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re: starting with a blank slate - what would you do differently?
3 sep 2005
ecnerwal   wrote:

>> >and it also has 6 great big honking windows...
>> 
>> more expensive and much less efficient on cloudy days than air heaters,
>
>the windows are about light nick, not heat.

i realize that. smuckers harness shop (an amish enterprise) in churchtown
pa is set up like this, with lots of south windows over workbenches, gas
lights, and an outdoor lister-petter diesel to run all the machines from
overhead shafts. they make harness for customers round the world, including
the queen of england. they have 7 pcs in the billing dept. when a phila
inquirer reporter asked mr. smucker if the pcs would get them in trouble
with his pastor, he said "no. we also value local employment, and
the pastor is one our employees."  :-)

>...i have plenty of space to put up dedicated collectors to collect heat 
>with, more efficiently than windows.

good.

>so, the collectors between them are about heat, and possible collector on
>the face of possible shutters (for when the building is not occupied, or
>at night) are about heat...

i don't understand what you mean by shutters. i suggested "solar siding,"
ie a layer of clear polycarbonate glazing over the dark south insulated
shop wall, with an airgap and vent holes at top and bottom (maybe 5% of
the glazed area) through the barn wall with lightweight passive plastic
film one-way dampers to prevent reverse air thermosyphoning at night.

>but the windows are about light. they run from ~3'8" to ~9'8", providing
>height to get light in deep as well as egress and a view out. i considered 
>little windows up high and decided that that felt a bit too much like a 
>box i couldn't see out of. i considered adding some higher than these 
>ones, but the price of little windows is far more per square foot than 
>large windows, so i opted not to.

views are nice, but you might also have some clerestory "windows" (which
might also be simple vent holes in the insulated barn wall behind the
solar siding) above eye level, with light shelves below... 1 ft^2 of 
direct sun can provide good light for 200 ft^2 of shop, if it's well-
distributed. a white ceiling with reflective lightshelves below the 
clerestory "windows" can help a lot with that, geometrically-speaking.

insulating/reflective foamboard lightshelves that automatically fold up
to a vertical position at night to block the vent holes could be a bonus.
they might also partially fold up during the day to regulate light levels.

nick




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