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RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners

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  • 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 1 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      I know nothing about much of this. However, geothermal is quite
      interesting. I have a 4 story apartment complex with thru wall heating
      and cooling units (heat-strip). The utility bills, as you might
      imagine, are quite expensive -- $7,800 for 100 1 BR 560 sf units. I
      have one central unit that cools/heats the office, community room and
      part of the hall. I probably have enough land area to lay pipes -- I
      just don't know the cost. I also don't know if I can replace the thru
      wall units that are closely akin to window units with water-source heat
      pumps.

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

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

      Solar has got to be cheaper!

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

      Terry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

      Billy Bell
      PO Box 926
      Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





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      http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/








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    • 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 2 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        I did a search under "geo thermal air conditioners" and come up with 880
        listings. Most are for local shops all over the country etc but Enertran
        seems to be a big operator in the geo thermal field. They have a lot of
        general info on their web site at:

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

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

        Charlie
      • Polly Ledvina
        The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good: http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm Polly ... From: ChasMauch@aol.com To:
        Message 3 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
        • 0 Attachment
          The website for the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium is also a quite good:  http://www.ghpc.org/home.htm
           
          Polly
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 7:56 PM
          Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners

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

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

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

          Charlie


          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
        • Robert Johnston
          I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a very casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I d learned
          Message 4 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
          • 0 Attachment
            I had exactly the same experience! I had been researching geothermal on a
            very
            casual basis. Then my A/C went out. I called some of the vendors I'd
            learned
            about, and none of them could even start working on it for a couple weeks,
            and
            then the cost was very high, and they couldn't give me any reliable
            information
            about what my cost savings would be on electricity, or whether the mold
            issue in
            this area was real or not, etc.

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

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

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

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

            Robert

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


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

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

            Bridget Jensen

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





            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • Robert Johnston
            I hadn t noticed the weblinks in my quick read before. Adsorption/absorption chillers are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are
            Message 5 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
            • 0 Attachment
              I hadn't noticed the weblinks in my quick read before.
              Adsorption/absorption chillers
              are not new. We have one in the building where I work. They are efficient
              on an
              industrial scale. I don't know what factors have kept them from scaling
              down to
              home use, but it would be interesting if they could.

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

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

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

              Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

              Robert

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


              Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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





              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            • dans1
              Air Conditioning and other things. One of the major reasons that Biomass A?c has not taken off in the Houston area has to do with the water table around here.
              Message 6 of 28 , Aug 31, 2001
              • 0 Attachment
                Air Conditioning and other things.

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

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

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

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

                This is just my two cents worth.
                Dan

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


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

                  William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:

