Author Topic: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems  (Read 6450 times)

Offline flippydidit

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2012, 01:28:13 AM »
Part of the solution comes from the creation of large blocks of ice (to be stored in the "icehouse" section of the box).  As nightfall is generally the shortest part of the day, and is typically cooler (variable depending on location), the ice should be more than sufficient to provide continuous temperature reduction.

Sounds great on paper anyway!
Nate
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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2012, 07:42:35 PM »
I've thought about solar powered ammonia absorbsion method as well, it's been used in RV refrigerators for years.
Yes, there is a finite amount of ammonia & hydrogen used in these, but if kept outside the home and used to cool an intermediary circulated water tank....
Would add zero cost cooling supplement on hot sunny days and/or heat sink for a more efficient heat exchanger system with normal central air type systems.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2012, 08:36:02 AM »
An intermediate loop to cool water adds complexity and reduces efficiency, Oink.  If you're planning on then transitioning to cool air (like we're used to).  If you use the cool water to cool the concrete floor, or the walls, then it would be OK, I think.

If you're going to have the main unit outside the home, cool air can still exit the unit and go into the home.  You just need to insulate the outside unit.  It could be done.

The troubles with ammonia are why I am an advocate of using the Water-Bromide system.

Offline tkrabec

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2012, 10:10:41 AM »
why not just get a standard AC compressor, swap out the Motor for an Engine & power that off bio gas?  The other other blowers and such could be powered off Electrical or even large belts driven off the motor powering the compressor.

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Offline GomerPile

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2012, 02:14:21 PM »
I have looked into the AC thing for my off-grid house.  I decided to go with assloads of insulation, a small variable speed AC unit, and a small generator.  In hot weather you cool the place down and the insulation keeps it that way!  Remains to be seen how well that works.  I only have 30-60 cooling days per year in my location and my place is 350sf.

Another option I will play with at some point is using earth tubes to suck cool out of the ground to cool my place off.  Neat part is that it would provide partial heating in the winter.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2012, 09:36:10 AM »
I have looked into the AC thing for my off-grid house.  I decided to go with assloads of insulation, a small variable speed AC unit, and a small generator.  In hot weather you cool the place down and the insulation keeps it that way!  Remains to be seen how well that works.  I only have 30-60 cooling days per year in my location and my place is 350sf.

Another option I will play with at some point is using earth tubes to suck cool out of the ground to cool my place off.  Neat part is that it would provide partial heating in the winter.

Gomer, when it gets hot next summer, can you come back to this thread (hopefully not dead yet) and give us a report?  There is more than one way to skin this cat.

Offline Jeremy Downing

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2012, 07:15:28 AM »
I have looked into the AC thing for my off-grid house.  I decided to go with assloads of insulation, a small variable speed AC unit, and a small generator.  In hot weather you cool the place down and the insulation keeps it that way!  Remains to be seen how well that works.  I only have 30-60 cooling days per year in my location and my place is 350sf.

Another option I will play with at some point is using earth tubes to suck cool out of the ground to cool my place off.  Neat part is that it would provide partial heating in the winter.

This is a problem near and dear to my heart.  I love the south, but the heat can be dangerous at times.  In my opinion, the best solution for this is an earth-integrated home.  Four feet of soil and plants on the roof and a couple of walls and I suspect cooling will not be an issue.  Oh, and no electricity required for this solution.  The hobbits knew what they were doing.  :)

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When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
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Offline GomerPile

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #37 on: December 10, 2012, 09:27:48 AM »
Will do!

@Jeremy
I agree with the earth integrated home idea.  There is a place in my town that has 3 sides in the ground and their cooling problems are very minor and only on the hottest days.


Gomer, when it gets hot next summer, can you come back to this thread (hopefully not dead yet) and give us a report?  There is more than one way to skin this cat.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2012, 10:34:08 AM »
Awesomeness over the weekend: I found out that a friend who has a farm and lets me shoot out there has a GEOTHERMAL heating/cooling system! 

