Author Topic: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?  (Read 22664 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Bischofk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« on: April 10, 2009, 03:13:20 PM »
Well I posted a question about this earlier but it seems to have been deleted for some odd reason.  


Anyway, I was curious if anyone has built a Einstein fridge?  I was thinking of using solar concentration to provide the heat source.  I know heat can be used successfully for cooling because my parents had a 3 in 1 power source fridge.  It used either AC/12v DC/or Propane.  When operated by propane it was just a little flame heating the end of an element, and that was somehow caused the unit to cool inside...pretty  neat.  Anyway, I was hoping to do this on a much larger scale...perhaps enough to help assist my current AC unit in the summer to reduce energy costs, and of course be a green solution.  Any help?

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 03:13:20 PM by (unknown) »

Vince

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2009, 10:17:34 AM »
Until recently, my father had a Servel refrigerator he had originally bought back in the 1950s down in his basement that he used for keeping his beer really cold. It utilized ammonia as a refrigerant and a small gas pilot light for the heat cycle. It was great if the power ever went out.


About a year ago, I remember seeing a company that used a solar concentrator around a pipe that contained oil, and then used the hot oil for the heat source for an ammonia A/C unit. Solar A/C.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 10:17:34 AM by Vince »

scottsAI

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2009, 10:33:18 AM »
Bischofk,


Studied Einstein fridges for AC also, small world.

The temperature required is within flat plate collector, my main reason of interest. Unlike LiBr systems which require much higher temperatures. It's simplicity was another factor.


Summery of my study:

Not much work has been done, COP is generally accepted to be much less than 1. If you pay for the heat then not cost effective to use it, thus the lack of interest in the system. Couple studies suggest 1.1+ may be possible. The Einstein fridge cycle can be used for heating!


Realized it was easier to build a steam engine (+ concentrator) to provide the rotational power for a Heat pump. Which can be easily powered by other sources in backup, not requiring cost for an additional system.


My ultimate goal was total system cost for RE Heating/cooling including backup and operation cost.


Have fun,

Scott Beversdorf.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 10:33:18 AM by scottsAI »

Opera House

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2009, 10:51:31 AM »
Anyone remember the Crosley Icy ball refrigerator?  
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 10:51:31 AM by Opera House »

spinningmagnets

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 599
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2009, 11:48:11 AM »
I have not built one, but it is definitely in my files.


Keep Googling Einstein refrigerator, Icy ball, propane refrigerators and Kalinda cycle.


Reading about the Einstein fridge is what got me interested in thinking of all the ways it might be useful to operate devices using external magnets without rubber shaft seals. Occasionally a shaft seal would leak on home ammonia refrigerators (modern fridges enclose entire pump/motor in a shell) and leaking ammonia would kill a sleeping family.


Einstein had worked as patent clerk, and knew one good invention could bring in a steady supply of royalties. He was sponsoring German Jewish physicists to come to US from Germany in the 1930's, and needed more money than his Princeton salary and speaking fees.


The seal-less ammonia fridge patent paid for Szilard to come over. I think the Kalinda cycle and icy-ball use 20%/30% water to aid in condensation phase as water absorbs ammonia very strongly. here's a fun link I got from Scott:


http://peswiki.com/index.php/Directory:Closed_Loop_Ammonia_Turbine


I have thought of making 2 or 3 "icy balls" that are solar-heated and cycled at even intervals. Air-fan-cooling for the cold-side could be powered by a small solar PV panel. When the sun was out, you'd have solar-heat evaporation of ammonia, and fan-cooling of the condensation side, no grid or fuel-burning needed.


Never made one. Should be a fun experiment.

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 11:48:11 AM by spinningmagnets »

TomW

  • Super Hero Member Plus
  • *******
  • Posts: 5175
  • Country: us
  • Everything I put here gets changed..
    • Free Stuff
Yet another Scoop Bug...
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2009, 12:31:14 PM »


Well I posted a question about this earlier but it seems to have been deleted for some odd reason.


Welcome to yet another Scoop Bug.


