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'[OT]: Using well water to air condition home'
2002\04\07@114852 by Rod Phillips

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Hello to all,

Here's an idea that I wanted to run past whoever is interested.

I have 2 unused water wells on my property that are seperated by 100 feet.
One well has a 30 inch diameter concrete casing and is 36 feet deep.  The
other well has an 18 inch diameter casing and is about 25 feet in depth.

My idea is to pump water from well # 1 into a small, insulated pressure
tank.  At the tank outlet would be a solenoid valve to let the water flow
into some sort of heat exchanger in the furnace plenum.  Another valve would
be located on the other side of the heat exchanger to discharge the warmed
water into the second well.  The plan would be to monitor air temperature in
the plenum and when it has reached a certain limit open both valves to force
the warmed water out.  Additional temperature probes in the input and output
lines could be used to determine when the exchanger is full of cold water.
I have a probe in well # 1 now and the water temperature is 51 degrees.

I would welcome any comments or experiences anyone has had along these
lines.

                                  Rod

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2002\04\07@122059 by Rick C.

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This is currently being done commercially now. It hasn't caught up yet to the
home (domestic) market as it should, but I've seen the numbers and they are
promising. A large warehouse I know of in Frederick, MD, has such a system and
their heating/air conditioning bill is about $50 a month compared to a
conventional system in a comparable size building of about $450 a month. The
initial expense is a bit higher though, but it has already paid off. Plus, no
Freon involved.

I have spray nozzles on two sides of my outdoor condenser unit that sprays well
water on the coils when the compressor comes on. This has made a noticeable
difference in the time the compressor runs (less on time and less cycling) when
cooling the house during the summer. I'm getting ready to make some measurements
to see just how much of a savings this will make.
Rick

Rod Phillips wrote:

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2002\04\07@123051 by Sean H. Breheny

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Hi Rod,

I have no personal experience with this, but it sounds an awful lot like
something that my university (Cornell University) is building right now to
reduce it's summer cooling bill. Cornell is only about a mile away from the
(IIRC) second largest of New York's finger lakes, Lake Cayuga. Much of
Cornell's air conditioning is already done by chilled water, currently
generated by several centralized electric powered water chiller facilities
on campus. They are installing heat exchangers at the bottom of the lake
(which is very deep, something like 400 to 700 feet, IIRC) and going to use
the lake to chill their water instead of the electric facilities. They call
it the "Lake Source Cooling Project".

So, at least it sounds like your idea is sound enough for someone to dump
millions into a larger version of it!

Sean

At 10:47 AM 4/7/02 -0500, you wrote:
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2002\04\07@124127 by Rick C.

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BTW the term is called "geothermal" heating or cooling.
enhancedliving.net/Geothermal/geothermal.html
www.ew.govt.nz/ourenvironment/geothermal/energy.htm
Rick

Rod Phillips wrote:

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2002\04\07@130530 by Eisermann, Phil [Ridg/CO]

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Hi Rod,

       This is also known as a 'geothermal system' The basic idea is to use
the earth temperature below the frost line to heat and cool your home. Try a
search engine with that keyword, you'll probably get better answers than I
can provide.

Phil Eisermann


> {Original Message removed}

2002\04\07@143822 by M. Adam Davis

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I have thought about this a quite a bit awhile ago.  Your version would
be more efficient than what I was considering, which was just to allow
the water to flow through a limiting valve, then through coils.  Yours
would actually put more heat into the water - very nice!

In my case we didn't have two wells, though, so we would have either let
it go into the septic tank (we had two holding tanks, so it wouldn't
have been bad for the system), to a sprinkler, or back into the same
well (since the pump is several feet below water in an aquafer (sp?))...

But we never did it.  Now I'm in a condo, and I consider (often) puting
some pipe a few feet into the ground, a long U.  It wouldn't provide
much cooling (ie, it wouldn't make up for the heat provided by my
computers) but it would be fun to play with.

When I finished my basement I considered cementing a copper plate to the
bare cement wall with piping soldered to it, since the plastic, air, and
drywal mak the basement much warmer than it used to be.  Then I though
about pumping that water through a water cooling cpu sink...

It's fun to think about.  Never enough time, though, but I'd bet it
would get on slashdot... ;-)

-Adam

-Adam

Rod Phillips wrote:

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2002\04\07@153648 by Chris Loiacono

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OOn a semi-related note, check out http://www.solarguerilla.com

C

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2002\04\07@195123 by Daniel Webb

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"No such domain"


On Sun, 7 Apr 2002, Chris Loiacono wrote:

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2002\04\07@201041 by Daniel Webb

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> I have 2 unused water wells on my property that are seperated by 100 feet.
> One well has a 30 inch diameter concrete casing and is 36 feet deep.  The
> other well has an 18 inch diameter casing and is about 25 feet in depth.
>
> My idea is to pump water from well # 1 into a small, insulated pressure
> tank.  At the tank outlet would be a solenoid valve to let the water flow
> into some sort of heat exchanger in the furnace plenum.  Another valve would
> be located on the other side of the heat exchanger to discharge the warmed
> water into the second well.  The plan would be to monitor air temperature in
> the plenum and when it has reached a certain limit open both valves to force
> the warmed water out.  Additional temperature probes in the input and output
> lines could be used to determine when the exchanger is full of cold water.
> I have a probe in well # 1 now and the water temperature is 51 degrees.

