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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5
    Wondering if there are any alternatively powered A/C units out there. I have heard of propane powered refridgerators...

    What I have in mind is to harness river power, and see if there is an existing system that would allow me to directly transfer motion from a water wheel to a compressor. That would seem much more efficient that trying to use the motion to generate electricity, convert DC to AC electricity, and then use THAT to run the A/C.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    15,968
    You would be better off trying to use a setup like a car to do that, if you are trying to generate power to operate one you better make sure your power is stable at a certain voltage at certain amp draw are you will be replacing compressors quite often.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    207
    I have seen something similar, but the power was stored. Not directly run off of the water wheel... You could always install a very large belt around the wheel and then drive a compressor LMAO J/K, there called open drive compressors (driven by an external source)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    125

    Water powered AC

    Why not just pump the cool river water through a radiant system for cooling instead of all the wasteful energy conversion? Use a water wheel to power a pump to pump the cool river water through the house system. Radiant cooling works, with the right building envelope, and depending on your climate zone, some de-humidification or an ERV dessicant unit.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    207

    Re: Water powered AC

    Originally posted by gmcd
    Why not just pump the cool river water through a radiant system for cooling instead of all the wasteful energy conversion? Use a water wheel to power a pump to pump the cool river water through the house system. Radiant cooling works, with the right building envelope, and depending on your climate zone, some de-humidification or an ERV dessicant unit.

    I dont believe that the water will always be 45 or even 5o degress. In most states, I dont know all, thats not legal, you will get in big trouble for that.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    5
    Yes, I'm not building the house, so can't change it very easily to be water cooled. And yes, I'd think my river would easily be in the 60s during the summer, and I doubt that's cool enough to get much heat exchange into the house. I did make another post asking about cooling the coils with the water. I'd hope to combine the two ideas for max benefit.

    In this one, I was specifically trying to power the compressor. And yes, even IF I took the long way around and ran the water into a generator, inverter and orchestrated a steady water stream to produce consistent power levels, I'd still probably burn up compressors... that's why I'm hoping someone can turn me on to one that doesn't run on electricity at all.

    Any idea how much torque such an open powered compressor would require?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    125

    Radiant cooling water temperatures

    Radiant cooling systems only need water at between 61F and 65F to get about 20-25 Btuh/sf cooling capacity. The delta T is normally only about 5F-6F, so the warmed water being returned to the river won't be above any normally environmentally unacceptable levels. Option, drill a well and just use the local groundwater (subject to local Codes of course) The Turks used systems like this to cool their summer homes 2000 years ago, albeit with a little less technology at their disposal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    207
    Feet, If you tell me how many btus of cooling we are talkin about, I will be able to give you info on what it would take to drive a compressor in that size, in most cases, the compressor would need to see (aprox) 650-850 rpm. Not knowing the primary drive and rpm, It would be impossible to give a pulley or sheeve size for the compressor. I would be able to give you info on torque and h.p required w/ the compressor I would have in mind. Any compressor you choose to use would reqiure similar external drive forces.. I would need some time after you give me the info I requestd.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,274

    Thumbs up Power is ..

    Originally posted by feet1st
    Any idea how much torque such an open powered compressor would require?
    POWER = ~ 5 HP for a 5-ton unit.
    HP = 550.2 FT-LBS./ Second

    Total energy needed may be:
    ... 2751. FT.-LBS./Second
    .... 10. Revs/ Second ( 600 RPM)
    TORQUE ... 275 FT.LBS/ Rev

    .165,060. FT.-LBS./Minute
    .. 1,000. Revs/ Minute ( or other #)

    TORQUE = 165.06 FT.-LBS./ Rev.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,779
    Most water wheels transmit "river power" to an alternator...not a generator....though Im sure some folks use generators....backwoods wackjobs who dont want to coexist with normal society.

    anyhow...there is quite a bit of equipment out there to do this....you dont actually use the water wheel electricity yourself....you feed this back into the grid that serves your home and the utility credits you for the amount of juice you add to the grid verses the maount your home uses from the grid.

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