I used to work on a burlesque / movie theater that had been built in the 1920's. Built into the outside wall of the mechanical room penthouse was a massive thick water coil - maybe 10' by 20'. I eventually found that down next to a 2+ million BTU furnace (for the radiant floor heating system - all red brick air ducts - was a big vertical water pump with a 4" discharge. It pumped from a well they said was 300' deep and supplied water to the huge water coil.

When I was a kid I had puzzled over why the alley behind the theater was trough-shaped. As an adult I found that it was the original drain path for the "air conditioning system'. <g>

That 100% outside air though a well water coil was - so far as I could find out - the original cooling system for the theater.

Just inside that big water coil was a series of big evaporators piped to three open drive Carrier compressors - R-12. I often wondered if those compressors has Always been there - and the water coil only serves to pre-chill the 100% outside air intake.

Smoking was allowed then so I imagine a theater needed a huge fresh air flow and prechilling it with well water would have made sense. But no one alive knew anything that far back.


Quote Originally Posted by numbawunfela View Post
I worked for TETCO before they got bought by their current owners. They are apparently the original Geothermal HVAC company from the early 70s.
They marketed an A series cooling unit that was nothing more than a water coil that just pumped and dumped well water for cooling. Sat on the furnace like an A coil would.
Only slightly less hoaky than a crane radiator....