I looked at this post awhile ago reading comments and it seemed to be locked for comments [no post comment link]. I went in to check it and it was set correctly. Came back to it and I posted this.


Weird stuff.


I looked into that Icy Ball thing once. Very interesting batch method that could make lots of cold pretty much directly from sunlight.


The illicit methamphetamine labs use Anhydrous Ammonia to process their poison so looking for it in small lots gets lots of interest here in corn country despite the tankers of it they inject into the soil in spring.


Tom

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 12:31:14 PM by TomW »
Join in an alternative forum at Anotherpower.com

Airstream

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 248
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2009, 12:37:39 PM »
The non-electric or RV style Ammonia based refrigerators work off a propane pilot light true - but the operate on their own schedule, a 'surge' based process where it might require 60 or 75 minutes of heating between refrigerant 'turn overs' that starts or continues the cooling process. Mention of hot oil as an intermediate heat source would help for awhile on sunless days...
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 12:37:39 PM by Airstream »

bob g

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1116
  • 8.8kwatt idi diesel thermal conversion unit
    • microcogen.info
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2009, 02:44:04 PM »
i don't remember if it was homepower or mother earth news

but a few years back there was an article of an absorbtion system

that used rock salt and ammonia

they had a trough reflector and a 20ft section of schedule 40 2" blackpipe

it would take iirc about 3-4 hours of sunlight to drive the system, then it was covered so the refrigeration cycle could start


iirc they were making 20lbs of ice per cycle with it, which doesn't seem like

much until one considers that the villagers in africa had never seen ice before.


because rock salt has a fairly high melting point, i have considered using the exhaust heat from my trigenerator to drive the system to provide for refrigeration

and a freezer section


with the engine mounted low, and the refrigerator box mounted above it certainly could be made to work and make use of what is often times a waste byproduct.


with the intermittent nature of a cogen/trigen setup a rather large amount of chilling could be accomplished, maybe not enough for domestic airconditioning in

very hot climates, low insulated and large footage homes, but maybe in some climates

small well insulated homes it might be enough, or provide a significant portion of the airconditioning needs?


as for the ammonia, it is a tightly regulated substance, that one is unlikely to be able to just go in a purchase without a license in hvac, it is that way here in washington state.

my business partner got a cylinder of ammonia, but he has a state license which he had to produce to get through the hoops.


the upside is, most systems don't require that much ammonia, might be wiser just to have a certified hvac guy come out and charge the system.


thats what i figure on doing when the time comes.


also i am not crazy about having a homebuilt absorption system in the living space, so i figure to have my bulk refrigeration/freezer out in the engine shed seperate from the house anyway.


seperation of power and living space is very effective in mitagating insurance issues anyway, as well as code issues.

if you don't live in the engine room, and it is not attached to the house, code requirments are not much of an issue.


certainly the 48vdc limit does not apply codewise if you don't habitate with the power room.


bob g

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 02:44:04 PM by bob g »
research and development of a S195 changfa based trigenerator, modified
large frame automotive alternators for high output/high efficiency project X alternator for 24, 48 and higher voltages, and related cogen components.
www.microcogen.info and a SOMRAD member

oztules

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1226
  • Country: aq
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2009, 03:00:22 PM »
Now here is a real solar fridge:


"Solar refrigeration system powered by solar energy. Research is going on to locate the collector outside the building and the refrigeration compartment inside. Picture shows the condenser, the liquid reciever and the solar collector. The solar collector powers the refrigerant through the cycle."

By Julius Tangka




http://julius_tangka.webs.com/productsforsale.htm


Interesting


.........oztules

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 03:00:22 PM by oztules »
Flinders Island Australia

scottsAI

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2009, 07:37:36 AM »
Bischofk,


Noticed your from England?


Store ICE from winter to summer to cool home and cool Fridge.

ICE Block is smaller than you may think, size of a bedroom.


