To slant or not to slant

I’ve been reading stuff passive solar. I have to do something heartening. It’s cold and wet out and we’ve got family members on the way to add to our pet cemetary.  Katie will go to rest next to Koa, Stacy, Max, Kym and Bindy.  Saying goodbye to four legged family is hard but it would be worse if we couldn’t keep them here with us.

I was doing some research on insulating glass and ran into an archived article on passive solar overheating.  The article is about half-way down in the archive, so scroll, scroll, scroll.  The title is “For passive solar, it’s so long slanted glass.”

Let’s be clear, I’m not advocating one way or the other, vertical versus slanted glass.  I’m looking at the home’s original design and I’m saying . . . where’s the thermal mass?  With all that solar gain during the day, the design has to encorporate enough thermal mass to absorb that heat so it’s available when the temps drop at night.  Without it you have Death Valley heat during the day and Siberia cold at night.

If, in the original design, there had been heat collection tubes that collected the heat during the day and directed it in the ground under/around the home, slanted glass had a chance of providing more even heat.  Not ideal heat, but better than the desert/arctic cycle the family experienced.  This is all about overall design, not the advisability of vertical versus slanted glass.  It was bad solar engineering.

Don Stephens of Greener Shelter separates the solar collector from the living space.  With separate solar collector boxes he’s able to direct the heat into the ground beneath the home where it can rise slowly into the home.  If you read back through some earlier posts, you’ll see where I talk about that and how I’ll use his technology/expertise when we build the house on the hill.

I ran into another interesting thing as well.  Some bright mind has come up with a transparent film that could conceivably be used for generating electricity from solar exposure.

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