Keep Warm with a Low-Tech, Solar Powered Radiator
Images Courtesy of Florent Bouhey Fayolle
Space and water heating are responsible for about two thirds of energy use in American homes. Considering that the conventional choices for home heating are oil and gas, it's not easy to find a sustainable way to keep warm in the winter months. But if you're not up for the move to a passive house, don't worry; there's a green solution for your heating woes. It's the Sun Container, a solar powered radiator.The design is the work of Florent Bouhey Fayolle, a student at the University of Art and Design (ECAL) in Lausanne, Switzerland. An array of pieces of slate sit under a glass bell that both traps the heat absorbed by the slate and increases the temperature in the Sun Container. The design sits on an aluminum base that allows heat to ventilate out.
The design is in a different category of solar power, using natural materials to channel heat rather than sunlight to produce electricity. But for all its ingenuity, Fayolle's Sun Container leaves a big question unanswered: how do you use it? If there's no way to store heat to release later (and I don't see one in the renderings), it will only work in direct sunlight. Not too useful on a cloudy winter day, or inside.
But misgivings aside, the Sun Container deserves credit as a remarkably low-tech, simple, zero-emission heat source. No cords, no fuel, no complications.
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