Passive Solar Cooling Systems. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

There is quite alot of information on the Net about solar heating but very little that I can discover about passive solar cooling.White walls,shade and natural breezes only go so far.Out in the Middle East I believe they have chimneys for venting hot air ?

Is anyone else facing this problem of possibly not being able to run the air-conditioning system?

Suggestions,please ??

-- Chris (, April 28, 1999


I will have the same problem in hot humid Florida. I bought a dehumidifier to reduce the disconfort level somewhat and I also use it to reduce the humidity before sealing up the buckets for long term storage. A 6500 watt generator would handle a window air conditioner but not a central unit. There are evaporation systems for hot dry desert like areas but the only thing that might work would be to circulate air through buried ducts so that the heat is dispersed into the ground. The ground is supposed to stay around 65 degrees.

-- Steve (amazed@bbb.gom), April 28, 1999.

I tried and tried to find the site again last nite, but couldn't. Do have it on hard copy and will try to locate tonight. Apparently, the Romans dug out small tunnels under the ground into the house and orientation of window overhangs to create passive air conditioning. It would seem logical that stone or concrete in the interior away from solar warming would retain coolness. I believe their are also curtains that you can get to deflect heat. Will try and look these up tonight.

-- marsh (, April 28, 1999.

Thanks,keep the info coming !I had heard that in the UK,the Romans had underfloor perhaps it was Roman housing in Mediterranean climates that used a similar system for cooling instead ???

-- Chris (, April 28, 1999.

Chris, this is also a big problem for me in central NC, where the summer temps can easily stay in the 90s for days at a time and can even reach around 100, give or take. High humidity levels will make it quite dangerous. I bought a good battery-operated personal fan from Real Goods as a first step and may get one or two more. I've put dark bronze solar film on strategic windows (the film also greatly cuts down on the ability of passers by to see inside, but not too much on ability to see out) and it makes a significant difference in heat transfer. If we have water, I can use Cobra misters (around $12 at Wal-Mart) to cool the air by about 10-20 degrees, which can operate right outside the bedroom window. And I plan to get some of those "neck cooling" things, cloth tubes of special crystals which are soaked and then placed around the neck to cool the user by condensation. Then I might splurge and get one of those solar topees with solar=powered fans in the rop! Just yesterday I bought a cooler at Sam's, supposed to keep ice solid for five days in 90 degree temps. And I'll be looking seriously at that foil stuff you put in the attic, deflects heat out in summer, keeps it in in winter.

-- Old Git (, April 28, 1999.

Interesting possibilities. Here's what I'm going to try. At my Y2k retreat I have a spring fed creek. The water temp is 64 degrees F. I plan to pump the water through a car radiator with a small fan blowing through the radiator. By moving enough volume of water and air I hope to reduce the inside temp to comfortable levels. If anyone has done this, or can give me additional info, please email me at my address. It is a real address. If it works or I get any useful info, I'll pass it along. Thanks !

-- reed moore (, April 28, 1999.

---you have to get the hot air out, and replace it with cooler. Take the shadiest side of the house--long trench underground, lay in black pipe, have it come up above ground a little, screen the opening and add a cap to keep rain and critterz out. Install wind turbine roof vents in attic. Super insulate and tighten windows up there. The hot air will start to rise, drawing cooler air from that long pipe or pipe in the shady part of the yard. Keep your house tight otherwise. Let that cooler air in at the bottom. As it warms some it will draw. Hotter it gets outside, more cool air will be drawn in. That's one way, there's a lot more. Awnings over the windows are great, and super insulate your house--works for cooling and heating. Houses in the south are PITIFUL, REALLY PITIFUL when it comes to insulation and real quality windows. Quality windows are triple pane with argon or another gas inside, some have tiny louvers that are mylar/heat relective as well. I've seen 250,000$ brand new houses here in the south that were built with 1940's insulation technology. There's lots more.

-- zog (, April 28, 1999.

Reed Moore- sounds like what you are describing is a "swamp cooler" widely used in Arizona and the south before air conditioning improved on it. I'm not sure if air conditioning was the improvement or if the swamp cooler continued on because it was cheaper for folks to run. I lived in a house with one in Phoenix in 1980 and all I can remember about it was that it was in the ceiling and had water coils.(!) Maybe you can find out more info under that name.

-- sue (, April 29, 1999.

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