re: inexpensive retrofitting....
29 sep 2003
>> unless it's very shallow, eg transparent "solar siding" over a 6" air gap.
>i suppose we could create a sort of solar furnace with piping into the
this would be more like siding, with warm air circulating between the
siding air gap and the living space through a couple of vent holes or
windows during the day.
>i like the idea of building a room -- more value to the home, more
>interesting, and so forth.
sure. a low-thermal-mass room with an insulated wall between the room
and the living space can be a very efficient solar collector...
>> >if you were to draw a line from north to south, it would intersect the
>> >center line of the house (side-to-side) with about a 60 degree angle
>> >facing west.
>> i'm not sure how an angle "faces west." like this, viewed in a fixed font?
>the open end of the angle is due west. something like the below....
>x | | n
>f | | ./
>r | | ./
>o | | ./
>n | | ./
>t | | ./
>x | |
>if i were to stand in the exact center of my house, facing the back yard,
>north would be off to my left. draw a left-to-right bisector of the house
>and north is around 120 degrees from the right side of the line. (as you
>might have guessed, i've never tried to describe this in words so i'm kind
>of groping at words here).
i'm having trouble interpreting this. which wall is closest to south?
>> about 4% of the floorspace for daylighting as high windows, and so on.
>> sun optics prismatic skylights transmit 40% more light than others, with
>> no hot spots. they ship the equivalent of 1 mw/week of fluorescents in
>> wal-mart roofs and other places...
>> for heating, on your small lot, you might go up, with vertical glazing, eg
>> south-facing clerestory windows above an ew ridgeline. most of them might
>> be "dummy windows" with bare hydronic absorber plates behind them and
>> insulation behind the plates.
>interesting idea -- i hadn't considered faux windows. i was figuring on
>just putting some additional window structures in when we redid the roof
the real windows might have insulating panels that close at night.
excerpts from an 8/27/03 memo from sunoptics pres jerry blomberg to brian
alcorn on the subject of 2005 building energy efficiency standards revisions:
the recent collapse of the power grid in the northeast has caused me to
make one last effort to present to you and through you to the commissioners,
the need to reduce the building area requiring skylights from 25,000 sq. ft.
to 10,000 sq. ft. i would also recommend that the required ceiling height
be reduced from 15 ft. to 12. ft.
the argument for these changes is, they are both cost-effective and they
would save substantial amounts of electricity during peak demand hours...
the reduction in ceiling height to 12 ft. is based on the appropriate use
of 4 ft by 4 ft. skylights. each skylight will light an area of 300 to
350 sq. ft. with excellent light distribution...
i know that it is not the energy commission's job to improve the working
conditions of the people of california, but if you required an effective
skylight to floor area ratio of 2% in all new buildings, it would make
every building in california a delight to work in. there would be fewer
divorces, less child abuse, fewer dogs or cats kicked when they are in
the way. the fact is, daylighted space with an esfr of 2% reduces stress,
and stress of any kind weakens our immune systems and increases societies'
medical costs. california could become known for having wonderful work
environments in all new buildings...
to demonstrate the cost effectiveness of daylighting space with skylights,
i would like to compare the state's photovoltaic subsidy to skylights.
the state would get six to ten times more energy savings if that same
subsidy was used to subsidize 100% of the cost of daylighting installations
instead of subsidizing photovoltaic installations at $4.00 per watt. the
user then has to invest another $4.00 to $5.00 a watt to complete the
system. one 4 ft. by 8 ft. or 5 ft. by 6 ft. skylight will deliver more
light than 1 kw of electric lighting during peak demand hours... over the
life of a skylight, it replaces electric lighting energy for less than
$0.015 per kw[h]... we are talking big money here, and by example suggesting
to society that this is where we should be heading. truth is, if we were
to rely solely on pv-generated electricity, we would cut our standard of
living by 50% or more.
there is no energy shortage on the planet, nor will there ever be
a shortage. we may run out of some types of energy sources over time,
but there will be energy available. the problem is to get those energy
sources into a useful form... the real shortage in the world is money, and
that must be honored. an adequate supply of least-cost, least-polluting
energy should be the commission's primary goal. daylighting with skylights
is one example of how this goal can be achieved.
from the start of our business here at sunoptics, we set a fantasy goal
of dalyighting enought space to offset the electricity produced by
a 1,000 megawatt generating plant. over the last 25 years the acceptance
of daylighting as a cost-effective energy conservation measure has grown
to the point where we now ship enough skylights to offset 150 to 200 kw of
electricity per day, nearly a megawatt a week... the skylights we have
shipped to date replace electric lighting electricity of 350 to 400
megawatts during peak demand hours. with the accelerated acceptance of
daylighting, i believe that our goal can be reached in as little as
8 more years.
it should be embarrassing to the california energy commisssion,
the commissioners and their staff for not recognizing sooner
the great opportunity daylighting offers to save energy in such
a cost-effective manner.
the state of california, the united states of america, and the whole world
are in such a financial mess that everyone needs to deal with truth, when
it can be found. my truth is, you need to reduce the required area to
10,000 sq. ft., lower the ceiling height requirement to 12 ft. and eliminate
the connected lighting load requirement. _this is no time to be timid_...
at 77 1/2 years, this may be the last time i will be able to speak publicly
for daylighting buildings with skylights as an important strategy for
an energy-independent america and a sustainable energy future.