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 Post subject: Zeolite / Water solar refrigeration system
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 10:22 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:10 am
Posts: 96
Location: Golden Valley
Was looking into biogas generation, and I think I got a good handle on that, but during my research into that I came across some articles about Solar Refrigeration. The upshot is that using an adsorbant material, like carbon or zeolite, and the application of heat you can create a cycle for cooling or refrigerating a liquid in a vacuum. (Not a very good explaination, but I'll try to elaborate.)

Essentially, you heat the adsorbant material to boil the liquid out of it, desorbtion. The vapor goes through a condensor where it cools and liquifies and collects into a reservoir. When the heat is removed the adsorbant material begins adsorbing the liquid from the reservoir. This generates heat at the adsorbant material and quickly draws heat out of the liquid thus causing it to chill quickly.

Look into CoolKeg, you open a valve on the keg and the zeolite adsorbs the water and chills the beer for 8 hours.

Ideas for uses; solar refrigerators, novelty camping mugs that will chill your drink and can be recharged by placing it in the fire, off grid heating, cooling and refrigeration (this could get crazy complex, but scavenging the heat of the adsorbant material as it's adsorbing and the recharge cycle for use as space heating)...

I've read that one square meter of solar panels can generate 4-5Kgs of ice per day. Thats an adequate amount for food storage and some simple space cooling.

Is anyone interested in playing with this stuff? I'm going to be making a vacuum pump in the near future and I'll be using it for all kinds of things, this being one of the more interesting. I'm going to try it on a small scale first, just some pvc and some simple valves.

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 Post subject: Re: Zeolite / Water solar refrigeration system
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:10 am
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Location: Golden Valley
I got my 100 lbs. of zeolite the other day. It's much finer than I thought it would be, though the package says it's zeosand, a pool filter replacement thing. Still, the bits tend to fall through the small window screen mesh I'm using, so I need to come up with a better solution. Also, it probably need to be heated to get the water vapor out before it'll actually do anything. I tried making a vacuum chamber with a thermos style mug and a soup can on top. It has a small leak and using the manual pump I can't get more than 10-12 in. Hg. No ice. Once I bake the zeolite for a bit and have an airtight chamber I think it'll go much better.

I need to get this going on a small scale before I commit to a large project. One of the websites I've been studying says you can get 50 grams of water to freeze in 30 seconds with 50 grams of zeolite and a hand vacuum pump. And you can get about 8-10 freeze cycles before you need to bake the zeolite to desorb the vapor. How cool would it be to be out camping in the middle of nowhere and you mix yourself a nice cool drink with ice cubes?

Stage 2 will be utilizing a long tube filled with zeolite, a parabolic trough to heat it up, and a small water tank in an insulated enclosure to make lots of ice.


baby steps.

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Too many irons, not enough fire.


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