Кэнский Сергей Л. : другие произведения.

The Energy Revolution, D I Y

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   To keep us under their control, they are committing horrible crimes
   against the life on our planet
   making us waste huge amounts of energy from and on burning fuel,
   as well as our own vital energy.
   But we can stop it.


   First of all, why revolution? Because it is capitalism we have worldwide now, and capitalism means not only the ever existed power of money, but the brutal power over essential needs of people through money, in which system money depends on technologies, and technologies depend on energy.
   Hence follow two conclusions: 1. we can not put our hope in high technologies and 2. there will be no energy revolution without people revolution. Let me enhance.
   There is no sense to expect energy revolution from the development of technologies. Alas. It is very disappointing, especially for science enthusiasts like me, but we have to admit that new technologies will rather preserve the social status quo than change it. Let's take for example the thermonuclear source of energy, which is too well controlled by money to be allowed for realization. And this is despite the fact that this type of reactors have been mentioned in hundreds of movies and numberless articles as a paragon, unquestionable and so to speak standard solution for giving the humanity an endless flow of free and clean energy.
   We have been taught it for 70 years, by God, since the middle of the 20th century. And what happened when it at last became a practical issue?.. By the way, maybe you don't know that the steady fusion reaction giving more energy than it was spent on heating plasma has been obtained as far as 1998? Yes, the dream came true and since then nothing prohibits us from warming in the artificial Suns, but for some reasons they decided not to make a global celebration of it. If you look into the history of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project, ITER, you will see that according to its initial construction plans and financing we should have had the first thermonuclear power plant operating long ago.
   The Large Hadron Collider, LHC, a project of roughly the same cost and technology, was started and finished in the same period, while for ITER they were still choosing the construction plot and then just started to excavate it. Do you remember when the Collider's putting into operation became the scientific sensation number one among the public? Eleven years ago. And now find the photos and videos in the Internet and look at the present condition of ITER's construction plot and the works in 30 something participant countries. All the activity you would see there are two or three workers lazily roaming in the midday among unfinished concrete structures or lost in the huge desolate shops doing something like insulating wires on a huge assembly, just like two ants on a behemoth. And it becomes clear as day that "never" is the most likely deadline for the whole project. What is curious, these are the official websites with optimistic reports, but even for them they weren't able to make less dreary footages.
   Do you think, maybe, they were making changes into the original project and that's why the whole business went so messy? Not at all, nothing changed. Detailed to the last screw design was ready by 2001. They just decided to make it veeeery long. They have been building it for 20 years, think of it. And they will build it for another 20, why not? There is will there is a way, especially if it is a will not to do anything. And even after the construction is finished, how long they can be experimenting on it without announcing any practical results? (Though they are going to get in those experiments up to 10 times of superfluous power.) In fact they quite shamelessly closed the project. So no thermonuclear electricity for you guys, sorry. At the same time the Collider project is thriving.
   By the way, you may still think that ITER is really something impossibly expensive and impossibly long and complicated to build? Because, you know, in politically burdened projects they can present any sums and terms at any time. How is it that having detailed design and final calculation, they have raised the budget by 4 or 5 times and the same times only officially announced delays?
   So it would be better to look for indirect means of evaluation. They would be more direct, actually. Some quoting. "In 2008, nine days after going live following a decade of construction, the LHC had to be shut down when a faulty electrical connection between two of the magnets caused approximately 6 metric tons of liquid helium to leak into the LHC"s tunnel. It took more than a year to repair the damage to the collider."
   From that we see that the collider's construction period was 10 years. Why do we compare the collider and the reactor? Because essentially they are the same machine called tokamak, the particle accelerator built of superconductive magnets, cooled by liquid helium. So if we compare the volume of liquid helium used, we can compare the costs of the two machines.
   Another two quotations. First about the reactor. "Nearly 25 tonnes of liquid helium - at minus 269 degrees Celsius - will circulate through a five-kilometre network of pipes, pumps and valves in order to cool the superconducting magnets, the thermal shield, vacuum cryopumps, and certain diagnostics."
   And the second one. "Filling the entire accelerator requires 130 metric tons of helium, which we received from our supplier at a rate of around one truckload every week," says Laurent Tavian, the group leader of the CERN cryogenics team.
   Judging by that, ITER should be much cheaper than the collider. Why then such big difference in the faiths of the two projects? Why the collider is a success story and the reactor is a failure? The answer is simple: because the collider is useless.
   Once again, isn't it ridiculous that for three generations they inculcated into public minds the idea that thermonuclear reactors are the energy future (so called "holy grail") of mankind, and when at last it worked out and everything became possible and they even started building the first thermonuclear power plant... they suddenly lost interest. Would you believe it?
   Nobody will ask you to believe it, by the way. They are not so stupid. Your memory and former notions and futuristic mental pictures about the thermonuclear energy have to evaporate from your brain little by little in a natural way and be replaced by other kindly provided pictures and notions. Now the future of mankind are... windmills. Really?) Yeah, windmills and solar panels.
   Maybe you still not believe that the ITER project was artificially closed, and ask, "If they were going to close it, why they have started it at all"? Well, I'd rather ask, if they decided to close it, why they didn't give any reasons for that? It is a separate story that deserves a separate narration. It would be enough to say here that it isn't the first time Capitalism (since we started calling them so) overlooks a forest fire of technology and then has to take drastic and unwieldy measures to put it out (but this time we won't let them, will we?).
   Similar and connected to it - closely preceding, actually - was the story with suppressing one of the greatest and quite recent energy (but, alas, only technological) revolution in human history. I speak about the discovery of the practical high-temperature superconductivity in 1987.
   Don't start googling it right now. Better remember when you last heard of it without googling. Because, you know, the information that comes to you and the information that you have to look for are two quite different types of information. You won't be very mistaken if you call the first type dis-information, which doesn't mean of course that the information we have to look for isn't diluted by disinformation as well. This - direct or indirect lie - is the second echelon of concealing the truth; it is for chosen ones. Because 99 percent of men in the street just won't remember if they are not reminded.