 This might work, given that you have two wells.  If you only had one
well, I imagine that as you pumped the warm water back down, the area
around the well pump would warm up until you weren't getting much heat
transfer.

 There are lithium bromide absorption coolers in operation now that
produce cooling water at 40-50 F:
www.eren.doe.gov/femp/prodtech/parafta_appc.pdf
so it is obviously possible.  One drawback over conventional cooling is
that the size of your heat exchanger will have to be much larger.  The
temperature difference between room air and coolant in a freon unit is
much larger than a lithium bromide absorption cooler, which makes the heat
exchange design much cheaper for a traditional air conditioner.  Also,
becuase the coolant coils are not as cold, you will not get as much
dehumidification from your system, which saves energy at the cost of
comfort if you live in a humid area.  If you don't live in a humid area
(like me), you just use an evaporative cooler if you can tolerate 80 F on
the hot days.

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2002\04\07@212838 by Larry G. Nelson Sr.

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I have a friend of mine in the water well drilling business and he has
played with this off and on for a few years. It works fine with a heat pump
and is good in New England where in the winter the air is cold and in the
summer it can be hot but the ground water temp is somewhat constant.

At 10:47 AM 4/7/02 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Larry G. Nelson Sr.
spam_OUTL.NelsonTakeThisOuTspamieee.org
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'[OT]: Using well water to air condition home'
2002\06\10@214200 by M. Adam Davis
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So, Rick, any new news on spraying water on the condenser unit?

I'm interested in doing something similar, and was going to send a
general message to the list but checked the archives just in case.  I
thought we had someone mention it recently.

-Adam

Rick C. wrote:

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2002\06\10@222406 by Jim

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I have to wonder what the minerals in the water do over
time to a condenser -

- down here wooden fences in the line of  fire from sprinklers
(city/reservoir and some well water) show traces (same pattern
as the sprinkler!) of white calcium deposits after awhile ...

Jim

{Original Message removed}

2002\06\10@223719 by M. Adam Davis

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I suspect I'd have to condition the water somewhat.  I could add some
deposit desolver every once in awhile, but I suspect it could be a
problem over several years.

I doubt one summer is going to cause a lot of build up, though.

-Adam

Jim wrote:

>I have to wonder what the minerals in the water do over
>time to a condenser -
>
>- down here wooden fences in the line of  fire from sprinklers
>(city/reservoir and some well water) show traces (same pattern
>as the sprinkler!) of white calcium deposits after awhile ...
>
>Jim
>
>{Original Message removed}

2002\06\10@233235 by Rick C.

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Rather than tying up the list, one can link to the development of the system at:
http://www.pic101.com/projects/acwatersys.htm
Rick

"M. Adam Davis" wrote:

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2002\06\11@121815 by Rex Byrns

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I wanted to tell you a short story.

I bought a house 6 years ago.  It had been used as a weekend house sitting
empty for over 15 years.

About a year after moving in, the AC starting blowing the breaker every few
days, it continued until it started doing it every day.  I did not have the
money to replace it so I put one of those sprinklers that is just a plastic
ring with holes in it on top of the outside unit.  I turned to water on to
the slowest trickle I could get and consequently ran the unit for two more
summers. (I am on the coast of Texas --very hot, verrry humid)

The water made many Amps difference, I never quantified it, but it was alot.

The calcium buildup finally got to it, or I might still be running it. This
was so bad, I have resisted trying it on my new $4000 unit.  I have a water
softener now, but it adds enough salt to make me worry about rust.

I have an Engineer friend who uses the atomizer nozzles on his ac unit and
has done so for years.

He had read an article on this method somewhere and tried it.  I suspect it
was in the "IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications" - In the early 80's
there was alot about power saving, cogeneration, etc,

> {Original Message removed}

2002\06\13@084650 by Rick C.

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Try http://www.pic101.com/projects/acwatersys.htm
Rick

"M. Adam Davis" wrote:

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2002\06\13@095106 by Dennis Hoskins

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It seems like a "long" time ago I read an article about a guy ( I believe it
was Popular Mechanics) who mounted a car radiator in his air duct and ran
well water through it.  I believe you would just have to run the water pump
whenever the fan was running.  The house thermostat could control this.  You
want to keep the water in the heat exchanger as cold as possible for best
efficiency.  Just be sure the recovery rate of your well is sufficient to
supply your system.
{Original Message removed}

2002\06\13@101828 by Jim Main

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The plus of this method would also be that you wouldn't have any bacterial
issues from spraying untreated well water on a warm surface in open-air
conditions...

-Jim
{Original Message removed}

2002\06\13@135154 by Uri Sabadosh

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Be sure not to expose all your computer and electronics gear to the humid
air.

