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  1. #1
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    LPG powers aircon for complete house and other benefits

    OK folks - so I raised this 6 months ago on a wank forum only to be shot down in flames because they did not understand one concept. Let's see how it does over here.

    To have full aircon in a house, I would plan to have one LPG powered unit that would create the heat to make aircon. This one unit would also make constant hot water. Added to a solar panel set up as well, between the two of them I should be able to almost eliminate electric costs, especially as I would only need the one unit for the whole house as opposed to four or five electric ones.

    Plausible?

    Should point out that a dickhead called naam compared running 5 LPG units against 5 electric ones, which misses the point. You need to compare 1 LPG v 5 electric ones.

  2. #2
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    interesting project actually,

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    ENT
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    Go for it, mate.
    That LPG gas fired aircon system works on the same principle as a gas fired fridge, the tiny amount of heat used escaping into the atmosphere.
    If that waste heat is recycled to heat your water, using adequate insulation it's very feasible.

    Use a PVP (photovoltaic panel, a solar panel) for charging up 12V deep cycle batteries, and an inverter to convert to 120-240V for some appliances such as a washing machine when needed.
    12V lights, most power tools, computer lap top etc all only need 12V or less to run.

    If you're going to be running the aircon 12 hours or more per day, and need only one of those big units, there's going to be a lot of waste heat available for hot water generation. Just insulate.
    Also, if you have a solar hot water panel as part of your system, you'll have more hot water than you can use, which in turn can also be used to generate steam to create electricity.

    If the hot water is recycled through a wax tank heat exchange unit, the hot water going through that will achieve temperatures high enough to produce superheated steam at about 165 degrees C, more than adequate to force through a steam powered electric generator of any size suitable for home use.

    What sort of hook up/connecting system do think you'll use?

    It's all fairly simple really.

    Good luck, and don't let the nay sayers put you off, it's all do-able.

  4. #4
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    Here's one far out idea, but the waste heat.....could that also be used to run a walk in fridge or freezer unit? I can't see why not....

    Oh, and I have no idea about the technicalities of it, but I just thought about it one day and was tremendously put of the idea. But the more I think about it the more I like it.

  5. #5
    ENT
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    Yes. the amount of heat needed to drive a 2 m high fridge with an ice box in the top is about one candle power, so a freezer or walk in fridge would easily run on a separate LPG flame or the waste heat from the aircon unit going full blast.

    I've owned a couple of gas fired fridges in the past and they worked well.

    Check out some of the systems demonstrated on You-tube.

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    My understanding is that an LPG AC unit is not like a gas fridge? They have a small generator built into them.

    Wouldn't it be easier if wanting to be off grid to simply buy/make a small generator and run it on LPG. The waste heat from one AC unit can be used to heat water for showers etc.

    There again a Lister diesel generator maybe more fuel efficient as they run at about 600-800 rpm.
    Better to think inside the pub, than outside the box?
    I apologize if any offence was caused. unless it was intended.
    You people, you think I know feck nothing; I tell you: I know feck all
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    I know nothing about LPG air-con units, although I'm guessing it's similar in concept to lithium bromide type units that use steam to make air-con.

    But wouldn't it be difficult to have a central unit and run ductwork thoughout the house to circulate the air? I can't think of too many Thai houses that would be set up for such an arrangement. And how much power is used to run the fans to move the air and pumps/electrical gadgets to run the LPG A/C?

    Now my curiousity is piqued. I think I'll read up on this gadget. Thanks !
    Last edited by stevefarang; 18-10-2012 at 11:44 AM.

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    ENT,,,Do thet still have fridges with a kero burner under them, from memory they worked great with very little energy used. ?

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    I reckon it has been done before, or similar

    so what did Google tell you?

    In Portugal the solar panel bloke tried to sell me a heat exchanger system that did all sorts of things, rather than just a solar panel

    sorry, no details as I was not interested in the system due to the higher cost
    I have reported your post

  10. #10
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    Interesting project no doubt. But why go to all that expense to install the equiptment do it? I have 2- 22.500 btu units that pull a total of 10.3 full load amps for a 1,500 sq. ft., 3 bedroom, 2 bath house at a cost of about 3,500 baht a month for total air conditioning 24-7. That's about $103.00 usd. Electricity is so cheap here, I fail to see why you would want to unless it is simply a project. Just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevefarang View Post
    I know nothing about LPG air-con units, although I'm guessing it's similar in concept to lithium bromide type units that use steam to make air-con.

