The Cabin


summer 2004

summer 2005
In addition to providing 200 square feet of space for meeting or meditation, the cabin provides an additional demonstration of the ability to capture and store solar heat. The south face of this building contains two 20 sq foot double-glazed windows and a six-foot wide double glazed sliding door entry. The east wall has a small window and another of the 20 sq foot double-glazed windows. The north wall has two more of the 20 sq foot double-glazed windows, while the west wall only has a small octagonal window high up on the wall. The ceiling has an insulation value of R-30 through out and the wall reach R-20 where the windows aren’t.
Since the north windows are there to provide light, window treatments have been made to increase the R-value here while not significantly reducing the contribution of light. This was achieved using oak-faced frames and a large sheet of Shoji paper. This facade is backed up by air spaces created by two sheets of 4-mil polyethylene behind. These window treatments fit tightly into the oak frames around the windows to increase the normal R-2 rating for double glazed window to a total of R-5. While not up to the value of R-20 for the walls, it is clearly an improvement over just the plain windows.

Examples of how this combination of solar aperture, insulation and thermal mass behave under different conditions are presented in the temperature monitoring data.

Future plans for the cabin include the installation of powered insulating shades on the south windows that will automatically open when the sun shines on photocells and close when the sun goes down. The goal here is to increase the effectiveness of storing the solar-derived heat

movie demo of auto shade

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