                  > Robert:
                  >
                  > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes life a
                  > little more complicated.
                  >
                  > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water to
                  > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                  > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                  >
                  > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                  > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you looked
                  > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of such
                  > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                  > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                  > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and information is
                  > scarce.
                  >
                  > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                  > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is also
                  > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is geothermal
                  > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated water
                  > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked with a
                  > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                  > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use their
                  > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I have
                  > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has stopped
                  > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air conditioner
                  > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air. The
                  > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick in. I
                  > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size) and
                  > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it pumps. I
                  > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to cool
                  > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                  > wells.
                  >
                  > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all benefit
                  > from sharing our knowledge.
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                  > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                  > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                  > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff is
                  >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note from
                  >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of thermoelectric
                  >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                  >>
                  >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to see
                  >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                  >
                  > area
                  >
                  >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other parts
                  >
                  > of
                  >
                  >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                  >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a closed
                  >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                  >>
                  >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential in
                  >
                  > our
                  >
                  >> area?
                  >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation, etc.)
                  >> are:
                  >>
                  >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                  >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                  >
                  > solar
                  >
                  >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                  >
                  > help
                  >
                  >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back in
                  >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                  >>
                  >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless it
                  >
                  > is
                  >
                  >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                  >
                  > good?
                  >
                  >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor in
                  >
                  > the
                  >
                  >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He is
                  >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                  >
                  > A/C's.
                  >
                  >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool compressed
                  >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've seen
                  >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there is a
                  >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                  >
                  > they
                  >
                  >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of installation?
                  >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some questions
                  >
                  > I'd
                  >
                  >> like to see discussed.
                  >>
                  >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used to
                  >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess it
                  >
                  > was
                  >
                  >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I also
                  >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new warden's
                  >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                  >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                  >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                  >
                  > were
                  >
                  >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                  >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them about
                  >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                  >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't know
                  >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                  >
                  > may
                  >
                  >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                  >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling such
                  >
                  > an
                  >
                  >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                  >
                  > have
                  >
                  >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                  >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                  >
                  > find
                  >
                  >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                  >>
                  >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar or
                  >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we can
                  >
                  > get
                  >
                  >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                  >>
                  >> Robert Johnston
                  >>
                  >> -----Original Message-----
                  >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                  >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                  >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                  >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales. Who
                  >>
                  >> are
                  >>
                  >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much for
                  >>
                  >> me.
                  >>
                  >>> Steve Stelzer
                  >>
                  >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                  >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                  >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                  >>
                  >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my spare
                  >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                  >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                  >
                  > energy
                  >
                  >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                  >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be used
                  >
                  > in
                  >
                  >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                  >
                  > energy.
                  >
                  >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the amount
                  >
                  > of
                  >
                  >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                  >>
                  >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                  >
                  > (refrigerant)
                  >
                  >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                  >
                  > silica
                  >
                  >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is too
                  >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out a
                  >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when it
                  >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                  >>
                  >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                  >
                  > opportunity
                  >
                  >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor coolers.
                  >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and the
                  >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat our
                  >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that could
                  >
                  > be
                  >
                  >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                  >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the harder
                  >> the unit works. I like that!
                  >>
                  >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                  >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                  >>
                  >> Billy Bell
                  >> PO Box 926
                  >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                  >>
                  >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                  >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                  >> wmb@...
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >>
                  >>
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • Kevin L. Conlin
                  Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers don t work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate, plus most
                  Message 8 of 28 , Sep 1, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Robert, I believe that the biggest reason the solar/absorption chillers
                    don't work well with solar is the reason you stated, the high flow rate,
                    plus most solar thermal water heaters are not very efficient in the
                    temperature range these units need to run efficiently, typically around
                    boiling, 200 degrees plus. Although evacuated tube absorbers can reach this
                    range comfortably, they do not work well in Houston because of the
                    relatively low insolation levels. A large array is required. When I was in
                    the solar thermal business we did a feasibility to use solar AC at Moody
                    Gardens. The evacuated tube solar array was huge, as were the insulated
                    storage tanks, and the system was very expensive. Typically these
                    absorption units are designed to run on low grade steam left over from
                    manufacturing. I have seen large industrial systems like you mentioned that
                    have been running for decades with little maintenance and few problems, so
                    the technology is sound and proven, just not real compatible with most solar
                    thermal technologies.

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

                      Anybody else have some thoughts on this?

                      Robert

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


                      Robert:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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





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








                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    • Claude Foster
                      Kim, I will do some calculations for you if you will contact me directly. ccfoster@lan-inc.com
                      Message 10 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Kim,

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

                        ccfoster@...



