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Hurricane resistant solar installations

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  • Andrew McCalla
    All, See attached for a testimonial image from a hurricane-surviving array. Notice that most all of the shingles have been removed, but the array is intact.
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 5, 2006
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      All,

       

      See attached for a testimonial image from a hurricane-surviving array.  Notice that most all of the shingles have been removed, but the array is intact.

       

      Essentially, a system can be engineered to stay put in most any set of conditions reasonable.  The key there is “engineered”.   Uplift loads and pullout strengths can be carefully calculated, but I think the main problem for an array in one of these storms, against which safeguards are difficult to implement, is flying debris.

       

      Andrew H. McCalla

      NABCEP Certified Solar PV System Installer (TM)

       

      Meridian Energy Systems

      2300 S. Lamar, Ste. 107

      Austin, TX   78704

       

      Voice: (512) 448-0055

      Fax:    (512) 448-0045

      www.meridiansolar.com

       

    • Susan Silvano
      Yes, I ve heard about the problems with flying debris, and know that for some people, the solution is to take the panels down, but that is way too big a job
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 5, 2006
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        Yes, I've heard about the problems with flying debris, and know that for some people, the solution is to take the panels down, but that is way too big a job when you have lots!!


        On Oct 5, 2006, at 9:15 AM, Andrew McCalla wrote:

        All,

         

        See attached for a testimonial image from a hurricane-surviving array.  Notice that most all of the shingles have been removed, but the array is intact.

         

        Essentially, a system can be engineered to stay put in most any set of conditions reasonable.  The key there is “engineered”.   Uplift loads and pullout strengths can be carefully calculated, but I think the main problem for an array in one of these storms, against which safeguards are difficult to implement, is flying debris.

         

        Andrew H. McCalla

        NABCEP Certified Solar PV System Installer (TM)

         

        Meridian Energy Systems

        2300 S. Lamar, Ste. 107

        Austin, TX   78704

         

        Voice: (512) 448-0055

        Fax:    (512) 448-0045

        www.meridiansolar.com

         

        <Hurricane Array.jpg>

      • Susan Silvano
        Thanks, Lunce. I ll do some more research on Bikerts. I hate to sound like a dummy, but would the curtain have to be drawn all day/ night to quiet down the
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 5, 2006
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          Thanks, Lunce. I'll do some more research on Bikerts. I hate to
          sound like a dummy, but would the curtain have to be drawn all day/
          night to "quiet down" the space?

          On Oct 4, 2006, at 9:59 PM, Lunce wrote:

