Thanks for sharing your story, bobjengr. It shows the steps that often need to be taken along the way to achieve innovation, and it's interesting to see how far engineers have come. It sounds like at the time your invention was pretty state of the art! But you look back now and consider it "made by monkeys." It's always interesting the hindsight experience gives us.
Thanks, MyDesign, for explaining that. Your comments are always thoughtful and I appreciate the dialogue about matters that I am not so well-versed in. I am always impressed by how much I learn from our readers.
"Thanks for the explanation, Mydesign, I understand that. I was just wondering if that electricity that is being generated would pull some of the heat out of the building. Do you know what I mean? But perhaps not."
Elizabeth, it has two advantages. First it will protects sunlight from entering to room and hence the room temperature will be reduced.
Elizabeth--I worked on a project in the late "70s to design a water heater driven by solar energy. We used a glazer upon which was deposited a carbon material produced from incomplete combustion of an atmospheric gas burner. We then coated the tube sheet/carbon assembly with a clear coat to hold the carbon in place. The atmospheric burner was very similar to the type used in the citrus industry to produce "fog" needed, insuring a warmer atmosphere during freezing temperatures. These are called "smug pots" (for lack of a better word). Compared to technology existing today, it was absolutely Neanderthal, but we did get heated water with a 50 to 60 degree rise. Using a Gunfros pump, the water was circulated on a continuous basis. Makeup water was introduced using a solenoid valve actuated by a float assembly mounted in a small tank adjacent to the storage vessel. (Can't believe I'm remembering all of this!!!!!!) We were the first water heater manufacturer offering a solar water heater, at least in the "states". Most of the sales were in the southern part of our country due to lesser overcast you find in more northern states. The big problem was, at that time the cost per KW-hr was about $0.025 AND the payback was about three years. Good project but very time-consuming for the number of unites sold. ( I probably should enter this in the "Designed by Monkeys" category although I did get to use my heat transfer "book learning". ) Again, great post.
The idea for one mosaic window of solar energy-harvesting glass is an interesting one, NadineJ. That could not only be energy-efficient but also very creative. It would be cool if one day some clever engineers did something like this.
@ Ann R. Thryft, time is always the problem, so is the cost and expected-actual results equation. Many governments across the world have benefits in keeping such technologies on the back burner because they have financial interests in fossil fuels. Besides, such technologies are mostly expensive and government subsidies are needed to facilitate the adoption. But subsidies in this regard could be viewed as investment which will pay off soon.
@etmax: Yes solar power has given another dimension to the world of electricity. I think it's a good option to use and I feel many industries can make the full use of it. Anyway an extensive search / research has to be made before trying it out in the real world
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.