And I thought I was the only "geek" that sat around and thought about
Ryan, I hear what you are saying. In general I seem to be getting a lot of
cautious/negative feedback on the idea. BUT, I have not heard one thing
from someone who HAS actually tried to do this. It makes me wonder, how
come nobody thinks it will work when nobody has even tried. Don't get me
wrong, there are some people responding to this who have far more knowledge
on refrigeration systems than I do. But, once again, they have never
actually tried THIS before. I have a cousin who IS an engineer, he works
for Copeland Compressors in Sydney Ohio. Okay, so here is someone who knows
this stuff WAY more than me and probably more than most of the people who
reply to this ng. His exact words to me were, "I cannot think of any reason
that we can't make it work." His idea was to simply put the water exchanger
inside the existing housing for the condenser (it is mostly open space
inside there except for the compressor itself and water condensers are
pretty small, (obviously if it wont fit then we will just have to install it
somewhere nearby). We then install a three-way valve on the Freon line, in
one position the Freon comes out of the compressor and goes to the
air-cooled condenser just like it always has. In the other position it
sends the Freon through the water-cooled condenser instead. This would be
an electrically controlled valve which would also turn the over-head fan OFF
whenever the water-cooled condenser was in use thereby cutting down on the
noise and saving electricity. We would use two sensors on the water line, a
pressure sensor, and a temp sensor, if the pressure drops too much it will
automatically switch to the air-cooled condenser, (once again, just like it
always has) or if the water gets too hot (say above 90 degrees) it will also
switch to the air cooled condenser. I realize that this may mean that on
the hottest days I will NOT be using the water-cooled condenser, on these
days the pool will heat to 90 degrees on it's own (so it uses the
air-cooled condenser. that it what it always has done no big deal).
However, if the water level on the pool is low on those HOT days, guess
what? We can run municipal water through the condenser and dump it in the
pool what the heck, I gotta fill the pool anyway, (we could even regulate
the municipal-to-pool water temp to get the inlet water temp for the
condenser right where we want it without overfilling the pool) now I am
cooling my house AND cooling the pool, win-win on a HOT day. And on those
days that the A/C is running and the pool is a little chilly it is win-win
again 'cause now I am cooling my house AND heating my pool.
One final note, my cousin will admit that he is not sure about the
"chlorinated water eating the heat exchanger" problem. I did get a reply
which lead me to this;
(I'm thinking the tube-in-shell model)
So it rots apart after 3-5 years , buy another one. If you can extend your
pool season by 4-6 weeks per year it would probably be worth it, if it cuts
your electric bill and lightens the load on your A/C then it would
definitely be worth it!
Good Luck Man
Let me know how it goes, score one for the DIY's!!!
Bunch of meaningless crap snipped.
For the last freaking time....
They make units designed for the purpose, and if your buddy that works for
Copeland didnt know about it..then I call bullshit, since Copeland
compressors are used in the very units that are made to work with a pool and
cool and heat your home....
In other words..I think you just like to sit around and type meaningless
crap...its obvious as hell to those of us that install units like that every
year, that you have not tried hard to find one....all you have to do is
look...and lord knows, you have been given enough links to the companys that
ok, so I'm only 6 months late on this discussion, better late than
The HVAC guys here are correct in that there are off the shelf
solutions and that they're relatively expensive. However, what you're
looking for isn't all that bad.
You've got desuperheaters designed to be spliced into A/C systems of
the size common in home use, such as:
and you've got parts like:
see the docs which diagram the entire thing:
also, see: (geothermal based hot water)
That gets you a water cooled assist/heat extractor for your A/C.
Research indicates that you have the benefit of increasing your A/C
efficiency by 5%-10% or considerably more. By extracting the heat from
your coils, your A/C doesn't have to work as hard, extending its life
and increasing its efficiency.
You've also got the geothermal companies selling high priced
desuperheater units. As others have mentioned see Florida Heat Pump,
WaterFurnace, ECR tech. for examples.
An experienced A/C tech would be able to install the desuperheater for
you. Don't try this at home since you have to splice into the
As others have noted, you now have to get the pool water to the
desuperheater without eating it up. Again, that isn't a big deal. Every
pool heater sold has a heat exchanger that circulates chlorinated water
Circulate the heated water/antifreeze from the desuperheater in a
closed loop through a heat exchanger. Circulate the pool water through
that heat exchanger. All your loops are closed and the nasty chemicals
kept where they won't damage the expensive stuff. If you have to
replace the heat exchanger, it's just a heat exchanger. If you don't
want to worry about corrosion, then get a titanium heat exchanger meant
for high chlorine pool use. Unfortunately the heat transfer
characteristics of SS and Ti are relatively poor, so often
copper-nickel (cupro-nickel) is used as long as you aren't going to use
TOO high chlorine levels.
As for being super expensive, people use that vague term but don't
define what it means. Well, here's one concrete example for one
Desuperheater - $465
You need to add the circulation pump and labor to the equation. Even if
the desuperheater complete system costs you a couple $k to make, the
payback would only take a couple years not including the cost savings
from improving the efficiency of the A/C unit. The thing to keep in
mind is that complete standalone packages are expensive because in
manufacturing, one typically uses a 4x-6x multiplier to figure sales
price from parts costs. If a commercial unit runs a few grand, then the
wholesale parts costs will be ~$750. So, if you can get the parts,
maybe they'd cost you $1500 (allowing for 50% wholesale discount).
Then again, you could save all the playing around, forget the idea of
heating using waste heat, and buy a normal heat pump for your pool for
$3k... depends how much of a geek you are (spoken from a true geek who
would spend several weeks playing with something to learn how its done)
Best of luck.
By the way, if you actually tried something out already, let us know!
Richard J Kinch wrote:
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