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New Efficient AC

  1. Mar 26, 2005 #1
    Dear Folks

    This is the biggest break through in AC I've seen. My only question is if there is a maintainence issue with the build up of deposits of any sorts in the channels due to poor water quality.

    http://www.coolerado.com/NewsAndNotable/DelphiIdalexCoolerado.htm [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2005 #2
    re:AC breakthrough

    Just another application/refinement of some pretty old stuff. We've been using water for air conditioning for a long time. Everything from a pool of water or sprays on the roof to highly automated temp/humidity systems. See what you can find at ASHRAE or any of the HVAC sites.
  4. May 4, 2005 #3
    Evaporative cooling+dehumidification is what they are talking about(I don't see any savings in power, if I have been to the correct location of their website).
  5. May 4, 2005 #4
    Here's a description of the "NEW" cycle.

    It looks like a modified two pass cooler (similir to the one used on the last power plant I worked at).

    The site above makes it sound like scientists the world around gasped in horror because this system should not be possible. Silly. I looks possible because it doesn't use the subcooling to perpetuate the process. The process still uses an external blower and external power source so it should not be an "impossible" device. Ok I take that as a marketing ploy. "We make the impossible possible" type of gimmic.

    All that aside, it looks like an ingenious little work around. In the first pass the cooling air is cooled by the second pass. The second pass lowers the temperature more by using evaporation. The outside air is cooled by the second pass air. Not too hard to understand.

    Ground breaking? Probably not. If it works the way they claim will it see service? Yes.

    As for power savings, running a single blower (I can see a way to run the cooling air and the conditioned air from the same blower unit) would probably use less power than a compressor and seperate blower like current automotive AC systems use. Moreover, use the new 42V system (don't include that in the discussion directly---compare the new design and implementation to current designs without mentioning things like new designs run at different voltages than they used to) thus reducing I^2R losses and you will end up with a more efficient system.
  6. May 4, 2005 #5
    Power wise they are not bad. The EER for the unit described is 60000/1200 = 50 (their site rates the SEER at 40). This is quite good. However, it is at the expense of water use. The machine uses 12 gallons per hour. This is rather high. Evaporative coolers with drift eliminators and desuperheaters use less water with similar results. I recently designed a project with a chiller with an evaporative condenser and it will use less water and deliver 110 tons (using conventional compressors) at a 40% savings in energy over an plain aircooled chiller.
  7. May 4, 2005 #6
    Eric thanks for the heads up on this variant heat transfer system. Seems pitiful that all that "value added" air leaving the building as 'working fluid'could be renamed 'product air' by simply reducing the vapor pressure over the 'waterside' heatexchanger using a 'penberthy' pump. the mass flow of air driving the 'pump to reduce the pressure would be insignificant related to the amount needed in the above which is 50% of the total air flow. A 'fast responce' vapor pressure controller on a conventional freon heatexchanger adapted to circulate water through the freon side and then discharging into a flash tank would do as good or better than any of these other alternatives . I'd probably use a tandem 'savery engine' for producing the vacuum using water from the water heater or solar concentrator.etc.etc.

    frank MR. P
  8. May 4, 2005 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    They throw around numbers like...
    ...but what does that really mean? It doesn't make any sense to me.

    Performance of evaporative cooling is so heavily dependent on climate, I can't imagine it being viable anywhere besides a desert. In Philadelphia, the design conditions are 92F dry bulb, 75F wet bulb. To get adequate cooling capacity and dehumidification, you need to supply at about 55/55. I can't see that happening.

    In Vegas, design conditions are: 109/69. If you look on a psych chart, the enthalpy of the air is actually lower than in PA because of the lower DB. I assume the conditions are probably about the same in Chihuahua, Mexico, where I just was - in Chihuahua, people already use evaporative cooling almost exclusively. And yes, the biggest problem is the water usage.

    I need to see some real performance numbers before I can say I buy that this is that big of a deal.
  9. May 4, 2005 #8


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    Gold Member

    Evaporative cooling is a technology that has been around since ancient Egypt. It is a great idea and huge power saver in Colorado, where the company the makes the things is based (as well as the rest of the arid West), and using it for cars as well as homes only makes sense.

