THE PERFECT HOME INSULATION
What is AeroGel?
An aerogel is a manufactured porous solid consisting almost entirely of gas (air) with a very fine latticework of solid material in a spherical shape. This solid material makes up anywhere from five (5%) to one percent (1%) of the volume of the aerogel. Despite the name aerogels do not contain a gel; though they begin life as a material matrix with liquid (gel) supporting the lattice.
Imagine a soap bubble like the ones you played with as a child. Imagine that the bubble has a hard shell rather than the soapy one that only lasts a few minutes at most. If you could save the bubble by giving it a hard shell, you would have a structure that was mostly air, but is very strong in every direction. Additionally, because the bubble is mostly air (or empty space) it takes a while for heat to travel from one side of that bubble to the opposite side.
Now imagine that the bubble is much smaller, by thousands of times, and that there are millions of them packed closely together. Not only would the resulting structure be very strong, but because it is mostly air, it would also be very good at keeping heat on one side and cool on the other. This is essentially what an aerogel is.
PROPERTIES OF AEROGEL
Aerogels have many properties not the least of which are the ability to limit thermal transfer.
Silicon Aerogels are:
Have sound absorption properties
Desiccant (moisture absorption) properties
Are Water permeable (allows breath-ability)
Carbon Aerogel have all of the above properties plus:
Are electrically conductive
Can store electrical charge (as a capacitor medium)
Absorb Infrared & visible light
Alumina Aerosols have all of the Silicon aerogel properties plus:
Can act as a catalyst
SEAGel have all of the Silicon aerogel properties plus:
Are biodegradable (edible)
SOLAR PANELS ON ROOF
SOLAR ROOF vs DEAD ROOF
WHAT IS A DEAD ROOF
A dead roof is a roof without solar. Slate, asphalt shingles or other materials are perceived to look pretty. They do nothing. The materials are dug out of the earth, sit on your roof and over time rot or blow away. I think it is crazy that we continue to build roofs that are dead. My children often point out roofs with solar and say ” look Dad , there is a nice looking roof that is actually doing something. Solar efficiency means the amount of electricity made from one cell. Multiple cells create a panel and multiple panels create an array.
Once the cost of solar comes down , and the efficiency comes up , solar will play a large roll in providing power to our planet. No smell , no noise. There are several industrial directions that solar is heading. It is estimated that building a solar farm the size of Rhode Island in the Sahara Desert could potentially power the world. My goal is to keep it simple, since the odds of that happening seems slim, and focus your attention on what it can create right now on your otherwise dead roof.
HOW SOLAR WORKS
We can change sunlight directly to electricity using solar cells. Every day, light hits your roof’s solar panels with photons (particles of sunlight). The solar panel converts those photons into electrons of direct current (“DC”) electricity. The electrons flow out of the solar panel and into an inverter and other electrical safety devices. The inverter converts that “DC” power (commonly used in batteries) into alternating current or “AC” power. AC power is the kind of electrical that your television, computer, and toasters use when plugged into the wall outlet.
A net energy meter keeps track of the all the power your solar system produces. Any solar energy that you do not use simultaneous with production will go back into the electrical grid through the meter. At night or on cloudy days, when your system is not producing more than your building needs, you will consume electricity from the grid as normal. Your utility will bill you for the “net” consumption for any given billing period and provide you with a dollar credit for any excess during a given period. You can carry your bill credit forward for up to a year.
RIDGEBLADE WIND TURBINE
INNOVATIVE ENERGY PRODUCTION
The ridgeblade Wind Turbine is an innovative and unique, affordable, simple and effective way of harnessing the wind’s power to produce electricity.
The ridgeblade has been designed to produce electricity in a wide range of wind conditions (including low wind speeds) whilst maintaining a low visual impact. Suitable for the majority of installation locations, including urban houses as well as environmentally sensitive sites such as National Parks and rural locations.
Given the urgent need to improve the energy and carbon performance of existing building stock, the ridgeblade has been developed to be retrofitted into the existing built environment. In addition, the unit has been designed to be low cost, in terms of manufacture, installation and maintenance.
AWARD WINNING DESIGN
Designed to use the existing roof area of a pitched roof to collect and focus the prevailing wind using the Aeolian wind focus effect. This is where the wind is forced to travel over the roof surface and forms a pinch point at the roof ridge, accelerating the airflow though the turbine. As a result, measured wind speed around the ridge can be just over three times the actual wind speed. Placing the turbine in this high flow area means that up to nine times the energy is available to it compared to a HAWT (Horizontal Axis Wind Turbine) system.
