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Want to use spring water to cool house

Posted by scott0470 (My Page) on
Thu, May 31, 12 at 11:45

I want to try and use the gravity fed spring water I have to cool my house in the summer. The water temp stays a constant 50 year round.

What I was wondering was how efficient would it be to run that water through an air handler then to waste? What could I expect the temp drop of the air flowing through the handler to be? I hate to spend 800 on an air handler only to find out it won't work, or won't work very well. Info is appreciated. Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Just out of curiosity, where is "to waste?"


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Where are you located? Humidity is an issue in many parts of the country. You need a heat exchanger of some type.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

To waste means back into the stream, water the lawn, wash the car etc. Just not drinkable.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Swamp coolers rely on water evaporation to cool the air.

They only work well if the humidity is VERY low (think desert low) since they add a lot of water vapor to the air.

The only other way is to have some type of refrigerant system that can use the water to dump heat.

Simply spraying the water on an evaporator coil results in fast clogging of the coil unless the water is very clean (chemically, not just mechanical filters) and then the water tends to attack the evaporator material.

There are heat sinks designed for submersion around, they are just not a large market and tend to be very expensive.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

I THINK he's talking about running the cold water through a heat exchanger (radiator) with air blowing through it. Not a swamp cooler, per se.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Sorry to say, this will not work and is not recommended. Source temperature is too high at 50 degrees. Water temperature should be no higher than 43 degrees for successful passive cooling and proper dehumidification. It's the dehumidification that's the big problem here.

IMPO

SR


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Youy would have to move a huge amount of air over a 50F coil to produce decent cooling.

One of the 'tricks' to central air is that by creating significantly cooler than desired air more humidity is removed, and a smaller volume of cooler air can be used to mix into a larger volume of warm air and produce the desired cooling.
50F air is not going to produce nearly the cooling affect so a much larger volume of the indoor air will have to go over the coil (and that is not cool enough to do much for humidity either).


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Thanks for the info! I am located in Northern Pennsylvania, so it is humid. I did mean to run the cool water through a heat exchanger in an air handler, just trying to get cool air out the other end instead of hot. EI using the heat exchanger exactly opposite of the way most people use them. :)

I did run my spring water through the radiant heated concrete in my garage floor last year and it kept the garage a comfortable 65, even when it was 85 outside. Only problem was the floor was ALWAYS wet from condensation.

Because my house is all radiant floor heat, any system I put in would need to be run through an air handler and ducting would be needed in the house. If I already had the forced air system in, I would just go buy a coil or two and play around with it.

Even if I could just get marginal cooling from this system, I could run it 24/day because the only power it uses is to run the blower...

Does anyone think this would even work marginally?

Thanks


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

If you were to find an air handler which had a coil large enough to use cool water, then how would you circulate the air around the house without a duct system?

In my opinion you should buy a few window AC units. You will spend less money and be more comfortable.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

If your house has full in-floor radiant heating you could do passive cooling as you did in your garage. The trick is to keep the cooling ABOVE the dew point. 65-degrees was obviously too cool! Having some sort of air circulation would help.

SR


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

If your house has full in-floor radiant heating you could do passive cooling as you did in your garage. The trick is to keep the cooling ABOVE the dew point. 65-degrees was obviously too cool! Having some sort of air circulation would help.

SR


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

"The trick is to keep the cooling ABOVE the dew point."

And the you will have NO humidity control at all.

Cool and humid is not noted for being all the comfortable.

Ask anyone with an oversize unit.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Re: brickeyee

I agree with you! But without the ability to draw out the humidity, the temperature of the floor has to be above the dew point to not have moisture issues on the floor.

For complete comfort, latent and sensible cooling must be addressed.

SR


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Here's a post I saw from a 5,000 plus poster on another forum. The post was over 4 years old, so I didn't ask any questions. Kinda hard to follow his train of thought, but... Just wanted to run it by you people and see if you agree before I jump on in!

