Posted by Morris Dovey on February 27, 2006, 7:49 am
RicodJour (in firstname.lastname@example.org)
| Morris Dovey wrote:
|| The formula for being convinced seems to be "look + touch".
| Indeed. Someone can put their hand up to a wall and feel the warmth
| from the sunlight hitting it. It's not an automatic thing for
| everyone to extrapolate that the warmth is sufficient to heat a
| house. My point with Nick's idea is that people need to experience
| the warmth firsthand, not by peering into a window to see a
| thermometer. Your panel experience bears that out.
Your point is an excellent one. The largest difficulty with a
demonstration project where we would hope for a large number of
visitors is the loss of heat as all those people enter and exit the
| As there is no doubt that it can be done, and that there's an
| immediate need and an immediate market, I would think that Nick's
| proselytization and effort would be more effective if he shifted
| gears from the theoretical solution of a semi-convincing
| demonstration to implementing the actual solution - ie, team up
| with some builder(s) and build some solar houses. That would be
| far more convincing, far more newsworthy and far more profitable.
I think the teaming up would need to be done with a capable - and
courageous -architect /and/ with an equally capable and courageous
builder. Perhaps what is needed first is a convincing demonstration
for architects, builders, and people who produce/enforce building
codes. I'm not sure that the demonstration needs to be an actual
residence - just something to reassure the
not-yet-convinced/less-than-courageous key players that the technology
is not only viable but adequately mature.
This producer of solar heating panels would be very happy to form a
consortium with one or more capable architects and builders!
DeSoto, Iowa USA
Posted by nicksanspam on February 28, 2006, 11:19 am
IMO, there's a tremendous amount of doubt that an inexpensive house
can be close to 100% solar heated. Ask a a few builders, architects,
or ordinary people.
Posted by RicodJour on February 28, 2006, 2:17 pm
If _you_ don't think it can be done, who would?
Do you think that the first people to build cars spent eons on the
abacus calculating power to weight ratios prior to building a vehicle,
or did they just slap an engine on a wagon and experiment?
Posted by nicksanspam on March 1, 2006, 12:58 pm
No panels on the roof, for starters. Nor antifreeze, nor heat exchangers.
Lots of insulation and airtightness, eg Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs.)
Low operating cost, with no powerful pumps nor blowers. Houses need roofs
and siding. One simple system (like the Soldier's Grove attics described at
http://www.ece.villanova.edu/~nick ) could have fin-tube pipe under an attic
ridge with a transparent polycarbonate Dynaglas south roof ($/ft^2, with
a 20-year lifetime and no sheathing nor felt nor shingles and a low labor
cost, with hex-head screws holding 4'x12' pieces to purlins.)
The south wall below could let solar-warmed air rise up into the attic from
an air gap behind Dynaglas "solar siding" (as in PE Norman Saunders's Cliff
House) or from an inexpensive sunspace that adds valuable floorspace to
a house. The fin-tube might have supply and return pipes underwater in a
large unpressurized heat storage tank on the ground, in a slow draindown
system to minimize pump power. The tank might be a 4'x16' diameter swimming
pool in the basement with a poly film cover and foamboard on top. To warm
the first floor, we might open a damper to let air flow through the gap
between the poly film and the foamboard. The pool might have a $0 1"x300'
plastic pipe coil to preheat water for showers.
Posted by RicodJour on March 1, 2006, 2:41 pm
Alrighty, I asked for your definition of inexpensive and you designed
the house. Now just go build the thing.