Thursday, January 05, 2006


i've spent the past couple days working on the kitchen's solar performance. i've learned a lot and i've got a stack of books, a long list of websites and several computer programs that i've been using to determine how much glass we need and where, how big the overhangs need to be, how thick the floor slab needs to be. ideally, i'd like destiny's kitchen to need little additional heat during the gathering season. this requires a strategy where there is enough glass to both heat the building immediately and to store heat for radiation in the evening. but, it is important that the building not be too hot, which is a common problem with passive solar designs. achieving a balance between too hot and too cold is all there is to it. but to find that balance requires determining many factors about the building and then calculating how the building will respond the climate. i have modelled the kitchen in a spreadsheet with calculations i've pulled from a couple different books. i've also modelled it with some success using the department of energy's tool called energyPlus but it's a cumbersome and massive program that while powerful is difficult. as soon as i've got some results that i think are solid i'll post them here.


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