    In Florida or North Carolina, I can't imagine that the technology would be beneficial in any signfiicant way.
  10. May 4, 2005 #9
    Re: humidity Issue

    Dear Folks:

    They claim to get "wet bulb" temps, and I dought Delphi (a 33 billion $ corp) would agree to produce it if it did not work.

    It's not a "swamp cooler", there is no transfer of moisture to product air. Althought in high humidity applications , to be most effective, they must use an additional component for dehumidification, IMHO, like Honeywell's " Perfect window" desicant wheel ERV. I've have sent them e-mails to this effect, am waiting for their reply.

    They claim to be able to purge all mineral build up, but I do not believe the "all" part.

    I also suggested to them to include a turbulent flow percipitator type air filter in their design. Like the Nutech ACS 2000R, that has a 5 year maintainance cycle,and removes 97% of particles down to 0.1 microns to reduce their units maintainance.

    Yes, water usage is a concern, in general applications , however in my nursery business plants love 60 to 70F water.

    I've posted them your coments and will report back here any answers to your questions.

    Thanks for the feedback, and please e-mail me if you have any other concerns

  11. May 4, 2005 #10


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yeah, a large corporation would never overhype a new product. :uhh:
  12. May 4, 2005 #11


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    Gold Member

    Two words: New Coke.
  13. May 5, 2005 #12
    I have been through the theory given in the above link but still unable to understand how the exit stream can go up on the saturated line by the addition of moisture. Theoretically it is possible to cool down the air to its wet bulb temperature. But if DBT = WBT then DBT = WBT = DPT and further moisture addition shouldn't be possible.

    Secondly, when we precool the wet channel air, its moisture carrying capacity reduces. If we plot two process lines starting from point A, say, the line AB which with only evaporating cooling follows consant enthalpy line. The line ACD first follows the constant humidity ration line(as long as precooling exists) and then follows the constant enthalpy line. Thus point D is always below point C thus showing low moisture content.

    Further the process of precooling and then moisture addition show a drop in enthalpy. I am still not clear where this heat will flow to.

    Finally, dehumidification by desiccant wheel is also isenthalpic(infact it increases a bit due to thermal inertia of regenerated desiccant wheel. To bring the process air to the starting point DB, it requires cooling and this may not be a good combination.

    I will go through it tonight leisurely and will let you know if I come up with anything better.

  14. May 6, 2005 #13

    Can you get actual observations viz., flowrates, inlet, oulet wbt and dbt for various streams, spray water temperature and flowrate from their case studies?
  15. May 6, 2005 #14
    I would like a little more information on the heat exchanger. Are the two air streams totally isolated, or is there possibility for cross contamination with the humid side? Where is the water introduced, The drawings at the site describing the process are ambiquious at best.

    I believe that they are marketing this mainly in the areas that would benefit from swamp coolers, but without the humidity rise within the space. I think in this application, these could be a useful tool, but as Russ was saying, in my area, NorthEast USA, I also see very little practical use for this type of equipment. Possibly in a warehouse or factory environment with a desire to add some cooling, which has access to a cheap or free water source.
  16. May 6, 2005 #15
    Erich - Great comment on mineral buildup - Figuring out how to control minerals has been almost as challanging from an R&D point of view as indirect evaporative cooling below wet-bulb. We have designed the heat and mass exchangers (HMXs) so the minerals are carried to the edge of the working air plates and either drop off in liquid form, or collect on a 'mineral lip' in solid form. The minerals that solidify on the lip do not impeed the performance of the HMX and eventually flake off and are carried down the drain.

    There is no scaling on the inside of the HMX. This based off 3 years field experience on an early HMX design, 1 1/2 years field experience on the current production HMX, and accelerated testing using high TDS (total dissolved solids) water in our test chamber.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  17. May 6, 2005 #16
    kleinjahr - Thank you for your comments. It is true that direct evaporative cooling has been around for thousands of years, and it works! Indirect evaporative cooling has also been around a long time. All the indirect evaporative coolers on the market before the Maisotsenko Cycle (M-Cycle) have been able to achieve about half the temperature drop as directive evaporative coolers - which makes sense because you have to go across a heat exchanger.