Uri



----- Original Message -----
From: "M. Adam Davis" <adampicspamspam_OUTUBASICS.COM>
To: <@spam@PICLISTKILLspamspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2002 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Using well water to air condition home


{Quote hidden}

the
> >home (domestic) market as it should, but I've seen the numbers and they
are
> >promising. A large warehouse I know of in Frederick, MD, has such a
system and
> >their heating/air conditioning bill is about $50 a month compared to a
> >conventional system in a comparable size building of about $450 a month.
The
> >initial expense is a bit higher though, but it has already paid off.
Plus, no
> >Freon involved.
> >
> >I have spray nozzles on two sides of my outdoor condenser unit that
sprays well
> >water on the coils when the compressor comes on. This has made a
noticeable
> >difference in the time the compressor runs (less on time and less
cycling) when
> >cooling the house during the summer. I'm getting ready to make some
measurements
{Quote hidden}

feet.
> >>One well has a 30 inch diameter concrete casing and is 36 feet deep.
The
> >>other well has an 18 inch diameter casing and is about 25 feet in depth.
> >>
> >>My idea is to pump water from well # 1 into a small, insulated pressure
> >>tank.  At the tank outlet would be a solenoid valve to let the water
flow
> >>into some sort of heat exchanger in the furnace plenum.  Another valve
would
> >>be located on the other side of the heat exchanger to discharge the
warmed
> >>water into the second well.  The plan would be to monitor air
temperature in
> >>the plenum and when it has reached a certain limit open both valves to
force
> >>the warmed water out.  Additional temperature probes in the input and
output
> >>lines could be used to determine when the exchanger is full of cold
water.
{Quote hidden}

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2002\06\14@064249 by Peter L. Peres

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On Mon, 10 Jun 2002, Jim wrote:

>I have to wonder what the minerals in the water do over
>time to a condenser -
>
>- down here wooden fences in the line of  fire from sprinklers
>(city/reservoir and some well water) show traces (same pattern
>as the sprinkler!) of white calcium deposits after awhile ...

I've been thinking about this. Could one not use the spray-cooling method
on the intake air to the condenser ? This would be done by ducting the
intake through maybe an empty barrel with nozzles installed on top. The
direct cooling efficiency would be lower but maybe not that low. Only
small droplets and water vapor would make it to the condenser.

Peter

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2002\06\14@082741 by Larry G. Nelson Sr.

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They make water to water heat pumps and I have a friend in the well
drilling business that did that with surprising success here in New
England. I would look into a radiator or other sealed heat exchanger to
eliminate the mineral deposit problems.
Larry

At 07:13 PM 6/13/02 +0300, you wrote:
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2002\06\14@110228 by Lawrence Lile

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I was involved in a $100,000 remodeling job where a bright restaurant owner
had "fixed" his air conditioners by adding so-called water-cooled air cooled
condenser units (He put a lawn sprinlker on the roof to cool the condensing
units. )  Besides the eventual roof failure and leaks, he caused calcium
fouling of all this equipment and they hired our firm to replace the roof
and the air conditioning.

It's better in the long run to exchange heat with water through a heat
exchanger that can be cleaned, or inhenently has some anti-fouling feature.
A loop of sealed pipe is often inserted into a deep well to exchange heat
with the ground, without the potential of fouling groundwater or taking on
calcium.  Other systems use pipes buired 8' below grade, still a sealed
system.

We also investigated using well water for a major office building.  They
have maybe 750 employees, and also happen to own a big park next door with a
deep well that can pump a firehose full of water.  Originally the well was
for watering the park. Water table is no problem in Missouri, it is the
largest groundwater recharge area in the US, so the environmental impact was
minimal.  The plan would have been to run the cool water through a heat
exchanger, which would cool the building's chillers instead of a
conventional cooling tower.  The wellwater would have been dumped to drain
after one use.

It was an attractive plan, economically.  Having a building's chillers
working against 52F instead of 90F really saves a lot of energy.  Never got
implemented though.

--Lawrence


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\14@115239 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Water table is no problem in Missouri

Would this have been the case during the big drought of '88?

I remember the Mississippi River as being very low at St Louis back then.
There were problems maintaining enough depth in the navigation channel there
was so little water in the river.

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2002\06\14@133616 by Lawrence Lile

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Even when rivers are low, water literally pours out of every cliff and rock
face.  I've lived with deep wells all my life around here, and never seen
one go dry.  The rock here is limestone, about 2000 feet thick, and is
riddled with cavities, caves, and springs.  It isn't "geoligic" water like
out west, it is constantly replenished.  A "drought" around here is enough
water to drown people in places like Arizona.  They say that as much water
flows in the rock and sand below the missouri river as flows in the channel.

--Lawrence


{Original Message removed}

2002\06\15@071326 by Alain Pelletier

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This would be called a geothermal heat pump.

you could heat your house as well as cool your house with one of these.

General rule: 1 Watt of energy = 2 Watt or more of heat (or heat removal)

Alain Pelletier
New Brunswick Canada

{Original Message removed}

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