The ridgeblade uses advanced aerodynamics to prevent noise in operation, and is also designed to self-limit the speed of the rotor through its unique patented aerodynamic properties. This means that the units achieve full capacity at wind speeds of only 25mph and at this level of wind, the turbine speed achieves its maximum rotational speed, and this rotor speed is not exceeded, even in severe storm conditions. The ridgeblade has been successfully tested in over 100mph winds in both wind tunnel and installed locations.
Solar Shutters and Blinds
Do your outside window shutters just sit there? Are they just decorative? Mine make power and are a part of my homes energy producing capability. South, East, and West facing are optimal. I think plastic or wood shutters that are just for decoration are stupid. Here is an example of a product available today. Companies I am talking to are racing to produce better looking shutters that actually do something
Solar shades block UV rays and sunlight while still maintaining your view outside. These shades cut down on glare, making them ideal for media rooms where light control is critical.
Solar screen shades will be incredibly effective in regards to reducing solar transmittance and increasing solar reflectance – the result is reducing the amount of heat that comes into a space, while also reducing the glare.
Solar shades are a type of window treatment that protects the inside of the building. The sunlight's rays are reflected instead of penetrating through the window, and the solar screens also actively absorb heat from the outside.
SMALL WIND TURBINES
HONEYWELL’S SMALL WIND TURBINES HAVE A BIG IMPACT
The Honeywell Wind Turbine’s Blade Tip Power System (BTPS) replaces the traditional gear box, shaft and generator of current wind turbine technology. The Honeywell Wind Turbine’s gearless Blade Tip Power System creates a “free wheeling’’ turbine, generating energy from the blade tips (where the speed lies) rather than through a mechanical center gear. By practically eliminating mechanical resistance and drag, the Honeywell Wind Turbine creates significant energy (2752 kWh/yr in class 4 winds at 33′) operating in a greater range of wind speeds (2-42 mph/3-68 km/h) than traditional wind turbines. The highest output, lowest cost per kWh installed turbine ever made (in class and size).
WHAT CAN I DO WITH A RAINWATER TURBINE?
Rain falls on your roof, heads to a gutter, then out to a storm sewer or down to a stream. On the way it will pass through small turbines attached to your gutters outside of your home.
Depending on how much rainfall exists will determine how much energy is produced. For illustrative purposes I have calculated its ability from average rainfall in the United States.
SecondWind provides a turnkey solution, reducing energy expenditures and saving wasted energy costs through efficient energy production & distribution directly back into your building. Our superior product design has no impact on the performance, pressure requirements, or energy loads of the existing system. By eliminating the need for battery packs and grid connections, SecondWind is able to provide an installation that requires less hardware and lower maintenance than competing products.
To cost effectively recover, generate, and consume energy from building exhaust, you must maintain peak efficiencies in three areas; installation, operation, and long-term maintenance. SecondWind’s turbines can be carried by hand to the point of installation, assembled with two people, and connected onto your building’s exhaust plume with pre-assembled components. Our turbine technology and integrated inverter system converts kinetic energy into mechanical energy, which, in turn, produces electrical energy.
SOLAR THERMAL OR SOLAR HEAT
Solar energy technologies fall into one of two primary categories: solar electric and solar thermal. Solar thermal, or solar heat, was first deployed in the US in the 19th century and is a tried and tested method of delivering heat.
Modern solar air heating panels are typically mounted vertically on south-facing walls, where solar exposure is greatest. This maximizes heating season performance, minimizes costs, and maintains the building’s aesthetics.
Solar energy striking the collector(s) passes through the high-transmittance solar glazing and heats the highly efficient absorber plate.
When there is heat available in the collector(s) and the building requires heat, simple controls automatically activate the fan.
The fan moves air through the collector(s), where it is heated, and then redistributed to the building using conventional, off-the-shelf, HVAC ducting and air handling equipment.
Check valves prevent reverse thermo-siphoning and uncalled-for heat, so you get clean, free, solar heat only when you want.
Solar air heat is often the most efficient and cost competitive solar technology available in colder climates, saving clients many thousands of dollars and eliminating toxic emissions!