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re: whacky low-tech "solar wall" idea/s???
26 feb 2003
uno hoo   wrote:

>>>more humidity makes the air a better condusctor.
>>
>>would you have any evidence for this article of faith?
>
>what is the thermal storage of air? what is the thermal storage of
>water? which conducts better? i don't have a textbook handy...

i have several, but i couldn't find a formula for the conductance of air
based on its moisture content. humid air is a bit less dense, but i'd
guess the conductance changes very little, since it holds less than 2%
water around room temp. why do you mention thermal storage? why is the
conductance of air important for solar house heating? it might matter
inside a sealed window, or in a situation like this: 

   the most serious mistake was making the outer container of the receiver
   of plywood. we thought that the plywood would be sufficiently insulated
   from the copper panel which was the receiver proper, that it would not
   get too hot. the copper panel was separated from the plywood by 4" of
   fiberglass insulation. nevertheless, the plywood caught fire and the unit
   was completely destroyed. we suppose this is a success, of sorts...

   from "a solar collector with no convection losses," (a downward-facing 
         receiver over a 4:1 concentrating parabolic mirror) written by
	 h. hinterberger and j. o'meara of fermilab, ca 1976

still air is poor heat conductor, about r5 per inch.

>there's a standard formula for use with calculating engine performance
>based on rh. 

that might have more to do with how water vapor helps gasoline burn.

>>>it makes your radiator in your car cool better...
>>
>>would you have any evidence for this article of faith?
>
>see above. 

oh? :-) would you have any evidence for this article of faith?

>>>...it makes the heat exchanger in your home more efficient.
>>
>>what heat exchanger?
>
>the one just mentioned by the op. duh.

it takes more energy to keep house air humid than dry, in a cold climate.

>>>lots of direct gain solar homes employ giant water columns in the sun
>>>space. one guess why they're there.
>>
>>ok, guess.
 
perhaps you imagine these imperfectly sealed columns of water
raise the rh of the house air? what difference would that make?

>no need to guess - just pick up a few back issues of better homes &
>gardens or architecture today.

ah, aesthetics :-) but what does this have to do with humidity?

nick




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