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post #1696 of (permalink) Old 06-21-2013, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: PA/MD/DE tristate area
Posts: 1,413
Shrimpzone project 15

OK, so let's go back and review what we WOULD HAVE NEEDED for a REAL ZONE (aside from a four-digit pile o' cash, that is), and where we've faked it to, up until this post. The highlighted items are what DK has accomplished so far (functionally) with her work-arounds.
  • First, she'd need to add a fourth air zone trunk off of her main air handling trunk.
  • Then, she'd need to buy another motorized zone control damper, to install in that fourth trunk.
  • Then, she'd need to make, off this trunk, air registers to feed air from that trunk into the Shrimporium room.
  • Then, she'd need to make a trunk off her RETURN trunk, back to the system, in the Shrimporium.
  • Then, she'd need to make, off the RETURN trunk, a return air register to remove air from the Shrimporium and feed it back into air handling system.
  • Then, she'd need to balance the air VOLUME input with output, in the Shrimporium room.
  • THEN, she'd need to integrate her new zone to the existing BYPASS damper to take the excess air handler air flow and divert it to other zones. Feeding the Shrimporium room would not take the entire output of the air handler, which is a fixed flow rate, so the excess output has to go somewhere or you fry your air handler fan against too much resistance. Zoned systems have, for each zone, a master bypass damper that re-routes excess air to other zones and dissipates the extra flow this way.
  • Then, she'd need to buy a whole new FOUR zone controller, and re-wire every dad-gum zone to the controller, then wire the fourth zone into the air handler.

So, this brings us up to AIR INPUT vs. AIR RETURN balance, in that zone, and in the Shrimporium specifically. We want balance two ways.

First, we need the same volume of air to ENTER the Shrimporium as to EXIT the Shrimporium when the conditioned air is flowing through the zone. In the early beta testing, this was easily accomplished by just leaving the door open between the rooms.

Second, we need the volume split of AIR SENT TO THE SHRIMPORIUM vs. THE REST OF THE AIR, SENT TO THE BASEMENT GENERAL ZONE to be balanced such that, as the air handler cools down the Shrimporium by, say, two degrees, it ALSO cools down the basement general zone by approximately the same amount, or slightly less.

DK really doesn't care if the general zone gets slightly less, because the nature of that space is that it is VERY well insulated, being in the ground, and it's also not a hot space, being in the ground. While the Shrimporium is similarly insulated and in the ground, it has MANY heat sources generating heat that the basement general zone does not have. Generally, the basement general zone is habitable even with minimal conditioning. So the name of the game here is to send the resources to the Shrimporium, mostly, and not waste a lot of energy conditioning the general zone, which, honestly, doesn't need much of anything. What it DOES need, however, is adequate air circulation to help remove humidity when the air conditioner is running, so we DO need SOME conditioned air flow to the general space whenever that zone is active. The basement in general tends to accumulate some humidity, which needs to be removed. It is removed WHEN the air handling system is active, either by being fed warmed, dryer air in winter, or by being fed air-conditioned air in summer. When air is passed through the air handler for air conditioning, it is ALSO de-humidified at the air handler, and the humidity condensate is pumped from the air handler out a special channel to the house drainage system, removing that water.

The proportion of VOLUME (that would be: volume of space of the actual room) between the Shrimporium room and the general space is about 1/4 Shrimporium and 3/4 general space. HOWEVER, due to the above heat loads, the conditioning needs (that would be: the AIR volume needs) of the Shrimporium space are probably 1/2 to 2/3 of the air flow of the zone.

Make sense?

So, next in line are the balance equations.

DK would love to tell you she came up with some sleek, elegant solution to the balance issues. She has solved them, but the solutions are more Honey Boo Boo, There I Fixed It, than elegant. The solutions were cheap, however, and if you'd see the Shrimporium space with the Water Factory III and other stuff, the space itself is - well - a DIY, eclectic, utilitarian decor, shall we say. So it's not like DK Honey Boo Boo'ed her living room, OK?

Next up: the cringeworthy DIY fix DK did, to achieve her balances equation. But, hey, it was under a hamilton, to do. She used two scrap sheets of acrylic from her bins, and a former storage bin/cheapo first generation shrimp tank a la Rubbermaid.

The first thing she did was fabricate a cheat piece. This was made from one of the acrylic sheets, heat fabricated to make an angle. This was installed up into the hole in the zone trunk, to force a GREATER proportion of the trunk flow out the Shrimporium hole than would go past this hole and onto the basement general zone. Because the hole to the Shrimporium space is perpendicular to the fast air flow, it was fed mainly by pressure release of the air flow, and not by direct air flow, directionally. So DK made a physical plate to catch the oncoming airflow and redivert about half of it in the trunk to exit at the Shrimporium hole.

So, with the acrylic sheet diverter mounted INSIDE the zone trunk, she can adjust the square inches of diverter surface area to achieve the balance BETWEEN the fraction of zone air that goes into the Shrimporium versus the fraction that goes into the general space.

See pictures, below.

Last edited by DKShrimporium; 05-15-2015 at 05:15 PM.
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