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Thread: Residential cooling towers

  1. #1
    Cyburbian prana's avatar
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    Residential cooling towers

    I am researching the possibility of putting a cooling tower into my residence. Here's the background: Tucson, AZ (summer temps at 105+F), partial solar home with straw-bail and traditional adobe walls, about 1600 square feet, single story, 8-12 foot ceilings.

    We are building in Civano, a great community based loosely on New Urbanism and alternative architecture themes.

    Our goals with the project are obviously to eliminate as much of the electricity consumption as possible. An A/C unit would be simple, but is a cooling tower feasible and worthwhile? Can someone point me towards a good drawing and demonstration of the workings of a cooling tower?
    "You can measure the health of a city by the vitality and energy of its streets and public open spaces.-- William H. Whyte..

  2. #2
    You can use a Badgeer ( Wind tower)to collect wind from various directions. If you need more details and pictures let me know.

  3. #3
    I recall that the cooling tower would be a box with three sides solid and the south side mostly. Glass and heat builds up on its dark interior surface and draws heat from the house through a
    vent or two and sucks it out on its leeward side on top which is about 4 feet above the roof height thus it is a heat engine for cooling, perhaps a trombe wall could be used as a cooling device in the summer and a heating device in the summer??

    check your local library for natural building....

  4. #4
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    Badgeer Tower

    I would appreciate some info on the Badgeer, I cannot find anything online about their construction, and I have a project I am working on now I would like to integrate it into. We are in Winkelman, Arizona.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    Is this what you're talking about?

    Passive Solar Guidelines

    I've heard them referred to as "thermal chimneys" as this article does, also as "solar chimneys". I assume you're not talking about an evaporative cooling system (a "swamp cooler").

    While I'm no fan of Wikipedia for serious research, there is a nice description of a solar chimney there, along with some interesting links:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_chimney

    I used to be very interested in this stuff, but as I was living in New England my focus was on solar heating. It's pretty neat to think about the power of the desert sun actually helping to cool a building.

    EDIT: It seems that Wikipedia spells "Badgeer" as "Badjir" and that they have an article on them. I guess it's true that nothing is new under the sun.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windcatcher

    EDIT: As I look at the last diagram from the first link above, I'm struck by how it resembles all those Victorian houses with turrets that I grew up around. I always thought they were silly affectations, and now I see that perhaps they had a real purpose. Who knew?

    http://images.greenbuilder.com/sourc...passsolar7.gif
    Last edited by JimPlans; 05 Jun 2009 at 10:08 AM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian chupacabra's avatar
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    I think they mean "cool towers". Common in the ME.

    http://constructionblog.org/wp-conte...wer-design.jpg

    If they are in Tucson they should contact Nader Chaulfoon at UA CALA. He's an expert on those things.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post

    Passive Solar Guidelines
    <SNIP>

    EDIT: As I look at the last diagram from the first link above, I'm struck by how it resembles all those Victorian houses with turrets that I grew up around. I always thought they were silly affectations, and now I see that perhaps they had a real purpose. Who knew?

    http://images.greenbuilder.com/sourc...passsolar7.gif
    I was thinking when I read this earlier about vernacular architecture traditions in The South, like deep porches on more than one side of the building to cut heating from the sun and allow you to leave windows open for ventilation even when it's pouring rain. We seem to have gotten very "stupid" -- apparently mesmerized and brainwashed by newfangled technologies to the point of forgetting some basics about design.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Windows OPEN? Are you kidding me?

    It's all about AC here!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
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    I was thinking when I read this earlier about vernacular architecture traditions in The South, like deep porches on more than one side of the building to cut heating from the sun and allow you to leave windows open for ventilation even when it's pouring rain.
    The porches on more than one side also helped with 'skeeters. When I was a kid we used to drive from Tampa to Meritt Island to visit my aunt who had a large orange grove. This was at the vert beginnings of the space program. Here house had a wide screened in borch around three sides of the house. Both the windows to the house and the porch were screened and the porch was used as a bug lock much as an air lock. There was always several "brushes made from palm fronds. You could take one when you walked outside and use it to brush them away. When you were ready to enter the house, you made sure to brush off ALL of them. Then you ducked into the screened porch. There was rarely a skeeter in the house using that procedure. This was before good repellents and aerial spraying or fogging trucks. The screened porch also had many rocking chairs and was often used as a living room.

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