Author Topic: Running A/C compressor with Listeroid CS  (Read 561 times)


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Running A/C compressor with Listeroid CS
« on: August 03, 2023, 10:04:02 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Being an engineer with a mind that never seems to go to sleep, I had a thought the other night whilst sitting.
That thought was, "has anyone here, or know of anyone who has, run an AC compressor from a Listeroid CS?"
While my setup using a 12/1 CS will mostly be for backup, and for running the house, just because I will be able
to, I wanted to see if anyone had in fact used a Listeroid for air conditioning while also making power.

Given that the average car has an air conditioning capacity of 2 tons (24K BTU), and some trucks have more,
this might be an instance where using commonly available parts might prove workable, and not all that expensive.
I can make biodiesel very inexpensively (currently do produce), so it may prove to be less expensive to air
condition the house versus the nearly 50 cents per KWh in our area (cost per KWh + transmission cost).

Being an engineer, and knowing people in the HVAC field, I don't think there is anything we can't solve, but
just wanted to see if anyone has done this, and how it worked for them if they did.

I hope this finds folks here on the forum doing well, and I look forward to chatting with folks.

Take care,

Eric G.


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Re: Running A/C compressor with Listeroid CS
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2023, 12:01:56 AM »
I see no reason it couldn't be done. It has crossed my mind being in the HVAC industry but, automotive air conditioning systems are extremely inefficient. Everything I have ever seen shows a need/use of ~10HP of engine power for 2-3 tons of cooling in a car. The same cooling can be done with an electric compressor for far less horsepower requirement. Automotive systems are designed knowing there is much more horsepower available but concentrating on robustness in much more inhospitable working conditions.

A what we call unitary system here in the states, can accomplish the same cooling with a 2-3HP compressor input. While you may be able to reduce the HP requirement for an automotive compressor by bringing the system conditions more inline with a stationary household system I would be willing to bet that this is one of those situations where it is more efficient to produce electricity with the prime mover and perform the cooling with an electric compressor.


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Re: Running A/C compressor with Listeroid CS
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2023, 12:10:18 AM »
Hi Eric, after the Australian bushfires in 2019 I had to live in a 20 foot caravan for several years until we found a new home. The caravan had a 240 volt , 15 amp power hookup to a Lister CS6/1 with an ST generator head.  The electric air conditioning unit was a very compact single unit that was built in under the seats in the "living room". This unit would maintain the temperature at around 22 centigrade with outside air temps of around 40C. I was running mineral diesel at around $1.2 a litre so it worked out quite expensive. I also had to turn off the air conditioning if I wanted to boil the kettle, but that shouldn`t be a problem with a 12/2.
Some freight/shipping containers have a very effective cooler/freezer unit built in. These are electric units with a backup petrol engine should be easy to adapt one of those to run directly/mechanically off a Lister, might be very noisy!

Good luck.



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Re: Running A/C compressor with Listeroid CS
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2023, 03:39:07 PM »
Yes, it will probably work. You could also drive the condenser cooling fan from a pulley on the engine (or an alternator to a 12 volt fan).
Consider running straight heated vegetable oil for fuel. That would cut your fuel costs to near zero.

« Last Edit: August 13, 2023, 03:41:23 PM by veggie »
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