What ever happened to gas AC?

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Old 09-01-10, 02:30 PM
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What ever happened to gas AC?

Growing up in Arkansas in the '50 there was a big push for the installation of natural gas central AC units. The ads by the gas company showed both residential and commercial installs. Pushing them as more reliable and cheaper to operate then compression cycle AC.

I know absorption refrigeration can't get as cold as mechanical but I thought that mostly applied to freezers. I would have thought that in areas such as Arkansas and Texas where I now live where a BTU of electric costs 3 times as much as a BTU of gas they would be great. They though seem to be forgotten. Anyone know what happened?
 
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Old 09-01-10, 05:13 PM
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Here is your big chance to get rich! Interesting. Plan to Google this subject, maybe tomorrow if I get the time.
 
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Old 09-01-10, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Here is your big chance to get rich! Interesting. Plan to Google this subject, maybe tomorrow if I get the time.
Try "absorption air conditioning" Arkla ServelArkla Servel is no longer but they were one of the original manufactures of gas home refrigerators. The temperatures though of gas refrigerator freezer section wasn't as cold as mechanical refrigeration so they gradually fell out of favor or so I have read.

Or local gas supplier in Texarkana was Arkla Servel so maybe it was just a local push. Sounds weird for 1950's but the gas company also sold gas lit signs for businesses.

I know there are absorption based commercial water chillers and I see solar at Google but I don't see any natural gas residential. I don't remember the old residential as chilled water but maybe they were.
 
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Old 09-01-10, 07:53 PM
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The company I retired from had many absorption chillers but they phased them out in the 1990's. Fuel costs for the steam and hot-water plants were considerably more than the cost of electricity. There was a time that the boiler plant loads was greater in the summer than the winter.

At least that's the story from this neck of the woods.
 
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