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ATS Science Challange: Air Condition a House in high humidity without standard AC/Refrigeration

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posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 08:50 AM
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Just last month, on September 3rd 2012, Matteran Energy ran their Residential-scaled low-temperature power plant in refrigeration mode for the first time, with success. ATS reported our smaller-scaled success in refrigeration a few years ago. This is our first useful-scale prototype. It's not yet optimized, nor pretty, nor compact. Our small venturi made 1/3rd ton of refrigeration effect, at temperatures for ice-making and air conditioning. We're expecting 1 ton of refrigeration when we test our larger venturi, next time. We ran our demonstration using 150º Fahrenheit water, simulating rooftop flat-plate solar collectors, running at their optimally efficient temperature.

We're building them one at a time. A more compact and optimized unit is on the drawing boards already.

Watch the two videos on the link below matteranenergy.us...




posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


Our house stays cool inside even during the hot summers. We have many mature trees for shading, our house is made of old block stones and we have 2 huge cellars that stay cool year 'round much like a cave does. Our summer electric bill is literally cut in half (or more) compared to our winter heating. (that's another story)
edit on 25-10-2012 by Staroth because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 09:54 AM
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A/C isn't really that fancy once you get the gist of the concept. Essentially it's a closed loop system with a pump and a working medium for heat transfer. You have a condenser where you dump the heat out and a storage tank, a line from that, a valve or orifice to meter the flow and allows for a pressure drop to occur, an expansion stage with coils to absorb the heat (evaporator), and a pump that can draw a vacuum from that which puts the heat transfer fluid back into the condenser. (Technically all A/C or refridgeration systems are "heat pumps" even though that term is usually reserved for systems with a circut where the positions of condenser and evaporator are swapped.) You'll want to make sure that your pump can draw a good vacuum on the intake side, but your head pressure at the output is likely dependent on what you have as a working fluid.

In theory you could have working solar powered A/C with no electricity at all, just have a boiler setup under solar collectors to run a steam or stirling engine and have that power the pump. Of course that's going to be hot, so keep its position on the A/C circuit well away from whatever you're cooling.

Alternately anything that can keep a pump going would work too, water-wheel, windmill, hamster wheel, etc. Also keep in mind that even with cooler sources of energy input, that pump is always going to be on the hot end because it's compressing the working fluid and increasing the heat density.

If you want to go old school enough, having ammonia as the heat transfer medium should work. Ammonia may not be as efficient as modern refridgerants, but if it runs enough volume you can get quite a chill. I believe that's what ice houses used back in old times, before modern refridgeration became commonplace.

Next on the list of refridgerants might be butane or propane. They're more comparable to current HFC or CFC refrigerants, but then you have a certain fire hazard if there's ever a leak. Alcohol might be a good one too, provided it doesn't eat whatever material is used for your pump seals. Water by itself can even work, but if it gets too cold it'll freeze up on you and clog the evaporator. (Which likely explains why it isn't used much in a closed loop type system, although saltwater sometimes is - but then you have corrosion issues.)

If you know how to braze pipes together, attach valves, cut and bend and use a flaring tool on metal tubing, and put a pump together without it leaking, you've already got a start. If you want to get fancy, you can also learn a bit about heat transfer, have guages for differential pressure, thermometers, and implement some parameters and control systems to increase efficiency.

Of course I'm not a certified HVAC tech or engineer, but if you were to ask one for some insight on making a non-standardized system from scratch, it's likely not that far off from what I said.



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 10:29 AM
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Originally posted by Semicollegiate
A bit of theory

PV=nRT is the ideal gas law from Chem 1A

P pressure x V volume = n number of particles x R constant that makes the math work x T temperature.

Since this is an equation, if one side is reduced the other side will be reduced also.

Reducing the pressure would (different equation) make the water more readily condense out of the air. Some expanding-sealed and contracting-vented ( or slowly expanding all day) chamber with a roller sponge getting squeezed and released might make a difference.