                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: Kim & Garth Travis [SMTP:gartht@...]
                        > Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2001 7:16 AM
                        > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                        >
                        > Hi,
                        > I am planning using cooled water to cool a 1000 sq. ft. building. My
                        > circulating pump is from a 15' diameter swimming pool. I installed my
                        > pipe under a raised garden bed that is filled with plants that like wet
                        > feet. In the testing we have done on the garden bed water, we seem to
                        > be washing the heat away. The plans call for the cooling pipe to be
                        > installed at the 8' level on the walls as well as in the floor.
                        > Kim
                        >
                        > William M. Bell, Jr. wrote:
                        >
                        > > Robert:
                        > >
                        > > Thanks for the interest. I am not opposed to ammonia. It simply makes
                        > life a
                        > > little more complicated.
                        > >
                        > > I "designed" a system that used chilled water to cool and heated water
                        > to
                        > > heat. The main problem was that it required a rather large, insulated
                        > > holding tank. I proposed to use a concrete tank and bury it.
                        > >
                        > > I found a simpler design that used silica gel and water. It uses
                        > > solar-heated water to squeeze the water out of the silica gel. If you
                        > looked
                        > > at the web site that I listed, you can see a commercial application of
                        > such
                        > > a system. It has much going for it: few moving parts; no corrosive
                        > > chemicals; no excessive pressures or temperatures; and simple. The only
                        > > problem is that I can't find any residential applications and
                        > information is
                        > > scarce.
                        > >
                        > > Geothermal is cool, no pun intended. The main problem that I have
                        > > encountered is that it is expensive to drill several wells and there is
                        > also
                        > > a fear that you could contaminate your drinking water. That is
                        > geothermal
                        > > that uses water wells. I have also heard of geothermal that circulated
                        > water
                        > > through pipes located 10+ feet below ground. A friend of mine worked
                        > with a
                        > > company that uses directional drilling to dig the lines for fiber optic
                        > > cable and conduit. He thought that it would be an easy matter to use
                        > their
                        > > machine to drill the circulating lines. My biggest obstacle, is that I
                        > have
                        > > no idea how much line, etc that I would need. Lack of knowledge has
                        > stopped
                        > > me once again. My thought was that I could put a coil in my air
                        > conditioner
                        > > blower, before it got to the a/c coil, so that I could pre-cool my air.
                        > The
                        > > idea was that if it worked well enough, the a/c would not need to kick
                        > in. I
                        > > wanted to find a small circulating pump (again, I had no idea what size)
                        > and
                        > > have it run by a solar panel. The hotter it is outside, the more it
                        > pumps. I
                        > > have a friend in Lake Jackson who drilled several wells and used it to
                        > cool
                        > > his house. It worked OK for a while, but then he had problems with his
                        > > wells.
                        > >
                        > > Anyway, I think that this is an interesting area and we would all
                        > benefit
                        > > from sharing our knowledge.
                        > >
                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                        > > From: "Robert Johnston" <rjohnsto@...>
                        > > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
                        > > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2001 6:14 PM
                        > > Subject: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >> Between the Nigerian Scams and the Environmental Spams, the good stuff
                        > is
                        > >> hard to find here! However, there wasn't much comment on this note
                        > from
                        > >> Billy Bell except Kevin pointing out the inefficiencies of
                        > thermoelectric
                        > >> cooling (especially if tied to a solar cell!).
                        > >>
                        > >> However, it is an extremely interesting question and one I'd love to
                        > see
                        > >> more discussion on. This is obviously one of the main barriers to this
                        > >
                        > > area
                        > >
                        > >> ever achieving the kind of renewable energy freedom that some other
                        > parts
                        > >
                        > > of
                        > >
                        > >> the country can do. The use of water as an evaporative coolant OK in
                        > >> Arizona but not Houston--too humid already! In any case, even in a
                        > closed
                        > >> system it wouldn't make a good medium for an efficient A/C.
                        > >>
                        > >> Anybody want to comment on what they think has the greatest potential
                        > in
                        > >
                        > > our
                        > >
                        > >> area?
                        > >> Things that come to mind for me (besides ceiling fans, insulation,
                        > etc.)
                        > >> are:
                        > >>
                        > >> 1. Dessicators. I know that natural gas fired units are now used for
                        > >> commercial buildings in some locations. I don't know if any efficient
                        > >
                        > > solar
                        > >
                        > >> units have been designed. But if you could dry out the air, that would
                        > >
                        > > help
                        > >
                        > >> a lot. And then you might even be able to put a little cool water back
                        > in
                        > >> as evaporative coolant as in Arizona.
                        > >>
                        > >> 2. Geothermal units. I'm puzzled why these haven't taken off, unless
                        > it
                        > >
                        > > is
                        > >
                        > >> their installation expense. Why are they so expensive? Are they not
                        > >
                        > > good?
                        > >
                        > >> A local A/C guy told me there are lots of problems with mold and odor
                        > in
                        > >
                        > > the
                        > >
                        > >> heat pump part of the installation. I don't know if that is true. He
                        > is
                        > >> death on heat pumps **period** for that reason, and prefers straight
                        > >
                        > > A/C's.
                        > >
                        > >> But there is still something appealing to me of trying to cool
                        > compressed
                        > >> gas with ground temperature rather than air temperature medium. I've
                        > seen
                        > >> some of the numbers posted on the web (very high S.E.E.R.), but there
                        > is a
                        > >> lot of hype by vendors. Since these aren't that popular, is it because
                        > >
