Posted by Nick Pine on October 25, 2003, 11:10 am
Wood is ongoing work, but a solar heating system can be automatic, with
thermostats and so on. It would still require some maintenance... Over
the years, one "passive solar house" lesson learned is that people get
tired of moving manual movable insulation and stop moving it.
Initial debugging seems OK...
Maybe it shouldn't.
I've thought about that with a rectangular building and no central axle or
wheels. Something like a low-draft barge. But it seems easier to add more
glazing and turn on a fan when a sunspace is warm. OTOH, if one intends to
live on a houseboat to start with, why not moor it with a fixed pivot line
to the south and one or two automatic winches for NW and NE lines?
Posted by News on October 25, 2003, 10:32 pm
I went around it. The staff were instructed how to use it. If it was too
hot you turned the panes and the reflected part faced outwards. As you
would when opening a window. Some teachers were just too dumb and couldn't
understand the simple system. Some idiots would turn the panes when the
room was too hot, say at noon, but when it cooled off towards the end of the
day did not reverse the panes, then complained it was too cold. When it was
too hot or to cold the pupils knew how and when to turn the panes, and open
windows, and did so when a new naive teacher came in. Few found it
uncomfortable once they knew how to use it.
I read that the class rooms were split into smaller offices ruining the
solar aspects or it was fully or partially replaced afyter a fire. Not sure
what is the case. I think the building was protected, so they would need
permission to change or demolish it. It is regarded as one of the most
successful solar building in the world, fully doing what it designed to do
with the double glass skin. It was recently renamed St. Mary's College.
Form memory: studies on how to improve on it only suggested implemeting
modern control, high efficiency heat recovery and vent and better
insulation. The basic arrangement was sound and proven to work over 40
years. Not bad for a design from the late 1950s. The designer, EA Morgan,
died in 1964.
A few years ago the Sunday Times had an article about a German maker
building swivelling houses, on a sort of gun turret base.
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Posted by Chris.B on October 28, 2003, 11:38 pm
There is a German rotating house in Freiburg called the Heliotrop. I
believe it is situated at a solar demonstration centre. Browsing for
<freiburg + heliotrop> will produce some websites (including English
My rotating home ideas were rather less elaborate! <grin>
I have seen this house on German satellite TV. Quite a number of
programmes on "alternative" energy, windmills, solar panels, water
conservation, rain collection and treatment, localised waste water
treatment, recycling etc. appear regularly on German TV. They seem
quite keen on the subject and their programmes are always visually
excellent. With real technical close ups and "hands on"
demonstrations. None of your BBC 'dumbing down' with some jokey "sleb"
on German TV! They are very serious about getting information across
to the viewer. My German is non-existant but there are many parallels
with my limited Danish which makes understanding (at least the basics)
I've just been watching a Danish programme about mega-sized wind
turbines at a huge windfarm in the sea off Copenhagen. They are
computer modelling the windfarm layout to minimise losses to the back
rows. They estimate losses of 10% overall due to theft of wind energy
(velocity & presumably turbulence) by the upwind turbines. The
intention is to replace the present huge wind turbines with ever
larger ones on the same site as progress continues in windmill
developement. They expect a 10% increase in Danish wind energy
production over the next 10 years at an annual rate of 1% increase
each year until 2030. I think they said the present towers are 110
metres high. That's about 330ft!
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org on October 25, 2003, 10:36 am
excellent stuff. ill keep that handy .
Posted by Nick Pine on October 20, 2003, 11:57 pm