The system uses two wells (220 ft deep here in NC) and it's a closed-loop system; i.e., well water never enters the system, it only cools/heats the pipes.  The geothermal system pre-heats/pre-cools for his normal HVAC system.

He has seen huge improvements to his heating (electric) and cooling bills.

I am going to learn all I can about this system.  Maybe it will help us when we prototype our reversible cooling system, Nate.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2012, 10:35:46 AM »
Nate (flippydiddit), you might want to ask the moderator for a name change for this thread, so people can find it easier.

I suggest something like "Alternative Energy Cooling Systems" or something like that.

Offline Mexican_Hippie

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2012, 12:46:37 PM »
Awesomeness over the weekend: I found out that a friend who has a farm and lets me shoot out there has a GEOTHERMAL heating/cooling system! 

The system uses two wells (220 ft deep here in NC) and it's a closed-loop system; i.e., well water never enters the system, it only cools/heats the pipes.  The geothermal system pre-heats/pre-cools for his normal HVAC system.

He has seen huge improvements to his heating (electric) and cooling bills.

I am going to learn all I can about this system.  Maybe it will help us when we prototype our reversible cooling system, Nate.

I definitely want to hear about that.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2012, 11:52:26 AM »
Another solar-powered ice maker.  This one uses ammonia absorption, and is a reversible cycle like we've been talking about here (not a continuous cooling cycle).

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/11/solar-rig-bring/

Offline inconel710

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2012, 02:28:45 PM »
Wow - I haven't thought about Lithium Bromide systems since Navy Machinist Mate "A" School.  Here's the Navy's rate training manual that includes LiBr systems:

http://books.google.com/books?id=U3meFxPQt2oC&q=bromide
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Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2012, 10:44:35 AM »
Wow - I haven't thought about Lithium Bromide systems since Navy Machinist Mate "A" School.  Here's the Navy's rate training manual that includes LiBr systems:

http://books.google.com/books?id=U3meFxPQt2oC&q=bromide

Thanks, inconel.  (Nice metal to name your nic after  :D)

Do you have experience maintaining those systems?  Would you be willing to give us some advice on a prototype?

Offline inconel710

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2012, 03:16:24 PM »
Sorry, only exposure was "A" school book lernin!  Only refrigerant plants I personally saw were Freon cycles.  I do remember the old salts would sometimes pine for the older, simpler bromide plants, but that's about it.
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2013, 03:40:58 AM »
Nate (flippydiddit), you might want to ask the moderator for a name change for this thread, so people can find it easier.

I suggest something like "Alternative Energy Cooling Systems" or something like that.

Moderators, I'd like to request a title change to this thread.  Backwoods_Engineer made a great point.  Could we have the title changed to "Alternative Energy Cooling Systems"?  Thank you!
Nate
Military/civilian gunsmith

"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Offline flippydidit

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Re: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems
« Reply #46 on: January 22, 2013, 10:30:40 PM »
Backwoods_Engineer, I read the article you posted about the one developed for South America.  It was fairly vague, and the link they provided to the design was broken.

Tell me more about the Lithium-Bromide or Bromide-Water system you're in favor of.  I'm not familiar with the pros or cons for those.  I'm not a chemist and usually rely on my chemist friend down here.  He's the one that said the ammonia system I drew up was very workable.

In other news, I'm working on getting an insulated 40ft. shipping container to start with.  I wanted to start with a 20ft. container, but the 40ft. kind of fell into my lap.  As long as my plans continue undisturbed, we should be able to build this system while I'm home in April.  We'll have the supplies, and the funding to do a complete build without interruption.  Hopefully before that starts we've worked out different design ideas and picked one that will work best.

