It happens that I received a top quality education, in Nuclear Physics, from the University of Chicago. Long ago, many people seemed to gasp at that as though it was especially impressive, particularly since U of C has such a reputation in Physics.
That seems no longer to be true! In fact, I get the impression that nearly every visitor to any of my web-pages truly believes they are both smarter than me and more knowledgeable and educated than me!
Hardly anyone seems to actually ACCEPT the information in my presentations WITHOUT DECIDING TO MAKE MANY IMPROVEMENTS!
As an example, I spent nearly six months in carefully Designing and Engineering the "free Air Conditioning" system which I chose to "give away for free" in November 2000. Engineers with the necessary education and skills always receive at least $140/hour for their time, and the better ones get at least $300/hour. So those hours I chose to spend on Designing and Refining that project certainly involved at least $140,000 or $300,000 of my time. This is not said in arrogance; it is simply a fact.
I guess I was brought up to think that if someone was GIVEN anything that was worth so much, it might be appreciated, and treated with care. And a recognition that if a talented Engineer had spend so much time and effort to perfect something over so many months, it might have some actual value.
None of that seems true any more! People SKIM that presentation (since they seem not willing to waste the time to actually READ it!) and within SECONDS, they think of dozens of IMPROVEMENTS to make to it!
Many of these are sadly amusing to me.
A man in Texas had 640 acres of land, one mile square. Rather than following the pattern of tubes that I had Engineered and presented in the web-page, he decided to make "many improvements". He acknowledged that he was just a farmer and that he had no education or knowledge in thermodynamics. But he decided to dig a five-foot-deep trench along ALL FOUR MILES of the perimeter of his property, buy FOUR MILES of 4" PVC pipe, and bury a SINGLE TUBE that was therefore four miles long! He had decided that he would therefore ensure that the air would come out at the coolest possible temperature. Well, technically, he would have been correct. However, he had no understanding of how LITTLE air a single 4" tube could carry, where the amount of air that could possibly come out of it would not have been enough to cool a small bathroom! And he had no understanding of the fact that the BLOWER that would be required to push FOUR MILES OF AIR through the tube would likely have been at least 50 horsepower (I never chose to calculate it!). Between all the frictional losses in that length of contact with the walls, and the many hundreds of pounds of air he needed to constantly push, it had no chance whatever of being of any value. But he was insistent that he knew what he was doing and he would not allow me to talk him out of it.
A woman in California did not think that my recommendation about the depth of the tubes was sufficient, so she told me that she was going to dig deep enough so that all the tubes were ONE HUNDRED FEET DEEP.
Self-Sufficiency - Many Suggestions|
Public Services Home Page
Apparently, there are quite a few small companies in New Zealand that have "stolen" this free concept, but they did not stop there but they then decided to "make improvements" to it. As I understand it, there are a lot of people in NZ that are MODERATELY satisfied with such systems. It is too bad that they did not get the ACTUAL design that I had Engineered, as then they would now LOVE it! EVERYONE feels that they are able to IMPROVE such things! I have to wonder if they watched brain surgery, whether they would constantly be deciding that they "knew of better ways" of doing the surgery!
A man in Canada insisted that he was installing a system where the tubes would be 12 feet deep, and of a pattern around five times larger than I Engineered. Without any Engineering background, he absolutely insisted that my design was not sufficient for his medium-sized home IN CANADA! I suppose that I should not whine about someone who chooses to install such overkill (by probably a factor of 20) for air conditioning needs in Canada where they only even NEED air conditioning on around five days each summer, but it bothers me that OTHER PEOPLE who see such massive (and expensive) installations might then think that they would also have to spend so much to cool their own houses.
People who live near the top of a (rock) mountain in California told me they were going to install the system. When I asked whether there was deep enough soil to avoid having to dynamite blast to make the trenches, they had no idea.
At least 50 different people in India have said they were installing my system, but none of them would accept my strong recommendation of using the US system of RECIRCULATING the house air (the way that ALL air conditioning systems work). In India, the ONLY concept that exists is to keep all windows open, to get natural winds to send air THROUGH the house. The people in India understood enough to realize that if they cause that air to first have to pass through underground tubes, the air entering the house would be cooler, but they never have any clue that they are WASTING the coolness of the deep ground! As they cool all that air, they keep causing the ground to absorb that heat and therefore heat up. Their installations will work great for a couple hours, and then they will stop working because the deep soil has heated up too much, and they will have to wait a few days to get another couple hours of cooling! Too bad they will not accept the COMPLETE system I Engineered, where the amount of heat transferred to the deep soil is only around 1/10 as much and they would be getting CONSTANT air conditioning!