   The discovery of high-temperature superconductivity perished in a record short term of the disease with the same symptoms as thermonuclears: sudden loss of interest and amnesia. And take into account that the late patient had been a healthy global sensation among public as well as among scientists. Can you imagine a hush-hush operation of that scale? It was unique. In my estimation it took them about 2 years to evaluate the danger, to work out the strategy and tactics, to coordinate efforts, and probably to change the political map of the world as consequence.
   They understood what I tell you about, namely that all their power and the very sense of their existence are based on the price of energy. When the soil began to crumble under their feet, they caught a huge fright. But after that lesson there has remained no possibilities of sudden appearance of a new source of energy or means of energy storage. Not in the natural way they should appear, namely through technological development. Everything remotely resembling free energy will be pinched in the bud. And we must understand another sad fact: official scientists are not a help for us also. They are paid, mostly speechless, or worse still, lying slaves.
   If you do google high-temperature superconductivity, you will get a bewildering dose of lie and half-truth (the scientists are especially good at this one) which can't stand any logical questions. But they are not going to answer questions. They aim at making the result impression that high-temperature superconductivity is something very theoretical and very expensive. That's a cynical lie. They were so frightened exactly for the opposite reason. High-temperature superconductivity was very practical and costs-reducing discovery, which was shown by real working machines built after the discovery and before the suppression similar to that befallen ITER project.
   Please pay attention to this news from 2018 the link , especially to the words "By using magnets made from the newly available superconducting material - a steel tape coated with a compound called yttrium-barium-copper oxide (YBCO) - SPARC is designed to produce a fusion power output about a fifth that of ITER, but in a device that is only about 1/65 the volume, Hartwig says. The ultimate benefit of the YBCO tape, he adds, is that it drastically reduces the cost, timeline, and organizational complexity required to build net fusion energy devices, enabling new players and new approaches to fusion energy at university and private company scale."
  It is the first time somebody (besides me, sure) tells about the connection between the ITER project and the high-temperature superconductivity, or, to be more exact, about their common fate. And I waited for that a decade and a half. What is curious is that the superconductor in question is the same that was possible to "cook" in a college laboratory immediately after the discovery in 1987. What a progress again!
   the link
  Now you see what a chicken they managed to push back into the shell?
   But what instead, in the sense of new energy? - you know, global warming and so on... Capitalism can allow wind power, solar power and lots more exotic green or better to say greenish technologies, but - and this is a very big but - THEY MUST NOT BE CHEAP. In other words, money should not lose its power, you understand?
   And sometimes it can be very funny to see how this principle is minutely observed at every level. There are, for example, real cheap and cost effective ideas (and not only ideas) of tapping the power of high-altitude winds. These devices are something that every farmer can install on his plot and get his steady couple of kilowatts year round. Such device is simply a big kite or several smaller kites, depending on the design. Cloth and ropes and the electric generator conveniently fixed to the ground, nothing more. No towers, no blades, no environmental and esthetic impact. It could be even parachutes that the military discard by thousands and thousands anyway. Cheap? - no doubt. And that's why these projects are bad.
   On the other hand, what projects for the same source of energy do get funds and publicity? They are, for example, a big helium-filled balloon heaving those same blades and the generator to the altitude of several hundred meters. Or another one, when they simply built a tethered airplane and take the electricity from its propellers. Can such electricity be cheap? No way, they are good money-sucking projects. The investing, I want to add here, is the best method of stifling any promising cheap or not so cheap startup; we have lots of such examples.
   What they want, those capitalists? It is simple. They want everything to continue as it has been. The times when capitalism was the engine of progress, those times are long past. Or it still works, but only at a very low scale, where people decide nothing.
   Actually, since 1987 we live in a make-believe artificially inhibited world reminding Hermann Hesse's Castalia. It's as if we had cars, but made drive horses. And this gap, mostly by and through energy as its key element, becomes more and more wide and grotesque. Quite in time we were given all the scientific and technological answers to the vital problems of the modern humanity... Or, better to say, all the doors were open and all the ways were shown to us, namely: the high-temperature superconductivity, the thermonuclear energy and even the cold fusion, all at roughly the same period, but due to the wickedness of those who have money and power, and the brainlessness of those who haven't, we came to the brink of ecological catastrophe.
   This threat is very real for capitalists too, though maybe not as real as for poor people, not in the same sense. Anyway, they don't want to lose their material capital and the power bound with it. Figuratively and literally speaking, they don't want Manhattan to go under water. And sure they don't want to cope with social upheavals. They want to mildly put the problem on people's shoulders, as always. That's why according to their plan we must do the following folly. Instead of costly and dirty energy technologies, now we have to buy from them still more expensive and primitive, but relatively clean technologies. This way we would remain hostages of their material wealth, but this time safely for them and indefinitely hopelessly for us.
   How can we prevent it? The answer is the title of this article. What is needed for the energy revolution to be successful? Two things: the wide involvement of people and the energy producing technology allowing such involvement. The latter means cheap and simple and, sure, clean. Moreover, everything must be done quickly, otherwise they will just have the time to close all dirty power generation (which isn't a bad thing in itself) and keep the same price for electricity, so the energy revolution will become only a green revolution. However, this last sentence I added knowing already what technology I am going to propose.
   Because THERE IS such technology, the perfectly understandable DIY with the capacity exceeding the combined existing power of all nuclear, wind, and solar electric generation.

The Device

  Let me present to you my free energy generator. Otherwise, we can сall it a device for obtaining the energy for which you won't have to pay. It is environmentally friendly. When working it produces no wastes or harmful radiation. The device contains no moving parts, it is safe and designed to function a very long term without demanding any attendance or additional expenses. The base model is compact and meant to be installed in every house and apartment. Depending on the electricity tariff in your country it will pay off in just 3 to 6 months, after which you will be getting your free energy for decades.
  Moreover, this device can replace the integral parts of some mass production appliances during their manufacturing and so the additional cost would come to zero. Even under this slow scenario my invention will allow to shut down all the coal power plants in the world in about 7 years and on the whole to solve the problem of human caused global warming.
