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Thermal help for a rented space?

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Posted by dold on November 5, 2006, 6:00 pm
 
I have a retail space that I am renting.
It's 2400 square feet (40x60), completely open inside.
Cinder block construction, about 20 2x4 single pane windows.  Some glass,
most plexiglass.

Because it is leased, I don't want to undertake major permanent projects,
but I am interested in some solar heating adjuncts.

The long east wall is facing about 120 degrees.

I looked at some of the items on builditsolar.com, especially thermal mass,
but my problem is that I need heat most in the early part of the day, when
the sun is first shining (maybe directly toward that east face).  So a
Solar Sponge, or some active heat distribution is most attractive.

I'm not sure thermal mass would be of benefit overnight, for next day
warmth.  Maybe for some evenings, or late afternoon through the winter, it
would be good.

I think I need to make the windows double-pane, with either interior or
external treatments.  Perhaps some coverings at night would reduce heat
loss, but I don't think I really have much benefit there, since this is a
business, and not a residence.  The heat would probably be lost by next
morning anyway.

The interior is about a 14 foot uninsulated wood roof at a pretty steep
pitch, with composition shingles.  I am going to measure that angle today.
It might be decent for solar panels.

There is currently a 75,000 BTU propane heater on site, but it is not
connected, having been removed when the old interior walls were removed.

There is almost no hot water used here.  We just have a 4 gallon electric
water heater.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5

Posted by Morris Dovey on November 5, 2006, 7:00 pm
 
dold@XThermalXh.usenet.us.com (in eil8sa$nd$@blue.rahul.net) said:

| I have a retail space that I am renting.
| It's 2400 square feet (40x60), completely open inside.
| Cinder block construction, about 20 2x4 single pane windows.  Some
| glass, most plexiglass.
|
| Because it is leased, I don't want to undertake major permanent
| projects, but I am interested in some solar heating adjuncts.

I think you'll need to define "major permanent projects", both for
your own decision-making process - and to allow us to make meaningful
suggestions. At the top of
<http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/collectors.html>  you will see a panel that
can be bolted to a wall (and unbolted to be moved to a different
building). However, it does require penetration of the wall for intake
and discharge. The building's owner is unlikely to be pleased if you
remove the panel and leave holes in the wall. Penetration of some kind
will likely be necesary unless you restrict yourself to use of the
existing window openings.

| The long east wall is facing about 120 degrees.

This should provide plenty of area and a good orientation for morning
collection - provided that it isn't shaded during that part of the
day.

| I looked at some of the items on builditsolar.com, especially
| thermal mass, but my problem is that I need heat most in the early
| part of the day, when the sun is first shining (maybe directly
| toward that east face).  So a Solar Sponge, or some active heat
| distribution is most attractive.

Have you considered simply using a pair of ceiling fans to direct warm
air from the top of the structure downward? If the building has a
concrete slab floor, warming the floor will provide a certain amount
of thermal storage; and the fans will provide more even heating of the
space.

| I'm not sure thermal mass would be of benefit overnight, for next
| day warmth.  Maybe for some evenings, or late afternoon through the
| winter, it would be good.

Any heat that you can accumulate inside the structure will contribute
some benefit overnight. How much benefit will much depend on
insulation and how "tight" the building is.

| I think I need to make the windows double-pane, with either
| interior or external treatments.  Perhaps some coverings at night
| would reduce heat loss, but I don't think I really have much
| benefit there, since this is a business, and not a residence.  The
| heat would probably be lost by next morning anyway.

You might be surprised - and it's no more enjoyable being cold in a
place of business than it is in a residence. Although much of the heat
might well be lost overnight, the heat that remains will still give
you a head start the following day and will contribute to comfort.

| The interior is about a 14 foot uninsulated wood roof at a pretty
| steep pitch, with composition shingles.  I am going to measure that
| angle today. It might be decent for solar panels.

Depends on your latitude and specific location. I'd encourage you to
deal first with the uninsulated roof issue - that's where your money
would be best spent.

| There is currently a 75,000 BTU propane heater on site, but it is
| not connected, having been removed when the old interior walls were
| removed.

You have enough wall area for collectors to keep your shop toasty if
you can prevent the heat from escaping through that uninsulated roof.
The 75K BTU heater is more than adequate to provide backup heating.

| There is almost no hot water used here.  We just have a 4 gallon
| electric water heater.

In that case I'd suggest staying off the roof and sticking to vertical
panels, especially if you're in an area that provides winter snow
cover.

--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto



Posted by dold on November 6, 2006, 5:13 am
 
Maybe I don't know ;-)
I think that I don't want to replace windows, or insulate the ceiling.
Maybe I do want to insulate the ceiling.  Right now there is nothing up
there.  I can see the bottom side of the roofing boards.
The ceiling is 17 feet high in the center, 10 foot walls, 40 foot span.


I think penetrating the wall for a single inlet and a single outlet ought
the be okay.  Because of the number of windows, there isn't really much
wall space though.  There are 22 4'x5' windows in this building.  That's
nearly half of the horizontal space, and half the vertical space.  


