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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    Eastern PA
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    I have two current passions that I enjoy learning about, HVAC and ancient history. The HVAC passion is obvious as it is my life. The ancient history came about studying biblical history through archeaology and other historical findings.

    What is neat is that the physics we use in todays HVAC has been used in different parts of the world throughout history.

    "Evaporation" and "absorbtion" are two major factors of the HVAC industry. At least one instance of each of these has been documented being utilized over 4,000 years ago by ancient desert dwelling peoples.

    Ancient Pharoahs had large stone walls that could be rolled from the kings chamber to the outside by means of hundreds of slaves rolling these thousands of tons slabs. In the cool of the desert night the wall would be rolled to the outside where it would cool rapidly in the night air. Just before sun up, the cooled slab of stone would be rolled back into the chamber where all day long it would "absorb" the heat of the room.

    On a 110º day the kings chamber could stay at about 80º. Not bad for no refrigerant.

    Also, desert dwellers would cover shallow pools of water in desert oasis's with straw just before dusk. Over night the cool winds would blow across the wetted straw "evaporating" the water from the straw which would cool the top of the pools enough to form a thin layer of ice. The ice would be collected before dawn and stored in cool caves for use during the day.

    Anyone else come across ancient methods of heating and cooling?
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    2,866
    I heard the pharoah had a big fan club that brought rock and roll to the palace.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,195
    Don't forget the 'V' aspect of the trade. The same culture had incredible mazes of air passages built into the pyramids for ventilation of their structures.

    Clever instances of built-in ventilation exist in man-made structures throughout history. I've always admired the design of the German Lutheran's who built in my area of Texas in the 1800's. Those houses are still cool on all but the most humid days. Of course, all the modern buyers can't wait to convert those high attics into 'bonus rooms' and pay the bonus bill.
    "That's good enough..." usually isn't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,172
    I saw an ancient form of cooling in a house here in houston TX. It had a huge fan in the hallway ceiling. A switch mounted on the wall in the hall to operate this fan. I beleive the ancient ones would open all their windows and turn this big fan thing on. When the big fan thing came on louvers would open up and air would be drawn through the structure and into the fan. Yeah I know it's not what you were looking for but a little humor never hurts.
    Saddle Up!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL.
    Posts
    4,313
    RoBo, did you ever study how the Romans heated their baths? Thought it was interesting when I watched something on it on the History Channel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Posts
    3,910
    Originally posted by -80guru
    I saw an ancient form of cooling in a house here in houston TX. It had a huge fan in the hallway ceiling. A switch mounted on the wall in the hall to operate this fan. I beleive the ancient ones would open all their windows and turn this big fan thing on. When the big fan thing came on louvers would open up and air would be drawn through the structure and into the fan. Yeah I know it's not what you were looking for but a little humor never hurts.
    My grandparents house had one of those except it was at the top of the steep stairs in the wall. I was always told that the bogey-man lived in there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Texas
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    1,172
    Hey you had a boogyman too. I still don't know why our parents would mess with us like that. Guess they got off on watching our responses.
    Saddle Up!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    11,808
    Maybe search how they made ice in India
    The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.

    http://www.ductstrap.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    Originally posted by special ed
    RoBo, did you ever study how the Romans heated their baths? Thought it was interesting when I watched something on it on the History Channel.
    Yea. The floors were sometimes so hot that they had to wear sandals to walk on them;
    Heating System: Roman engineers devised an ingenious system of heating the baths—the hypocaust. The floor was raised off the ground by pillars and spaces were left inside the walls so that hot air from the furnace (praefurnium) could circulate through these open areas. Rooms requiring the most heat were placed closest to the furnace, whose heat could be increased by adding more wood.
    Check out this diagram of this system;
    http://www.canterburytrust.co.uk/sch...ry/gall09c.htm
    It's basically a furnace using even the flue gases to heat the walls. Wonder if any of them ever blew up from kreosote buildup igniting.

    [Edited by RoBoTeq on 11-28-2004 at 07:40 PM]
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,923
    Not so ancient but pre-mechanical HVAC is a mansion in Jim Thorpe, PA (old Mauch Chaunk). This mansion is built next to a steep hillside that always has somewhat cool downdrafts flowing down the hill and getting trapped between the hill and the mansion.

    The house has large louvers in the basement at the back of the house that the cool air can push into. In the basement the louvers go into a large walk in ice bin that has ducts to each of the rooms in the mansion.

    There is a large stairwell going up the middle of the house to a coppola that has full opening windows. When the windows were open the hot air of the home rose up to the coppola while the cool air pushed into the ice bin. The ice cooled air would then be distributed through the house by means of the ducting and replace the warm air that left the rooms to rise up into the coppola.

    The curator of the house claims they could get a 30ºF temperature drop throughout the mansion.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    34.8n 102.4w
    Posts
    3,244

    Study abroad

    Is this one reason to go to Iraq ?
    Life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    9,932
    Originally posted by appltech1
    I heard the pharoah had a big fan club that brought rock and roll to the palace.
    Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs?

  13. #13
    Frank Lloyd Wright had some interesting ideas for cooling the homes he designed.

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