  But no need to wait that long. There are absolutely no reasons why you can't make your personal green revolution and start saving your money right now. That's why I decided to make my invention a public domain. So you have my full permission to use, produce and modify this device without any restrictions whatsoever.
  This is it, essentially.
  Disappointed? You are perfectly entitled to be. I am disappointed too. What is progress, indeed, if the most important inventions still look and use such technologies as If they were made in the Middle Ages? But such is OUR age that there is no other way to make really profound changes in human lives. To make its way and to break through, the principle of that kind of invention, its design and economic effect have to be easily understandable and verifiable by anyone. And that's the case of my device. Having certain working skills, you can make it from scratch and put into operation in a single day.
  A short history of my invention. Everything started when my home refrigerator, made in our times of triumphant planned obsolescence paradigm, stopped freezing having barely worked out its guarantee term. There were obvious signs of the refrigerant leakage. Having opened the system and pressurized it, I found out that the leakage happened somewhere on the high pressure side. I won't dwell on the technical aspect of the work, since, should you decide to follow my example, there are lots of instructions on the internet as to how correctly and safely do it yourself.
  Instead of the usual repair job, which in such cases includes bypassing a certain segment of the condenser (that's the name of the hot part of you fridge) or trying to find the exact place of the leakage, I decided not to meddle with it and to make a condenser of my own. Indeed, since it was initially made badly, what was the sense of trying to botch it up and wait for the next leakage. Besides, I always considered it a foolish thing to heat the air in the already - as a rule - overheated room. So I decided to heat water.
  The first question was what should be the volume of my condenser, i.e. what is the volume of my fridge's condenser. To my annoying surprise, in the whole internet, including sites of manufacturers of my or similar refrigerators, I have found nothing at all about its design, no technical documentation, no specifications, no parameters, no repair or service instructions. Nothing above User Manuals from which you can learn how to put the shelves inside the fridge or hang the door to the other side if the need arises.
  On one hand, this is logical: if the manufacturer isn't interested in the long life of his products, but is interested, on the contrary, that no more than five years later the refrigerator would go to a junk yard, and the buyer would go to the store for a new one, then such manufacturer isn't going to provide repair instructions.
  And there is another thing: nowadays fridges are made mostly in such a way that it is extremely difficult to repair them: as much as possible is hidden inside the case and filled over with polyurethane foam. So you can't see anything, nor find the wrong place, or have the access to dismount a bad part.
  However, it seemed to me that some decorum of voluntariness should have been respected. That is, if a client does not succumb to the advertisements and isn't ready yet to buy a new beautiful refrigerator, but insists on his right to repair it how and where he wants, or, finally, just wants to better understand what exactly he is buying, then why not give him such a possibility? Moreover, such courtesy would not cost anything: are there many buyers, really, who are interested in such technical details? On the other hand, the company"s friendly attitude toward the repairmen would pay off by the fact that they, for their part, would recommend to their customers (and I remind that they are people with an already defective fridge) to buy a refrigerator of this particular company, even if it's not a bit better than any other make.
  But no, manufacturers prefer to hide their top secrets somewhere deep in the archives and the structure itself in the depth of plastic foam. And it seems that there has been no competition among them for a long time either.
  So, the task was to determine the volume of the condenser. Since I was not going to use the native condenser, which remained in the foam, I had not a bad idea to pump or suck water or oil into it, and then blow it and simply measure the volume of the liquid poured out. But I decided not to bother with that also.
  My idea was to make a condenser in the form of a coil made of an 1/4 inch copper pipe. The amount of the refrigerant circulated in the fridge, namely 75 grams, was known (this, as well as the type of refrigerant, was the only important technical information indicated by the manufacturer), so I divided this figure by the density of the given refrigerant in a liquid hot state and found out its volume.
  Then, by the diameter of the pipe (6.35mm) and the thickness of its walls (0.71mm), I found out how long was to be my pipe to contain this volume. It happened to be something less than 10 meters. However, the fridge compressors are designed to pump the refrigerant in the gaseous state, and under no conditions the condenser may be filled up with liquid refrigerant. Since I likewise didn't know the volume of the evaporator (the cooling part of the fridge) and didn't want to bother looking for the free inner volume of the compressor, I just decided to take another 5 meters of the same pipe. In total, I purchased 15 meters of pipe at about 1.5 USD a meter.
  Of course, the length of the pipe could be less, but then I'd have to buy a pipe of a larger diameter or to solder in some element with an increased volume, and I decided to make everything as simple as possible. I must say right away that in the end I had to fill about 100 grams of refrigerant instead of 75 grams. However, I didn't do very precise and lengthy dosing and adjustments, and finished the work after estimating the refrigerator's operating by the discharge and suction pressure, by the duration of the compressor duty cycle, and also by the temperature of the compartments and pipes as normal.
  In fact, I got the repaired fridge with a better performance than the new one had. Granted that cost me additional couple of dollars. But in the end even that will pay off by the lessened electric consumption and enhanced longevity of the compressor, not to mention that I improved the thermal insulation of the fridge by not using the inner condenser that was warming, however little (but how little?), the cold storage chambers and therefore was wasting energy.
  For a water tank I took a 40-liter aluminium can, for the simple reason that I hadn't used it otherwise.
  Is that capacity sufficient? It depends on how you are going to use your hot water. If it is a busy kitchen (arguably the most natural place to use hot water from a fridge), than that volume would be enough. But on the whole, the more the better. The ideal capacity would be the one that corresponds to your habitual one-time consumption, the volume of the bath, for example. But if you take shower or not going to make the fridge your only source of hot water supply... In fine, there always can be found a reasonable compromise.
  Later I tried a plastic barrel of 80 liters, and this turned out to be a much better option. A larger volume makes it possible to withdraw water less often, that is, exactly when it is needed, without wasting heat from the water or causing possible refrigerant overheating, which isn't dangerous but can worsen the economics of the system. As for plastic vs metal, better choose plastic. The plastic walls of the water container allow to reduce the thickness of the thermal insulation or just skip it at all. The insulation, by the way, could be a very simple matter too. I, for one, just dressed my can in my old coat and used a hat as a cover. Quite a stylish gentleman I got. Maybe I'll add yet a scarf.