    But wouldn't it be difficult to have a central unit and run ductwork thoughout the house to circulate the air? I can't think of too many Thai houses that would be set up for such an arrangement. And how much power is used to run the fans to move the air and pumps/electrical gadgets to run the LPG A/C?

    Now my curiousity is piqued. I think I'll read up on this gadget. Thanks !
    Steve,
    I intended to put a 3 ton Trane package unit in my house when I built it. I could have gotten a very nice discount because I retired from Trane. The problem was finding the duct work. Bangkok was the only place. Or so I was told by several dealers, to get it. Also, their idea of duck insulation is made of rubber, not fiberglass. So almost no R-value at all. I put 2- 22,500 btu Trane room air conditioners in and they do a great job, cheap. The full load amp draw for a high effency, 3 ton, Trane package was 18 and I would have had to increase the service to 30 amps instead of 15, the two room units I put in are 10.3 conbined. I'm glad now I used the room a/c's.

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    ENT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozzbie47 View Post
    ENT,,,Do thet still have fridges with a kero burner under them, from memory they worked great with very little energy used. ?
    Yup, they're sitll around, second hand markets and stuff and probably available new from boat and camping outlets, still. T hat's what mine were,kero jobs, but you could use a candle if you ran out of kero. The flame was tiny, it could blow out in a draught. I had a gas one, same size flame, so if it blew out from a draft, usually when I forgot to switch it off before moving my mobile home to point 'B', escaping gas would accumulate, so watch for that.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevefarang View Post
    I know nothing about LPG air-con units, although I'm guessing it's similar in concept to lithium bromide type units that use steam to make air-con.

    But wouldn't it be difficult to have a central unit and run ductwork thoughout the house to circulate the air? I can't think of too many Thai houses that would be set up for such an arrangement. And how much power is used to run the fans to move the air and pumps/electrical gadgets to run the LPG A/C?

    Now my curiousity is piqued. I think I'll read up on this gadget. Thanks !
    I've worked on Lithium Bromide chillers but all they do is cool or chill the water. Electrical energy is required to pump the coolant around the system and in the case of AC, electrical energy is required to run the fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    I've worked on Lithium Bromide chillers but all they do is cool or chill the water.
    Interesting, I have heard the Litium Bromide absorbtion chillers, are sensitive to air leaks. Which in turn causes loss of performance and if bad enough can allow corrosion to start taking place.
    I myself have had limited dealings with a large Ammonia absorbtion chiller unit, which recovered waste heat from a large steam heating system, and found it quite reliable. However Ammonia is somewhat more hazardous than Lithium Bromide. Hence apart from very large scale industrial applications, they are not as widely used as the Lithium Bromide version.

    York and Trane have made absorbsion chiller units for many years, and they are suited to installations where recoverable waste heat is in abundance, and where electricity supplies are insufficient for a vapour compression chiller unit. The major downside is there COP (co-efficient of Performance) is alot less than a traditional vapour compression chiller unit, however if your recovering waste heat, then it doesnt matter.
    Last edited by Listerman; 18-10-2012 at 03:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    My understanding is that an LPG AC unit is not like a gas fridge? They have a small generator built into them.
    Correct, the ones I have seen usually have a 2 or 3 cylinder Kubota diesel engine, that has been converted to spark ignition, and it is close coupled to a reciprocating open compressor

    Quote Originally Posted by VocalNeal View Post
    There again a Lister diesel generator maybe more fuel efficient as they run at about 600-800 rpm.
    You must be refering to the older water cooled Lister diesel engines, as most if not all modern Lister engines are now direct coupled to 4 pole alternators and run at either 1500 RPM (50Hz) or 1800RPM (60Hz)

  16. #16
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    the idea is not to be off grid necessarily, but to have a house set to one temperature constantly with no phaffing about. As for the duct work, well I sure that is the least of the problems, behind the obvious one of getting the kit and finding a decent tech to install and maintain it.

