|Seattle, Washington, United States|
(projects i'm involved in)
Architectural and industrial design of autonomous buildings, thermal-mass use to adjust comfort zone in concrete wall systems using packaged diatomaceous earth for insulation during the pour, adjust insulation & concrete widths to thermal simulation by site, been a carpenter so it works.
Collect 550F heat during the day in parabolic troughs, using a thermal fluid this is stored in enough volume to heat the home all night, and, can burn the bacon or do laundry so all those thermal needs are supplied by solar-thermal.
Cooling is supplied by a dish collector to get the 2,200F needed to run an ammonia refrigeration system that cools the same fluid down to -35F all day to cool the home during summer and make ice.
To finish an autonomous home requires a wastewater processing system, this used to supply the home in two ways, the solids can be digested to natural gas, methane, along with that is a processing of the secondary effluent, solids removed to grow & harvest the biomass for biodiesel at the home, the water almost pure at the end of the process so treated and recycled; the pressed biomass cakes good soil enhancements. This is worth about 3-gallons of biodiesel per day per adult on the home system.
This type of system is being researched but only on a large scale, this is residential scale, a miniaturized version. Holding times are significant as biomass doesn't remove the stuff very fast so my grower-harvester cube is 16" on a side and has 28-times the lighted surface as footprint, two 7-foot high stacks should handle a family of four, collectors & tanks can be any reasonable distance from the home & pipe the fluid around.
The home is now ready for PV-battery arrays to supply the electricity for lighting and small appliances, computer & tv. For high-current needs and backup a 3.5-kv to 5-kw running on biodiesel makes sense.
WIND FENCE DESIGN: Discovered first in Phoenix, AZ, very arid 6"-10"/year of rain, 10% or less humidity most summer days, the afternoon wind off the pavement was 116F average; tested later at Reno, NV, June through December the past year.
Take typical trellis slates, 3/8" x 1-1/4" and about 2-1/2 to 3 feet long, cut one end angled to drive into the ground angled away from the prevailing strong winds, and at about 45-degrees, no need to change them over a year, flat side to the wind and spaced about 1-1/2 times the width apart.
That's it. These work by slowing the wind but allowing enough air through to kill the typical large roll of air from a fence, things get deposited behind them, the shade helps with moisture retention along with the wind reduction.
I used a test plot against another in Reno, no contest, volunteers germinated in no time whereas the other had nothing weeks later.
This design takes wall and roof panels to create a small living space that stays comfortable on its own using passive solar.