*Quote*

"Springs are directly cooling home all over but if you need more dehumidifying, Conditionally: to do any chilling at 160 CFM per sq ft of air coil X 3 row and near 4 GPM per ton, starts to dehumidify readily at 55-deg entering. We're at 52 wtr in NE Oh and that allows 2 very very good dehumidifying tons, 3 row coil, 220-260 f CFM per ton across a typical 5 ton chilled water coil, at 200 sq in per ton x 3 row coil just 6 GPM on a 1/4 hp blower at a low and baffled air stream 550 cfm est; but nearly 2 1/2 tons at 8 gpm and 700 CFM guessing baffled plenum, sufficient in its operation." *End Quote*

I'm at 8 GPM, 54 degree water. So do I understand that if I buy a 5 ton chilled water coil I should expect almost 2 1/2 tons of cooling with decent dehumidifying, at the electrical cost of running a 1/4 hp blower? Ideas??"

Thanks!


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

I'd sure suggest that you run your idea by a mechanical engineer who is highly experienced in chilled water systems...I'm not that person!

Having said that past involvement with a major energy facility plant for a very large hospital tells me that there's more to it than running cold water through a coil. Commercial chilled water systems (as another poster noted earlier) have water around 40 degrees entering the coils. They have engineered coils and control over flow rate.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Sediment build up and fouling also will need to be addressed, as well as having a lower delta T between your water and air temp than would be standard for commercial chilled water design. This will require analysis by an engineer to ensure your variables will meet the design criteria of whatever equipment you find.

Physically and theoretically possible...perhaps.
A good idea...probably not.

You are talking about a custom application, that is a small job, and has no potential for repeat business by the designer of your system. This all = expensive. That is IF you can actually get anyone to call you back.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Thanks for the information. I actually own a hotel that an engineer from Johnson Controls uses when they service the chilled water AC at the hospital across the street. I talked to him on the phone when he booked his reservation yesterday. He said he would bring in some materials and would be happy to help me with this. I'll post what happens when I talk to him. Thanks--


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Please let us know how it comes out.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

An additional consideration would be whether you need a permit or permits to use that water.

I have a stream thru my lot that I investigated pumping water from to use for watering the lawn in the adjacent part of my yard - all withing the storm water runoff easement. I would need multiple permits and, if approved, would likely have come with restrictions during periods of low stream flow.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Where I live, in Northern Pa, if a spring originates on your property, as mine do, you are pretty much free to do what you want with the water. The local sportsmans clubs use my springs to raise trout on my property also. I have 2 main springs, they average run 125 and 450 GPM year around.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Where I live, in Northern Pa, if a spring originates on your property, as mine do, you are pretty much free to do what you want with the water. The local sportsmans clubs use my springs to raise trout on my property also. I have 2 main springs, they average run 125 and 450 GPM year around.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

I have identical spring temperature and flow rate. I am looking for the Dane logic on why I cannot use my spring for cooling my house. I pressed the local geothermal place to give me a system such as you are asking. The system is do-able, however, it still is fairly expensive due to size of coils (others have mentioned you need lots of surface area and air flow rate) and labor to install, including modifying ducts to accept the coils. You would need a dehumidifier inline to extract the moisture. You may think that you can tolerate the humidity, but the house (everything from joists to walls to floors to ducts) will not over time. I presume it will be as moist as my basement (95% humidity) in the summer.

THE cost of a geothermal system is about 7000 more than straight spring system with dehumidifier (which was also equal to the price of a new air conditioner with coils already installed last year), but only 3300after tax credit. The geothermal guys said it was not advised to go with the spring system. The geothermal system t pays for itself after6 years.

If I can find some old used coils, I may just try it anyway. Otherwise I'm going to look at misters to spray the roof on hot sunny days. It's free energy, and I'm going to use it somehow!


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Probably the least expensive and most productive (DIY) way to use existing, free cold water to supplement space cooling would be to pre-chill the air with the circulating cold water and then cool it further with a conventional, mechanical cooling system.