  Next thing, I had to solve a double task of how to get the maximum temperature of outflowing water and the minimal temperature of outflowing refrigerant. After a short thinking I decided that the most simple would be to use the natural temperature distribution in the mass of water, meaning that hot refrigerant was to warm the upper layers of water and then to be finally cooled in the low layers.
  The best effect must have been produced by a coil with equal vertical distances between loops, but I just grouped the loops into two approximately equal bunches at a distance roughly half the height of the chosen water container and tied up each bunch without bothering about relative positions of the loops in the bunches. Such careless work became possible due to the chosen place for the water tank nearby the refrigerator: 15 meters of the pipe is exceedingly long in view of that proximity.
  In the photo you can see a copper pipe insulated with a black rubber hose, through which pipe hot refrigerant vapors are fed into the coil. After leaving the upper bunch of loops the refrigerant flows through the lower part, where it finally cools, and then up and out of the water. The length of the pipe that passes through the hotter layer of water is thermally insulated too. You see it white in the photo. On the general plan you can see a Schroeder valve, which I soldered to that part of the pipe with vaporous refrigerant where it was convenient for me to measure its high pressure when refilling the system and which would later allow to control the absence of leaks. This element is not necessary in our design.
  So, having appointed the place for the barrel, it was easy to make a coil of a diameter that suited the neck of the can into which I was going to put it. (NB. It is necessary to avoid direct contact between aluminium and copper). In fact, I just tightened the coil in which pipes are sold and straightened the ends of it, so that it would roughly correspond to the placement of the can. As a rule, copper pipe is pliant enough to be adjusted later. Then I soldered one end of the pipe to the compressor's discharge nozzle, and the other end, through the absorbent filter, to the capillary pipe. All these works were carried out in the usual manner, so I do not demonstrate the back side of the refrigerator. Once again: if you are going to do that soldering part of the work yourself, adhere to the approved order and safety precautions. Otherwise you better prepare everything beforehand and just ask somebody qualified and having the necessary tools and materials to make connections. It's a half-an-hour job including vacuuming and refilling.
  This refrigerator stands apart from my kitchen and far enough from the bathroom, so it would be irrational to arrange a system for automatic filling the tank with cold water and taking out hot water. For domestic needs I drain hot water from the top of the tank with a hose. More often I just scoop it out. I also fill the tank with a hose, the end of which I lower to the bottom to avoid mixing hot and cool water. If I only need a bucket or less of hot water, which happens quite often, than it is convenient to replenish it from time to time also with a bucket. To do this, I made a simple funnel. Its height was made such that cold water would flow immediately to the bottom of the tank. To my surprise it works wonderfully. I'll add here that the plastic barrel make the separation of the cold and hot layers of water more distinct - probably due to the less thermal conductivity of the plastic walls compared to those of metal.
  If the refrigerator is located in a more traditional place and nearby the water supply, then there is no problem to arrange an automatic filling through the same float ball valve which is used in toilet tanks. And hot water can be taken off the top layer using a float and a flexible hose. I think it would be the most practical, cheap and effective scheme. Sure this design will require mounting at certain height, possibly right above the refrigerator. Alternatively, you may try to put into the tank a secondary heat exchanger with tap water, or to make the entire system operating under pressure. In these cases, the tank can be installed at any level. It isn't necessary also to put the coil into the water. Instead you can heat the walls of the metal tank from outside, by the coil wound on it. And the coil itself needn't be necessarily made of copper. And it needn't be a coil at all. And so on. Be creative.
  In general, if you finally decided where your refrigerator would stand and you don't intend to transport it later to some other place or move it to another room, then there is no need to constructively bind the fridge with the compressor. Approaching the issue comprehensively, the best place for the compressor is where the heat will be used, that is next to the tank for heating water or to an air heating exchanger, if you chose that variant of using the heat. Thus it would be possible to utilize also the heat from the compressor casing. At the same time, the number of the coil loops as shown in the pictures obviously exceeds that necessary for heat exchange, so the pipe is long enough to use it as a refrigerant conduit to the appliances where it is needed: fridges, indoor units of split air conditioning systems, and possibly the heat pump evaporator. It would be two beautiful copper pipes, direct and reverse, and they will not even require insulation, since the refrigerant or its vapors will flow inside them at room temperature. Another advantage of the refrigerator with a distant compressor - it will work very quietly and can be put anywhere. The refrigerant pipeline can also be made much longer than 7 meters both ways I used. In this case you will only need to increase the amount of the refrigerant charge. Here we have two options: to have a common compressor and a common exchanger for all needs, or - and it would be a much easier engineering - to have a separate compressor for each unit with its own coil in the common tank.
  If you are not sure about the hot water temperature, just feel the outlet pipe at your fridge compressor while it works, or the compressor itself after it worked for, say, ten minutes: that would be the maximum temperature of your hot water. Most commonly it is 50 to 70oC. The water in my device seldom warms above 50 degrees and this is enough for me. However, if you want to have higher temperatures, then the refrigerator can be used to preheat the water fed into a conventional boiler or flow heater or washing machine or dishwasher, if you are going to use this hot water for washing. The economic effect of it will be the same.
  But even such primitive design as mine is lot of fun. To have in your backyard a barrel of hot water is cool, excuse my pun, especially when you realize that you don't have to pay for it. I am thinking of putting a stylish wooden barrel just on the ground in the courtyard of my summer house, to have an occasional warm splash shower when working in the garden or playing tennis and so on. If you do such thing, your guests will be pleasantly surprised at your ingenuity, so be not ashamed to boast. And not only that, sure. No matter how nice it looks or comfortably arranged, it helps to significantly cut your energy bills right away.