Venturi effect

Moving air horizontally across the ceiling, assuming none of the moving air stayed in the room, would reduce the room temperature by reducing the air pressure.

Theoretically, cheap cooling would involve cheap motion, ideally by some trick of venting to use convection.


edit on 25-10-2012 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-10-2012 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-10-2012 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)
edit on 25-10-2012 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)


I have the rare vantage of having been both a custom home builder and a guy who understands calculus.

What you are saying is scientifically valid...but it's just not practical. Any solution which looks to affect a temperature change by adjusting air pressure is going to incur some EXTRAVAGANT costs in making sure the system is both air tight AND that it's air tight properties are durable enough to LAST. Ever a thermos mug where the seal breaks? All of a sudden it doesn't insulate much better than a paper coffee cup...and that's just from the expansion and contraction from hot/cold fluids....nothings under pressure at all.

Likewise, there is an uneven curve of power consumption when one compresses gas. The higher the pressure...the more energy is expended per increase in unit of pressure. Given that the Mechanism of Action is pressure you will have a system that is SUPER energy efficient when you don't need it....but becomes disproportionately MORE power hungry when it gets really, really, hot.

Is it possible to research and engineer a comprehensive solution that finds the "sweet spot" in energy consumption, pressure, reliability, durability, etc? Probably...I'm a firm believer that there is a viable engineering solution to ALL SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS/CHALLENGES. But assuming OP doesn't have A LOT of time on their hands, a Fab Lab, and exceptional skills in calculus, CAD, and chemistry....I'm thinking that it just isn't very practical.

I personally think that the BEST place to start is w/ the insulation. Regardless whether you are using standard A/C, a swamp cooler, geothermal, or something else entirely there will be SOME power consumption. Insulation DIRECTLY lowers the overall power envelope of the system.

NASA has licensed out Aerogel for private manufacturing quite some time ago. That's the stuff that those black tiles on the bottom of the space shuttle are made out of as well as provides insulation throughout. It's the most energy efficient insulator on planet earth, it comes in big roll that looks sorta like Thinsulate and installs with a staple gun. If you can unroll an area rug...you can install aerogel. 1" typically adds +10-15 to the R value of building (depending mostly upon the rest of construction and issues of air permeability.

If it's already an existing house and not being built brand new, aerogel can still be easily added to the attic of pretty much any house and will lower the power consumption of ANY cooling system more than any other single solution.

It's a little pricey...the best I have been able to find is about $3-$4/ sq foot. But if one is only doing it in the attic...it will be a hell of a lot cheaper and more cost effective than adding more batteries.

Here are a couple of pics of the stuff in action. It's thermally efficient enough that a 1/4 inch of the stuff will shield your flesh from a propane torch.





and here are a few more links about the stuff.
www.buyaerogel.com...
www.gizmag.com...
www.thermablok.com...
www.thermablok.com...
edit on 25-10-2012 by milominderbinder because: formatting



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 01:41 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


You could try electrostatic cooling (which works and produces air flow without a fan if done properly) in combination with an H2/O generator. The reason for the H2/O generator is that you want to use a micro-steam turbine to run the electrostatic and other electrical systems, but there is a problem with electrostatic cooling and that is ozone generation. So, the O3 generated from electrostatic cooling can be combined with the single oxygen molecules from the hydrogen generator. You will need special H2/O cells that separate the Oxygen from the hydrogen, I designed some of these myself using permeable membranes.

A second method is use a small fractional horsepower motor to create a friction system to produce steam. The steam is then used with Peltier coolers to produce cooling and electricity. Or you could use an adiabatic reactor (moving magnetic field reactor) with batteries and an inverter to get it started, but I won't sell those until they are made, weapon-proof, idiot-proof and fanatic-proof.

