big trick is to have a
                                          > super insulated building with wide porches, good ventilation and never
                                          > let it get hot. We first looked at the historical buildings in Texas and
                                          > how they kept them cool without electricity.  Then we tried to design as
                                          > many of those ideas as possible into our buildings so our cooling
                                          > demands are not those of a normal tract home.
                                          >
                                          > The temperature difference between the cooling and ambient temperatures
                                          > can not be too great, [say over 15 degrees] or you have a real problem.
                                          > The water we are using to cool is 65 degrees. The cool water comes in at
                                          > the wall, where it has a drip tray built under it, then circulates in
                                          > the floor before exiting.
                                          >
                                          > If we ever let it get hot in the building, we would have to use some
                                          > window units or something to cool the building or wait a long time to
                                          > gradually lower the temperature.  We have not built our main house yet,
                                          > we are working on our shops and installing all of our ideas there, first.
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >  (A vapor barrier would be meaningless if you are not drying
                                          > > the air
                                          > > inside).
                                          >
                                          > We do not use vapor barriers as our buildings are fibrous adobe.
                                          >
                                          > >
                                          > > LaVerne Williams, are you reading this?  Did I summarize your comments
                                          > > accurately?
                                          > > Would you care to comment on the futility of ANY approaches to cooling a
                                          > > house here
                                          > > without simultaneously providing dehumidification?  As long as the house
                                          > > stays near
                                          > > ambient temperature I would think things would be OK, but the concern is
                                          > > that you
                                          > > might cool the house below ambient in a humid environment.  Care to comment
                                          > > on what
                                          > > appears to be Kim's plan to cool a building with cold water pipes?
                                          > >
                                          > > Robert
                                          > >
                                          > > -----Original Message-----
                                          > > From: Claude Foster [mailto:ccfoster@...]
                                          > > Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 7:51 AM
                                          > > To:
                                          'hreg@yahoogroups.com'
                                          > > Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > > Kim,
                                          > >
                                          > > I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly.
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          ccfoster@...
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >
                                          > >> -----Original Message-----
                                          > >> From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                                          > >> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                                          > >> To:
                                          hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                          > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                          > >>
                                          > >> Hi,
                                          > >> I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building.  My
                                          > >> circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool.  I installed my
                                          > >> pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                                          > >> feet.  In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                                          > >> be washing the heat away.  The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                                          > >> installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                                          > >> Kim
                                          > >>
                                          > >> William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> Robert:
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                                          > >>
                                          > >> life a
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> little more complicated.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                                          > >>
                                          > >> to
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                                          > >>> holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                                          > >>> solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                                          > >>
                                          > >> looked
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                                          > >>
                                          > >> such
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                                          > >>> chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                                          > >>> problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                                          > >>
                                          > >> information is
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> scarce.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                                          > >>> encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                                          > >>
                                          > >> also
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                                          > >>
                                          > >> geothermal
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                                          > >>
                                          > >> water
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                                          > >>
                                          > >> with a
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                                          > >>> cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                                          > >>
                                          > >> their
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                                          > >>
                                          > >> have
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                                          > >>
                                          > >> stopped
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                                          > >>
                                          > >> conditioner
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                                          > >>
                                          > >> The
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                                          > >>
                                          > >> in. I
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                                          > >>
                                          > >> and
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                                          > >>
                                          > >> pumps. I
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                                          > >>
                                          > >> cool
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                                          > >>> wells.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                                          > >>
                                          > >> benefit
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> from sharing our knowledge.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> ----- Original Message -----
                                          > >>> From: "Robert Johnston" <
                                          rjohnsto@...>
                                          > >>> To: <
                                          hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                                          > >>> Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                                          > >>> Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> is
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> hard to find here!  However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> from
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> thermoelectric
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> see
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> more discussion on.  This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> area
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> parts
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> of
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> the country can do.  The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                                          > >>>> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already!  In any case, even in a
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> closed
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> in
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> our
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> area?
                                          > >>>> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> etc.)
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> are:
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> 1.  Dessicators.  I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                                          > >>>> commercial buildings in some locations.  I don't know if any efficient
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> solar
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> units have been designed.  But if you could dry out the air, that would
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> help
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> a lot.  And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> in
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> 2.  Geothermal units.  I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> it
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> is
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> their installation expense.  Why are they so expensive?  Are they not
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> good?
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> in
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> the
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> heat pump part of the installation.  I don't know if that is true.  He
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> is
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> A/C's.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> compressed
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium.  I've
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> seen
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> is a
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> lot of hype by vendors.  Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> they
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> installation?
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> What is the payback period in this area, then?  These are some
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> questions
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> I'd
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> like to see discussed.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> to
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> it
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> was
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> managed OK.  (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience).  I
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> also
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> warden's
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                                          > >>>> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36.  It is a duplex unit.  The houses have
                                          > >>>> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> were
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> solar collectors.  They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                                          > >>>> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> about
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> their ammonia cooling systems.  This would have been around 1981-85
                                          > >>>> timeframe.  I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> know
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> why.  It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> may
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                                          > >>>> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> such
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> an
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> have
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> caused rethinking of the project down the road.  Or, it may be that the
                                          > >>>> units just didn't hold up to use.  I don't know, but I assume you could
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> find
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> or
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> can
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> get
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Robert Johnston
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> -----Original Message-----
                                          > >>>> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                                          > >>>> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                                          > >>>> To:
                                          hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                          > >>>> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >> Who
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> are
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>> they from?  tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <
                                          envir_456@... doesn't do much
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >> for
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> me.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>> Steve Stelzer
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                                          > >>>> Kidding  ; )  Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                                          > >>>> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> spare
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                                          > >>>> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> energy
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                                          > >>>> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> used
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> in
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> energy.
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> amount
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> of
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> (refrigerant)
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> silica
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> too
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> a
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> it
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> opportunity
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> coolers.
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> the
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> our
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> could
                                          > >>
                                          > >>> be
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                                          > >>>> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                                          > >>>
                                          > >> harder
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>> the unit works. I like that!
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Some helpful web sites:
                                          http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                                          > >>>> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Billy Bell
                                          > >>>> PO Box 926
                                          > >>>> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                                          > >>>> 281-346-0994 Fax
                                          > >>>>
                                          wmb@...
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>
                                          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>
                                          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          > >>
                                          > >>>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>>
                                          > >>> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          > >>
                                          > >>
                                          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/
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > ------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-->
                                          > FREE COLLEGE MONEY
                                          > CLICK HERE to search
                                          > 600,000 scholarships!
                                          >
                                          http://us.click.yahoo.com/47cccB/4m7CAA/ySSFAA/xbTolB/TM
                                          > ---------------------------------------------------------------------~->
                                          >
                                          >  
                                          >
                                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                                          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                          >
                                          >


