BASICS

How Do Low-E and Cloud Gel Heat and Illuminate?


Four Surprising Ideas

Suntek is built upon four surprising ideas, each based on the previous:

Imagine an insulating material that is also transparent - it sounds like a contradiction in terms. Such a material prevents the flow of heat, yet is invisible. Called Low-E, it makes glazings that insulate like walls, yet transmit 50% of sunlight. (see item 2 in previous Figure, and Section 14, Figure 1) A solar heat collector this efficient actually gets hot enough to char wood (400°F, or 200°C). A more practical use is the unique ability to heat buildings with only cloudlight in freezing weather.

Imagine a plastic film that, after your hand has rested on it for 5 seconds, leaves a white handprint that quickly disappears as the film cools to room temperature. Cloud Gel is a unique glazing material that transmits 90% of sunlight when heat or illumination are needed, but by turning opaque white, reflects 90% of sunlight when a room is too warm. (item 3, and Section 14, Figures 2 and 3) So in the summer, when a skylight is letting in too much light and heat, or a solar collector or greenhouse is too warm, the Cloud Gel automatically turns white, working like a thermostat to keep Low-E from burning down the house. It is made both as a flexible film and with glass, like Low-E

Weather Panels, so named because they transform foul weather into fair, are prefabricated roofing panels made with Low-E and Cloud Gel. (see Section 15, Figure 2) They also have a 1.5 inch (4 cm) thick layer of water for overnight heat storage. (item 5) Weather Panels made for solar heating are opaque, with an ordinary ceiling finish. (item 8) But for illumination, the Panels are transparent. (item 4) Because they heat with cloudlight, which comes from all parts of the sky, every day, solar heated buildings can now be any shape, making solar heating marketable at last. A test building with a Weather Panel roof was 85% solar heated in cold and cloudy Brussels, where 50% had been tops. (see Section 17)

Since Weather Panels cost the same as the roof and heater they replace, their heat and illumination are free. The Weather Panel can supply one-sixth of the world's energy free, save hundreds of thousands of lives each year from coal and oil pollution, greatly reduce global warming, and create billions of dollars in profits. (see Section 19) The automation prefabricated Weather Panel is a proprietary profit center that can drive rapid global market saturation, just as Low-E did.

Imagine acres of transparent roof that, when the sun comes out from behind a cloud, instantly turns white. Its a building shell of Weather Panels called the Climate Envelope because it creates a year-round tropical climate with no supplemental heating further north than Paris, Boston, or Tokyo. As well as heat and illumination, the Envelope gives protection from wind, rain, snow, and glare for gardens, trees, and people. It will cost little more than a sheet metal warehouse. By covering acres with cheap good weather, the Climate Envelope will radically change both the function and the form of architecture. (see photos and renderings in Section 8)

How Does The Weather Panel Work?

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