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Field Evaluation: Freus Evaporative Condenser in Pinnacle Homes Model

In collaboration with Pinnacle Homes in Las Vegas, PATH is conducting a field evaluation of an evaporative condenser manufactured by Freus. In addition, PATH is providing the funding for this project. Las Vegas is a fast growing market for Freus. A manufacturer’s representative expects between 700 and 1,000 evaporative condenser units to be installed in this area in 2003 based on orders from distributors.

Pinnacle builds all of its homes to ENERGY STARĀ® specifications. Standard construction for Pinnacle is two-story slab on grade with 9′ ceilings. Walls are 2×4 wood frame, insulated with R-13 fiberglass batt, wrapped with 15 pound asphalt saturated felt, and finished with a one-coat stucco system. Pre-fabricated wood trusses are used in the roofs and floors. Roofs are finished with concrete tile. Ceilings are insulated to R-30 with a combination of fiberglass batt and blown-in cellulose.

Two separate mechanical systems located in the attic provide space conditioning. Typically, each system contains a SEER 10 condenser and an 80 AFUE gas furnace. A fixed orifice is used to regulate the refrigerant charge. A downstairs thermostat controls one system, and an upstairs thermostat controls the other. Each system has a central return located in the second floor ceiling above the stairs.

One of three new model homes in Pinnacle’s Clearwater Cove Development is equipped with a Freus evaporative condenser. The Freus unit is a drop-in replacement for the standard SEER 10 air-cooled condenser; all other mechanical and envelope specifications of the three model homes are identical. Model 1 is 2,318 square feet; Model 2 is 2,579 square feet; and Model 3 is 2,922 square feet. Each model home faces south. The builder chose to install the Freus unit in Model 2. The garage of Model 3 was converted into a sales office, and is conditioned by its own mechanical system. The first day that these models were open, all of the other homes in the development were sold. The model homes themselves were not sold, and will be used to promote another development.

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