Blog: The Well
by livingwatersystems

Summer Cooling

Cooling my home is an expensive proposition in the hot climate where I live. Building a passive cooling system can help reduce the cost of my summer utility bills. On only warm days, a passive cooling system may even eliminate the need for using electric powered air conditioning. If I can find affordable well drilling equipment, I will use the equipment to drill holes in the ground and bury PVC pipe as deep as I can to provide inxepensive cooling. Another option is to build cooling towers.

Date:   2/27/2006 11:15:56 PM   ( 18 y ) ... viewed 3572 times

Cooling my home is an expensive proposition in the hot climate where I live. Building a passive cooling system can help reduce the cost of my summer utility bills. On only warm days, a passive cooling system may even eliminate the need for using electric powered air conditioning. If I can find affordable well drilling equipment, I will use the equipment to drill holes in the ground and bury PVC pipe as deep as I can to provide inxepensive cooling. Another option is to build cooling towers.

Building a tower on the roof with vents and opening windows on the shady side of the house will reduce energy costs but it would take conscious living and that something few people participate in as far as energy consumption is concerned. As hot air rises and vents out this dome, it creates a vacuum that sucks in cooler air.

The following is a horizontal version of the same thing I am talking about above.

Free Home Air Conditioning!
Save Money on Your Electric Bills!
Imagine if you happened to live directly over Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Down below you, on a 95°F hot summer day, there was all kinds of 56°F air down in the cave! So imagine that you bored two large holes down from your house into the ceiling of the cave. You would then be able to use a standard furnace blower to draw air up one, to push it into the house through your existing heating/air conditioning ducts and registers. The second duct would be to allow your hot house air to go back down into the cave to replace the cool air you removed. Presto! You have awesome air conditioning!
Well, that general concept will work in most climates, if an "artificial cave" is created deep in the ground under your house. Note that there is nothing complicated or complex about this idea, it is actually really simple, and even obvious! All we did was to apply modern Engineering methods to calculate how to make an "artificial cave" that is most efficient. We also found a way to use really inexpensive materials that are already available in a store near you!

Using ONLY locally available materials, it is possible for ANY homeowner to virtually eliminate their electric bills for air conditioning FOREVER! If a million California homeowners would choose to individually save this money, they would collectively reduce the electricity power load on the California power grid by around 5,000 Megawatts! That reduction might even help the electricity suppliers keep up with their demand! A grass-roots solution for a problem that the honchos can't solve!
This is a method for supplying plenty of cooled, de-humidified air for almost any house or many commercial buildings, WITHOUT needing to run an electricity-eating air conditioner compressor! Even better, it is fairly inexpensive to install and unbelievably environmentally friendly! All of the rooms of a house will be EXACTLY as comfortable as if that expensive compressor was running! The temperature, humidity and comfort level can even be regulated by the very same wall thermostat you already have!

This system is extremely logical and actually very simple. It involves moving the house's air through large tubes (like tunnels) underground. In technical terms, these tubes are "heat exchangers" that use long-proven simple techniques to transfer heat FROM the house air INTO the cool deep soil.

The temperature a few feet down in the ground is remarkably constant throughout the day and year. In Chicago, for example, that deep soil remains approximately 52°F, day and night, summer and winter. In the summer, the hot house air is blown through some underground tubes and that hot house air is cooled by contact with the cool (52°F) walls of the underground tubes. It turns out that it is also de-humidified, too! By the time the air has returned to the house, it is exactly the same as the cooled air that would have come out of a standard central air-conditioner. Air conditioning is accomplished without running an energy-expensive compressor, virtually eliminating air-conditioning expense. In the winter, there is even a bonus effect! Make-up air for the house, that might sometimes enter the house at -10°F, would enter the house at around 52°F instead! The heat load of the house can be significantly reduced, minimizing heating bills.

Have you ever been in a cave? Remember how cool it was, even if it was 90°F outside? The air inside that cave that you were breathing did not start out in the cave. Some winds had blown air in through some opening somewhere. Hot outside air that had gone into the cave had been cooled by the cool walls down there. That's pretty much what we are doing with this system. You can do this with locally available materials, which should cost on the scale of $500, in just a day or two, which would mostly be digging up and refilling trenches across your yard! If you hire a backhoe or trencher to do that might be another $500. Adding in some other expenses, the whole works might be do-able for well under $2,000. (These estimates depend on house size, climate and other factors, and are suggested as a ball-park estimates.) Simple, easy, fairly inexpensive, perfect!
WHY is a cave cool like that? It is actually very simple and logical. In the summer, you get a lot of heating and in the winter a lot of cooling. For YOUR climate and location, there is some "average annual temperature". THAT is the natural temperature of the deep ground where you are, no matter WHERE you are! As it happens for Chicago, summer temperatures are generally around 72°F and winter around 28°F (average day/night), and halfway between those is around 50°, which happens to be the deep soil temperature. It is NOT a coincidence!

