Air Condition

Beiträge: 127
Registriert: Freitag 8. Juli 2011, 17:14

Air Condition

Beitrag von BalladExchangeDB »

Here is a link to a misplaced posting on aircondition: CLICK.

I also have a question: What happens to the compressor in the bilge, if the bilge runs full of water?

The pictures of the aircondition posting were posted in the photo album. It's easier to to understand a posting if the pictures illustrating it are posted inside the posting, so here is a little guide that might inspire anybody with pictures illustrating a technical issue.:

Jesper Milling
Beiträge: 127
Registriert: Freitag 8. Juli 2011, 17:14

Re: Air Condition

Beitrag von BalladExchangeDB »

msn-ballad775 wrote on May 1, '07
Hi Haimes & Mark,

Just read your post and then got Jesper's link with his question about putting the compressor in the bilge. I also had the same thought.

Great idea, air con in a boat in hot climes, but compressor in the bilge?

In any boat it is expected to have water in the bilge, after all, thats why it's there. It's a collection point for the water which inevitably finds it's way into the boat.

Although, so far, I have never had large quantities of water in my bilge, it is almost impossible to keep it totally dry, I frequently get up to an inch. I certainly would not choose to put anything like a compressor down there, it's asking for trouble, in my opinion.

If I were you I'd think again and find an alternative position for the compressor, the heat exchanger might well be ok, depends what it's made of.

Still, really good idea to dismantle and use a window unit, very clever, can't wait to here how it performs.

msn-ballad775 wrote on May 1, '07
Or even "hear" how it performs!!!
msn-the vagabond dreamer wrote on May 1, '07
Hello Jesper.
I'll try next time to put the picts in the posting...thanks for the insturctions...
I think the pics may have been to large to post there? to the compressor in the bilge...
Not sure if all the Ballads are built this way, but ours has a large step in the bilge.
The bilge pump and switch are probably 10-12" below the shelf where the compressor will be. HOPEFULLY water will never get quite that high in the bilge.
For the most part...the AC will only be used while in her slip and we shouldn't be taking on much water there!!!
Regardless...the compressor is hermetically sealed and shouldn't be hurt by water.
The wiring is at the top of the unit and water would have to be almost at floor level to get there. I'm sure the salt water atmosphere will eventually take it's toll on the compressor's steel housing...but it's should last quite some time and the entire unit I purchased only cost $100 us...If it has to be replaced every five years or wouldn't be that expensive.
I will be building the heat exchanger this week...and hopefully installing the rest of the plumbing the next trip down to the coast....
Would you guys like for me to do photos and a writeup of the whole process???
jespermilling wrote on May 2, '07
Descriptions of how to improve a Ballad is always interesting in this forum, so you are more than welcome to do photos and a writeup. Even here in souther scandinavia, we have hot days, where I have arted wondering how an aircondition could be installed.

Our bilge has a flat bottom and no pump, so thats why I reacted. Your bilg sounds like suited very well for the installation of an AC compressor.

Photos are great. "more than a thousand words". One of the main reasons I selected MSN Groups for Ballad Exchange was how well photos can be integrated in postings. However, each of us have 3 Mb of storage for photos, (in all of the MSN groups we make postings) and personally I am very close to the limit. I'm hoping MS will increase this storage, especially now where free mailboxes may hold gigabytes. But it is adviceable to reduce and compress images, so that you do not run out of image storage. Personally I make my images 400 Pixels wide, and compress them to arounf 50 Kb, which allows me to post 60 images. Which is not a lot in my case. If anybody needs help to compress images, I should be able to find an easy way to do so, and write an instruction. Please ask for such help in the Help forum.

Jesper Milling
msn-el_tiburon2 wrote on May 7, '07
Hey, this is a great idea (imho). I'm in Mississippi and I've considered doing something similar for a while now.

Can you send/post more details? I might just copy what you did/will do.

