External Transparent Heat Transfer Wall

I’m experimenting with a transparent heat transfer wall.
It would be a transparent wall attached to the outer south wall, leaving about one inch between them. The out wall would be painted a dark color. Ideally it would be black but that would be too much of an eye sore. So dark brown would be fine. This way it would attract maximum heat from the sun.

The sun would pass through the transparent outer wall and hit the dark inner wall and get hot. The air trapped within the two walls would heat up and rise, pulling more air from below that would in turn heat up.

During the winter we could have an air passage from that area into the house where the hot air could pass. Because of the pressure of rising hot air it would naturally get pushed into the house. This technology works since I’ve seen similar set ups.

I have thought of another use for the same system but have yet to run it by engineers to see if my physics is right. In the summer the passage to the house would be closed and another one going outside would be opened. This means, if my theory is correct, that the hot air would pass up and back out into the outside, thus pulling heat from the house into the atmosphere.

This seems to be a good natural heating and cooling system using the thermodynamics of simple rising hot air and the sun. The wall could easilly be made out of glass or Plexiglas.

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

10 comments to “External Transparent Heat Transfer Wall”

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  1. Heather Y - October 24, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Waiting’s no good, Scott. Leaders never jump – they are pushed.

  2. scott - October 22, 2009 at 8:24 am

    We tried to promote the concept to one of Scotlands largest local authorities however, they decided that as the technology was in its infancy they did not wish to explore the system yet. It seems that some people need to be pushed in the right direction or we wait until someone with enough foresight comes to power.

  3. Heather Y - October 21, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    Scotland!Now there’s the ideal place to test this design- and test solar and wind AND the big issue, storage for wind and solar.

    Wet, cold windy winters and springtimes and recently some really hot high summer days – days that last 10 hours. Keep talking it up on your side of the Pond, Scott!

  4. Scott - October 21, 2009 at 8:33 am

    Keep up the good work guys. It would be great to see the project however being from scotland prevents this. The heat transfer wall is a great development. I’m sure that whoever comes up with a soloution that is effective and aesthetically pleasing is on to a winner. This market is not being exploited in the UK at present but i’m sure this will happen eventually.

  5. Heather Y - October 21, 2009 at 3:56 am

    I see the last comment was February of this year 2009.I hope this idea has been postponed,not abandoned.

    This is fascinating, and I hope to keep up with further research and experiments and applications on the show house.

    The way Gennaro and Vinnie seem to see this working reminds me of the way the people who make Wave Ventilation systems say their product works- it is a whole house venting system that circlates air, pulls the moist out of the lower floors and pushes it out, while pulling in dryer air.


  6. Gennaro Brooks-Church - February 11, 2009 at 10:31 am

    I know solar wall and think they have it perfect. I noticed they don’t do residential. Probably because there isn’t the market mass there yet. I’ve been meaning to contact them and see if they are interested in partnering up and installing the system on the Brooklyn green show house.

  7. scott - February 11, 2009 at 10:06 am

    The technology is available at present. The system is called solarwall using external cladding / facade sheets which contain tiny perforations in the sheet. The cavity behind the external sheet benefits from solar gain and air is pulled into the building and distributed via air ducts. For asthetic purposes, a transparent (glass) version would allow for many more application for use. It the way forward.

  8. vinnie - January 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I didnt make myself clear. I would believe 2 things would be at work. Allowing cooler air in at the lower level of the house and opening the opening in the upper part of the house would allow the warmer air to rise out of the house creating a cooler draft drawing cooler evening air in. Also if both vents were open behind the outside panel the flow of air might tend to enhance the outward flow of the warm air by creating a constant air flowup and out for the house air to join with on its merry outward warm flow.

  9. Gennaro Brooks-Church - January 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I’m still getting my head around the physics. In the evening the house wall would still be warm so the air would also be warm, so it would not work to pass the air into the house in the summer evenings. The air would be warmer than the night air.

    What I am hoping is that during the summer if you pass the air up the side of the house and back out into the atmosphere that the cool air coming in from the bottom picks up some warmth from the house wall and takes it out into the atmosphere, thus cooling the house. But I’ve not confirmed this with somebody more skilled at physics.

  10. vinnie - January 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    It would seem that this would be on the top floor of your building. Perhaps since your pic shows upper openings in both the transparenent and the inner wall you could use it as a thermostatically controlled vent to draw cooler air in in the summer evenings and let excess warmer air out (an attic vent of sorts)

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