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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring house to my house: Version 1.0



Our well water is cold all year long -painfully cold. In the days before refrigeration many rural folk had spring houses. A little house would be built right over the well, with the bottom open to the cool waters underneath. My well would be a fine candidate for a spring house. The only problem: it would be a heck of a walk down the hill every time someone wanted an apple or a cool beer.

Hence, the indoor spring house.




The copper coil in the refrigerator is connected to the house water supply line. Any time anyone uses any water at all, cold water circulates through the coil. The water comes from the cold well through a water line buried deep in the ground. From the time it enters the basement until it gets to the refrigerator the line is insulated.

My lovely wife suggested converting the existing refrigerator rather than build a separate cool box. Yes, my wife let me take a perfectly fine functional major appliance and turn it into a glorified ice box. I love that woman. She's as crazy as I am.

What do we do if we are going to be gone a few days and no one uses any water? No problem. The refrigerator is still works. All I have to do is turn it on. Since it would be the only thing running while we are away, the solar electric system should keep up with the power draw.

This is Version 1.0. These things tend to get modified as I go along.

-Sixbears

15 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I'd go for it. This is a simple way to help cool foods and not tax the solar system!
      Here in Florida my ground water comes out at 72 degrees. Can't do much with that except water the garden.

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    2. You've got to use the local conditions to your advantage. Florida has other advantages, but cold water isn't one of them.

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  2. It's hard to argue with success, they say.

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    1. Time will tell, but it's working fine now.

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  3. I love the concept! Brilliantly simple!
    How about you made a top opening insulated box with the coil inside and then if you open the lid none of the cold air would fall out.
    A wonderfully effective refrigerator with no moving parts...

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    1. That was my thought, but my wife liked the idea of using the fridge. It was easier to use something already existing.

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    2. Well it would be more efficient but I wouldn't wish to argue with your lovely wife...

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  4. Crazy like a fox methinks - cool! Nice build.

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  5. Have you compared the cost of pumping the water through the coil to the cost of running the refrig on its own?

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    1. I'm not running any extra water. This is just normal house usage. It just happens to run through the fridge first. Parts ran me a bit over $100.

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  6. I'm curious what the average temp you can hold will be.

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