Q&A Spotlight: Can Solar Heat Be Stored for Next Winter? - Fine Homebuilding

previous
  • Energy-Smart Details
    Energy-Smart Details
  • Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
    Video Series: Tile a Bathroom
  • Magazine Departments
    Magazine Departments
  • Basement Remodeling Tips
    Basement Remodeling Tips
  • Custom Flooring Inspiration
    Custom Flooring Inspiration
  • Clever daily tip in your inbox
    Clever daily tip in your inbox
  • Master Carpenter Videos
    Master Carpenter Videos
  • 7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
    7 Smart Kitchen Solutions
  • A New Approach to Classic Cabinets
    A New Approach to Classic Cabinets
  • Design Inspiration
    Design Inspiration
  • Read FHB on Your iPad
    Read FHB on Your iPad
  • 7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
    7 Trim Carpentry Secrets
  • Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
    Pro Tool Rental. Learn More.
  • Remodeling Articles
    Remodeling Articles
  • 7 Small Bathroom Layouts
    7 Small Bathroom Layouts
  • Video: Install a Fence
    Video: Install a Fence
  • 9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
    9 Concrete Countertops Ideas
  • Tips & Techniques for Painting
    Tips & Techniques for Painting
  • Hot Water Now
    Hot Water Now
  • All about Roofing
    All about Roofing
next

Editor's Notepad

Editor's Notepad


Q&A Spotlight: Can Solar Heat Be Stored for Next Winter?

comments (6) August 6th, 2010 in Blogs
A Solar Flywheel By supplementing an efficient gas water heater, the sun can provide more  than 75% of a home’s total heat and domestic hot water.
The  combination of active solar collection and passive distribution provides  all but exceptional hot-water needs in summer.
The winter sun is too  weak to heat the domestic hot water, but it supplies a boost to the  heating system. The sand is heated to 75°F.Click To Enlarge

A Solar Flywheel By supplementing an efficient gas water heater, the sun can provide more than 75% of a home’s total heat and domestic hot water.

The combination of active solar collection and passive distribution provides all but exceptional hot-water needs in summer.

The winter sun is too weak to heat the domestic hot water, but it supplies a boost to the heating system. The sand is heated to 75°F.


Solar collectors crank out plenty of hot water during the summer, and can even make some contribution to space heating in winter. But conventional solar systems can’t store enough heat to make a significant dent in winter heating bills.

What if there were a way to store the heat in a thick bed of sand beneath the slab, warming it up during the summer and then drawing on this banked energy during the winter? That’s the focus of this week’s Q&A spotlight.

Although European builders have apparently been successful in storing heat in rock or large super-insulated tanks of water, examples of that technology are few and far between in North America. An innovative Canadian project was built with this goal in mind, but can it work for a single house?

Read the entire article at Fine Homebuilding's Green Building Advisor.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Other articles featuring earth-storage of solar heat:

Energy Efficient from the Ground Up

Zero Energy, Infinite Appeal

 

 



posted in: Blogs, energy efficiency

Comments (6)

MarkSindone MarkSindone writes: I'm going to have to agree with Hugo on this. I run a storage company in Sydney and as green as we try to be with energy and our resources, we are just so limited by the technology that's available!
Posted: 11:00 pm on August 31st

Hugo_pallet_trucks Hugo_pallet_trucks writes: I work for a construction company and we are constantly trying to be as green as possible but it is really hard. We do most of our work for green clients but somehow i dont feel that is enough. We rent fork lift trucks which use energy extremely efficiently. But now we are looking into improving insulation at our office
Posted: 6:53 am on July 22nd

MChandler MChandler writes: sme
I've done the floor cooling idea and it does cool but does nothing for humidity. we put a motorized valve on solenoid hooked to a t-stat and ran a line from the well, through the floor (on a 24/7 circulater w/ injection) to a boiler drain with a rubber disc with a 1/8" hole in it to regulate the flow and on to a submatic drip irrigation system. When the day warmed up the t-stat kicked on the valve and turned on the irrigation.

Issue arose when the client (now my wife) left the windows open on a cool morning that later warmed up with a late afternoon shower. The humid air hit that cool floor and condensed. She came home in the evening to damp floors. Other than that the system worked and is still working. We still have the house as a rental. You can see it at http://www.chandlerdesignbuild.com/indexFull.php?id=goldmine&t=The%20Goldmine%20House
Posted: 9:53 pm on August 18th

vikingvic vikingvic writes:

will bulding a house in the triny alpes soon I will need soler every thing I need help.

thank you, vikingvic
Posted: 10:20 am on August 15th

sme sme writes: A little off topic, but this got me thinking, I've seen all kinds of discussion about in floor heating. Would it be feasible to cool my new shop in the same way? I have a shallow well that costs very little to run (just a 3/4 hp. pump)the water is ice cold.... if it works with hot water, why wouldn't it work with cold water??
Posted: 2:26 am on August 12th

Drawer86 Drawer86 writes: Couple points.
1) Sand is dumb, so it will release the *stored* heat into the house above during the summer.

2) Cold flows to hot so the cold ground under the sand will negate the stored heat pretty quick unless there is insulation between the sand and the ground.

Other than those 2 things I like the idea.
Posted: 10:03 pm on August 9th

Log in or create a free account to post a comment.