Dec 11, 2013

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The History of the Air Conditioning System

The History of the Air Conditioning System

Many people will be unaware that a very crude and rudimentary concept of air conditioning was actually applied by the Ancient Egyptians. It wasn’t quite a machine, per se, rather a set of reeds that were hung inside a window and moistening with water that trickled down and caused the evaporation process and cooled the inside air.

During the Roman Empire the water from the aqueducts was used as a way of circulating around a home to cool the walls in much the same way as the hypocaust system heating the floor. It was those Ancient civilizations, with the innovative skills to foresee new ideas that led to the eventual methods of home air cooling systems. The Tang Dynasty—712-762—saw further developments when the Emperor installed what was known as a ‘cool hall’ which was alleged to have had a fan powered by water.

The Industrial Revolution

In 1820, slightly prior to the onset of the Industrial Revolution, Michael Faraday realized that he could compress and liquefy ammonia to chill the air, once the ammonia could evaporate. John Gorrie, a physician in Florida used the same compressor technology in 1842 to make ice, which he then used in his hospital to cool his patients. It was supposed to be used to regulate the temperature of other buildings and he foresaw the idea of cooled air becoming an important factor in daily life.

Most early air conditioning machines seem to be based on the principle of creating ice as a way of cooling the air. It was the innovators who took the ideas and worked them according to the available technology. As the Industrial revolution progressed it became easier to create and invent new know-how to perfect air conditioning machines. In the early twentieth century, Willis Carrier was credited with inventing the first ‘modern’ version of the electric air conditioning system. Carrier—from New York—graduated from Cornell and began experimenting with cooling systems to keep lithographs cool. He noted that his machines also controlled humidity in the inside atmosphere and whether it is was a fluke or not, he hit on the ‘ah-ha’ moment. This led to the establishment of the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America and the rest, as they say is history.

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