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no-electricity refrigerator in the suburbs/city?  RSS feed

 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Posts: 579
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, urban, nearish coast, 39'x60' minus the house, mostly shady north side, + lead.
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Is this a smart idea? are there better ones?

My housemate got enthused about this idea of making a fridge (partial cooling--down to 60 from 96 faranheit, in a dry environment like Arizona). It basically drips the water down from a 5-gallon jug and soaks it into cotton walls to evaporate and cool the air.

I love the enthusiasm and the wow-that's-a-neat-inventive-project aspect of this, however of all the projects we could be doing is this one worth it?
it seems like it would use up a lot of water--fine if we also manage to grab that from the drainpipe (and if it rains) but NOT if it's coming out of our water bill (last summer it was yikes!, and that was with a drip irrigation hose replacing watering-the-air-above-the-garden-bed from last year and me digging a few swales). I don't know what is up with our water bill, I think we got jinxed by someone, but anywho, don't want to be using water for that, unless it's served at least one other function beforehand or is from the sky. AND I'd rather it also serve a function after it. Which it won't do if it's wicking off of cotton.

So then, thanks to youtube's "if you liked this, then you'll liike that" algorithm, they somehow guessed I'd like Paul Wheaton's fridge. (How did you know?) However, it doesn't seem to be an actual Paul Wheaton fridge, it's a spring-water-cooled cooling box from the 30's, and so you need a) a cool spring and b) a dead regridgerator from the 30s or otherwise, which are illegal because a kid might get trapped inside one, or something. Maybe if it's smaller than a kid could fit into in the first place then it's not illegal, but still I'm cautious.

SO--any other ideas? would a high-enough-mounted barrel of roofwater slowly gravity-fed through a pipe zigzagging back and forth through a well-insulated camp cooler (note that it's NOT a fridge, for legal reasons, yay!) give anything like hte kind of cooling that you'd need? doesn't have to be 38 degrees, just hast to beat the 60 degrees on 96-degree day record.

Any links or ideas? I searched on this site but didn't find anything that didn't seem to involve excavating...and, yes, I supposee we COULD dig a big hole in the back yard...again...but we already have one. It's called the basement. It's kinda moldy.
 
John Saltveit
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Historically, they used real ice caves and ice boxes. Straw to insulate.
JohnS
PDX OR
 
Bill Bradbury
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Location: Richmond, Utah
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This is my second cool closet, the first one was for a client who reports that it works great. 1" water main is separated for max surface area inside a well insulated closet in the basement. Re-purposed computer fans on a timer provide ventilation.
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cool closet
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R-26 on 21" concrete foundation north wall
 
Brian Cady
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Earle Barnhart and Hilde Maingay built an ice room in Falmouth, Cape Cod, that used the winter's cold to freeze a giant closet of well-insulated ice, above which was a cold room kept that way by the ice below. In the winter nights, hatches would be opened to help freeze the ice closet. It worked through the year, as I remember.



 
Zenais Buck
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Location: PNW
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This is awesome!!!

Bill Bradbury wrote:This is my second cool closet, the first one was for a client who reports that it works great. 1" water main is separated for max surface area inside a well insulated closet in the basement. Re-purposed computer fans on a timer provide ventilation.


We have been off the grid for 17 years now, and refrigeration has always been a sticking point. We finally bought a 'normal' fridge, but honestly, we don't really need it. especially relative to the drain on the solar system. I have plans to build a spring house eventually, but this is a fabulous idea!

How cold is the water coming in, on avg? Our summer water is pretty warm...
 
John Saltveit
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I like all the designs from a real ice cave to homemade lo-tech versions to Bill's super deluxe one. We'll probably have to use all of them.
John S
PDX OR
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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This is a link to a very workable project, If you are in a state with a bottle redemption fee, look at your near states or look at 1 gallon milk jugs !

link below :

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20100816/NEWS02/100815019/Essex-project-builds-backyard-passive-freezer

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
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