So, these passive solar roofing tiles look like a clever idea. But it got me to thinking, those tiles look a lot like glass bottles cut in half. Now I am thinking about designs for a passive solar heater... the simplest would be to embed half-glass bottles into the exterior of any cob wall. Why not just make bottle windows? Sometimes you might want the structural integrity - this design would simply make the wall able to catch and store energy more efficiently.
The bottles could also be added to something like an exterior cob bench. Or used improve the efficiency of a cob wall designed to stretch the climate for a frost-sensitive tree or section of garden.
Only slightly more complex would involve arranging glass bottles into tubes that would form a convection, pumping hot air into the interior of the house. Something similar to those pop-can solar air heaters, but with a cobby-earthy esthetic. Problem here is heat loss during the nighttime, so you would need to be able to close the vents. This design could be also used to retrofit. Build a glass/cob wall tower external to the house with intake and outtake and you have an external solar furnace, that might even put out heat after the sun has gone down.
Passive Solar Glass Roofing Tiles 9 comments October 25, 2010 in Buildings, Clean Energy, Consumer Technology
Interested in re-roofing your house? Or building a home and wondering what roofing system to go with? Check this out… Swedish company SolTech Energy has developed some cool-looking, award-winning solar glass roofing tiles. (Note: these are not active solar tiles but a passive solar roofing option.)
The glass tiles can be installed using traditional roof tile installation methods, and the tiles have a longer life than conventional concrete or clay roofing tiles.
How does the solar glass roofing system work? Preston Koerner of Jetson Green reports: “air below the glass tile is heated by the sun and redirected for use by the central heating system. The system works with air-based and water-based heating systems, including, for example, a ground source heat pump, air heat pump, pellet boiler, oil boiler, or electric boiler.”
The system is available commercially in Sweden and Spain and SolTech Energy intends to bring it to the U.S. in 2011.
The roof system is especially helpful in snowy climates since snow easily slides down the glassy tiles. The system won the Hottest New Materials 2010 award from the North Building Fair (aka Nordbygg).
Excellent! Though, with that design, maybe you would want to paint the back side of the bottle black. Easy to do, just lay the bottle on it's side and fill with paint. Or you could insert some sort of thermal mass into each bottle. Little jeenie sculptures in the bottle , or some dark, large diameter gravel.