                        > > they
                        > >
                        > >> don't work that well in practice, or is it just the cost of
                        > installation?
                        > >> What is the payback period in this area, then? These are some
                        > questions
                        > >
                        > > I'd
                        > >
                        > >> like to see discussed.
                        > >>
                        > >> As far as ammonia goes, Billy--I know it is not nice stuff, but it used
                        > to
                        > >> be used in refrigerators long ago, so with proper engineering I guess
                        > it
                        > >
                        > > was
                        > >
                        > >> managed OK. (Before my time, so I have no first hand experience). I
                        > also
                        > >> know that TDC put some ammonia cooling systems on a couple of new
                        > warden's
                        > >> homes at the prison farm south of Lake Jackson on the corner of
                        > >> FM2004/FM2611 and State Hwy 36. It is a duplex unit. The houses have
                        > >> optimally sloping roofs aimed towards the sun, and then on the rooftops
                        > >
                        > > were
                        > >
                        > >> solar collectors. They may have had solar hot water too--I don't
                        > >> recall--but I remember reading in the newspaper when they built them
                        > about
                        > >> their ammonia cooling systems. This would have been around 1981-85
                        > >> timeframe. I also know that the collectors are now gone, but I don't
                        > know
                        > >> why. It could just be that TDC didn't want to fuss with them--e.g., it
                        > >
                        > > may
                        > >
                        > >> have been environmentally "cool" (pun intended) to use solar on state
                        > >> institutions at that time, but the maintenance expense for handling
                        > such
                        > >
                        > > an
                        > >
                        > >> unusual system that was different than all the other onsite A/C's might
                        > >
                        > > have
                        > >
                        > >> caused rethinking of the project down the road. Or, it may be that the
                        > >> units just didn't hold up to use. I don't know, but I assume you could
                        > >
                        > > find
                        > >
                        > >> out more by asking around, or writing TDC.
                        > >>
                        > >> In any case, if any of you have some thoughts on the subject of solar
                        > or
                        > >> just more efficient air conditioning/cooling, why don't we see if we
                        > can
                        > >
                        > > get
                        > >
                        > >> a discussion going on this subject and enlighten ourselves?
                        > >>
                        > >> Robert Johnston
                        > >>
                        > >> -----Original Message-----
                        > >> From: William M. Bell, Jr. [mailto:wmb@...]
                        > >> Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2001 9:23 AM
                        > >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                        > >> Subject: Re: [hreg] Digest Number 281
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>> Wow! What an email regarding the livestock industry and the whales.
                        > Who
                        > >>
                        > >> are
                        > >>
                        > >>> they from? tpwc---ENVIRO ALERT <envir_456@... doesn't do much
                        > for
                        > >>
                        > >> me.
                        > >>
                        > >>> Steve Stelzer
                        > >>
                        > >> I thought that livestock produced methane, which was a renewable? Just
                        > >> Kidding ; ) Although I appreciate information of this sort, I am more
                        > >> concerned that this discussion group stays on target.
                        > >>
                        > >> By the way, I have been doing a great deal of looking around in my
                        > spare
                        > >> time (which is not much) at solar air conditioners. There a number of
                        > >> alternatives out there. It sounds strange until you view solar as an
                        > >
                        > > energy
                        > >
                        > >> source (heat). Most solar air conditioners work by a process called
                        > >> adsorption. An efficient, economical solar a/c system, that could be
                        > used
                        > >
                        > > in
                        > >
                        > >> residential cooling would be an important contribution to renewable
                        > >
                        > > energy.
                        > >
                        > >> Think of the amount of heat generated in this city by a/c and the
                        > amount
                        > >
                        > > of
                        > >
                        > >> electricity that is wasted producing this heat.
                        > >>
                        > >> The adsorption units that I have looked at use either ammonia
                        > >
                        > > (refrigerant)
                        > >
                        > >> and calcium chloride (absorber) (or some other chemical) or water and
                        > >
                        > > silica
                        > >
                        > >> gel. The water and silica gel seems most promising to me. Ammonia is
                        > too
                        > >> dangerous to have inside my house and it makes it difficult to work out
                        > a
                        > >> system in which I can keep it outside. Water, however, is safe and when
                        > it
                        > >> evaporates, absorbs a great deal of heat.
                        > >>
                        > >> There is also a solid state alternative that I have not had much
                        > >
                        > > opportunity
                        > >
                        > >> to explore. They use solid state refrigerators in small outdoor
                        > coolers.
                        > >> When you pass a 12V current through the diode, one side gets hot and
                        > the
                        > >> other side gets cool. Perhaps, we could use the hot side to pre-heat
                        > our
                        > >> water to the hot water heater and the cold side to chill water that
                        > could
                        > >
                        > > be
                        > >
                        > >> used to cool the house, if needed. The unit could be attached to solar
                        > >> panels that produce the 12V current. The hotter it is outside, the
                        > harder
                        > >> the unit works. I like that!
                        > >>
                        > >> Some helpful web sites: http://www.caddet-ee.org/nl_html/001_02.htm
                        > >> http://www.adsorptionchiller.com/
                        > >>
                        > >> Billy Bell
                        > >> PO Box 926
                        > >> Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926
                        > >>
                        > >> 713-439-1115 Telephone
                        > >> 281-346-0994 Fax
                        > >> wmb@...
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        > >>
                        > >>
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        >
                      • Mike Ewert
                        Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps. ... From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@brazosport.cc.tx.us] Sent: Friday, August 31,
                        Message 11 of 28 , Sep 4, 2001
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                          Robert Johnston

