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How to invent air conditioning: from coconut palms to split systems

In modern cities, we do not imagine life without an air conditioner. And few who know that his prototype appeared several millennia ago in India.
How to invent air conditioning: from coconut palms to split systems
What was an ancient Indian air conditioner
At the usual location of the entrance door, a frame of a special design was installed, which was tucked up by a variety of coconut palms – tatty. Above the frame there was a special reservoir, which gradually filled with water due to the special talents ability to transport moisture by applying a capillary effect. After reaching a certain mark of water, the tank turned over, wetting the frame, after which it occupied the original position. The constant repetition of the process allowed for the freshness of air.

In ancient Persia for the cooling of air, devices were used, the action of which was based on the principle of cooling of evaporating water. The air conditioner, which was used in those days, was a mine where the natural source was located. Porous vessels were placed in it, where water was flowing. When the air was cooled and sufficiently humidified in the mine, he got into the premises.

Although ancient Persians from the British physicist, chemist and inventor Michael Faraday separated the millennia, they thought they were in one direction. Studying the state of matter, he translated the fluid into a gaseous state. Experimenting with ammonia, the scientist was convinced: this substance, evaporating, absorbs heat. Thus, the principle that will lay down the basis of the work of the air conditioner and the refrigerator will then be discovered: in one part of the two-way system, the substance, evaporating, absorbs heat. On the other hand, returning to a liquid state, isolates it into the environment.

All that remains is to assemble a working unit. Experiments began around the world. In the USA they were conducted by John Horry, a practicing doctor. The doctor tried to cool the air in the hospital chambers and thus ease the suffering of the yellow fever patients. He achieved some success by creating an artificial ice machine in 1844. Ice from the car could be used to cool the premises, but the air conditioning was not yet an invention.

Only in 1902 engineer Willis Carrier produced the first model of cooling air for one of the American printing houses.

Already a year later such a device was installed in the Cologne theater. In 1924 the air conditioner was installed at Detroit Department Store.

In 1928, the American Congress was conditioned, and in 1929, the US Senate.

In 1929, General Electric released its first room air conditioner, an ancestor of modern units. The product used ammonia, very dangerous to humans, therefore, the elements containing it were removed from humans.

In 1931, the new refrigerant – Freon became the solution to the problem. He did not explode, was not toxic, and the need to carry freon-containing elements of the air conditioner at a safe distance has disappeared. Therefore, all parts of the unit were assembled in one block. This is how the window air conditioner, quickly gaining popularity in America, appeared.

So, in the late 50’s, the Japanese company Daikin launched a home-made air conditioner equipped with a heat pump. This device not only cooled the air, but also could warm the room.

In 1961, the Toshiba concern modernized the split system. “Separate” conditioners turned out to be considerably quieter than their one-block fellow. The noisy compressor in such a system is taken out to the street. Another unmistakable convenience of the split-system was the ability to install the indoor unit in any place, and not only in the window opening.

In 1975, with the help of the Japanese firm Hitachi, the production of domestic air conditioners “BK” was set up in the capital of Azerbaijan in the city of Baku.

In 1982, Daikin launched an air conditioner of a fundamentally new type of air conditioner – VRV, where it was possible to change the temperature of the refrigerant. This system was fundamentally different from the inverter. With the achievement of the given air temperature, the Daikin air conditioners did not reduce engine speeds, but regulated the amount of freon entering the cooling circuit.

However, it turned out that freon is hazardous to the environment. In 1987, the most economically developed countries signed the Montreal Protocol. It provided for the phased replacement of Freon’s refrigerant-safe Earth’s atmosphere. Used in the former air conditioners R22 since 2010 is prohibited for use in the US and Europe. Therefore, companies producing air conditioners, switch to the use of freon other types.

Whatever it is, until the onset of a new glacial period, it is unlikely to be completely eliminated from air conditioning.

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