    What's new and different is that Coolerado Coolers can cool below the wet bulb temperature of the incoming air stream. At first glance this would seem phisically impossible because a direct evaporative cooler's limitation in the wet bulb temperature, and you still have to go across a heat exchanger where there will be more losses.

    Coolerado Coolers have the ability to cool below wet bulb, and approach dew point. The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)tested a unit and reported that we had a 120% wet bulb approach (meaning we were 20% below wet bulb), which was an 86% dew point approach. All without addind any moisture to the product air stream (indirect evaporation).

    There are current text books and articles from industry experts that state indirect evaporative cooling's theoretical limitation is wet bulb. See HPAC Engineering's July and December issues for two such examples.

    We discuss direct and indirect evaporative cooling in more detail on the second video that is available on the Coolerado website.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
  18. May 6, 2005 #17
    Quark - Thank you for your interest in Coolerado. The system is not cooling plus dehumidification. Rather, it is indirect evaporative cooling. The best way to get a basic understanding of those concepts is to watch the two videos on the Coolerado website in the Cool School section.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
  19. May 6, 2005 #18
    faust9 - Thanks for your interest and the time you spent going to both websites to understand the cycle. We'd like to see a schematic of the two pass system you mention if you could possilby send it to us.

    We did not try to create a marketing gimick; rather, our approach has came about through the years as a responce to the comments we get. Sounds like it is coming off different than we intend and we need to revisit our website approach. Thank you for pointing this out.

    From your short comment, it does sound like you have a basic understanding of the cycle. The key to getting below wet bulb is incrementally cooling both the product and the working air streams.

    The power savings we report are based on DOE testing where they report our Energy Efficency Ratio (EER) is 40 and higher. Compare that with vapor compression systems that have an EER of about 10 (Seasonal EER of 19).

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  20. May 6, 2005 #19
    Artman - Thank you for your interest in Coolerado and your comments. Actually, our water use is about the same as an evaporative cooler. The numbers we report are generally very conservative, as is the 12 GPH. That number is for the Coolerado R600 during the hottest, driest part of the day in the western USA with high mineral content water. Average GPH is likely to be less than half of that, which is about the same as evaporative coolers.

    DOE's NREL is conducting a long term test regarding this issue, and we hope to able to report thier independent results at the end of this season.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
  21. May 6, 2005 #20
    Mr. P - Thank you for your suggestions on how to improve a building system with a Coolerado Cooler. Several of our clients have calculated the costs and benefits of adding more equipment, but eventually they come back to a simpler system. A three to four fold improvement in energy savings over traditional systems is typically good enough for now. Further improvements as you suggest may be cost effective in the future.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
  22. May 6, 2005 #21
    russ_watters – Wet bulb approach is a common way to report how well a direct evaporative cooler is at humidifying the air. If you were to have a 100% wet bulb approach direct evaporative cooler, you would saturate the air from where you started and the wet bulb would equal the dry bulb and the dew point.

    The best commercial direct evaporative coolers use a combination of spray nozzles and wetted media and have a 90% wet-bulb approach (we were being generous on the website saying they have a 95% WB approach). In Philadelphia this means that if you start at 92/75 (dry bulb/wet bulb), you will be able to adiabatically cool by following the constant enthalpy line to 76/75. The dry bulb is calculated by 92 – 0.95 * (92 – 75) = 76, and of course the wet-bulb remains the same since it is adiabatic. The dew point of this air is nearly 75, which is WAY above the ASHRAE thermal comfort zone.

    The same wet bulb approach term has also come into use for indirect evaporative coolers, but of course it goes a different direction on the psych chart. If you use a Coolerado R600 in Philadelphia you’d start at 92/75 and go straight to the left indicating sensible cooling without adding moisture. You’d end up getting 95% of the way to the wet bulb, or at 76/71. Of course the dew point stays the same during the entire process at about 68. This condition is also above the ASHRAE comfort zone (you can download printable, high resolution psych charts that have the ASHRAE comfort zones on them from the Cool Tools section of the Coolerado website), but may be acceptable for some industrial and pre-cooling applications.