  I said above that you might do without the insulation of the tank, but I"m sure you wouldn"t skip this part. There is a serious psychological moment in this business, a kind of revelation. Until now, you have been wasting the heat from your refrigerator because it's just done that way, because a fridge is a fridge, and you have never thought of any other options. How often people look at the back side of their refrigerators at all? But as soon as you see that your fridge can produce such a good useful thing as hot water and in such quantity, you wouldn't want to lose it. First few days you'd come round to the barrel with a happy smile and dip your hand in the hot water. But then you will probably share my feeling of resent. So all your life you and your family every single day were just wasting so much energy? And not only yours, but every family? How much fossil fuel has been burned for all that squandering? Whose idea it was and is?
  But that's psychology. As a practical person you probably want to know how much exactly hot water you can get from your fridge and if it is worthwhile to follow my example. Certainly, the author of this article answers the second question positively, but what about the first one? Based on my experience, every day a fridge used by one person can give about 100 liters of water heated to a temperature of 40 to 50oC. In other words, the waste heat generated by a single refrigerator is enough to meet all the needs in hot water for one person: to take shower, wash and dish. After all, it's a capacity of quite a bulky electric boiler. Of course, it is a rough estimation, and I didn't make preliminary calculations of that, because my first aim was to just repair my fridge, and what perquisite I got I got. For a family of three that amount would hardly be enough, but the task was never formulated that way, namely to meet all the needs in hot water solely due to heat wasting of a single refrigerator. Besides, in case of a big family the overall saving of electricity will increase, since the refrigerator there is used more intensively and therefore gives more heat.
  To tell the truth, I was too lazy to measure the volume and the temperature increase of the water heated by my device in 24 hours, as I should have done, so I decided to check myself. As a unit of heat we can take calorie. It is the amount of energy needed to heat 1 gram of water for 1oC. One hundred liters of water contain one hundred thousand grams, and if we want to warm them from 20 to 50 degrees, we have to multiply 100,000 by 30, which gives us 3 million calories. In kilowatt hours, for which we pay by our home electric meters, it would be almost 3.5 kilowatt hours. Not a bad daily economy, isn't it? But can a fridge really give that much heat? I decided to check it too, and had already dug myself into the characteristics of compressors, looking for their average performance, duty cycle and other unconvincing things, when among the guarantee papers for my fridge I stumbled upon a sticker mockingly called energy efficiency label.
  On this label the manufacturer says that my fridge annually consumes 323 kWh, which is less than 1 kWh a day. Whence do I get my three and a half? Where is the mistake? Who lies, me or them? Nobody, really.
  A few acquaintances of mine to whom I showed my device were genuinely surprised at the amount of water a fridge can heat. Somehow they lived with the vague idea that refrigerators just take away, and in exactly the same amount, the heat from the food you place in them, and that can't be much. Okay, they would admit, there are small losses in the motor, which give the additional heat.
  But be it so, the fridge would stand silent the whole night, when we sleep and don't use it at all. However, we hear it dutifully switch on and off all the night. What is it doing when all the food is cooled already? The correct answer is - wasting electricity.
  But speaking seriously, in its essence every fridge or air conditioner is a machine called heat pump. A heat pump proper absorbs the heat from some open and not necessarily very warm source, like the atmosphere, or ground, or river, and pumps it with significant temperature increase into a closed space, a house, for example, or hot water tank. Depending mostly on that temperature difference it is possible to pump 3 or even 4 times more energy than it was spent on pumping itself. More often, though, we are interested in cold. That's the other side of the heat pump, heat vacuum, so to speak. In other words, we are interested not in pumping heat into the closed space, but out of it. For that we use heat pumps called refrigerators and air conditioners.
  And I don"t know really how and when it happened that the manufacturers just forgot (or forgot to inform us) that refrigerators and conditioners are devices intrinsically and inevitably meant to produce heat, not only cold. It would seem quite an obvious thought that if you are pumping out your swimming pool that doesn't mean you are obliged to waste the water into the sewage and not water your garden. But things stand even worse. In the case of refrigerator you are not going to pump your pool too, you just use a fountain.
  You may define your fridge as a heat pump with a thermal barrier. What thermal barrier? The walls of its compartments and the doors, of course. How high this barrier is? - not very, as we saw in the example of a nightly working fridge. Or, better to say, the barrier is high: because -25oC inside and +25 degrees plus outside - I wouldn't call it low, but it is very leaky. In fact, your fridge is thermally insulated no better than the kitchen itself where it stands.
  In the case of air conditioners things do not look that absurd, but anyway, for both them and refrigerators we neglect the most important and ready to be used property of these machines and are glad to only use windfalls, so to speak. This is like we have been sold a car and made to believe that it is a device not to ride, but only to comfortably sit inside there, hide from the rain and listen to the radio. And to prevent any "unnecessary" thoughts, the car manufacturer - all car manufacturers, by a strange coincidence - just forgot to add to that car a small detail, wheels.
  Can you imagine that task, to describe the energy efficiency of a car, which has engine, breaks, transmission, headlamps and so on, but doesn't have wheels and isn't going anywhere, but still is to be sold? And what if we make the task still more difficult, to sell a car not mentioning those parts, as if they were not there at all?
  You see, in the first case the seller has at least something to talk about, such as "This car's engine is better than in that other model, it is more powerful, has such and such characteristics and features, is more economical and so on, and the headlamps are better than those of the competitor's because they are made using such and such modern technologies, they are more saving, etc. Under these words there wouldn't be too difficult to hide the absence of answers to unasked questions, such as what all this is for and where the hell are wheels.
  But what if you have to sell the car as only a box with cozy seats? To appreciate the ridiculous aspect of this business, look again at the energy wasting label. You see that the class of this my fridge is A+. What does it mean? By what parameters it is better than A without plus?
  It is more or less clear with air conditioners. One model is more energy efficient that another one because there exist physically measurable values for assessing the quality of the given machine. First of all, it is so called Energy Efficiency Ratio, EER, which is... or better I will quote from the EU standards. "Rated energy efficiency ratio (EERrated ) means the declared capacity for cooling [kW] divided by the rated power input for cooling [kW] of a unit when providing cooling at standard rating conditions;"
  And the rating conditions are: outdoor air temperature is 35oC, Indoor air temperature is 27oC, all measured by a dry thermometer. Or 24 and 19 by a wet one. If this ratio, for example, is between 2.6 and 3.1, than it is A energy efficiency class. And if it is between 3.1 and 3.6, than it is A+ class. Everything is clear, isn't it?