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

                          Billy Bell
                          PO Box 926
                          Fulshear, Texas 77441-0926

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





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








                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                        • Robert Johnston
                          At a tradeshow in Houston a few years ago I met and chatted briefly with LaVerne Williams. I asked his opinion about cool tubes --those buried PVC pipes that
                          Message 12 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                          • 0 Attachment
                            At a tradeshow in Houston a few years ago I met and chatted briefly with
                            LaVerne
                            Williams. I asked his opinion about "cool tubes"--those buried PVC pipes
                            that run
                            for a length underground and allow you to bring outside air into the home
                            after
                            letting it cool in indirect contact with the earth. My recollection of his
                            comment
                            was that it was an ideal breeding ground for Legionnaire's Disease, and he
                            wouldn't
                            recommend it. Since I had seen such a solution recommended for our area in
                            the
                            "Earthship" books, his comment made quite an impression on me and left me
                            wondering
                            what kind of cooling WOULD work, and that ongoing question is why I started
                            this
                            thread.

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

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

                            Robert

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


                            Kim,

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

                            ccfoster@...



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




                            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          • Robert Johnston
                            Correction: Make that a pleasant 70?F ! ... From: Robert Johnston [mailto:rjohnsto@brazosport.cc.tx.us] Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 7:01 AM To:
                            Message 13 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Correction: Make that "a pleasant 70?F"!

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


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

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

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

                              Robert

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


                              Kim,

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

                              ccfoster@...



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




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








                              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                            • Kim & Garth Travis
                              Hi, ... I am using hydronics, an idea I got from Roth company on the web. PEX hose set in the floor and on the perimeter walls at the 8 height. Roth is
                              Message 14 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Hi,




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

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

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

                                I live 100 miles north-northwest of Houston.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


                                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                  • Robert Johnston
                                    It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it! Here are a few comments/questions... 1. (Comment--anyone else reading this paper in
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Sep 5, 2001
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it!
                                      Here are a few comments/questions...

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                      Thanks for your comments,

                                      Robert Johnston


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


                                      Here is a review paper I did a while back on solar AC and heat pumps.
                                    • LaVerne Williams
                                      Robert: Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Robert: 
                                        Now you have a little more about why the insurance industry is trying to take mold coverage out of our insurance policies. The insurance companies are who the attorneys are going after.  Listen to Tom Tynon on KTRH Radio, AM740.
                                         
                                        LaVerne A. Williams, AIA
                                        laverne@...
                                        Environment Associates, Architects & Consultants
                                        5828 Langfield Road
                                        Houston, TX 77092-1429
                                        713.528.0000
                                         
                                         
                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 8:06 PM
                                        Subject: RE: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

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

                                      • Robert Johnston
                                        I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Sep 6, 2001
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          I could see how they might sue the insurance companies for repair or even replacement costs, but it seems difficult to imagine how they could pin the insurance companies with the any punitive damages.  If this is true, then the overall liability to the insurance companies wouldn't be astronomical.  But I'm no lawyer.  They do some amazing things, especially in Texas.  It is a wonder sometimes that there are any companies left selling anything!  Maybe eventually everyone will build everything themselves and have only themselves to blame for failure.  I don't know what lawyers would do for a living then.  Probably sue parents on behalf of children upset that they were born into such a miserable world.  :-)
                                           
                                          Robert
                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: LaVerne Williams [mailto:wa@...]
                                          Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2001 12:40 PM
                                          To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners (LaVerne Williams?)

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

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

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



                                          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                                        • Mike Ewert
                                          Robert, I hope I can answer all your questions. They are good ones. You re an inventor at heart, aren t you? 2. The conclusion I drew is that, although PV
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Sep 8, 2001
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                                            Robert, I hope I can answer all your questions. They are good ones. You're
                                            an inventor at heart, aren't you?

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

                                            I have not followed up on Bergquam.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                            Thanks for your comments,

                                            Robert Johnston


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


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






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

                                              Regarding your responses to the numbered points:

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

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

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

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

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

                                              Robert

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


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

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

                                              I have not followed up on Bergquam.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                              Thanks for your comments,

                                              Robert Johnston


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


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






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







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