Energy costs would probably end up near the ground-source system, but with lower equipment costs due to the DIY.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

That is a good suggestion for a mid-step solution.

One would still need to install sizeable coils and additional high velocity fan to get measureable cooling from the spring, even as a "pre-chiller". However, there's no need for an additional dehumidifier, since the conventional system would perform the dehumidification.

Because of the spring fed system would need an increased air flow rate over the coils, one likely has to decouple the systems. This means that the conventional system would pull what it can off the pre-chilled air, and the rest of the pre-chilled air would be vented elsewhere. Otherwise, if you put the coils in-line, the pre-chilled cooling is limited by the size of the fan on the conventional system. If you increased the air flow rate of the conventional system, you could achieve the maximum cooling effect again, but the air coming out of the vents would also be louder in the home.

I apologize for the grammar in my last post...that'll be the last time I use a "smart phone" to post!


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

I am just thinking outside the box here, what if you were to use a closed loop system. ie. you ran some cooper tubing through the stream burried with rocks etc. and let the spring water cool down your recycled water inside the cooper tubing. pump it through your house using a taco 007 pump at home depot for 70 bucks through a heat exchanger that the outdoor wood boiler guys use for their systems for heat. But we do it for cold water. I looked on their websites and they are only about 400 bucks to a thousand. This way you could control the sediment that is inside the system. I think that going outside to keep clearing the system would become quite cumbersome with storms and leaves sticks etc. For the cooper tubing i found some on amazon for the "water chillers" for the home brewing guys. they sell the "coils" for about 70 bucks per 50 ft. you would need about 3 of them and they come with garden hose connections. you could try it with a garden hose two feet down and if it works you are out a few hundred bucks. If you want to go "experimental " you could probably use an old radiator from a junkyard as your heat exchanger.

I did some math calculations and it turns out if you are at 99 deg F out door temp. (inside the same) you would need 1500 inches (or 125ft.) of 1/2 copper pipe (touching 55F water)to remove 99 degree air temp through a heat exchanger unit roughly 20"x 18" x 3"thick to pull the temp of a 3500 square foot house to 65 degrees.using your current heating ducks and fan, just put it on "summer air" Depending on insulation and windows this would take approx 12 hours.

oh and for cast Iron it would be 2200 hundred inches (old radiators) which is 183 ft.

Just a thought ! let me know what you guys think. however it still doesn't get rid of your humidity issues but you are getting constant 55 degree water into your air duct system. I was just trying to suggest a better solution than using stinky high fecal count spring water strolling through a property. Just use what you need the cold part of the water. it's like geothermal except you can do it in a 5 ft section of your stream instead of digging hundreds of feet and countless wells onto your property.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

It's basically geothermal, and you can put geo loops into a body of water. Talk to a geo company.


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Check into the Hardy heater outdoor wood furnace or something similiar. Many of the units heat water and run it through a big coil in the trunk of a normal hvac system but it is a lot thicker and larger than a regular A or N coil that A/C uses.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardy stoves for Cooling Coil


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Check into the Hardy heater outdoor wood furnace or something similiar. Many of the units heat water and run it through a big coil in the trunk of a normal hvac system but it is a lot thicker and larger than a regular A or N coil that A/C uses.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardy stoves for Cooling Coil


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RE: Want to use spring water to cool house

Hi Scott, did you ever sort this out? My sister and brother in law live in Davis CA- hot summers cool and humid winters. they live in a solar sub division and rely on passive solar air conditioning. Did you poke around that topic? there might be some clues there. they have big tanks in their house-10ft and 4ft but only 12" deep so they don't stick out in to the room too far. Works up to about 105 degrees all summer. water flows into the cool ground at night and then circulated into the tanks. ( I know it sounds bad but they are stuccoed and painted to match the walls and not noticeable)

Just a thought,

sarah


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