Beautiful job on the rest of the restoration by-the-way. I've been following your posts for a while now. You've really come a long way.

msn-the vagabond dreamer wrote on May 8, '07
Good morning Jeremy.
I built the heat exchanger last night and hope to get most of everyting installed this weekend.
We are in you may can come over and have a look at how it fits.
Didn't know there were any more Ballads in the area!!! Nice to know you are that close.
I'll take picts etc as I go in case it works out well and people want to do something similar.
msn-the vagabond dreamer wrote on May 9, '07
Here is a pict of the heat exchanger I built for the AC...just some copper tubing and fittings. the outer tubing is 10' long...I ran the inner tubing (for Freon) through the outer tubing and then hand bent it into the coil. Got the circulating pump in yesterday.
Hopefully this weekend I can get most of that hardware installed.
I hope the heat exchanger is large enough...I'll find that out when I get it up and running!
msn-el_tiburon2 wrote on May 9, '07

I'm actually in North MS (Sardis Lake) so I'm still a ways away. If I get down to the coast this year I'd love to stop by and get a closer look.

Quick question...Did you consider putting the hot heat exchanger and the compressor in the area below the cockpit? Once you manage to get there it has a fair amount of free space. You could then Tee off of the engine's water supply/exhaust. I suppose you would need check valves to prevent water from flowing the wrong way (for example, you probably dont want the engine's water pump pulling water out of the air conditioning system). This setup would have the benifits of less plumbing, and you wouldn't have the risk of the compressor getting submerged. Of course, it would be a lot harder to get to.

Just thinking out loud.

msn-the vagabond dreamer wrote on May 10, '07
Hello Jeremy...
We are in not too far from Sardis. I go by there fairly often on my way to Memphis. Of course the boat is on the bay in Mobile.

We looked at several locastions for the AC unit. I decided to give this a try because I wanted to duct some air into the V-berth so the air handler needed to be close to the forward bulkhead. To keep the high pressure freon lines as short as possible...I'll give it a try in the bilge. There would be plenty of room in the area you were talking about.
I'm thinking about dumping the cooling water into the bilge pump outlet. I'll just have to add a checkvalve so there isn't any backflow problems.
I hope to get a most of this done this weekend...but we know that things always take twice as long to do as you plan.
I'll keep you posted and take lots of pictures.
msn-the vagabond dreamer wrote on Jun 19, '07

AC writeup.

For anyone interested in putting AC in their Ballad.

I looked at some of the commercial units on the market and decided that they would take up too much of the small amount of storage space available, so I decided to build my own.

I have already posted some photos of the installation in the pictures section for the Vagabond Dreamer and I will add a few more of the completed installation when I get back down to the boat and can take a few more.

Basically, I dismantled a 5500 BTU window AC unit that I purchased from Walmart for about $100. It’s a very small lightweight unit that has a very low current draw. The electronics do several things to help lower startup current draw and also have a built in timer to start and stop the unit. I’m hoping that will allow me to program it to come on for an hour a day to help keep the humidity down inside the boat.

My boat, hull # 834, has a step in the bilge where I mounted the compressor and the heat exchanger…this was just lost space. I mounted the evaporator and blower under the corner of the port berth. I was able to run the high and low pressure lines between the hull and the sole thru a small space left during manufacture.

The heat exchanger I made myself from copper tubing…3/8” OD outer tubing and 1/4“ OD tubing for the inner. The Outer tubing is 10’ long which makes for about 4.5 turns.

I think this was probably overkill for the amount of heat that the small unit makes…but better too much than too little! It seems to cool the hot freon very well.

I bent the tubing by hand…it works pretty easily and just takes a bit of time and patience to keep it round and consistent. I put a Tee on each end of the outer tubing and put a ~ 2” piece of tubing in the top of the Tee for a cap to fit on.

The cap has a 1/4 “ hole drilled in it for the inner tubing to fit through. I then soldered it all up. If I were to do it over I would probably use silver solder…not sure how long the lead free solder will hold up to salt water??? The pictures show the heat exchanger pretty well. I used a small cooling water pump to circulate water through the 3/8 “ tubing and I dump it out the same line as the bilge pump, as the bilge line already had a check valve in it.

I had to extend the compressor wiring to reach the control unit which will be mounted on the Port bulkhead. I did go up a couple of gauges on the extension wire to avoid any voltage loss with the longer wire.

The blower unit will no longer need the fan that normally cools the condenser so I removed the fan blades and cut the shaft off even with the motor.
I cut two holes in the face of the port berth for the inlet and outlet air and found some nice wooden floor vents at Lowe’s that fit nicely ,with just a bit of work, for the grills.

With the compressor and pump down in the bilge…the unit runs very quietly.

It’s actually not that difficult a project and the total cost was somewhere around $300.

Much cheaper than the $1000-1500 that the commercial units cost, plus I used mostly wasted space for the equipment.