  Another interesting for us index is Coefficient of Performance, COP. It is the same ratio, only measured on the other, hot side of the heat pump. Very often those two indexes just called COP heating and COP cooling. Heating COP is always a little more than the cooling one or EER, because compressors add to it its own heat. So, if EER is, say, 3.6, than at the same time COP is 4.1. This is measured because in most models of air conditioners it is in fact provided the mode of heat pump, by which it is possible to warm the room's air in cold seasons. By the by, rating conditions for COP measurements are 7oC outside and 18oC indoors. But sure the heating isn't what we buy a conditioner for, and certainly it's not the case in hot countries, where conditioners are most popular.
  Okay, now what about refrigerators? It is the same machine with compressor, evaporator and condenser. So it is only logical to measure its quality in the same way. But they couldn"t possibly rate energy efficiency of that way of using the refrigerator, in which it was never meant to be used in the first place. On the other hand the Directive of the European Union demands that all household appliances, including light bulbs, had that "indication by labelling" of their energy efficiency. On still other hand all the efforts of the designers and technologists trying to produce a really energy efficient machine have to be ignored. And those compressors, evaporators and condensers must not be even mentioned, just like in that illustration with a car.
  So what to do? Well, they decided to create an imaginary bad fridge and just tell the buyers "This fridge is so and so percent better than the bad one, and don't ask what exactly we have measured". The percent of the energy consumption of the given fridge in comparison to the ideal bad one - they called it Energy Efficiency Index, EEI. This arbitrary index is also used for other types of appliances that have no established parameters for their efficiency evaluation, but at least they are calculated by some measurable utility quantities. The EEI of a television set, for example, is a fraction of the reference consumption for every square inch of a screen with a certain brightness. But if you look at the parameters of a reference bad fridge, you will only see the parameters of an empty box. They are 1: the area of the thermal insulated box of the fridge, which they called an equivalent volume of the compartment. And 2: the difference in temperatures inside and outside that empty box, which they called thermodynamic factor. That's all.
  For household refrigerators they totally ignore such index as COP, which is known and used since the middle of the 19th century exactly to evaluate the energy efficiency of heat machines. Why it is neglected? If the purpose of a fridge is to draw the heat out of food, it can be done with this or that efficiency, namely COP. Why not to take it into account? Granted, it is not the using the heat pump as a heat pump, because there is not any open source of energy and you can't pump more energy out of food than there is in it, but still? Here they have a fridge with the rattling compressor and hissing refrigerant in the tubes, and so on, and what they name as its only energy efficiency parameter? - the thickness of plastic foam in the box walls? Isn't it ridiculous?
  Moreover, if we leave the same compressor and all, and leave the same thickness of insulation, and leave the same volume of the compartments, but change the form of the refrigerator from a rectangular one to a spherical - that alone will 50% improve its energy efficiency. So instead of A+ my fridge would get... well, they haven't minted enough pluses yet. So much for fridge efficiency labeling.
  And mind, I don't accuse the specialists of the European Commission of something fishy. They did it in a super honest and matter of fact way. If, as I said above, a household refrigerator is a heat pump with a thermal barrier, and nobody is going to use it as a heat pump, what is left for evaluations? Only the thermal barrier, of course, and that exactly what they described in their formula. The overall situation is crazy, sure, but that's another matter, and that is the subject of this here video.
  On what COP can we count? We know that it depends on the quality of the heat machine and the difference between source temperature and aim temperature. It depends less on how high is the thermal barrier, namely on how cold is the fridge chamber, because it changes the denominator in that equation, but also add to the numerator. The average annual temperature of the air around the fridge, we can take it equal to 25oC, because such ambient temperature is the standard rating condition for measuring the annual electric consumption of a fridge. The aim temperature is the temperature of the outflowing refrigerant, or roughly of the hot water we are going to use. Now look at this table, it's exactly about heating water.
  Or this one.
  You see that ours are the most propitious conditions, and our COP couldn't be less than 3. That's why so much hot water.
  By the way, if you decide to remodel you fridge the way I proposed, but are afraid that the amount of hot water wouldn't be enough to entirely satisfy your or your family demands, I have a good news for you. You can do it, you can increase that amount up to three or even four times, and can easily regulate it - all that without making any changes to your basic design. And here I'll say a thing your partner won't like. Just leave the door of your fridge ajar. That way you will make a breach in the thermal barrier of your heat pump, also known as fridge, thus adding to one part of your FREE hot water another one, two or three parts of CHEAP hot water, three times cheaper than you get from your traditional resistance heater, also known as boiler. Which reminds me that there exist boilers with indirect heating. You may try to use one of them for our purpose, if you are too lazy to make everything yourself or think it wouldn't look nice. Or - there are boilers with dry heating element. Why not use this opportunity?
  Ok, you may not want to leave your fridge open or, as an option, to drill in it a couple of holes with plugs... But just imagine... If before you avoided putting hot dishes into the fridge, tried to put in or take out your food from your fridge and shut it up as quick as possible, if before you were irritated with your domestics long contemplating the contains of the fridge (sometimes people confess about that), than now your former squandering becomes your gain. What a news for your views, what a change in your habits!
  It may be objected that the heat from the refrigerator's condenser is not being completely lost, and if it is not used for heating water, it used for heating air. But the kitchen is the last room in the house that needs heating, even in the winter. There are stoves in it and it should be well ventilated. Actually, it wouldn't be a bad thing to cool a little the air in the kitchens with the help of our device. And... you won't heat your kitchen with your fridge anyway. Saves maybe in sultry summer days, when hot air wave after wave blows through wide open window, constantly supplying new heat, and your fridge is incessantly trying to make the air in your kitchen 3 times even hotter than outside. A familiar picture, isn't it? And sure you won't think that it would be much better to shut the window.
