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Personal Open Loop Air Conditioner

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The Personal Open Loop Air Conditioner consists of a compressor which takes air from the atmosphere, pressurises it, and feeds the hot compressed air through a radiator which cools it to near ambient temperature. The compressed air is then fed into a pressure hose which can be passed through a window into the building. At the far end of the pressure hose is a nozzle which allows the air to expand as it flows out into the surroundings; it cools adiabatically and provides a steady stream of fresh, chilled outdoor air which can easily be directed at whichever part of the owner needs it the most.

Conventional air conditioners are inflexible. The cooling breeze emerges from a large, heavy box which is often bolted down or even built into the ceiling. This device produces its cooling effect from a small metal nozzle on the end of a hose, which can easily be pointed in any direction where it might be needed.

Conventional air conditioners are environmentally unfriendly. Classical refrigerants such as Freon and other CFCs, and the complex manufacturing processes which produce them, have deleterious effects on the atmosphere and biosphere. This device dispenses with such exotic substances, resulting in a cheaper and greener construction.

Conventional air conditioners continuously recycle the building's interior air, making no effort to deal with things like oxygen, carbon dioxide, farts and BO. This invention continuously replenishes the interior air with fresh, oxygenated, scent-free air from outdoors, for a pleasanter and more thorough cooling effect.

Wrongfellow, Aug 05 2008

Hilsch Vortex tube http://www.dissigno...20White%20Paper.pdf
[Ling, Aug 06 2008]


       So why don't regular air conditioners use air instead of freon?
nomocrow, Aug 06 2008

       Very low efficiency if you aren't changing phase in your coolant.   

       //making no effort to deal with things like oxygen, carbon dioxide, farts and BO//. Hmm, ever done any HVAC design? I have. Your home unit may not do much in the way of air exchange, basically because your house isn't nearly as airtight as you think it is. For commercial installations, air exchange is one of the top 3 or 4 factors that go into the design.
Custardguts, Aug 06 2008

       I suppose you could bake this by seting up an ordinary storage type air compressor in a sheltered outdoor spot and running the hose inside. Yes, it would be inefficient, but if used for personal cooling when required might use less energy than cooling the entire house with a conventional air conditioner. Don't get too close to the nozzle.
spidermother, Aug 06 2008

       // inefficient //   

       Not necessarily.   

       "Efficiency" is determined by the heat-pump ratio; how much heating/cooling for a given energy input.   

       Closed-cycle machines using Freons achieve about a 3:1 efficency; 700W of input for 2000W of cooling.   

       The adiabatic expansion idea is still valid, and since the General Gas Law applies the thermodynamics are fairly simple.   

       Assume a 1 kW compressor motor. The compressor inducts air at 1 Bar and 293K. SInce PV=RT, if the pressure is raised to 5 Bar, the temperature will rise proportionately.   

       Pass the air through a radiator as {Wrongfellow] suggests, and with the aid of a fan the air can probably be cooled back to 303K fairly easily (better with a water spray).   

       Now, you'll get your aidabatic cooling at the end of the pipe; but -   

       1) The air will be at about 240K, quite capable of causing frostbite;   

       2) The noise will be horrendous;   

       3) the blast will blow you off your chair.   

       The high pressure is needed to "force" the heat out of the working fluid (large differential between fluid and ambient) so dropping the pressure reduces the cooling power. Running at a lower pressure means a much bigger dissipator at the compressor end.
8th of 7, Aug 06 2008

       not recirculating the cooled air is where you will suffer the greatest loss of efficiency. Supplementary evap cooling would help....
WcW, Aug 06 2008

       /"Efficiency" is determined by the heat-pump ratio; how much heating/cooling for a given energy input./   

       So using your numbers, a 100% efficient 1kW compressor (yeah right) will be able to compress 2.5 L/s from 1 bar to 5 bar.   

       The temperature drop is then 293-240=53K @ 2.5L/s, which equates to about 160 Watts' worth of cooling power. But this is from a 1000W compressor.   

       Efficient? No.
Texticle, Aug 06 2008

       //basically because your house isn't nearly as airtight as you think it is//   

       If I thought my house was anywhere near airtight I'd also propose a second piece of hosepipe to equalise the pressure!   

       //Hilsch Vortex tube//   

       Now in my opinion these things are really, really cool.   

       A while ago I had the idea of attaching one of these to the outlet of a small computer keyboard vacuum cleaner, to provide a portable jet of cool air that you could keep in your pocket no matter where you go.   

       Unfortunately it's completely impractical because a Hilsch tube will only run off a ridiculously high pressure input.
Wrongfellow, Aug 06 2008

       Originally no Hilsch tube was mentioned, so I suppose you were simply talking about compressed air. Here's the thing: When the compressed air leaves the nozzle, it cools down taking in energy from its surroundings, but AT the nozzle the endings heat up extremely. You'll have to grab that air and take it out of the room, otherwise the total energy will be INCREASING the heat, by letting in pressurized air into the room. This is can be accomplished, but needs to be thought through.
pashute, Jul 22 2012

       I don't think that's correct, [pashute]. Yes, friction in the nozzle is a source of heat and a cause of inefficiency (it would be more efficient, for example, to use a pressure exchanger to transfer that energy to compression on the hot side), but there is a net cooling effect nonetheless. For example, when you let air out of a bicycle tyre, both the valve and the released air become cooler than ambient.   

       The fundamental reason why a single phase heat pump is generally less efficient that a phase change heat pump is is that the former cannot operate as close to equilibrium. This is in turn because the expansion of a gas occurs over a temperature range, whereas the evaporation of a liquid occurs at a single temperature (and similarly for compression/condensation).   

       BTW, it might be more meaningful to compare the thermodynamic efficiencies (always less than one), rather than the ratio of heat moved to high grade power consumed - by which measure, an open window has an infinite 'efficiency'.   

       But even more important is the question 'How comfortable will I be, for how much power consumption?'
spidermother, Jul 23 2012


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