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Thread: Adding a water cooled heat exchanger for efficiency?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
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    Adding a water cooled heat exchanger for efficiency?

    I have two electric services - one for the shop and one for the house. The shop has the well pumps. One pump is ground water (for drinking) and the other is pond water (for the shop AC.) The previous owner never got the geothermal AC to work. All it needed was some rewiring and a new heat exchanger coil. It works great now.

    I'm adding solar (a little at a time) and the shop is the first to benefit. Soon, the well pumps will be free to run and my success with the shop geothermal AC has put an idea in my mind...

    The house is cooled by a 4-ton, 14seer Goodman that is about 5 years old. About this time of year, it comes on and runs 24/7 until around October. It works, but it's expensive (thus the solar.) I'm thinking of running a pond water line to the house and adding a heat exchanger before the condenser coil. Could I expect much performance gain from this? I remember trying the water-hose trick on the condenser 30 years ago and didn't get anything from it. Would any gains in the condenser get lost in the evaporator, or is this a viable idea?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    va
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    In essence you would be adding a desuperheater, could be beneficial if the hot discharge water was used to preheat your domestic hot water. Code requires a double wall heat exchanger for domestic water. Otherwise just making the condenser maybe 3-5% more efficient.

    Pumping cost could cut into any savings if not done correctly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2022
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    Thread Starter
    I was thinking that. Without the solar, it's definitely not worth it. The AC in the shop draws around 1500 watts while it's running (maybe a little more.) The pump draws about the same. Even though the pump is intermittent, there is no way a fan in a standard condensor uses 1500 watts. If the fan is working correctly, and eniugh heat is being removed to make the unit work correctly, I figure the gains would be small by adding water.

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