  Under the usual conditions the heat from the condenser gets into the immediate vicinity of the fridge and warms what was cooled with the same ratio. Without our device heat just moves in a close circuit and the only use is what we get from the thermal barrier that doesn't affect the overall heat balance. It is like scooping up water with a sieve. If you do it fast enough (powerful compressor) and the mesh is fine enough (good insulation), then there always will be some water in the sieve. But in the end all the water returns to where we ladle it from. This is always the case, of course, but the difference is whether we let the energy pass a short circle or direct it through a long one, having put something useful in its way. Could that useful thing be air heating of a living room by the fridge located in the kitchen? Sure. But that's in the winter, and what to do with this system in the summer? Unlike it, hot water is needed always.
  The energy label information is very inaccurate for every given case. I think that the overall electric consumption of a fridge and consequently its heat production widely depends on many factors, most of all on the set temperature in the cooling chamber and the mode of using the refrigerator: how often it is opened, how much and what food is put in and taken out, how many people use it, is it used year-round or seasonally, what is the initial temperature of the water to be heated, whether the refrigerator, like this mine, stands in an unheated room, and so on.
  Still, it would be interesting to check either the correctness of the manufacturer's average data, or my own averageness as a fridge user. So the annual consumption of 323 kilowatt hours means daily consumption of 0.88 kilowatt hours. I am using already my fridge as a heat pump, so I multiply the above figure by 3 and get 2.64 kilowatt hours of thermal energy every day, or 2.3 million calories. Dividing it by 30 thousand, we get not a hundred liters that can be heated from 20 to 50 degrees, as I estimated it before, but only 77 liters. Maybe I exaggerated, or maybe my refrigerator is not perfect, or the device, or the weather was too warm. However, I didn"t say 50 degrees, but 40 to 50 degrees, so my assessment was still correct. And I am a single man, not cooking much, not cooling a six-pack every day etc., etc. So I think it would be quite correct to stop at the figure 3. 3 kilowatt hours a day, which are wasting by every single home refrigerator in the world.
  How many are they, by the way? I haven't found the direct statistics, but there is some base for a guess work. For example, the German market of home refrigerators in a given year was about 3 million, and the population of that county in the same year was assumed to be 82 million. So if a typical German family buys (or have to buy) a new fridge every 10 years, then there are 30 million currently working fridges in the country or one fridge for every 2.7 person, which is a likely figure. But in this calculations we can't be sure about the average lifespan of a fridge, which seems to be very foreshortened in the modern perspective. Besides, a single man won't share his fridge with 2 neighbors, he will buy his own. I alone have 4 fridges, would you believe it? 3 of them work occasionally or seasonally, that's true. At the moment, though, I have 3 units plugged into the grid. But I know I am not a typical case and it would be much more accurate to derive the global number of home refrigerators not from the global population, but from global number of households, or at least with a reference to it, supposing the ratio one household - one fridge.
  Here what I got. China 456 million households, average 3 people in each, data from 2012. India 250 million households, average 4.8, data from 2011. United States 138 million, average 2.6 family members, 2018. That's far the biggest householding countries. Some others that look interesting: Japan 2.5 persons for each fridge (if our assumption is correct), Germany and United Kingdom - 2.1. Not 2.7 as I thought earlier.
  Actually, we could've stopped at China. And anyway, how many people can a usual home fridge contain food for? So, we have that figure again, three. Three people use one fridge, globally. The world population is 7.7 billion. That gives us the number 2.57.... okay, 2 and a half billion home fridges in the world.
  We won't count here trade, transport and industrial refrigeration equipment, though from a certain point of view it should be paid attention to also. Just a bit of information. According to the Japan Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry Association, 308,000 refrigerated display cases were sold in Japan in 2015, 770,000 in America, 700,000 in Europe. It is in a single year, so it should be also multiplied by at least 10. And it is only display cases. Add to it about 11 million refrigerated vending machines worldwide and a million ice makers.
  Let's calculate further. 2.5 billion home fridges are wasting 7.5 TWh (terawatt-hours) of thermal energy every day. Annually it is 2,737 TWh. If we need that energy (and we saw that it is barely enough for one person, not to speak of three persons, who statistically have one fridge in common use) than we have to replace that amount of energy from other sources.
  As we are talking of hot water supply and this is how we propose to use the energy in question with the help of our device, one of the commonest sources of it is electricity. What is the annual 2,737 TWh of electric power? It is 50% of all the world residential sector electricity consumption (which certainly isn't only the energy used by the appliances we have inside our homes). Otherwise, it is more than half of the total consumption of the United States or the European Union.
  It is almost 13% of the world total electricity consumption that reached 21,372 TWh in 2017. Think of all that huge number of electric motors - only about motors - working at all and sundry factories and plants, producing everything from chemicals and building materials to clothes and cars, at mining and construction sites, pumping oil and gas, moving trains, etc. And 13% of all that can be cut down just by adding 15 meters of copper pipe to the trivial home refrigerator. Or, still more to the point, by making an insignificant change in the design of refrigerators, which will cost nothing at all.
  Our copper pipe easily beats all the solar and wind generation, which is only 7% of the world generation in 2018.
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  Or, if you like it better, it will allow to shut down all the nuclear power stations in the world.
  Or, together with a copper pipe from the air conditioner, it will allow to stop burning natural gas for electricity generation. Or even to think of closing all the coal power plants. Not to mention that it will incidentally help to unburden the grid for electric cars charging.
  You may say that not everybody heats his or her water with electricity. So much the better. Using electricity you get some part of it from so called green sources, but otherwise you get your heat from plain burning gas or coal and now you have the opportunity to atone this shame. Maybe the European fridges would be enough for Europe to stop importing natural gas for the utility purposes? Do you understand what a political landslide our device can cause?
