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Old 10-15-10, 01:12 PM   #1
Daox
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Default A Robot to Light Up Your Life (or at least your home)

This is basically a solatube on steroids. It has a tracker on the roof and delivers much more light. Interesting concept, but probably not practical. Still, cool enough to post.

A Robot to Light Up Your Life (or at least your home) | Techi.com





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Old 10-15-10, 09:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Still, cool enough to post.
Agreed, thanks.

From the first image, it looks extremely pricey. It would also be tempting to try to scale it up so it would be bright enough for, say, a gym. This apparatus can cook a hot dog in 12s.



But that might pose a fire hazard.
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Old 10-16-10, 12:41 AM   #3
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Wha? Hotdog in 12 seconds? NICE!!

That solatube thing looks like a 1/5 slice of a dish..
If they are going to add a solar tracker, why not have a larger capture area?


However, having a solar powered robot gathering photons is kinda cool..
(I like mine)!
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Old 10-17-10, 11:30 PM   #4
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I posted the pictures of my solatube install in a different thread here. that is the smallest sized tube I could buy a 10". They go up to 18" that I've seen in stores locally. a little rough math suggests that the 18" will let in 3 times as much light as my 10". My old house had a 12" I believe in the kitchen and it was blinding to look at directly on a sunny day.

Basically my point is I seriously doubt you would need something like this in a residential house. Maybe a large commercial store would see pay back but at home you never would.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:14 AM   #5
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With a larger light collector like this you could light multiple rooms tho by having the light split off from a light shaft.
I've also been thinking about building a house at some point that has very few windows, because windows are a big source of heat loss, so having a few small windows that don't open, a few that do open for ventilation and light tubes like this to provide most of the light.
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Old 10-18-10, 10:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
With a larger light collector like this you could light multiple rooms tho by having the light split off from a light shaft.
I've also been thinking about building a house at some point that has very few windows, because windows are a big source of heat loss, so having a few small windows that don't open, a few that do open for ventilation and light tubes like this to provide most of the light.

If I was starting from scratch, I would use a lot of south facing triple pane super tight windows, and very few on the North side.
In our little home, Southern windows provide a lot of the required BTUs during the winter.


On days like today, when it's not real cold outdoors (50s) I open the front door and let the sun in.
The heat coming in the storm door's single pane, more than makes up for the loss out the leaky storm door..
Right now, the Heatpump is off and the living room is toasty..

However, I would not go overboard with southern glass, if you have hot sunny summers.
Your shades need to be able to reflect most of that energy back outdoors.
That needs to be a shade/window design consideration.
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Old 10-18-10, 12:52 PM   #7
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Agreed, with a well designed overhang or adjustable shades south facing windows do a great job of heating the house up.

My super leaky low wall insulation house get up to a nice toasty 23 or 24 C on sunny days when it's in the low teens outside and that is enough to not need the fire going or heat pump running unless we drop near freezing at night. If the house was better insulated I don't think we'd need heating at all on sunny days.

The overhangs work out pretty well that no sun comes directly in until late august and is pouring in by early october on all of our rooms except one basement window that has no overhang. It gets hot during the summer so we keep the blinds closed in it.

Today is cloudy unlike yesterdays full sun and the house is much cooler and not warming. It's 18 upstairs at the moment so probably 16 down. I'll be forced to light the fire in a few hours.
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Old 10-18-10, 02:22 PM   #8
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When we purchased this house in 1973, it had large canvas awnings for the front and side (west) windows.

They were great during the summer, but had to be taken indoors during the winter.
Way too much work..

We ordered Low-E replacement windows (expect for the picture window), but
it seems they messed up our order and we got the plain model..
If we had not got such a great deal on the installation (from a friend),
I would have sent them back..

~~~

I like the idea of the Over-hang.. I see than built into the houses down in Texas.
I was thinking of adding some stylish looking PV panels above my southern windows.
But, my wife doesn't think they look like real awnings..
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Old 10-18-10, 04:13 PM   #9
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I had to look at your picture again to notice you had no overhangs. Pretty much every house built up here has at least 18" if not 2 feet of overhang. It's just standard here, done more to keep rain off of the siding then for solar shading. I just lucked out when we bought this place.

The other advantage of the overhang is that means the top of the trusses on the roof are 8" or so above the top of the wall meaning I have 6" of insulation on top of the plate and still have space for venting. I then step it up to nearly 2' deep back from the wall. It's not a uniform R60 across the entire roof but it is over 95% of it and the remaining 5% gets close to R20
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Old 10-18-10, 04:41 PM   #10
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Yeah, no overhang means no real area to place insulation over the wall top plate.
And, there aren't any soffits to hold vents..


When we had the playroom addition built on the back of our house, we got 6" soffits! And, a ridge vent! It was in the early 80s..
That attic area is enclosed, no access. No way to add insulation without doing some cutting.


After adding attic insulation last year (to the main 1956 attic),
I stuffed those tight wall-cap areas with as much insulation as I could fit in there, without compressing it too much..
(Since there is already zero air flow).
I used my IR pistola to find where heat was coming up from below..


My Mom's house has some real overhang..


It does get a bit sunny in south Texas..

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