It's only about 8-10 feet over to the next building, although I do get
sunlight across most of the floor in the AM.


There are six ceiling fans, suspended from the 10 foot bottom of the
trusses.  I've always thought that fans blow cold air.  Point them down in
the summer, up in the winter.  It is a slab floor, with thin carpet.


I only meant that there is no occupancy at night.  I'm not interested in
increased creature comfort past about 6pm, unless it carries over to the
next morning, starting at 9am.


Northern California.  It has been in the high 20's in the early morning,
rising to mid 60's in the afternoon, lately.  Maybe I do need to work on
the ceiling, but with a 17 foot peak, that's a chore, and 2500 sq ft of
ceiling, there's lots of space for thermal loss, and for money to be spent
preventing the thermal loss.


We get some snow, although I wouldn't call it cover ;-)

I took some photos and measurements today, although in retrospect, I can't
believe I measured the windows and not the space between them.  I'll have
another go at that tomorrow.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5

Posted by Morris Dovey on November 6, 2006, 2:36 pm
 dold@XReXXTherm.usenet.us.com (in eimg99$c6o$@blue.rahul.net) said:


|| I think you'll need to define "major permanent projects", both for
|| your own decision-making process - and to allow us to make
|| meaningful suggestions. At the top of
|
| Maybe I don't know ;-)
| I think that I don't want to replace windows, or insulate the
| ceiling. Maybe I do want to insulate the ceiling.  Right now there
| is nothing up there.  I can see the bottom side of the roofing
| boards.
| The ceiling is 17 feet high in the center, 10 foot walls, 40 foot
| span.

To belabor the obvious, warm air rises. Every bit of warm air in the
building will head for the ridgeline. If there's a path to the
outside, your warmest air will find it and escape - to be replaced
with cold air from outside. If you'd like warmth, first stop the leaks
and then insulate the roof/ceiling.

| I think penetrating the wall for a single inlet and a single outlet
| ought the be okay.  Because of the number of windows, there isn't
| really much wall space though.  There are 22 4'x5' windows in this
| building.  That's nearly half of the horizontal space, and half the
| vertical space.

Solar glazing in the east and south windows (with good insulating
windows on the north and west) might provide a significant assist...

| It's only about 8-10 feet over to the next building, although I do
| get sunlight across most of the floor in the AM.

Worth getting up early to check. There isn't much gain from putting a
solar collector where the sun doesn't shine. :-)

| There are six ceiling fans, suspended from the 10 foot bottom of the
| trusses.  I've always thought that fans blow cold air.  Point them
| down in the summer, up in the winter.  It is a slab floor, with
| thin carpet.

You might consider putting 'em on speed controls (some fans will work
with dimmer switches). Run 'em slow to direct the (risen) warm air
back down to where it'll do some good.

| I only meant that there is no occupancy at night.  I'm not
| interested in increased creature comfort past about 6pm, unless it
| carries over to the next morning, starting at 9am.

Yup. Still, any heat that you can retain overnight constitutes a head
start for the marrow.

|| Depends on your latitude and specific location. I'd encourage you
|| to deal first with the uninsulated roof issue - that's where your
|| money would be best spent.
|
| Northern California.  It has been in the high 20's in the early
| morning, rising to mid 60's in the afternoon, lately.  Maybe I do
| need to work on the ceiling, but with a 17 foot peak, that's a
| chore, and 2500 sq ft of ceiling, there's lots of space for thermal
| loss, and for money to be spent preventing the thermal loss.

Yuppers. I ballparked your location on the map; but I'm insufficiently
familiar with the terrain in your area. I suspect that altitude has an
effect.

| We get some snow, although I wouldn't call it cover ;-)

Ok. The up side to snow is that it provides a significant reflective
assist to wall-mounted panels. No shortage of snow here - I'd be glad
to send you some of ours. <g>

--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
DeSoto, Iowa USA
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto



Posted by dold on November 6, 2006, 6:38 pm
 
Ah!!!  There is a small "attic space" with a 12x24" vent to the outside,
and ...  a missing access door!  That constitutes a "leak".

That didn't seem like a bad thing when we first started, and temps were
over 100f.  Now, it's out of sight, out of mind.  The open door is on the
side, not visible from most of the shop.

I think I'll add a door today.


The landlord grumbled a bit about the cost of replacing about 2/3 of the
windows that were broken, but that was all done with single-pane
plexiglass.  I didn't have any input on that.  I knew the broken glass was
being replaced.


There are speed controls.  So a slow rate might push the warm air down,
without the cooling effect that one feels from faster moving air?

Maybe one or two more, mounted higher into the peak, with only a low speed.


The shop is more near 38.7,-122.6, 1100 feet.  Definitely desert country.
Wide swings in temp from night to day at this time of year.  Historical
November Average near here: 34 low, 48 24hr, 61 high.

--
---
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA  GPS: 38.8,-122.5

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