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27th May 2005 << back

Report on preliminary test of liquid cooling film system

Liquid Film Distribution Streaming Problem
Cooling liquid streaming and not spreading out into even film as hoped. Obvious this should happen now that I see it.

Distribution Hoses
Experimented with 2 types of cooling film distribution hoses:-

1. 3mm holes drilled 40cm apart into one side of pipe directed down the inner skin.

2. 3mm holes drilled 40cm apart into one side of pipe. Pipe enclosed in tight woven plastic sock.

Observations: Hole size and spacing produce even distribution over 7metre length with a 3metre head. Maybe hole size or frequency could be increased very slightly, but pump seems to be running at max flow. If holes become too large or frequency too great distribution will be lost to the ends of the hose. Fabric sock made no difference to distribution.

Further notes: I originally pricked hose with bradawl every 2cm along length. This produced an inadequate flow. Pump used for cooling is a high flow rate - low pressure type. I tested this hose with mains supply and got good results, but this test proved to be a poor indicator of the distribution characteristics using the pump. Mains pressure much greater and lower flow rate.

See liquid film pump here

Minor Splashing Problem
In one segment of the cavity an undesirable splashing was created but the liquid film being projected off the surface of the inner skin by a crease, and splashing into the trough. The trough was created when the skin is folded in the factory. This minor problem should be overcome by retensioning the inner skin at the offending section or maybe sticking stiff plastic length inside along crease to pull flat.

The Sound of a Living Building
Asides from this splashing the cooling film produced a beautiful quiet trickling sound like a bubbling brook or water feature. I had not expected this, but it is a reassuring and subtle reminder of the process of the working liquid within the system. Because the sound is audible all around the interior environment the effect is all the more reflective of a totally enveloping process. It is my first experience of a living building.

Crude Temperature Observations
Because I have yet to install my heat sink coils I filled the soap tank with 150litres of mains water which gave a starting temperature of 17 degrees Celsius. After running the liquid film for half an hour in the south cavity this water temperature rose to 25 degrees Celsius, which was the temperature of the internal environment.

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