By being able to entirely and continuously cool a house all summer, without a compressor running, many homes could save $1,000 or more, EVERY summer! This is certainly a great thing for the homeowner, who has to pay the bills, but it can also help many energy-strapped utility companies. If a substantial number of people would install this system, the summer electricity demand could be substantially reduced.
Does it GET any better than this? You SAVE $1,000 (or more) every year for the rest of your life. You have a cooling system that is unbelievably environmentally friendly. AND you're helping the short-sighted electric companies past their crisis. And all this does not even cost an arm and a leg! (Maybe a toe or two!) There are a lot of variables, like home size, climate, soil type, etc, but a do-it-yourselfer could put the whole system in for under $1,000 for some houses. (Contractors would charge more, but probably still a manageable cost.)


Some Technical Stuff
There is a somewhat similar energy source called Geothermal Energy. That is actually different from the energy involved in this device. Geothermal energy taps energy that is coming upwards from the hot center of the Earth. Most geothermal energy applications involved rather deep wells or a location near natural hot springs. This system does not need that energy source. Most of the energy involved in this system is actually solar energy, which had arrived months earlier and became stored in the mass of the earth, just a few feet deep.
Each location on Earth has a certain annual energy input from the Sun and a certain energy loss from radiation (into space), conduction and convection. In the long-term, these two must be identical.

The consequence of this is that Equatorial locations, which receive more solar energy during a year, must necessarily have a higher average ground temperature in order to radiate, conduct and convect that greater amount of incoming heat away. Polar regions have colder earth for the same reason. Very near the surface, the ground temperature is greatly affected by day and night and summer and winter, but even three feet deep, those effects are fairly minimal.

Here is a map of the US showing average deep soil/well temperatures. Just find your location. The usual indoor design air temperature for air conditioning is 76°F, so if the deep soil in your area is under 76°F, this approach will work! (Even if it was above, house air could be substantially cooled, reducing the need for a central air conditioner to work, STILL saving you a lot of money!

This technology is being GIVEN away, FREE. Beginning in November, 2000, we have tried to get word out to California homeowners that this option is available to each of them. It is given in the spirit of one human being helping a neighbor.
We are just trying to offer assistance for people who seem to be destined for some great adversity. We have heard that in San Diego, electric rates quadrupled in 2000. People who paid out $1000 the previous year for a summer of air conditioning are amazed at their recent bills for this and all following summers! And the electric companies have basically confirmed that blackouts will occur for up to ten years, until they have enough new power plants built.

How could caring people NOT offer a solution where none other seems to be available? But the response has been amazing. The bulk of officials and politicians seem to assume that if this had any value, we would certainly be trying to make piles of money on it, so they are polite, but clearly cannot wait until the conversation is over.

Some California homeowners DO seem to be aware of upcoming problems, but they seem to almost universally believe that there really IS no shortage and that this whole fiasco is some ploy on the part of the power companies to be allowed to charge them more. And, they have been conditioned so totally that government and executives can solve all of their problems, that most seem willing to patiently wait until government somehow bails them out of whatever "minor" inconveniences they will face.

These problems ARE very real. Yes, they seem to have been made far worse by greedy businessmen and poor bureaucrats, but the problems exist. It seems certain that those many people are going to be very upset as they realize the severity of the problem, AND that they probably face similar or worse problems for the next nine years!

At whatever point any homeowners feel the need to solve their own problems, on a grass roots level, this page should be here. It is, and forever will be, offered as a Public Service.

No incredible breakthrough is presented here. The concepts have been known for many decades. I heard a rumor that even the ancient Romans "air conditioned" a few buildings with this method (but I doubt it!) Our primary contribution is to figure out a system that only costs on the order of one or two thousand dollars and which would probably save the homeowner more than that outlay every single year, forever.

We have a single request. The fact that we are giving away a pretty thorough explanation of this system, does NOT mean that we are also offering unlimited free engineering expertise as well! For unusual houses, or ones in unusual locations, or in especially hot climates, it is sometimes prudent to have individual engineering calculations done, to ensure proper performance. Any local engineer (HVAC, civil, mechanical, chemical, etc) should be able to do the necessary calculations. If they (or you) wish, we can provide all the necessary technical equations (and examples) for such analysis, which anyone that understands algebra should be able to use. Alternatively, we could do such specialized engineering. In both of these cases, which are beyond our offer of this free technology, we think it is only fair to be paid for whatever additional time and effort would be used, so the end of this presentation includes such matters. We feel that most houses in most climates do NOT need this extra engineering effort!


Summer Cooling
Some Problems that will need to be dealt with

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Comments (3 of 3):
Re: Do-It-Yourself… colel… 11 y
home near swamp bcrumb 17 y
You are close to t… kermi… 18 y
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Blog Entries (4 of 4):
Do-It-Yourself Water Well  18 y
School Built of Straw  18 y
Summer Cooling  18 y
Well Drilling  18 y

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