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Natural Gas-Powered Central Air?

Discussion in 'Home Power and Microgeneration' started by (PeteCresswell), Aug 26, 2006.

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  1. Any such thing? Many years ago I lived in a house that had a gas-powered

    Seems like a possible fit: it's outside so the flame isn't as much of a
    consideration, and the hardware doesn't need to be small.

    Dunno what the economics were on the fridge. I guess there are losses as the
    power company runs a generator (which is probably fired by something fossil that
    costs money) and I'm guessing there are losses in transmission and at the AC
    unit itself as the electricity has tb turned back into mechanical energy. OTOH,
    the electric company probably enjoys substantial economies of scale and their
    fuel probably costs less than piped-in residential gas.

  2. EXT

    EXT Guest

    I used to work for a gas utility and in the early 70's they were pushing
    natural gas powered air conditioning for houses. It all disappeared a few
    years later as the units broke down, apparently gas powered air conditioning
    is common for large commercial units but to scale them down to house sizes
    and economical prices created problems with a short service life.
  3. I wonder if the extra heat could be stored in a water tank?
    I wonder if a guy could store enough of that heat to have a shower do
    dishes or melt the snow on the deck?
  4. daestrom

    daestrom Guest

    Another system used in commercial sized A/C is lithium-bromide. It's a salt
    that has a high affinity for water. So high that it can literally lower the
    vapor pressure of water down to the point of freezing the water. These
    units use heat in the range of 250F to 300F so they could be adapted to
    solar use. But the commercial units require several pumps to circulate the
    'weak' and 'strong' solutions of LiBr and operating/maintaining one is not
    for the faint hearted.

    But LiBr has the distinct advantage that it is *not* toxic and leaks are
    easy to clean up (they can be *literally* washed down the drain).

  5. Vaughn Simon

    Vaughn Simon Guest

    Don't know if things have changed, but nuclear submarines use/used
    lithium-bromide plants. Of course, we had virtually unlimited energy available
    so efficiency was not an issue.
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Guest

    I have seen large comercial coolers powered be NG. Nothing magic,
    they had a small internal combustion engine that turned the compressor.
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