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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
The German government (and a few other European countries are following the lead) require new construction to follow a very stringent energy efficient standard called PassivHaus. Basically it requires a very low annual energy use per square area. Following this standard means most houses insulated this well do not need a furnace but most of the heating needs are from body heat, appliances and lights. For the coldest parts of the winter, some electric baseboard heaters are used and still stay under the low annual energy use total. About 2 years ago, there were thousands of these houses in Germany and roughly the same amount in other parts of the world (mostly Sweden). North America only had 13 houses registered as PassivHaus complaint at that time. I have an idea for improving on one aspect of low energy houses in the form of an air-to-air heat exchanger to be installed in every room and include batteries, inverters, and charge controllers for the use of solar cells and for integrating occupancy testing, fire alarms and lighting into one ceiling fixture and one control panel (replacing the light switch). This unit will fit inside the wall cavity of the thick well insulated walls and can also control solar heat for hot water and the minor amount of heating needed. The houses containing these units will need no furnace and no mechanical room other then a few locations for hot water tanks (close to each sink/shower/appliance using hot water). Only the unit will break the wall seal for air and the plumbing and wiring of solar panels (both PV and thermal). The advantage of having a unit in each room is to maintain indoor and outdoor pressure the same so air has no force to move it through leaks.

If I want to design, prototype, manufacture, and promote such units, what would be your arguments to build or renovate houses to the standards high enough to go without a furnace?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:36 pm 
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At IREA we are an educational organization and try to help promote people such as yourself to meet the public so they can get to know you and you would be the authority on your area such as passiv house. Do they also talk about air to air heat exchangers to keep fresh air inside the house. A really well sealed house will build up toxins quicker than an old house and need to be flushed out. We (IREA) put quite money into a small structure about 10 ft by 24ft that is able to grow plants during the winter with supplemental heat from a light bulb. The strategy behind that is just to keep the house just above freezing. A problem that we had is that it gets too warm during the day. They are also experimenting with heat storage. The heat storage didn't work very well. They ar still exerimenting with that. The aim is that the peak temperature will be moderated by the absorption of energy into the heat storage medium.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Location: Central Colorado
What does your IREA stand for? It is the name of our local utility that I gave the finger to in 1997!!
http://www.earthship.com has the answer to greenhouse thermal mass.
There are billions upon billions of discarded tires in the world, and dirt everywhere. Of course, people have also used discarded 55 gallon drums for water or specially made colored water columns, and rock walls for thermal mass. Variations on the trombe wall.
Some use sheet metal or other piping with low power fans, and most natural convection.
I wonder about Germany. When I was stationed there, it was cloudy a lot. Not really the best place for solar PV or passive solar heat. They have more solar than the rest of the European countries. Has AGW changed their climate to more sunny since 1969?
Also, the numerous straw bale houses are super insulated and require very little heat and cooling inputs. Depends on the amount of glass and whether it is double or triple glazed.
Another thing of interest to you;
Ranges of small mammals extended northwards during Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

Northward range extension of a diminutive-sized mammal (Ectocion parvus) and the implication of body size change during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum - Burger (2012)

Abstract: "An abrupt global warming event marks the Paleocene-Eocene boundary, known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). The event is distinguished in the strata globally by a significant negative excursion of δ13C ratio values. The response of the terrestrial biota to the abrupt climatic change has been well studied in northern Wyoming in the Bighorn Basin, where it has been observed that the mammalian fauna during the global warming event is represented by smaller, but morphologically similar species to those found later in the Eocene. Various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the observation smaller body sizes during the global warming event. In this article, evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that the observed body size decrease during the PETM was influenced by the appearance of smaller southern species who extended their geographic range northward during the abnormal global warming event. Using disperse organic carbon isotopic ratios of bulk sediment, the negative excursion of δ13C was located in the Piceance Creek Basin of western Colorado, 400 kilometers to the south of the Bighorn Basin. Below the stratigraphic level marking the negative carbon excursion in the Piceance Creek Basin are five specimens of the phenacodontid mammal (Ectocion parvus), a diminutive species of the genus Ectocion restricted to the basal Eocene (Wa-0 Biozone) in northern Wyoming. The five specimens of Ectocion parvus are associated with a late Paleocene (Clarkforkian) mammalian fauna in Colorado, implying that the diminutive species extended its geographic range northward during the global warming event. This evidence supports biogeographic models that assume poleward biogeographic shifts during global warming events, and will have modern day implications for the conservation of species as global temperatures rise in the near future."

Citation: Benjamin John Burger, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.09.008.

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“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”― Chief Seattle
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Last edited by Johhny Electriglide on Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:39 pm 
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Johhny Electriglide wrote:
What does your IREA stand for? It is the name of our local utility that I gave the finger to in 1997!!
http://www.earthship.com has the answer to greenhouse thermal mass.
There are billions upon billions of discarded tires in the world, and dirt everywhere. Of course, people have also used discarded 55 gallon drums for water or specially made colored water columns, and rock walls for thermal mass. Variations on the trombe wall.
Some use sheet metal or other piping with low power fans, and most natural convection.
I wonder about Germany. When I was stationed there, it was cloudy a lot. Not really the best place for solar PV or passive solar heat. They have more solar than the rest of the European countries. Has AGW changed their climate to more sunny since 1969?

Illinois Renewable Energy Association
http://www.illinoisrenew.org/

We are a 501 c3 non profit organization.

We have a house that is privately owned on a tour. It has a trombe wall built into it facing south with a lot glass to let in the sun. The couple that own it, are quite well off and gone to whatever expense they wish to have what they want. Obviously it is a beautiful place. It isn't a passiv house like Anne talks about though. The owners are some of our valued contirbutors to the fair that we put on and also help with our education process.


There is another building that they have built for use of education is the kickapoo center. It has metal roof that will collect heat during the daya as air to help heat the building. In the experimental process to learn and study from.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Johhny Electriglide wrote:
They [Germany] have more solar than the rest of the European countries. Has AGW changed their climate to more sunny since 1969?
nope, it is rather that they have no access to traditional fuels from within Germany so decided that rather then build more nuclear power stations, that they would provide incentives for renewable energy... in the form of a guaranteed price for the electricity they would buy so banks were sure they would be paid back for loans to install stuff like solar and wind. It is all market-driven and private and only requires a rule of a guaranteed price forced on the electrical grid companies (which by the way is cheaper then the costs of building the same wattage in nuclear). Less sun just means more panels are needed. More clouds just mean the panels rarely track the sun but just settle for what reflects off the cloudy sky (cheaper structurally to compensate for more panel area).


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