Solar chimney – Such a breather!

SacredGroves believes in construction of a space with minimum investments. Creating spaces by reusing materials is one of the ways to do it. Shipping containers turned out to be a very good option to create spaces. The tool room of the site is one of the spaces created using a shipping container. The locking system of the container secures the heavy machines and the small tools from any chance of theft. Keeping the security reasons in mind, the tool room container could not have a window opening. The need for proper ventilation inside was felt by the people taking care of the tool room. Two interns from France, Nicolas and Lea worked together to come up with an idea of installing a Solar Chimney in the tool room container.IMG_20141117_164905520
A solar chimney — often referred to as a thermal chimney — is a way of improving the natural ventilation of buildings by using convection of air heated by passive solar energy. A simple description of a solar chimney is that of a vertical shaft utilizing solar energy to enhance the natural stack ventilation through a building.
In its simplest form, the solar chimney consists of a black-painted chimney. During the day solar energy heats the chimney and the air within it, creating an updraft of air in the chimney. The suction created at the chimney’s base can be used to ventilate and cool the building below. In most parts of the world it is easier to harness wind power for such ventilation as with a wind catcher, but on hot windless days, a Solar chimney can provide ventilation where otherwise there would be none.
There are howeverIMG_20141117_164852209 a number of solar chimney variations. The basic design elements of a solar chimney are:
The solar collector area: This can be located in the top part of the chimney or can include the entire shaft. The orientation, type of glazing, insulation and thermal properties of this element are crucial for harnessing, retaining and utilizing solar gains
The main ventilation shaft: The location, height, cross section and the thermal properties of this structure are also very important.
The inlet and outlet air apertures: The sizes, location as well as aerodynamic aspects of these elements are also significant.
A principle has been proposed for solar power generation, using a large greenhouse at the base rather than relying solely on heating the chimney itself.
Solar chimneys are painted black so that they absorb the sun’s heat more effectively. When the air inside the chimney is heated, it rises and pulls cold air out from under the ground via the heat exchange tubes. As observed the installation of a Solar Chimney was a great relief for the people in the tool room.

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