Have fun,

Scott.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 07:37:36 AM by scottsAI »

Bischofk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2009, 11:54:29 AM »
Actually Im from USA.  Last name is Bischoff, German descent....
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 11:54:29 AM by Bischofk »

scottsAI

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2009, 12:06:18 PM »
:-)

Scanning through your posts I saw you mention price of something in pounds.

http://www.fieldlines.com/story/2009/3/28/235955/839

Have freezing temperatures during the winter?

With help, figure can freeze block in 5 days (needs below 20F) That or use more coils.


Scott.

« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 12:06:18 PM by scottsAI »

Bischofk

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2009, 12:17:07 PM »
Yeah, I posted in pounds because I copied the post from another board, which has a strong UK presence.  


"Have freezing temperatures during the winter?

With help, figure can freeze block in 5 days (needs below 20F) That or use more coils."


Yes, I do have freezing temps in the winter....I live in central IL, and actually we had a rather cold winter this year.  Several days below zero.  So how exactly would I make use of this??  It gets very hot/humid here in the winter.  I would think I would need a HUGE block of ice to cool my home in the summer for any length of time.  Just curious but do you have any links to projects where folks have successfully implemented something like this?  A project which addresses keeping the block from melting outside in the heat....how to distribute the cool air throughout the house etc etc.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 12:17:07 PM by Bischofk »

scottsAI

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 885
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2009, 03:48:19 PM »
Bischofk,


The ice block cooling idea seems to be unique.

Found one web page of a guy 20 years ago using ice stored for his Fridge. My suggestion is for whole house + fridge. Check my 900 posts here to see I am more or less respectable!-)


OK, the idea may be strange, yet the cold is there, lets figure a way to use it!


In simple math terms:

Located lower MI, my AC bill is $150 for the entire summer.

Translate the AC efficiency into actual BTU transferred comes to 15,000,000BTU for the summer. Can we store this much and account for the heat lost while stored? Yes.


Each lb of frozen water absorbs 144BTU while melting. Reducing volume greatly.


Lets play with some real numbers. 13.5 ft cube in ground at 50F during summer.

13.5 ft cube is 18,251 gallons, nice sized swimming pool. I suggest to build a deck as part of the top cover, kills two birds with one stone. Surround tank with 4" foam insulation. Based on heat loss 32F to 50F the entire tank will absorb 740BTU/hr through all six sides. Over 200 days = 3.55Million BTU.

Therefore; tank must store 18.55MBTU, the 13.5 ft cube of ice will store 22MBTU leaving a nice margin over the 15MBTU needed.


"how to distribute the cool air throughout the house."

Forced air system

Refrigerant AC systems use an A frame shaped heat exchanger, we can circulate 32 deg water through it. No worries about freezing. Dehumidification will be Superior to existing systems (colder by 20F)

Forced air systems fan and recirculating pump use one tenth the power of existing AC systems, well within an off grid system to have AC system.


I believe this can be built for less than $2k, on par with current AC system cost.


Call me crazy if you like, looks like a valid system to me.

My AC system works fine, hard to justify the cost to test this out, else I would.


Have fun,

Scott.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 03:48:19 PM by scottsAI »

spinningmagnets

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 599
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2009, 05:25:18 PM »
bischofk, This is a valuable forum for exchange of ideas and technical replies. Concerning freezing ice store in winter to cool house in summer, sounds crazy at first, but give it a second thought.


If you are attaching an A/C system to a conventional house, and the insulated pit for ice-store is dug and built by a contractor, it will be horribly expensive with a small benefit.


If your house is designed and built to need very little heating/cooling, a much smaller cool-storage is needed. Also, if you dig the pit yourself (or trade for a friend with a  backhoe to dig it) insulated pit may not be that expensive.


www.builditsolar.com has a well-researched project that uses solar-heated water that is stored in an insulated pit. Pre-heats DHW, and warms radiant-floor system in house even in very cold winter.


Cold air on a winter night can be circulated down through pipes in salt-water pool (down to 20F or less) located in underground insulated root cellar. In daytime you can place aluminum molds filled with fresh water into pool to make ice blocks.