          > That reflective detail was the hallmark of Gunnar Birkerts. The
          > detail
          > involves using two curved mirrors to bring indirect light into the
          > space. He used that detail on many of his projects (widely published
          > once, but I was not able to find a site with that famous detail on
          > short
          > notice)
          >
          > Many years ago, I experienced that detail at the Museum of Glass at
          > Corning, NY. It is a fascinating detail - however creating an
          > extremely
          > busy space inside. Through the curved mirror surfaces one would
          > experience the motion of cars moving up and curved along in most
          > fasinating directions....It works well in a space that can stand that
          > much movement. Unfortunately for much of the Corning glass museum
          > they
          > were showing very small fine objects - I remember one room where they
          > showcased delicate escavated 2nd century glassware. To avoid the
          > movement from exterior, they used a thin curtain floor to ceiling
          > on the
          > inside of those rooms which "quiet down" the space. I remember
          > feeling
          > enormous disappointment then, thinking that the application did not
          > serve the contents that the space was designed for. And also that the
          > brilliance of that detail was eradicated by the use of a simple
          > semi-sheer curtain. Now, more than 20 years later, my
          > interpretation is
          > somewhat altered -the architect succeeded in bringing the indirect
          > light, and the user succeeded in altering the space to suit the
          > exhibit
          > eliminating the distractions and soften the light to a soft glow.
          >
          > Lunce
          >
          > Ariel Thomann wrote:
          >
          >> OK, here's my crazy idea, and it's one I haven't seen in any book on
          >> passive solar
          >> design. It goes back to my high-school physics and what I learned
          >> there about what
          >> happens to light when it hits glass. Normally it goes right on
          >> through, and that's what
          >> a window is all about. However, if you get your cheek against a
          >> window
          >> and look at the
          >> glass, you will see that a short distance from you it starts
          >> acting as
          >> a weak mirror,
          >> and as look at it further away, it acts totally as a mirror and you
          >> can't see anything
          >> on the other side. It's total reflection; check out the following:
          >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_internal_reflection
          >> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_internal_reflection>
          >>
          >> It seems to me that if you lean your window outward at the top
          >> (probably 10 degree angle
          >> suffices for your latitude; it will vary slightly depending on
          >> type of
          >> glass, will also
          >> be slightly different for UV and IR) it will reflect back out
          >> essentially all the direct
          >> sunlight (thus making your floor OUTside that window very hot...).
          >> That angle would be
          >> for noontime sun on the summer solstice; it would take substantially
          >> greater tilt to do
          >> the job at other times of the year and day. But you might find that
          >> your solar heat
          >> gain goes down a fair bit, at a relatively low cost.
          >>
          >> Side effect: when you look from inside out at night, you will see
          >> only
          >> ceiling
          >> reflections. And, oh, looking from outside in at night would be
          >> totally transparent
          >> (but you may need to do something to keep pets, kids and other
          >> retards
          >> from crashing
          >> into the glass -- adults too, I guess).
          >>
          >> I'm sure 99% of builders will think it's crazy, so discuss it instead
          >> with someone who
          >> knows optics better than I do. Enjoy.
          >>
          >> Let me know the outcome!
          >>
          >> Ariel
          >> - We are all Human beings here together. We have to help one another,
          >> since otherwise
          >> there is NO ONE who will help.
          >> - All countries need a NO REGRETS strategic energy policy. Think
          >> ahead
          >> 7 generations.
          >> ------------------------------------
          >>
          >>> Cabana: Double french doors facing west, but with a veranda overhang
          >> of about 8
          >>> feet. Two largish windows facing south, toward the
          >>> harbor. None east.
          >>> Kid's house: Lots of windows and a couple of sliding glass doors
          >> facing south,
          >>> toward the harbor, some with verandas. One west, no overhang. Four
          >> east, no
          >>> overhang.
          >>> Our house: (just starting) Will have eight sliding glass doors
          >>> facing south, toward the harbor, with six of them under the veranda
          >> overhang of 13
          >>> feet. Five large windows with no overhang. Just two large windows
          >> and a glass door
          >>> facing west. Four windows and a glass door facing east.
          >>>
          >>>
          >>> On Oct 4, 2006, at 5:31 PM, Ariel Thomann wrote:
          >>>
          >>>> Do you have any large windows facing West, South, or East?
          >>>>
          >>>> Ariel
          >>>> ------------------------------------
          >>>>
          >>>>> In the USVI, we are not required to use solar water heaters, but
          >> many people
          >>>>> do,
          >>>>> simply because the cost of electricity is so ridiculous. Would you
          >> believe
          >>>>> that the
          >>>>> kwh just went up to 30 cents in July???
          >>>>>
          >>>>> In answer to your question: we bought one 50 gallon solar water
          >> heater which
          >>>>> serves
          >>>>> the cabana (easily). The cost was 1895.00, and the rebate was
          >> 700.00. We also
          >>>>> bought two 80 gallon water heaters; they were 2450.00 each and the
          >> rebate on
          >>>>> this
          >>>>> size was 850.00 each.
          >>>>>
          >>>>> We are now trying to find the most efficient, hurricane resistant
          >> and cost
          >>>>> effective
          >>>>> way to use solar power for each of the three houses (cabana,
          >>>>> daughter/son-in-law,
          >>>>> ours). Any suggestions would be great!
          >>>>>
          >>>>> Susan
          >>>>>
          >>>>> On Oct 3, 2006, at 1:06 PM, Ariel Thomann wrote:
          >>>>>
          >>>>>> Oh, while on the subject of St. Thomas houses, I'd like to re-
          >> ignite an earlier
          >>>>>> 'string'. I understand in most of the Lesser Antilles houses are
          >> required to
          >>>>>> use
          >>>>>> solar
          >>>>>> water heaters (since they need to import all their fossil fuels
          >> at absurd
          >>>>>> costs).
          >>>>>> Is
          >>>>>> that true for St. Thomas? If so, how much do those systems
          >>>>>> cost there?
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>> Ariel
          >>>>>> - We are all Human beings here together. We have to help one
          >>>>>> another, since otherwise
          >>>>>> there is NO ONE who will help.
          >>>>>> - All countries need a NO REGRETS strategic energy policy.
          >>>>>> Think ahead 7
          >>>>>> generations.
          >>>>>> ------------------------------------
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>> So, it sounds like you strap them down as tightly as possible,
          >> and then you
          >>>>>>> take
          >>>>>>> your
          >>>>>>> chances. From those of you with experience with putting PVs on
          >> your roof,
          >>>>>>> how
          >>>>>>> does
          >>>>>>> this affect your insurance?
          >>>>>>>
          >>>>>>> Susan, good luck w/ your St. Thomas house. (said w/ a little
          >>>>>>> envy) Let us know how
          >>>>>>> it works out. That is a little like hurricane ally.
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>> Yahoo! Groups Links
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>>
          >>>>
          >>>>
          >>>>
          >>>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>> Yahoo! Groups Links
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>>
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
        • (no author)
          Please note I ve changed the Subject title again -- tilted fits better than angled . Interesting. I ll have to google Gunnar Birkerts. I remember
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 5, 2006
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            Please note I've changed the Subject title again -- 'tilted' fits better than 'angled'.

