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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Solar powered cooling
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Thread: Solar powered cooling Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-22-2014 08:19 AM
dvuyxx
Re: Solar powered cooling

Sold! I'm mounting one of these on my foredeck.
02-21-2014 10:30 PM
Frogwatch
Re: Solar powered cooling

Here:
Adsorption Heat Pump - Building Equipments | Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc.
is the low temperature regeneration zeolite product made by Mitsubishi for something like this.
Regeneration could be accomplished by using heat put out by the absorbing unit or by a solar water heater. Notice they do say regeneration is done by heating with hot water.
02-21-2014 07:55 PM
hellosailor
Re: Solar powered cooling

"They were even touting it as more environmentally friendly than any of the new freon replacements. "
Absolutely! When a rr car full of ammonia derails and spills, it may kill a thousand people, which is good for the environment. And it certainly won't hurt the ozone layer. So unless you count living creatures as part of the environment, ammonia is absolutely great compared to "Freon".

Odd that Danfoss doesn't offer ammonia systems for small craft, isn't it? [sic]
02-21-2014 07:44 PM
RichH
Re: Solar powered cooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torch View Post
would the dehumidifier provide potable water? Is so, that would be a dual benefit.
Not from common zeolites as they 'release' (desorb) their water in the form of vapor (gas).
02-21-2014 06:37 PM
miatapaul
Re: Solar powered cooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
As mentioned above, ammonia was a pretty common refrigerant at one time. I ran a refer ship that had ammonia refrigeration and it was very efficient, but extremely dangerous.
Seems at least according to the Danfloss web site (was reading on my phone the other day so I don't have a link) it is still used in industrial refrigeration today. They were even touting it as more environmentally friendly than any of the new freon replacements.
02-21-2014 06:26 PM
hellosailor
Re: Solar powered cooling

Zeolites are commonly used today in the "oxygen generator" machines that supply oxygen without needing tanks. And the same unit, which discard nitrogen as a waste gas, is plumbed "backwards" to make the nitrogen generator that the auto shops have gone crazy about for nitrogen filling tires at obscene prices. So, yes, common and proven technology.

As is ammonia refrigeration, even used on the International Space Station today. The problem being that ammonia is highly corrosive and if there's a leak, your eyes, throat, and lungs may be burned out before you can call for help.

So, great stuff, great potential, but there's a reason it has fallen out of favor except for commercial and industrial users.

Heat, swamps, alligators, mosquitoes...this is God's way of saying "Go play golf somewhere else."
02-21-2014 04:07 PM
Torch
Re: Solar powered cooling

would the dehumidifier provide potable water? Is so, that would be a dual benefit.
02-21-2014 02:18 PM
capta
Re: Solar powered cooling

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaten View Post
Going a bit tangential; but what about the old, camper shell ammonia reefers?
I seemta recall that they took no power..were all gravity/ambient temp operated??
A co-worker had an old truck camper with what appeared to be an ice chest. Some old fella tuned him into what-was-what and all he needed was to turn it upside-down for a few days and it worked again!

Am I wrong in that rememberance? Is there suchan animal? I *know* there's propane-heated reefers....lotsa Amish and RV dealers about here If ther'd be a no power/heat unit; that would be tthe cat's cojones
As mentioned above, ammonia was a pretty common refrigerant at one time. I ran a refer ship that had ammonia refrigeration and it was very efficient, but extremely dangerous.
I doubt that I'd want it in my boat, even in a self contained unit.
The best refrigeration system I've ever had was a propane refrigerator. Very inexpensive to buy, completely self contained (no cooling pump) maintenance free and it burned EXACTLY 20# of propane every 30 days. It was on a trimaran, which of course didn't heel much, but it functioned perfectly, even in the roughest of weather, deep sea. I would go back to it if I thought it would work on a monohull, but I doubt that it would. I do not understand why every room-a-ran out there does not use propane refrigeration. A shame indeed.
02-21-2014 09:17 AM
deltaten
Re: Solar powered cooling

Going a bit tangential; but what about the old, camper shell ammonia reefers?
I seemta recall that they took no power..were all gravity/ambient temp operated??
A co-worker had an old truck camper with what appeared to be an ice chest. Some old fella tuned him into what-was-what and all he needed was to turn it upside-down for a few days and it worked again!

Am I wrong in that rememberance? Is there suchan animal? I *know* there's propane-heated reefers....lotsa Amish and RV dealers about here If ther'd be a no power/heat unit; that would be tthe cat's cojones
02-21-2014 12:41 AM
RichH
Re: Solar powered cooling

The downside to zeolites (chiefly activated alumina) is the HIGH energy needed for regeneration - 'roasting' the zeolite 'bed' for 8 hours at 350°F, plus cool down. The alternative is 'pressure swing' zeolite regeneration using a partial diverted flow of produced dehydrated gas/air (-40° dewpoint) but which consumes even more energy overall than 'heat swing' methods. The question is from where will you generate the power to operate the 60-100 psi needed for this zeolite regeneration to be accomplished in the 8 hours? Cant generate the pressure - no problem if you can wait 8 days for regeneration.

Sorry, but the 'compactness' of fossil fuels (gasoline @ 22-24000 Btu/pound or ~114,000 BTU/gallon) running a simple 2000 watt generator plus 'capacitance starter' powering a ~6000 BTU AC unit is still 'light years' ahead in efficiency and operating cost for cooling a boat.
To run an equivalent 'solar' installation for 6000BTU (100BTU/min) you'd need a panel output of 1700+ watts .... about 5 square meters (~55 sq. ft) of solar panels, something much beyond the entire surface area of the typical sailboat, ...... of course only to be run between 10AM to 3 PM on bright sunny days.
Got a small barge you can tow along to hold all those solar panels?

Actually a direct fired propane driven system, such as used in the 1930s is still viable and very efficient using one of the modern environmentally less damaging 'freons', instead of ammonia. Bring your mortgage application when you consider propane/CNG driven cooling, and then expect a routine monthly EPA inspection and mega-hassling.

Nothing in life is free.

Not to 'knock you down' on inspiration; but, the use a zeolites for sub-cooling simply wont 'do it', although they can reduce the uncomfortable 'humidity'. So, keep your thoughts, and keep trying !!!!

;-)
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