Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by Tirediron, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    Are we interested in non grid cooling ??
  2. tsrwivey

    tsrwivey Supporting Member

    Have you checked into water fans? Attic fans do a good job of cooling.

  3. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    I was thinking of passive (night sky) cooling / refridgeration methods as well as evaporative and air flow type, but don't plan to write a bunch of stuff on the subject unless there is interest.:dunno:
  4. Reblazed

    Reblazed Member

    I, for one, am always interested in gaining knowledge that may come in helpful down the road. I haven't used A/C for quite a while but that doesn't mean that I've been comfortable in August. :rolleyes: I'd be very interested to find other ways to help stay cooler.
  5. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

    Sure, I'm interested...

    Earth-sheltered construction helps keep my house cool in the summer.

    Spring water cooling supplements that, as an artesian well's water passes though a radiator in the house . The radiator has a fan behind it to circulate the air, and a drip-pan to collect condensation.

    Because of the design of this house, as the sun's angle is high in summer, the front of the window-wall seperating the sun-space from the living area is totally shaded to remain cool. Conversley, in the coldest winters up here, sunlight completely floods the interior of the house to help warm it passively.

    The sunspace becomes hot in summer and winter. There are panels on the roof that open to dump the excess heat in summer and large outside doors at each end of the sunspace allow cool outside air in to push the hot air out of the roof panels by convection. In the winter the outside doors are shut and a 1/10hpfan (12vdc) circulates the hot air from the sunspace through the living space in the house to help heat during sunny days.

    The sunspace is also used as a greenhouse to start vegetable plants early in spring for transplanting to the gardens after frost danger. In the autumn, some containerized plants (tomatoes etc. in 5 gal plastic buckets) are brought inside to enjoy past Christmas time. We grow vegetables hydroponically in the winter (large green hydroponic tank seen through front windows).

    For cloudy days in winter, a wood stove is used to help heat the house. Only about 1/4 as much wood is needed in winter to heat this house opposed to conventional construction. A 7.5 kw biodiesel generator in the sunspace supplies some power and heat in winter (extracted from the diesel engine and exhaust heat). Used fry-oil is collected from restaurants in the area year-round. Waste oil heating is being studied now too, as there are plenty of sources for that.

    All the wood used to construct the house, plus firewood to cook and help heat the house on cloudy winter days comes from the woodlot on the homestead.

    - Basey

    A year-round spring located behind the pine at the right of the earth-sheltered building
    supplies cold water to a radiator inside the house to help cool in summer.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  6. nj_m715


    Incredible place. I thought I was in good shape with a wood gasifier boiler, but you have me beat :)
  7. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader

    No way!

    I'd love to have a wood gasified boiler!

    I helped design the "Dumont" boiler (Prof. Hill, U of Maine 1975)... this prototype developed into other models. Other than that I developed many biomass boiler systems for industrial use (paper mills, co-genertion etc.) back in the early 80's...

    The closest thing I came to a wood gasifier is one I built in 1979 to run an International Farmall Super C on beechwood chips... worked good, but you had to take it apart every 500 hours and clean the engine out. Later I put an oil-bath labrynth on it to improve filtering the tars out.

    Back in WW II there were a lot of cars, trucks and tractors around the world that ran off wood gasification instead of petroleum fuels. This was due to shortages everywhere when fuel was diverted to military uses.

    I think diesel and biofuels for them is much easier, and have switched to that now. We have raised canola and used the pressed oil to power our diesels cars and tractors, but there is so much used fry-oil to get free here now that I have stockpiled more than I can use in the next 5 years.

    - Basey
  8. nj_m715


    It's not that kind of gasifier. I thought about building one of those before I went to wvo powered diesels. I have a Tarm, now Econoheat ( I think ) boiler. It runs on heating oil or Wood. When on wood it burns very hot and clean. It uses much last wood than I standard solid fuel boiler. It wasn't cheap, but with energy skyrocketing, it was a wise investment. I have only burned oil so far, but I'm happy with it. There are much cheaper options if you don't want or need a dual fuel unit.
  9. jnrdesertrats

    jnrdesertrats Noob

    I am interested. We are planning to build a green house and keep it off the grid. Heating and cooling will be issues we need to figure out.
  10. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    Base camp you good a NICE set up , working together with nature .

    Most people forget about the blackness of the night sky for a cooling sink.
    the same type of collector that is used to heat water by the sun can be used to dissipate heat at night and to some extent on the shaded north side in the day
    Some people have used a refridgerant loop hooked to a water/ice tank to create a passive absorptive cooler/icebox the same should be possible using non toxic RVanti freeze in the loop driven by thermo siphon.
    this principle used with thermal mass should work for cooling buildings as well
  11. nj_m715


    Oh yeah, Desertrat you just reminded me about the original question.
    I would be interested. I may not ever be able to do most of it, but I'm still interested.
  12. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

    The Blackness of the night sky has the ability to absorb a lot of heat, there have been experiments done in which a thin crust ice was formed on water in an unfired clay bowl exposed to the night sky at quite a few degrees above freezing ambiant temperature. this action combined with thermal mass and insulation could be used to effectively cool for "free"
    spend some time on the search engines see what pops up. :dunno:
  13. frankd4

    frankd4 AK4FU

    summer heat

    I for one living in south Florida have a big interest in cooling any way that I can to save money on A/C during the summer.
  14. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

    I think I am going to try the "soaker hose across the top of the roof trick" to help keep the singles cool when it's 100 degrees out
  15. MonsterMalak

    MonsterMalak Member

    Well water cooling!

    Basecamp USA. For years I have thought of using my well water to cool my home. I use it to heat and cool it with a Geothermal unit hooked up to my well now.
    But qwas thinking that it would be less energy to run it through some truck radiators with a fan blowing through to extract the cold.

    Thought it would be best built outside the home, with the air taken from the house--- through the radiator---then returned to the house. Was concerned about flooding or condensation.
    Would like some details on your system.
    Much about the comfort will be reducing the humidity through the condensation. But what system could one use without power?
  16. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    My dad experimented with that kind of system back in the '70s by tying a car radiator to the plumbing and the furnace in the house. What he did was to pump the ice-cold water through the radiator and have the fan of the furnace pulling the air through the radiator-coils and blow it through the house.

    What my dad found was that it was simpler to just pull the cold air from the basement and recirculate it through the house displacing the hot-air - there wasn't any significant difference with using the cold-water in the radiator from using the basement cool air.
  17. MonsterMalak

    MonsterMalak Member

    Thanks for the information. Lackink a basement, I may still try this. Guess I am still currious as to how much cooling was realized.

    Would be disapointing to construct all of that for little effect.

    Would take less energy to move the air underground, but difficult to construct.
  18. Turtle

    Turtle Well-Known Member

    My inlaws have a system that pumps water from their in-ground swimming pool up to the roof, cooling the roof, and warming part of the pool that has a little waterfall. I'm not sure how much it actually saves them on their electric bill, as it still takes electricity to pump the water all the way to the second floor... I will try to get some specifics next time I am over there.
  19. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

  20. siafulinux

    siafulinux Active Member

    I had heard of this and bought a small sprinkler to try and cool down my living room area this summer. Didn't really get any good results, but may still need to give it a go next year. May need to just use a hose instead.

    Alright, great post! I have heard of the clay pot-sand cooler, but not the "uncooker". Going to have to give that a try and see if it works out. The evaporative cooler fridge on the second page is another I want to give a go.

    Thanks for this!