Friday, December 4, 2009

Scaffolding and Polycarbonate

Dec 2: I have booked the scaffolding for Saturday - for the south wall. I feel that progress is stopped until the panels are up.
   Had a tutorial with Joel Carter of the MEng course on Monday, and evolved the design further - we had a thorough discussion of the benefits of putting a glassy screen in front of the panels to foster a microclimate that would increase the air temperature around the panels - a sort of Trombe wall effect.
So in the evening, i have researched the stock sizes of Polycarbonate sheet  and worked out the optimum sizes for a sort of glass box that can surround the panels - if I leave it till another year, we would need the cost of scaffolding again, so it's worth doing all in one go.
    There is an interesting discussion between me and David Brook just below this posting, discussing the idea of glassing in only one of the pairs of panels, to compare their performance.

In the image above, the South Wall panels are rendered in ArchiCAD and photoshopped onto a photo of the house and PV roof. So we are hoping to capitalise on the 'Greenhouse Effect'.

Postscript Dec 10th: I have now ordered the Polycarbonate, more than 400 quids worth!! enough to make two large boxes, as above, and it will now be very closed, eg there will even be a Polycarbonate soffit going in, to make the air inside very hot. The outer leaf of the brick wall will get hot in Summer, which will prolong the thermal benefit long after sunset.

2 comments:

  1. I really like this idea, I imagine it could also reduce the effect of evaporative cooling when they become wet. Whilst inefficient, it would be fantastic to see one 'greenhoused' and one not to compare the temperature variation on the flow outputs, I imagine this may require each panel to be on a separate system.

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  2. Well the four run in pairs, so one could have two inside a glass box, and the other two NOT inside. All the panels join on the inside when they return to the pump. However, there is 2 metres of pipe before they join, so one could measure the separate temperatures of the two return pipes before they become a single return pipe.
    This would be better for research. However - the going rate for Scaffolding of this amount is £ 180 for a couple of weeks hire, and I am almost sure that we would want to add the second glass box a year later.
    A good point in favour of your idea is that it would save 180 worth of glass/lexan to do only one box at the moment. and it would certainly illustrate the benefits of a 'double-skin-facade' effect.

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