A man in Ecuador (extremely near the Equator) was one of several thousand people who live in extremely hot climates, where the deep soil is never cooler than 85F. But without actually fully reading my presentation, their "improvements" apparently are supposed to enable that hot soil to cool down house air to provide A/C.
Thousands of others live in southern Florida, southern Texas, southern Arizona, etc, where the deep soil is never cooler than 75F. And even though I make very clear in that presentation that the possible cooling value of the system for such climates is very minimal, they still insist that they know a lot more than me!
Many hundreds of people do not want to have any large area of buried tubes (even though none of it is visible once it is installed). So they insist on "installing all the tubes directly underneath the house"! Wow! They think that trying to transfer heat from the air IN the house to the ground directly UNDER the house is going to do something? Where do they think that heat will go once they heat up the ground under the house?
Several thousands of people have insisted that my design is foolish in using large diameter tubes. THEY KNOW BETTER! Many decide that they will use Pex tubing instead, and some even imply that I am ignorant for not using "new technology"! Others insist on using small diameter copper tubing. Such people never actually fully read my presentation, or they would realize how foolish THEIR "improvements" were!
A small number of other people insist that I am wrong for the OPPOSITE reason. A man informed me that he was going to install 26.5" diameter PVC tubing (which you could crawl through!). It sounded like he intended to only install a few feet of that very expensive giant tubing, which again indicates that he never actually read my full presentation!
At least 9,700 people have told me that they were installing "my" system over the past eight years. Since I never ask for any money, I have no way of confirming if they actually did that, or even where any of them are! But given the wild imaginations that so many thousands of them seem to have regarding "making improvements", I have to wonder how many of them ACTUALLY installed the system which I had Designed and Engineered! In other words, how many of all those systems actually WORKS to the high expectations I would have for them! In my opinion, if the residents of a house or visitors to that house have ANY indication that the house does not have conventional central air conditioning, then the installation is a failure. Only if NO ONE CAN TELL, do I see it as having been worth the time and trouble to install! Sadly, I wonder if even a hundred of those 9,700 apparent installations that I have heard about, meet that level of performance. Since there appear to be thousands of other installations which are "stolen" variants of my system, like those I have heard about in NZ, I tend to wonder if ANY of those would meet the level of performance that I would demand?
Finally, tens of thousands of people seem to assume that since I gave away the information in the web-page, that means that I am therefore their personal slave regarding doing "free custom Design and Engineering" for their unique house! They apparently feel that my time has no value, and the many thousands of them are often incensed when I am NOT willing to provide all the free custom design calculations and analysis that they insist on!
I have eventually concluded that IF I had CHARGED people thousands of dollars for this Engineering or for PLANS for such a system, maybe they would see it as being something that was VALUABLE. But since I chose to try to do a good deed and GIVE it away to them, they seem to assume that IT IS WORTH WHAT THEY PAID FOR IT, in other words, that it is essentially WORTHLESS!
Related to that, a very large number of people seem to assume that NO actual Designing or Engineering or calculations are even necessary for such things! They make comments that imply that my presentation is "simply good common sense" and nothing more! Maybe that is why so many people instantly dismiss all the work I did to refine it, because THEIR common sense is as good as anyone else's!
Roughly 98% of the e-mail that I have received regarding the free A/C over the past eight years have belonged in categories such as those above. Only around 2% seem to actually recognize that a lot of advanced Engineering had gone into the Design presented in the web-page. This disappointing fact has caused me to often consider either deleting the e-mail links in the A/C pages or simply stopping reading or responding to them.
This is much more recent, only from early 2007. But still, already, and even with the inclusion of a COMPLETE set of construction instructions (with many photos), essentially the same patterns seem to exist as discussed above!
I have already been told of "countless improvements"! Where the 90,000 Btu/hr capability were apparently considered as insufficient, I have been told that people are intending to build and install 16-foot diameter (vertical) (rotating) variants inside of a standard 8-foot tall garage! I have been told that SQUARE variants are to be built! I have been told that steel, aluminum, copper, PVC, ABS and many other variants will be made. I have been told that existing (lightweight) water tanks (of many different styles, sizes and shapes) will be used. I have been told of installations that will be centered on using Pex tubing instead of what I recommended. I have been told of dozens of strange ideas regarding pushing air through that device, and just as many strange ideas about how water will be pushed through the device. I have been told of dozens of strange ideas regarding how the (very slowly rotating) device will be rotated, usually totally ignoring the fact that the loaded device could weigh as much as a thousand pounds!
So it appears that few people are going to fully read the presentations on the HG 3a device, or of even following the complete construction instructions which I have provided. They will each "get the general idea" and then "think up their own improvements". None of those people will see any reason to waste any time in doing any calculations or Engineering, "because they have common sense!"
C Johnson, Theoretical Physicist, Physics Degree from Univ of Chicago