Blog Archives

Refrigeration Test Bench – Part I

This post is going to be a bit long because it will be largely media, since I’ve done no writing for the last several months and have been busy in my shop.  I will let the pictures and videos do

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Posted in Refrigeration

Refrigeration – Back at it!

  Oh my; where to start?  I’ve been away from the blog so long, and have so much to discuss, I fear I know not where to start.  I’ve written quite a bit about refrigeration in the past, but that

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Posted in Dehumidifiers, Hot Water, Personal, Philosophy, Refrigeration, Refrigerator

Noodle Soup Village – A Tiny House Community

For twenty eight years I’ve been searching for something.  A mission, a purpose, a place to call home.  I’ve been searching in myself, in others, in culture, books, careers, and geographic locations.  I seek a lifestyle in which my actions

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Posted in Dehumidifiers, Dwelling, Hot Water, Humanure, Personal, Philosophy, Refrigeration, Refrigerator, The Squatch, Tiny House, Water

The KillCap Catalogue

I enjoy designing vapor compression machines.  It all started with a refrigerator.  I have thought long and hard on how these mainstays of modern living could be improved and someday I will make some of them a reality.  In the

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Posted in Dehumidifiers, Hot Water, Philosophy, Refrigeration, Refrigerator

The Great Gravity Flooded Evaporator

I’ve grown quite fond of the gravity flooded evaporator in the last year or two.  It has a number of advantages over a dry type evaporator.  I’ve discussed some of these in previous posts (here and here) and I will no doubt

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Posted in Refrigeration

1930s Household Refrigerators

The evolution of the household refrigerator is not a well known story.  There seems to be few people interested in the subject.  Perhaps it is not as romantic as the development of the automobile.  Nonetheless, a concerted effort was put

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Posted in Old Refrigeration Texts, Refrigeration, Refrigerator

Trying Not to Blow Myself Up

I advocate hydrocarbon refrigerants for vapor compression systems whether it’s refrigerators, dehumidifiers, split systems, whatever.  There are a lot of advantages to them over proprietary cocktails like R-134a, R-22, 410a and so on.  First of all, they are naturally found

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Posted in Refrigeration

Refrigerator Cabinet Design – Part 2

In Part 1 I complained a good bit about the design of conventional refrigerators.  Since I was a little kid, I thought that surely their must be a better way make a refrigerator more convenient and at the same time consume

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Posted in Refrigeration, Refrigerator

Refrigerator Cabinet Design – Part 1

I have some issues with the current state of domestic refrigerators.  Anyone who has read my other posts is probably well aware of this fact.   A Better Refrigerator, The Killcap Refrigerator and Hand Crafted Refrigerators.  I have a great deal of

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Posted in Refrigeration, Refrigerator

“Free” as in “Freedom”

A part of technological design I think is important, is the distribution model chosen.  In a dominantly capitalist economic system, marketability seams to be a deciding factor in the success of an idea or even whether anyone bothers building something

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Posted in Philosophy, Refrigeration

Excerpts from “Elementary Mechanical Refrigeration” by Fred E Matthews, 1912

The following are several pages taken from the above mentioned book.  A similar explanation is more or less copied in “Power’s Principles of Refrigeration” of which I have a 1921 copy.  Take special note of the beautiful illustration below.  Clicking

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Posted in Old Refrigeration Texts, Refrigeration

On the Subject of Compressors

The refrigeration compressor is where all the ‘magic’ happens.  To understand the process of compression is to understand the fundamental principles of mechanical refrigeration.  A compressor is the mechanism that allows us to reuse that same refrigerant over and over.

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Posted in Refrigeration

Recycling Hot Water

There are a number of different ways to heat domestic water for bathing, washing clothes, dishes and whatever else people need.  Electric Resistive, Natural Gas, Propane, Kerosene, BioMass, Solar, Heat Pumps and even Compost Heaps come to mind.  Obviously, some

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Posted in Hot Water, Refrigeration

Hand Crafted Refrigerators

I’ve been collecting antique refrigeration books for a little while now and so far, my favorites have been two editions of ‘Household Refrigeration’ by H.B. Hull.  It is a beautifully laid out book covering both thermodynamic engineering principles relating to

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Posted in Old Refrigeration Texts, Refrigeration, Refrigerator

An Outlook On Phase Change Materials

Phase Change Materials, usually abbreviated as PCM’s are wonderfully useful for thermal storage applications.  These materials make it possible to store large amounts of heat  relative to a substance’s mass.  They do this in a similar way to the working

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Posted in Refrigeration

Some Old Refrigerating Machines

I recently purchased these two books from abebooks.com.  They are the second and fourth editions, 1926 and 1933 respectively.  I don’t remember what they cost, but I would have easily payed double.  They are filled with illustrations and descriptions of

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Posted in Old Refrigeration Texts, Refrigeration

Some Thoughts On Refrigerants

Refrigerants are the blood of a vapor compression system.  They are pumped round and round in an infinite loop of compression and expansion.  The types of materials selected for use in refrigeration are based on a number of factors, the

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Posted in Refrigeration

The KillCap Refrigerator

As it stands right now, the machine I would most like to develop is a pedal powered refrigerator and possibly freezer.  The compressor and drive mechanism will consist of a metal framework supporting a heavy flywheel perhaps 40 centimeters across

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Posted in Refrigeration, Refrigerator

A Better Refrigerator

If you ask most people, “What are the most important things we are going to need in a peak oil world?”.  I can guarantee that a better refrigerator won’t make it into their top 20.  It probably won’t even come

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Posted in Refrigeration, Refrigerator

Household Refrigeration 1927

Notice the individual cabinet like doors on the refrigerator and the swinging drawer at bottom. Most units were belt driven external drive in this book. There was extensive use of flooded evaporators with low side floats at this time. I

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Posted in Old Refrigeration Texts, Refrigeration, Refrigerator

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