h a l f b a k e r y
Incidentally, why isn't "spacecraft" another word for "interior design"?
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There must be many thousands of old houses with open fireplaces and their associated chimneys, which however are no longer used as open fireplaces due to polllution or fuel availability or desire for on demand electric or fossil heating.
Proposed is a mass produced standard unit that can be dropped
in to any normal open fireplace type chimney.
Cold end is mounted on the chimney pot, hot end is mounted in fireplace. Refrigerant pipes run down chimney space.
Could be mass produced to reduce production costs. Installation would be simple, requiring only climbing onto the roof and dropping the pipes down the chimney, and stuffing the gaps at both ends with something nice.
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||Great idea as long as it comes with a training
college so that tiny orphan children can learn how
to crawl up the chimneys to service and repair the
apparatus contained inside.
||How will Santa Claus or Jack Skellington get past
all that plumbing?
||The bottom end could be made to work, there's a
reasonable amount of volume to work with in the fire
place. The top end, I don't think so. A chimney is designed
for unidirectional flow of a modest volume of hot gas. As
such it's a single tube in the 4-8" (100-200cm) diameter
||Now look at the condenser of an AC unit as an example,
it's much bigger and requires airflow through it. There's
no way you'd be able to get a practical amount of airflow
in, through and out of a heat exchanger in a space that
was fundamentally designed for a different purpose.
||Much easier and cheaper to use a mass-manufactured
mini-split and make a reasonable effort to hide it.
||Would air be flowing through the chimney or would it merely contain
the refrigerant plumbing?
||If the air is flowing through the chimney, it could be made
to work, but with horrible efficiency. You could take air from
inside the house, cool/heat half of it at the fireplace
section, send the other half up the chimney over the upper
half of the heat exchanger pair. This is sort of how the
single-hose portable air conditioners work. But, by dumping
half the air, it has to be replaced with outside air, which is
hotter/colder than is ideal - hence, horrible efficiency.
||Indeed. So in the former arrangement the outside unit is the weak
point. A larger condenser, perhaps made to look like a large
mushroom, perched on the chimney pot?
||This idea is cool... as long as you are at the base of the chimney.
||//A larger condenser, perhaps made to look like a large
||Exactly, there isn't the volume available to work with.
Although I do like the mushroom form factor!
||Not practical however, chimneys are already a bit of a
structural nightmare, brick ones at least. They're a high
surface-area/volume brick structure exposed to the worst
of the elements and without warmth from use, they get a
lot of freeze-thaw water damage. Adding a large heat
exchanger would need the structure of the chimney to be
checked, and then all winter it would be actively &
cyclically cooling that same structure, probably covering
it in condensed/frozen water - which then breaks off,
slides down the roof and kills the window cleaner.
||Kids these days: "I remember fondly the humming compressor and rattling refrigerant pipes of my grandfather's chimney. After hours of play in a winter wonderland, my sister and I would sit still with our backs to the supply vents and warm ourselves completely over the course of several additional hours."
||Does it need an active unit at the top, or just a coil of pipes and vanes for the wind to flow over?