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Mechanix Illustrated 1959 article: Heat Your House With Solar Energy

Mechanix Illustrated 1959 article: Heat Your House With Solar Energy

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Published by rodger_22
Fabulous article by solar pioneer John I Yellot. As published in Mechanix Illustrated April 1959. Describes two early solar thermal houses. One house built by MIT in Massachusetts, and another in Phoenix, Arizona. Details on materials and construction of solar thermal houses.
Fabulous article by solar pioneer John I Yellot. As published in Mechanix Illustrated April 1959. Describes two early solar thermal houses. One house built by MIT in Massachusetts, and another in Phoenix, Arizona. Details on materials and construction of solar thermal houses.

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Published by: rodger_22 on Nov 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/14/2011

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H€&T
YSLJffiE
h€#EJSffi
lfi/rT+*
SalahE4g
ByJohn
I.
Yellott*
qrIIE
SOLAR
HOUSE,
a
topic
of
con-
I
versation
for
many
years,
is
now
a
practical
reality.If
you
live
in
a
sunnyregionand
your
househas
severalhun-dred
square
feet
of
south-facing
roof or
wall
area
whichis
free
from
shade
on
winter
days,
there'sa
goodchance
that
you
can make
direct
use
of the
sun
tosupply
most of
the
heatneeded
foryour
comfort
anddomestic
hot
water
suppiy.
In
the
past,solar-heated
systems
were
too
expensive
for
use
in
any
but
southern
latitudes.
Today,
thanks
to
new
materials
and
ideas,
they
are
worth
considering
as
far north
as
Boston'
i,T"i,"T"i,'f"'i
l'""l&""i
,'l"",xi'J9;'",1:ifj':#i,"'fJl"3l
i3'1t"'t"1",i;
now renders
mn8ultlna 8€rlce8
in
the neld
ol
mechanlralenginerlDg
106
The
amount
of
solarenergy
whieh
is
available
during
the
winter
varies
widely
with
latitudes,
altitude
and
par-
ticularlywith
the
degree
of
cloudiness
prevailing.
During
the
winter,
there
is
plenty
of
solar
energy
over
most
of
North
America
and
the
amount
reach-
ing
horizontal
surfaces
is
measured
daily
at
some90
stations
o{ the
U.
S.
and
Canadian
Weather
Bureaus.
Ac-tual
hours
ofsunshine
perday
and
per-
centage
of
possible
sunnyhours arere-corded
for
180
locations.For
instance,
in
the
month
of
January,
when
most
people
are
concerned
with
heating
no
Mechaaix
TlIustrated
 
matter
wherethey
live,
sunshine
varied
from
eightper
cent of
the
possible
hours
in
Roseburg,Oregon,
to
?9
per
cent
in
Pueblo,
Colorado.Your
localWeather
Bureau
can
give youthe
data
for
your
own
area.
Monthly
and annual
sum-
maries
can
be
purchased
from
the
Superintendent
of
Docurnents,
Gov-
ernment
Printing
Office,
Washington,
D.
C.,
for
$4
per
year,under the
title,"Climatological
Data,National
Sum-mary.tt
Theprinciples
of
solar
heating
are
simple.
The
trick
isto
install
the
equip-
mentat
a
costso
low
that
the
total
an-
nual
eost
of
owning
it
and
whatever
auxiliary
equipment
is needed
to ensure
goodyear-round
performanee
is
less
than the
cost of
doing theentireheating
jobbv
conventional
methods.
All
solar
heating
systems
use
some
version
of
the
greenhouse
eftect.
Theenergy
which
comes
to
us
from
the
sun
is
in
the
forsr
of
relatively
short
waves.These
waves
pass
freely
through ordi-
nary
window
glass
and many
plastic
materials.
If
therays
fall
on
non-re-flective
surfaces such
as
rugs, draperies
and
furniture,they
are
absorbed
and
the
sun-warmed surfaces
in
turn
emit
long-wave heat rays
which
are trapped
beneath
the
glazing.
A
solarheating
system
requires three
major
parts.
The
first
is
some
form
of
collector
which
catches
the
sun's
heatand
transfers
it
to
a
fluid
(water
or
air)
which
carries
it
away.
The
secondis
some
meansof
storing
the
heatwhen
thesun
sets
or is
shut
off
by clouds.
The
third
is
a
method
by which
the
stored
SCHEMAflC LAYOITTolMI rorch-ty1r
solcehouse.
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ls
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PUilP
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PULIS'IOTUATTR
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DISTNISUIES
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":]
,il
iil
L
ii
ri
i
heatcan
be
made
available
to
warm
the
house.
Collectors
consist
of
threemain
ele-
ments:
the
glazing,
which
traps
the
sun's
rays
andhelps
retain
the
heit:
the
\lackened
surface,
which
absorbs'
theheatand
transfers
it
to
water
or
air
to
be
conducted
away;
and
the
insulefio;.which
preventsthecollectedheat
from
beingwasted.
For
the
glazing,
glass
has
excellentpropefiies-
but is
expensive
to buy
and
i*411
and
issubjecltobreakage.
n"-
cently,
plastic
films
withthi
rishtoptical
properties
and
the
abilitv"to
withstand
theeffectsof
weather
ani th"sun'sultra-violet
rays
have
become
available.
Promineni
amongthese
is
Mylar,
producedby
Du
Pontind
avail-
able
in
#-inch-wide
rolls,
.005-inch
t\iq\.
Thu
tryg
principal
requirementswhichplasticfilms
mustmeetare
resist-
an^ce
to
_weathering
and
opaqueness
to
infra-red
rays:The
price
o-f
srich
film
is
+
the
same
range
as
glass.
However.the
cost
ofinstallation
is
much
less
andthedesign
ofthecollector
i";";h;;;;
flexible.
-For
the
collection
surface
below
the
glazin_g,
Revere
Copper
"rd
B;;;-C";:
pany
has.developeda means
of
making
sheets
of
coppercontaining
straiEhitubes
which
are
integral
witlithe
shEet
itself:.
Called
Tube-In-Strip,
this
ma_
terial
is
available
in
widtG'up
to
42
inct'es
with
tubes
as
large
",or.
irr"t
in
diameter.
Revere
carisupply
T"i;:
I-n-Strlp
in
lengths
up
to
lf
ieet
*ittr
the
tubesalreadyinflated,
or
in
rolls
several
hundred
feetlong
which
canbein-flated
on
the
job.
Forthe
insulation
in
the
collector.
ro_ck
wool
or
Fiberglas
will
do
"
nood
job.
Other
tytrles
of
reflective
insulition
ale
alsorelatively
inexpensive
and
effective.
Foil-enclosed
Fiberelas.
for
example,
has
excellent
insulati6n
nron_
erties.
Thenew
foamed
materialsaie
rajr.i*.-d€,*
MIT.
SOtAn
HOUSE
crt
Lexing-
ton,
Mces.,
hor
640
eq.
fl.
cneg
ol
colleclorg,
iB lirsl
designod
tor
ftrmily
ia
ct uorlhern
climate.
SI
Phob
@urtsJ
Scl@tr
Setrl@

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