    A firm in Atlanta (similar design conditions as Philadelphia) is considering using a Coolerado Cooler as a pre-cooler in a 100% makeup air application (all outside air). They’ll have Coolerado do the bulk of the cooling, and then use a DX system to finish it off and dehumidify. They’ll also use our saturated exhaust air, which is a few degrees above wet bulb, to cool the DX refrigerant condenser.

    In Las Vegas the air is sufficiently dry for our coolers to work as a stand-alone system. I don’t have the design data on Chihuahua to know how we perform. We have calculated our performance for over 1,400 cities for which there is ASHRAE data available and posted that on our website at http://coolerado.com/Products/Coolers/R600/R600Performance.htm.

    Water is almost always cheaper to fuel cooling than electricity. This is even true for the Army when operating in the desert (as in the current conflict). From a conservation point of view, cities are looking at total water consumption not just where air is cooled. In general, people don’t think about how much water is used to generate electricity, even though they can see the huge plumes of moisture above power plants. When considering the overall picture, the DOE estimates that Coolerado Coolers will actually use anywhere from a little more to a little less water than traditional air conditioners. See http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy04osti/33905.pdf

    Real performance numbers are on the website as well. Compare DOE’s Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) number of 40+ for the Coolerado Cooler to an EER of around 9 for the best vapor compression systems (Seasonal EER of 19). At least one forth the electricity.

    Thank you for your interest.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  23. May 6, 2005 #22
    ohwilleke – You are correct that direct evaporative cooling has been around for a very long time, and Coolerado performs best in arid climates. Using the Maisotsenko Cycle to cool cars is on the horizon.

    In Florida and the SE, Coolerado Coolers make allot of sense for industrial applications and as a pre-cooler in other applications. For example, one of the big US automakers has a 3.5 million SF plant in Georgia that is cooled by 3.5 million CFM of swamp cooled air. I would think it would be completely miserable, but they report that the swamp coolers provide some relief. For the same amount of electricity and water, Coolerado can cool that plant to lower temperatures without adding any humidity. This is much more comfortable for the workers and much easier on the equipment (less rust and swelling of materials).

    Another example is for pre-cooling as noted above to russ_watters in the Atlanta example. Since Coolerado Coolers cool sensibly and real work is accomplished (as opposed to a direct evaporative adiabatic process where the energy [enthalpy] of the air does not change), they can be used to pre-cool the air. You would not do that with a swamp cooler because you have to condense out the moisture you added in the cooling process and actually burn more energy to get to where you want to go.

    Thanks for your interest.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado
  24. May 6, 2005 #23
    quark - Thank you for your efforts to understand the M-Cycle. At first it looks really simple, but the further you get into it the more you realize how complex it is. The best way to start to get a handle on it is to view the two videos available on the Coolerado website. There are more videos planned to step further into the cycle, but we just have not had time to produce them yet. I believe the second video should get you through most of the comments you have posted here.

    Thanks again. Rick Gillan - idalex and Coolerado
  25. May 6, 2005 #24
    Erich – Desiccants are an option for dehumidification and make a lot of sense where there is a source of waste heat to regenerate them. There are several of these systems operational in Japan with Coolerado HMXs providing the cooling. Their heat source is from on-site power generation.

    We do not have independent testing to share regarding mineral build-up at this time to conclusively refute your disbelief. Our clients who have purchased units have seen our data and the actual long term HMXs. They have been sufficiently satisfied with our claims to proceed with purchasing.

    The air can be filtered to any standard.

    Water is a non-issue to those that have researched it. Please see my reply to russ_watters for more detailed information.

    I believe all questions have been answered, and we appreciate your letting us know about this forum so we can respond. Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any more questions or comments.

    Rick Gillan - Idalex and Coolerado – rickgillan@idalex.com - 303-375-0878 x105
  26. May 6, 2005 #25
    Rick, first of all Welcome to PhysicsForums. Thank you for addressing our comments on your product.

    I went back to your website and found more information on the heat exchanger and the M cycle. Definitely interesting to me.

    I can see this applied in my area (NE USA) as a makeup air system precooler; or used in a factory; or perhaps, as a kitchen makeup air unit.
    Last edited: May 6, 2005
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