Let me know your thoughts!
Nate
Military/civilian gunsmith

"One of these centuries, the brutes, private or public, who believe that they can rule their betters by force, will learn the lesson of what happens when brute force encounters mind and force."
— Ragnar Danneskjöld, from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)


Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2013, 03:34:12 PM »
Benefits of Lithium Bromide/Water system over Ammonia/Water:

- No ammonia to leak
- No hydrogen required in system
- Hot-side temperatures closer to what could be achieved in home solar heating panel
- Cold-side temperatures compatible with well-based cooling
- Can be run in "batch" mode as opposed to continuous loop; ammonia water requires some tricks to do this (see IcyBall)

LiBr isn't as efficient as the Ammonia system, though.

Offline nkawtg

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Re: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems
« Reply #48 on: January 24, 2013, 05:06:50 PM »
Lithium Bromide is hazardous though. Refer to the MSDS:
http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9927560
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Offline mangyhyena

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Re: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems
« Reply #49 on: February 23, 2013, 01:59:24 PM »
What about using homemade methane to run an absorbsion chiller?  What size digester would it take to make enough methane to supply that, do you all suppose?  Maybe use the methane to run it on hot nights?

Not directly solar powered, but inline with the spirit of free fuel, it could be used as an active backup for the solar air conditioner, and the methane can fuel other things as well.

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems
« Reply #50 on: February 23, 2013, 02:21:45 PM »
Interesting thermal-mass air-cool thread going on elsewhere that may be relevant to this project:

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=41274.0;topicseen

Offline mangyhyena

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2013, 04:58:01 PM »
When I was designing a house five years ago I came upon the idea of a solar powered ammonia absorption air conditioner. There are some models available for residential use, but they rely on electricity or gas to heat the ammonia.

It's a small amount of ammonia, which if there is a leak it can be quickly mitigated with water.

You will need to come up with solution for night time use.

Does anyone have a link to a residential absorption air conditioner that uses gas?  I'd like to see the specs and try to figure out if a residential sized methane digester or two could supply enough fuel to power an air conditioner that runs on gas.  Refrigeration (absorption type) & air conditioning sans the grid or fossil fuel would be really nice.

Offline dhvsfan

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Re: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems
« Reply #52 on: May 16, 2013, 11:37:24 PM »
Not sure if this will help you but you can go to www.roburusa.com.

From their webpage:

Integrated solutions for
 Heating, Cooling and DHW production
 with Absorption Heat Pumps
 fired by Natural gas + Renewable energy:

Offline Insidious

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Re: Alternative Energy Cooling Systems
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2013, 12:49:13 PM »
I didn't see links for..
The Einstein refrigerator
or
some modern updates


The selling point on this design is that even though efficiency is low.. it has no moving parts, and the ammonia is permanently sealed inside the unit. So in theory you could build one that would still be cooling away 100 years from now..

 :)

From a safety standpoint.. how about putting the mechanism over an in ground pond/tank of water in a ground depression?


The whole entropy thing is a bitch.. its easy to release or lose energy (heat) but hard to store/remove it (cool).
« Last Edit: May 17, 2013, 01:08:37 PM by Insidious »
An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.

Please disagree, I learn more that way.

Offline GomerPile

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Re: I'm going to piss Jack Spirko off! Heehee.
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2013, 12:41:11 PM »
Report on cooling the Bodega (www.tinyhomebuilding.com).  Its not 100% done yet, but I am working inside with nasty heat and humidity outside (90's).

I installed a 5000btu window air conditioner that I pickes up at Lowes for $119.  It runs off a Honda EU2000i generator without any trouble at all.  At this point the walls are at R39 and  the roof is at R58.  Its 14x18 feet inside with a loft and 15ft ceiling over half the area.  All the inside walls are covered in drywall and in the processing of being mudded (man I hate drywall work).

I ran the AC for about 4 hours one day and had the place feeling like an ice box.  The upstairs loft was much hotter than the first floor...I hope to even things out with a ceiling fan.  The next morning, it was still noticeably colder than the outside air temp.  I did not feel the need to run AC again until 2-3 in the afternoon.

Based on my very unscientific testing, I think this is going to work out very nicely.

Gomer, when it gets hot next summer, can you come back to this thread (hopefully not dead yet) and give us a report?  There is more than one way to skin this cat.