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OxiCool Water-Cooled AC System

26 Jan 2022

Author: Jeff O'Hara

Is there anything water cannot do?

Water keeps us alive. We can survive far longer without food than we can without water.

Water is responsible for carving the Grand Canyon out of solid rock over millions of years.

The sheer force of water is seen anytime there is a higher-than-normal tide, a coastal storm, or a broken levee.

Water forms the basis of many daily activities that all of us take for granted. Taking showers, brushing your teeth, washing your dishes, cleaning the laundry, running the sprinklers; the list of wonderful things that water does for us could go on for several blogs.

What Does Water Have to Do with Air Conditioning? 

In the earliest days of air conditioning history, ancient Egyptians hung curtains made of reeds or fabrics soaked in water across windows and doorways. As the hot, desert air blew across these curtains, it was humidified and cooled by the evaporation of the water within them thus, “conditioning” the indoor air.

Evaporative cooling was the only effective way to cool an indoor space until the implementation of electricity and the creation of liquid refrigerants for the next several centuries.

After three-quarters of a century in existence, residential air conditioners have made tremendous strides in efficiency and performance. However, they still rely on environmentally damaging chemicals to keep your living space comfortable. Even with technological advances like variable-speed compressor fans and smart thermostats, your air conditioning system accounts for 30 – 60% of your overall power consumption. And it goes without saying (but I’ll say it), the older your air conditioner is, the less efficient it is going to be.

Why Did Freon Turn Out to be Bad? 

Derived from carbon and methane atoms, Freon was the first “safe” chemical refrigerant to reach the market, and its name became the generic term used to refer to liquid refrigerant of any formulation.

By the 1960s, research into increased instances of skin cancer and how it related to ozone layer depletion revealed that CFC refrigerants and leaded gasoline were to blame. Without getting all “science-y” about it, when Freon leaks out of your air conditioner and rises into the atmosphere, it is broken down by the sun into its original chemical form. When the breakdown completes, you have free-floating methane and carbon atoms above the ozone layer that begin to eat their way through the protective shield that keeps most of the UV rays from the sun from reaching the earth.

In 2022 we all know too much direct sunlight is harmful, and we know enough to wear the proper sunscreen on the beach. Now, nearly 100 years after the introduction of Freon, it seems that the air conditioning industry is returning to its ancient Egyptian roots, again, using plain water as a liquid refrigerant.

OxiCool® is Cooling Without Consequences

One company that has taken the concept of pure water as a replacement for liquid chemical refrigerants and made it a reality is OxiCool, from Malvern, PA. OxiCool was on a quest to find a way for long-haul truck drivers to enjoy air conditioning while sleeping in their truck cabs without having to leave the truck’s engine running. At the same time, the same company was working to introduce the same water-as-refrigerant technology for the residential AC marketplace.

OxiCool Uses 90% Less Energy Than Your Current AC Unit.

The OxiCool® system uses about 10% of the electricity that a conventional air conditioner would require under the same conditions. OxiCool does require a connection to natural gas service, which is used in the evaporation process, but the company says they are looking into solar and other alternative fuel sources.

OxiCool technology is a simple solution for a problem that has puzzled the cooling and air conditioning industry for over 100 years. Using only natural elements — earth, water, air, and fire — OxiCool produces zero emissions from its refrigerant and reduces the ever-increasing demand being placed on our country’s aging power grids. Almost as important, the OxiCool system is incredibly quiet. You get to relax in total comfort while saving money — and saving the planet — when you cool your home with OxiCool.

OxiCool is Almost Completely Maintenance Free.

OxiCell™ powers OxiCool. OxiCells are closed-loop, maintenance-free molecular sieve cells manufactured to precision in a cleanroom. Not even a single water molecule can escape through the system’s life. So, you never have to add or change the water, or the molecular sieves inside. There’s also no refrigerant to top off because there is NO refrigerant other than pure water.

And, since OxiCool has no compressor, the entire system is virtually maintenance-free. The only thing you must do is change filters as you usually would. OxiCool has the unique ability to maintain its charge for up to ten years or more, which means it works amazingly well off the grid, too. With a base price of $10,000 per unit, it comes with 4 OxiChanger™ Air Handlers that mount to the wall and allow comfort controls to be set for four different zones of the home.

While systems like OxiCool are probably several years from becoming widespread in their use, with almost 2 billion CFC or HCFC cooled air conditioning units currently in use. Projections are that by 2050, the number of air conditioning units in use will be close to 6 billion across the world. Unless chemical refrigerants are phased out entirely in favor of alternatives that aren’t damaging to the environment, Houston will only continue to get hotter. 

For more information about OxiCool, visit their website at: https://www.oxicool.com/

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