The Mani Shop has gotten a little bit cooler recently. With RREAL's expansion last fall, we rearranged the HUG offices in the building. This rearrangement made the greenhouse the main hallway and we found that in the summer heat this made the attached offices extremely uncomfortable. With a large area to cool and high costs of operating a concern, a normal air conditioning unit would not meet the needs of the shop. So, a new air conditioner was designed.
Using a furnace blower as the core, we designed the unit to work with cold water instead of a compressor. Using a radiator coil we inherited from an old grocery store, we are able to transfer the cold via an air exchanger to the blower at a rate of 2.5 gallons per second. We get a second use out of the water, too. We divert the water after it's used to help in watering the living garden on the roof via a sprinkler system. Plus, any additional overflow goes to the pond in front of the Mani Shop.
Here you can see Ryan installing the holes for the duct work.
It also recirculates the air it uses. This lets the unit work less often and keeps the air in the building colder, longer. This is very useful because the AC unity can push up to 2000 cubic feet of air per minute. This recirculation cleans the air and with an activated charcoal filter, it helps keep the air fresh by absorbing odors.
The system is working wonderfully, now. In fact, on Friday we had several little girls splashing through the sprinkler system on the roof. Sounds like we got it online just in time.