Just a couple of thoughts without actually thinking about the problem.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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I didn't read your post, just read the title, and I thought of this:

Doris Kim Sung: Metal that breathes



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 03:24 PM
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Read this many years ago, how to get a.c. off the grid.
Run a 'very'deep trench 1 or 2 feet wide from the house.
Run large pipe from basement through the trench and up the other end. Put a bug screen and rain cover over the exposed end.
Make it deep and the air will be cooled just by running through the pipe at this depth.
It therefore follows the longer the pipe the cooler the air so remember the pipe does not need to be a straight line. Make it a long circle under your back yard if you want.
To suck the air through the pipe into your home place angled black glass at the top of the chimney with a gap between for the heated air to escape through
The sun heats the air in the chimney causing it to rise which reduces the air pressure in the house and draws the cold air in through the cooling pipes.
Hope I got that right. The memory is about 40 years old but the simplicity makes it easy enough I'm fairly sure I got it right.



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by Puck 22
 


Sounds pretty feasible. I'm going to try it in one of my sheds! I'll put one of those spinning vents on the roof that sucks hot air out as it is cooled, and I'll run some long PVC out into my yard somewhere and up into the shed behind a workbench and see if I get cool air coming in the pipe.



posted on Oct, 26 2012 @ 06:39 PM
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I thought of another idea, some homes have really nice cool water coming through the tap even in summer as the ground is nice and cool. The idea would work similar to a heat sink on a computer.

What you could do is basically use the pipes as a heat sink, it would be ideal if you have copper pipes, copper is very conductive of heat as well as electricity which is why the good heat-sinks use it. Attach some sort of fins to increase the surface area, like an old drain cover might work...



And place a fan behind the fins if you want. This way you don't have to build pipes deep into the ground, just use what is already there. The water in the pipes has a high specific heat capacity so it should help with cooling.



edit on 26-10-2012 by polarwarrior because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by darkhorserider
 

I'm pretty sure the key to the whole thing is depth. I remember reading how others dug a huge hole, built a shack at the bottom with a ladder leading down to it, filled it with ice the next winter, covered with straw and dirt and used it as a freezer all summer long.
Just a thought but......
after you lay your PCV throw in a foot of dirt and put in a second pipe. Then measure the difference in the temperature between the two and you should be able to predict how deep you need to go to get the temps you want.
Just a thought



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'll say up front, the example I bring, I don't know anything about as a company. Never heard of them,...but I know about the process their diagram shows.



It's NOT cheap and that's why I can't tell you how well it works. I looked very hard at this 2 years ago when I got an inheritance and a desire to look long term sustainability for my own home. This...didn't work for me. Largely because of cost\, honestly. It's not because all the material I researched didn't sound very promising. Ever been in a Cavern? Nice comfy temp....year around, no matter where on Earth you find that cavern to stand in.
It's playing on that same theory.

Geothermal Answers


This was used in a large building somewhere in China, so at scale this will be cost effective. Note that it also works as a heater in cold weather, since the temperature of the ground at depth is fairly constant.



posted on Oct, 27 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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There are light-colored roof paints, I heard they are quite effective in keeping the temps down. Also, the attic needs to be well ventilated to the outside.



posted on Oct, 28 2012 @ 03:35 AM
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reply to post by DejaVuAgain
 

Hmmm I didn't know people didn't know... but then, I live Out There... and we get permits and get firewood. Chainsaws and pickup trucks and fuel for the stove for winter. We want dead trees that are standing. It helps remove fire fuels and there is plenty out there, thanks to all the beetle kill. Permits are cheap and we help the forest out. Yes, some needs to go back into the ground, and it does. The Forest Service decides where its good and where its bad. It's a very common practice!



posted on Oct, 29 2012 @ 10:15 AM
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reply to post by Puck 22
 


The water table in the back of my yard is about 3 feet below the surface during the winter, and during the summer it is often just inches below the surface. I'm thinking I probably don't need to to deeper than about 4 feet, but I'll have to run it horizontally a little ways to make sure the air is in there long enough to cool down.