  17. #17
    ENT
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    Duct work is no problem. Make it out of anything, hang it high, just insulate well.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ENT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozzbie47 View Post
    ENT,,,Do thet still have fridges with a kero burner under them, from memory they worked great with very little energy used. ?
    Yup, they're sitll around, second hand markets and stuff and probably available new from boat and camping outlets, still. T hat's what mine were,kero jobs, but you could use a candle if you ran out of kero. The flame was tiny, it could blow out in a draught. I had a gas one, same size flame, so if it blew out from a draft, usually when I forgot to switch it off before moving my mobile home to point 'B', escaping gas would accumulate, so watch for that.
    Ent for the last 30 years they have been using gas Fridges that in Perth anyway.
    I know that the freezer trunk that run north. they run the freezer unit on Diesel,
    On the freezer truck it is very compact unit thinking about it ,the diesel would be for a gen set as they would need electric for fans in side of the box.

  19. #19
    ENT
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    Sounds like it.
    It's a different set up from the gas or kero fridges though. Those are much simpler.

  20. #20
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    I have not seen a Kero fridge for 40 odd year.
    had a small camp fridge that was gas or 12 vott

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ENT View Post
    The flame was tiny, it could blow out in a draught. I had a gas one, same size flame, so if it blew out from a draft, usually when I forgot to switch it off before moving my mobile home to point 'B', escaping gas would accumulate, so watch for that.
    The more modern versions now have a flame failure device (identical to what would be fitted to a gas boiler or open gas fire in the UK) to prevent what you described happening.

  22. #22
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    the market is not set up here to save the planet

    you will have to wait until electricity prices rocket

  23. #23
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    Ice from fire..a miracle!
    I'll have to watch mosquito coast again.

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  25. #25
    ENT
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    There are new kerosene/lpg fridges available on the net, Alibaba is one site, units going for around $ 375 upwards each,

    They're really simple devices and involve no mechanical or moving parts, pumps etc which eventually break down.

    Maintenance free units, they're ideal anywhere, an of course keep on keeping on when electric power shut downs occur, which is often enough to piss anyone off,...all that defrosting and spoiled food to be thrown away.

    These units are also far cheaper to run than electric ones, and don't use hazardous freon gas to cool the unit.
    A Heated Refrigerator?

    You may not realize it, but modern refrigerators don't only cool things down, they keep things from getting too cold. Yes, you guessed it: refrigerators have onboard heaters. They're low-wattage, but refrigerator heaters are very convenient and effective at doing everything from heating the evaporator coils to melt any accumulated frost, to keeping the butter chilled but not so cold that you'll need a chain saw to cut through it.


    Gas and Propane Refrigerators

    If you own an RV, chances are you have a gas- or propane-powered refrigerator. These refrigerators are interesting because they have no moving parts and use gas or propane as their primary energy source. Also, they use heat to produce the cold inside the refrigerator.
    A gas refrigerator uses ammonia as the coolant, and water, ammonia and hydrogen gas to create a continuous cycle for the ammonia. The refrigerator has five main parts:
    • Generator - creates ammonia gas
    • Separator - separates the ammonia gas from water
    • Condenser - where hot ammonia gas is cooled and condensed to create liquid ammonia
    • Evaporator - where liquid ammonia converts to a gas to create cold temperatures inside the refrigerator
    • Absorber - absorbs the ammonia gas in water
    It works like this:
    1. Heat is applied to the ammonia and water solution in the generator. (The heat comes from burning gas, propane or kerosene.)
    2. As the mixture reaches the boiling point of ammonia, it flows into the separator.
    3. Ammonia gas flows upward into the condenser, dissipates heat and converts back to a liquid.
    4. The liquid ammonia makes its way to the evaporator where it mixes with hydrogen gas and evaporates, producing cold temperatures inside the refrigerator's cold box.
    5. The ammonia and hydrogen gases flow to the absorber where the water collected in the separator in step No. 2 mixes with the ammonia and hydrogen gases.
    6. The ammonia forms a solution with the water and releases the hydrogen gas, which flows back to the evaporator.
    7. The ammonia-and-water solution flows toward the generator to repeat the cycle.


    HowStuffWorks "Gas and Propane Refrigerators"

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