  Every day - starting from the day you install it - each device would save from burning a pound of coal, and all the fridges in the world can save 336 million tons of coal yearly. So they can cut the emission of carbon dioxide by 1.2 billion tons every year. Which is more that 3% of all the global fossil CO2 emission. Please, pay attention: this is in case you heat your water with the direct and 100% effective fuel burning. If you heat it by burning fuel via electricity you should multiply above figures by at least 3 (that's under condition of the best efficiency of now existing coal or gas electric power plants). The real mix result would be no less than 700 million tons of coal not burned every year and consequently 3 billion tons of CO2 not emitted into atmosphere, which is about 7% cut off of global emission. And let me underline again that it is only household refrigerators, not even household air conditioners.
  You may say here that my data isn't accurate since it differs in the years of obtaining, but who knows what percent grows faster, the global production/consumption of electricity or maybe the amount of refrigerators and conditioners in the world? But anyway, the zest of my invention - and, as I have never saw or heard of such thing used before, I have full right to call it my invention, - the zest of it is its not theoretic, but practical side. Anyone can do the simple work I did (I am not a professional too) and for just 30 bucks make sure of everything himself.
  And I know there are lots of people worldwide who love this kind of pastime, namely to make something technical with their own hands. Many of them are keen on alternative energy, and it's for them I started a bit tauntingly with the phrases that should remind those numberless videos about homemade devises like solar concentrators, various windmills and motum perpetuum machines.
  I like to watch such videos myself and read comments to them. From time to time in discussions about a next real working perpetual motion machine, somebody would say a crisp phrase that we do have already such an eternal energy machine. And that's the Sun. You need energy - you take it.
  I think that in terms of utilitarianism and ubiquity the refrigerator is not any inferior to the Sun and even surpasses it, because refrigerators rotate with the planet and work day and night and are always next to us. And it is unlikely that there will arise any problem with the eternity too, the eternity we need. Until the humanity has change its material carrier (which may be not that far away) we will always need cold, so it will always be heat.
  Let's compare, though. To get from the Sun the same amount of energy that I can get from my fridge, namely 1095 kWh per year, I'd have to install 5 square meters of polycrystalline photovoltaic panels with total capacity of 830 watts. That's for the climate conditions of my sunny province, strictly southward, and at the best angle to the horizon. Having scrolled through some merchant sites, I found the best price. They sell ready panels of 280 watts, with an area of 1.63 square meters, for a hundred bucks each. 3 such panels give us exactly what we need. Plus we will have to make or buy a metal frame for installation, and thick (low-voltage) wires, and heating element and the same water tank and all except copper pipe. Okay, let's assume that installing three large panels on the roof is no more expensive than putting a tank of water on some shelf under the ceiling (it"s better not to put it directly on the refrigerator, I think). By the way, you can use the attic or upper floor, if you have one.
  Or, sorry, you will have to install that tank anyway. So it would be correct to compare the installing of solar panels with only soldering the pipe plus the one hundred grams of refrigerant, which for my refrigerant cost a little more than a dollar. And that, let me remind again, in case of you remodeling your refrigerator, but not if they are manufactured with condensers already suited for heating water.
  By the way, speaking of paying it off, I googled the electricity tariffs in different countries under the assumption that the prices for copper pipes and other materials are more or less universal. If not, come and buy in the same shop I did, or order from it.
  So, 300 dollars for solar panels and 22 dollars for 15 meters of copper pipe. The Fridge is 14 times better than the Sun! And that's apart from such fact that you must yet have a suitable roof at your service vs a refrigerator in every apartment. And what about longevity? Your device will survive not one fridge and will serve all your life. Versus solar panels degrading, and risk of their being broken or otherwise damaged due to the exposure. Next, I read reviews on sites selling solar panels and was not a little surprised of what I saw there: complaints of their quality, false information about their real capacity, and the like troubles. Contrary to it, what is there to say about copper or steel pipe? Next, I am not competent enough in this question, but I am sure that the carbon footprint and other harmful wastes during solar panels manufacturing and utilization are much worse than those for plain metal pipe.
  And make a big note, we only talk about heating, so we take into account only bare solar panels, without inverters and batteries multiplying the cost of the whole system several times. Not to look out too far, Tesla Solar sells their Small, 3.8 kW panels that can produce an average of 14 to 19 kWh per day in California, plus a home battery that stores 13.5 kWh of energy, all for just 14 thousand 900 dollars.
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  If we want only 3 kWh a day, i.e. the same amount of thermal energy that can give us our fridge for 22 dollar investment, the Sun will give it in the electric form for 2800 dollars. It is not 14 times already, it is a hundred times! So if it is the usual case and you aim at an autonomous power supply, and at the same time you plug into the socket an ordinary refrigerator without heat utilizing, then you are simply a fool. But isn't it a whole world have been made fools with that photovoltaic fashion? Oh, sorry... I forgot that nobody prior to me thought out to use the heat from a fridge. Nobody just knew till now, right?
  I conceived the idea of writing this article in September 2019, watching TV broadcasting "Global climate strike",.. and that strange girl,.. and "over 7.6 million people in 6135 actions in 185 countries..." Let me say that I don't doubt the sincerity of those millions of protesters, I'd just like to know why it always happens that they demand to forbid something cheap and replace it with something costly? And why is it that the screams "How dare you!.." got most applause exactly from those who dare? Speaking bluntly, I think that the most known ecological organizations with all those actions were created and are funded just to keep the place occupied and to discredit the idea. Why and what for - about that some other time.
  So when I see in the streets those crowds of real ecologically minded people, I feel a little humoristic. Why to demonstrate against global warming and pollution, if every one of you have at your home a big gun against it? You fricking fridge. Shoot, don"t shout. Share the information I gave you, help each other to acquire the necessary skills for remodeling your refrigerators and air conditioners, establish small production workshops, and thus create the demand. Because everyone who once tried it, he would say in any appliance store "I am not crazy to buy a fridge without heat utilizing". And if you like demonstrating, you better demonstrate exactly against it, to forbid manufacturing the household cooling machines without utilizing the produced heat. And this will be probably the first case in history when your ecological demands would coincide with your own purse interests.
  Well, it's time to finish my article... By the way, I hope you understand that it's a true story of a simple guy who becomes a superhero and saves the planet. Don't thank, better not lose our common chance.
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