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Re: [hreg] Solar Air Conditioners

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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/
                        >
                        >>
                        > >>>>
                        > >>>>
                        > >>>>
                        > >>>>
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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 11 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/
                          > >>
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
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                        • Robert Johnston
                          It took me awhile to find time to read the paper; thanks for sharing it! Here are a few comments/questions... 1. (Comment--anyone else reading this paper in
                          Message 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 of 28 , Sep 8, 2001
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  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 16 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.






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