I understand some folks just don't have the land to dig a large underground room. Or, the energy to do it themselves, or enough money to pay contractor, but...


I honestly believe this IS possible to be done cheaply and DIY (lots of work, though, clearly not for everyone)

« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 05:25:18 PM by spinningmagnets »

oldculett

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2009, 01:44:49 PM »
I have one.


Oldculett

« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 01:44:49 PM by oldculett »

Madscientist267

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1202
  • Country: us
  • Uh oh. Now what have I done?
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2009, 08:38:21 AM »
Reading all of this gives me one of those 'pipe dream' ideas (sorry for the pun Tom, couldn't resist... hahaha) -


What if you could use a solar powered Einstein cycle to mitigate 'extra' heat in the return line heading back to the ice block?


Solar powering the cycle to directly cool the house doesn't seem like the most ideal situation to me, primarily because when you need it most to cool the house (peak solar), is when the system would need to be in the heat part of the cycle in order to operate most efficiently, thereby not actively cooling anything. Not really practical.


BUT - if you use the cycle to remove as much heat as possible from the water returning to the ice block from the house, you could make the ice block smaller, and have a more compact system since you would not need to 'store' as much cold.


Not that digging a smaller hole is really THAT much cheaper or anything, but there may be other reasons to have a smaller system. Also, the ammonia would never need to be anywhere in the living space; the cooling exchanger could be incorporated into the same space as (or even within) the ice block itself.


On top of all of this, it would help the block reach a lower temperature sooner in the winter when you're trying to get rid of as much heat as possible. Mild winter -> Nasty summer wouldn't keep you from staying cool.


One more (do they ever end) possibility - By rerouting a few things in the winter, you could also use the exhaust heat from the cycle to help heat the house.


Just an idea... Am I too far off target on this one?


Steve

« Last Edit: June 12, 2009, 08:38:21 AM by Madscientist267 »
The size of the project matters not.
How much magic smoke it contains does !

MaxtorD

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2009, 12:38:11 AM »
Is this place selling Einstein fridge type airconditioners?  Check this out...


http://www.edwardmarcsphil.com/Sedna.html


-MaxtorD-

« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 12:38:11 AM by MaxtorD »

wheelema

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2009, 06:26:05 PM »
What you call an Einstein fridge is a type of gas absorption refrigerator.  Every reefer rolling down the highway uses this tech to keep food cold and they are used in industry extensively; for example in meat packing, ice cream production, etc.  I personally am very interested in one that uses solar power.  Wikipedia has an article on the Einstein fridge which included this link (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/sep/21/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange) to an academic who is attempting to improve and reintroduce the technology.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2009, 06:26:05 PM by wheelema »

wheelema

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
« Last Edit: August 15, 2009, 06:36:14 PM by wheelema »

carbethhutter

  • Guest
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2010, 02:55:29 PM »
Hi pump hot water through the flue pipe in they old ammonia type frides,from a solar water panel on the roof.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 02:55:29 PM by carbethhutter »

WoodstoveWizard

  • Guest
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2010, 09:44:11 AM »
Interesting idea.


I remember reading about a similar setup using ammonia. I don't think it was quite the same because it ran on a 24 hour cycle - ammonia evaporated at the "cold" end. It moved through some kind of heat exchanger and recondensed at the other end?


I don't think that sounds quite right... hmmm... it was making quite a bit of ice per day at any rate and had no moving parts.

« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 09:44:11 AM by WoodstoveWizard »

WoodstoveWizard

  • Guest
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2010, 09:47:13 AM »
Oh, and another solar powered fridge


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1108343/Amazing-solar-powered-fridge-invented-British
-student-potting-shed-helps-poverty-stricken-Africans.html


I actually had lunch with the inventor today - she was in the school I work at judging a design competition.


Low tech and elegant

« Last Edit: March 11, 2010, 09:47:13 AM by WoodstoveWizard »

greend88

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Anyone DIY an Einstein Fridge?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2010, 07:23:31 PM »
It's an old concept with modern materials.  Props for the effort though.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 07:23:31 PM by greend88 »