Friday, May 14, 2010

More about sunspace - air flushing

14 May : Thinking more about the Sunbox versus bare Panel argument (12 May), I am thinking of yet another Plumbing Adventure..... (David Atkins is keen to see how the panels would work on their own.)
    It would be possible to reorganise pipes and valves so that when diverted, the GSHP ground loop can go ONLY to the sunboxes, and not use the ground at all - a simple short circuit from the sunbox return pipe directly to the ground loop inlet of the GSHP, using a diverter valve.

   I know from observation that when the sun shines, the temp in the sun boxes goes up to nearly 20º or past 20º quite easily - sometimes up to 40º - so keeping them Tightly Shut is the best strategy most of the day time.
   If one pulled heat out of the black panels solely, without using the ground loop, there is a danger that the air in the Sunboxes wrapped round the black panels could become a 'Pool of Cool', becoming colder than the ambient air, especially at night and cold cloudy time.
   If the GSHP is busy-busy-busy, and using only the black panels, it could pull the air temp to below 12º even on a nice sunny day.
    The thermostat we have has a second channel, and if we had motorised hinges on the sunbox ventilation louvre, then the thermostat's second channel could send an 'Open the Vent louvre' command when the temperature is below 12ºC - enabling fresh air to be brought in if the sunbox internal temp got cooler than ambient temperature at night or cloudy-time. I have servo motors already, because that is what the solenoid valves are - 230v activated servos that open 90 degrees of angle - instead of turning a valve, they can turn a louvre.
    I would be prepared to risk testing this method for a few days (monitoring the condensation risk all the time). However, the 3 dimensional difficulty of plumbing in such a bypass in such a tight space might be impossible! And if I am going to make mechanisms to rotate the louvres automatically, I might need to get a welding kit!

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