            Interesting. I'll have to google Gunnar Birkerts. I remember discussing the tilted
            window idea with the (strange but brilliant) late Roger Rasbach some 30 years ago, but
            as I recall he wasn't interested in any ideas he hadn't incorporated into his "provident
            planner" house in The Woodlands. By the way, if that house still exists at 2701
            Wildwind, Wilding Estates, it would be interesting to visit it for next year's solar
            tour.

            But I digress. I'm proposing to reflect away direct sunlight when it is not wanted in
            the house, yet allowing skylkight in. I think what you describe at the Corning Glass
            museum is something else; I'm talking about cheaply just tilting plain old flat-glass
            windows.

            Ariel
            - We are all Human beings here together. We have to help one another, since otherwise
            there is NO ONE who will help.
            - All countries need a NO REGRETS strategic energy policy. Think ahead 7 generations.
            ------------------------------------

            > That reflective detail was the hallmark of Gunnar Birkerts. The detail involves
            > using two curved mirrors to bring indirect light into the space. He used that detail
            > on many of his projects (widely published once, but I was not able to find a site
            > with that famous detail on short notice)
            >
            > Many years ago, I experienced that detail at the Museum of Glass at Corning, NY. It
            > is a fascinating detail - however creating an extremely busy space inside. Through
            > the curved mirror surfaces one would
            > experience the motion of cars moving up and curved along in most
            > fasinating directions....It works well in a space that can stand that much movement.
            > Unfortunately for much of the Corning glass museum they were showing very small fine
            > objects - I remember one room where they showcased delicate escavated 2nd century
            > glassware. To avoid the movement from exterior, they used a thin curtain floor to
            > ceiling on the inside of those rooms which "quiet down" the space. I remember
            > feeling enormous disappointment then, thinking that the application did not serve
            > the contents that the space was designed for. And also that the brilliance of that
            > detail was eradicated by the use of a simple
            > semi-sheer curtain. Now, more than 20 years later, my interpretation is somewhat
            > altered -the architect succeeded in bringing the indirect light, and the user
            > succeeded in altering the space to suit the exhibit eliminating the distractions and
            > soften the light to a soft glow.
            >
            > Lunce
            >
            > Ariel Thomann wrote:
            >
            >> OK, here's my crazy idea, and it's one I haven't seen in any book on passive solar
            >> design. It goes back to my high-school physics and what I learned there about what
            >> happens to light when it hits glass. Normally it goes right on
            >> through, and that's what
            >> a window is all about. However, if you get your cheek against a window and look at
            >> the
            >> glass, you will see that a short distance from you it starts acting as a weak
            >> mirror,
            >> and as look at it further away, it acts totally as a mirror and you can't see
            >> anything
            >> on the other side. It's total reflection; check out the following:
            >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_internal_reflection
            >> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_internal_reflection>
            >>
            >> It seems to me that if you lean your window outward at the top
            >> (probably 10 degree angle
            >> suffices for your latitude; it will vary slightly depending on type of glass, will
            >> also
            >> be slightly different for UV and IR) it will reflect back out
            >> essentially all the direct
            >> sunlight (thus making your floor OUTside that window very hot...). That angle would
            >> be
            >> for noontime sun on the summer solstice; it would take substantially greater tilt
            >> to do
            >> the job at other times of the year and day. But you might find that your solar heat
            >> gain goes down a fair bit, at a relatively low cost.
            >>
            >> Side effect: when you look from inside out at night, you will see only ceiling
            >> reflections. And, oh, looking from outside in at night would be totally transparent
            >> (but you may need to do something to keep pets, kids and other retards from
            >> crashing
            >> into the glass -- adults too, I guess).
            >>
            >> I'm sure 99% of builders will think it's crazy, so discuss it instead with someone
            >> who
            >> knows optics better than I do. Enjoy.
            >>
            >> Let me know the outcome!
            >>
            >> Ariel

            >> ------------------------------------
            >>
            >> > Cabana: Double french doors facing west, but with a veranda overhang
            >> of about 8
            >> > feet. Two largish windows facing south, toward the
            >> > harbor. None east.
            >> > Kid's house: Lots of windows and a couple of sliding glass doors
            >> facing south,
            >> > toward the harbor, some with verandas. One west, no overhang. Four
            >> east, no
            >> > overhang.
            >> > Our house: (just starting) Will have eight sliding glass doors facing south,
            >> toward the harbor, with six of them under the veranda
            >> overhang of 13
            >> > feet. Five large windows with no overhang. Just two large windows
            >> and a glass door
            >> > facing west. Four windows and a glass door facing east.
            >> >
            >> >
            >> > On Oct 4, 2006, at 5:31 PM, Ariel Thomann wrote:
            >> >
            >> >> Do you have any large windows facing West, South, or East?
            >> >>
            >> >> Ariel
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