Just saw a good SOLAR ideagreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I just saw a good idea that was in a magazine clipping. It utilizes the solar heating power of the sun to heat a coffee table (it flips up to face the sun and would, I am guessing< have to be placed where it would recieve alot of sun indoors during the day). The surface of the table has some sort of ploimer inside that, when heated for a long time (it has a plexiglass shield over the surface) turns to a liquid at 81 degrees f. The table then emits steady heat all night, eventually beoming a solid again. It was stated that one of these tables could heat a bed room efficiently. They also had some sort of chest type model of the same thing, with a thermostat and fans that cut off when the elemant hit 75 degrees. Might be limited in scope, but good ideas that could lead to bigger better uses of the same principal.
-- Kevin in NC (Vantravlrs@aol.com), December 19, 2001
Sounds promising. Every little bit helps. Do you have any idea of the cost, is it quite expensive? This would be perfect in our living room. It faces south and all winter the sun streams in, at least on the days when it is not cloudy.
Talk to you later.
-- Bob in WI (email@example.com), December 20, 2001.
Guys, this is not heating the house. It IS providing a certain amount of thermal mass. I wouldn't spend a much for thermal mass, though. Find out how many btu's it can store per degree of temperature you raise it.
-- joj (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 20, 2001.
This technology is called phase change. There was a big push for phase change materials back in the early 80's when the Carter administration supported alternative energy research and tax credits.
You used to be able to buy tubes of phase change materials, IIRC it was often some sort of wax. A few ski areas used this technology when putting in sidewalks. I don't know how well they have held up.
A quick Google should bring up current info on this.
-- pc (email@example.com), December 20, 2001.