                                          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 20 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                            It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it!
                                            Here are a few comments/questions...

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                            Thanks for your comments,

                                            Robert Johnston


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


                                            Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.
                                          • LaVerne Williams
                                            Robert: Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                              Robert: 
                                              Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are who the attorneys are going after.  Listen to Tom Tynon on KTRH Radio, AM740.
                                               
                                              LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                              laverne@...
                                              Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                              5828 Langfield Road
                                              Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                              713.528.0000
                                               
                                               
                                              ----- Original Message -----
                                              Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:06 PM
                                              Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

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

                                            • Robert Johnston
                                              I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                                I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance companies with the any punitive damages.  If this is true, then the overall liability to the insurance companies wouldn't be astronomical.  But I'm no lawyer.  They do some amazing things, especially in Texas.  It is a wonder sometimes that there are any companies left selling anything!  Maybe eventually everyone will build everything themselves and have only themselves to blame for failure.  I don't know what lawyers would do for a living then.  Probably sue parents on behalf of children upset that they were born into such a miserable world.  :-)
                                                 
                                                Robert
                                                -----Original Message-----
                                                From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                                Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 12:40 PM
                                                To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                                Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

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

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



                                                Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                              • Mike Ewert
                                                Robert, I hope I can answer all your questions. They are good ones. You re an inventor at heart, aren t you? 2. The conclusion I drew is that, although PV
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Sep 8, 2001
                                                  Robert, I hope I can answer all your questions. They are good ones. You're
                                                  an inventor at heart, aren't you?

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

                                                  I have not followed up on Bergquam.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                  Thanks for your comments,

                                                  Robert Johnston


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


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






                                                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                • Robert Johnston
                                                  Thanks, Mike. Regarding your responses to the numbered points: 2. Good point. I hear so much more about PV, though (I think it is more
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Sep 9, 2001
                                                    Thanks, Mike.

                                                    Regarding your responses to the numbered points:

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

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

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

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

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

                                                    Robert

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


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

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

                                                    I have not followed up on Bergquam.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                    Thanks for your comments,

                                                    Robert Johnston


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


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






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







                                                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                                                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.