I plan to do it next weekend, but of course it is cool here right now, so I may not be able to tell if it is working until summertime.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 
My evap cooler that covers 1600sq ft works well in extremely hot temperatures after I added the simple misting system on the outside of each pad grill and the dark shade cloth around the cooler with awning above it already. Yesterday here in Palm Springs the temperature was 114 degreese outside. The evap cooler had the air inside the house at a comfortable 77 to 80 degreese all day with fans circulating the air throughout the house. Now I'm going to try refrigerating the water inside the cooler pan to work when the humidity levels are high and the temperature is also high. I'm going to install a 12x10 igloo cooler inside the cooler next to the water pump. Then run a hose from the water pump into a drilled hole on the side of the igloo cooler. Attach that with a clamp to a roll of 1/4 inch copper tubing coiled up like a spring inside the bottom of the igloo cooler and seal the hole. Next drill a second hole at the other end of the igloo cooler and run a hose intom that end and attach it to the end of the copper tubing with a clamp and seal off that hole. That hose on the outside will run up to the top of the inside of the evap cooler and attach to the bib that runs the plastic water lines to the pads on each side of the evap cooler. I'll fill the igloo cooler with crushed ice mixed with salt and close the lid air tight. When the water from the water pump pumps the water through the copper coils inside the igloo it will cool the water runniing through the copper lines close to freezing temperature and then flow outside the igloo and up to the plastic water lines that feed the evap cooler pads. This should decrease the temperature of the air flowing in through the evap cooler pads to comfortably cool temperature when it enters the house and fans throughout the house will circulate the cool air into the rooms of the house. If the air isn't cool enough I'll then add several trays of silica gel to the cooler pads and tie them inside the cooler grills. That will absorb enough moisture to bring the air temperature down inside the evap cooler.



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


Have you seen the way they make the fridges with two clay pipes. One fits inside the other with a cloth on top. Then fill the gap between the pipes with sand and fill it with water. The water evaporates in the day but it keeps the inside pipe chamber cool. Maybe you modify that idea for your house..



posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by JohnPhoenix
 


Here is a video with someone doing it with three pots. Two pots can be very effective.




posted on Jul, 9 2013 @ 01:27 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
I'll say up front, the example I bring, I don't know anything about as a company. Never heard of them,...but I know about the process their diagram shows.



It's NOT cheap and that's why I can't tell you how well it works. I looked very hard at this 2 years ago when I got an inheritance and a desire to look long term sustainability for my own home. This...didn't work for me. Largely because of cost, honestly. It's not because all the material I researched didn't sound very promising. Ever been in a Cavern? Nice comfy temp....year around, no matter where on Earth you find that cavern to stand in.
It's playing on that same theory.

Geothermal Answers

I'm no scientist but this is pretty much the best way. In the summer after the water from a CAPPED well has cooled off your home it should travel to a heat source such as your roof, expand and presurize so that it may travel back into the well and travel under ground with or without a pump. In the journey to the bottom of the capped well it should cool off and presurize the system. Causing the top of the well, or where you collect cool water from, to push new water, or coolant through the system. I don't know if a valve is needed to stop back flows or a simple circulation pump would be the best bet. But what you don't want is for the system to equalize in temperature, top to bottom. This would entail figuring the heat load BTU versus water coolant volume necessary.
ETA: If you dont want a well and run pipes through the house then make a sealed heatsink tank below the water table. The tank needs to exchange heat, so if you increase the surface area and allow for water to get to it (bury it in sand). One way to increase surface area would be like how the steam engine boiler changed dramatically by adding pipes inside the boiler. Another is to scarify the surface or affix fins like heatsinks in computer chips onto the surface. Better yet bury old radiators and connect them together. Here the tank size or water volume is not important but the BTU exchange.
edit on 9-7-2013 by Emeraldous because: ETA





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