Saturday, June 8, 2013

Using Reflectors to Improve Collector/Window Solar Gain

I've added a new section that covers using reflectors to improve the performance of solar collector  or passive solar gain windows.

The section covers:

  • Design tables that allow you determine the benefit of reflectors of various sizes and to optimize the placement of the reflector.
  • An easy to build earth-sun simulator that allows you to see how a reflector of a given size and shape will perform for any location at any time of the year at any hour of the day.
  • Examples of the use of reflectors to improve collector performance.
Reflectors offer a uniquely effective way to increase the energy produced by a collector in that they increase the solar energy incident on the collector without increasing the heat losses from the collector -- so, you get both an increase in solar input and an increase in collector efficiency -- see the new section for more on this.

This earth-simulator allows reflector performance to be seen  for
any location and for any time of year and for any time of day.
A quick spin of the turntable shows the reflector light pattern for a full day.
Can also be used for shading and lighting studies.
Lots of fun!
Example of reflector performance table.

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