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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    45

    Does running sprinklers over condenser unit increase efficiency?

    I'm curious what people think about this idea. Swamp coolers work by running water over a mesh where air passes through and evaporative cooling causes the temperature of the resultant air to be lower. This only works when the humidity of the air isn't too high, but it seems like the same principle would apply to an outdoor split system AC condenser unit. If you you have pop up sprinklers that put out a lot of mist, the condenser would suck that misted air into the coils, the water would touch the coils and cool them lower then they would if there was just regular ambient air. Your condenser compressor would work less hard for a given btu of heat transfer. The draw back might be premature aging of the unit because it gets more weather/water then designed for.

    What are peoples thoughts on this topic? Have people actually tested this?


    -Jeff

  2. #2
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    Apr 2007
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    6,285

  3. #3
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    Jul 2007
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    That threat doesn't talk about sprinklers and the link to the avi in post 1 does not work.. Sprinklers are already installed, the question is if you use them, will it help?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    NE PA
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    698
    The short answer is yes. Wahet has a hugh heat capacity compared to air. However the long answer is that the cost of water will far exceed the savings in electricity.

    paul

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    196
    Quote Originally Posted by tecman View Post
    However the long answer is that the cost of water will far exceed the savings in electricity.
    Not to mention the cost of replacing condenser coils after they rot out or get encrusted in minerals.


    zootjeff:

    Water cooling is used in commercial and industrial applications. The equipment is specifically designed for this, however.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Round Rock
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    3,559
    Heat transfer using water is the most efficient way, then air to air then static. HVAC 101. If you could recapture the water then cool it down and re-use it, it would work fine. Look at using tower systems on water source heat pumps. The problem is that the energy you use to cool the water down through a series of pumps and fans would use more energy than just buying a high efficient a/c unit. It is only economically feasible on large projects, not for 1 unit on a house. You also need to treat the water being sprayed on your condenser coils which adds an entire other expense. There is a guy locally that makes his own condensing units, using water as the medium. They are quite pricey from what I understand, require regular maintenance as well as water treatment. They basically use a pool pump to spray the water over the coils. Which uses whatever amount of electricity. They are very pretty and make people feel good about themselves.
    I like DIY'ers. They pay better to fix.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    45
    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Feet View Post
    Not to mention the cost of replacing condenser coils after they rot out or get encrusted in minerals.


    zootjeff:

    Water cooling is used in commercial and industrial applications. The equipment is specifically designed for this, however.

    Ok, I got my answer. Thanks. Now I'm going to beat a dead horse, feel free to comment or flame as appropriate.

    On the sprinkler circuit near my condenser, I could cap off the 3 sprinklers and on the 4th one run some pipe over to the condenser. If off that pipe I could mount three "mist" fittings around the condenser, each would use less then 1 gallon per hour and would add some amount of evaporative cooling.

    Then the cost of the water might get in line, but if the water along with the minerals in the water are going to be worse then the normal frequency of rain in my area, then it's probably not worth the effort for the experiment.

    -Jeff

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    You obviously didn't read the thread. You would be beating 50 dead horses if you did. Not trying to be an ass just saying...

    This was the original product being talked about: http://www.coolnsave.com/

    50 pages later the "engineers" finally got it or they got fed up or put in their place, whatever the case.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    45
    You mean the thread with the broken link to the video that it is based on? Can you tell me where to find that video? Or is it not relevant to the rest of the thread? I'll go back and read the rest of the posts..

    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
    You obviously didn't read the thread. You would be beating 50 dead horses if you did. Not trying to be an ass just saying...

    This was the original product being talked about: http://www.coolnsave.com/

    50 pages later the "engineers" finally got it or they got fed up or put in their place, whatever the case.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,069
    Are you asking quesions for your DIY install?
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by zootjeff View Post
    You mean the thread with the broken link to the video that it is based on? Can you tell me where to find that video? Or is it not relevant to the rest of the thread? I'll go back and read the rest of the posts..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAT_Bjp_ByQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmhLW...eature=related

    Plenty more on youtube. Just search cool-n-save. Maybe starting from the back of the thread would be easier...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
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    5,520
    I say...give it a try and post pictures of the slow progression of mineral deposits and corrosion on the condenser fins.

    Don't forget, rainwater, overall is relatively mineral free. Potable water... is not, unless you have a reverse osmosis purification system.

    I suppose you could collect rain water in a drum on your roof... then spray that on the condenser. You will still need to deal with algea and mold. So over time, the actual efficiency of the system will be reduced. You could use paracetic acid or sodium hypochlorite solution to solve the mold and algea issues, but then you may have coil damage.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    80
    I just had to replace a condenser about a month ago due to the sprinkler heads being pointed at the unit. Unit was only about 7 years old at most. Compressor was pretty rusted about 30% of the fins were non existant anymore and the unit itself looked like a 15 yr old unit. They are made to withstand the weather to a certain extent but not all the time. In theory it does work but like the others said its not practical.

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