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Old 01-12-2012, 07:11 AM   #1
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


How much grout will I need to fill a cinder block wall 130' x 8' using 8x8x16 blocks? Should I use PVC or EMT for electrical conduit? How to pre-plumb?

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Old 01-12-2012, 07:16 AM   #2
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


We need more details----where are you? What does local code allow for electrical conduit?

Is this an outside wall? Will freezing be a problem for plumbing?

What plumbing?

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Old 01-12-2012, 07:48 AM   #3
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


For the grout, figure on using about 50% of the volume of the wall. That is based on a typical 8x8x16 block and special units may require a somewhat different amount. Since it is a Trombe Wall, it is probably not structural and the goal is just to get as much mass into the wall.

Dick
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:52 AM   #4
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


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For the grout, figure on using about 50% of the volume of the wall. That is based on a typical 8x8x16 block and special units may require a somewhat different amount. Since it is a Trombe Wall, it is probably not structural and the goal is just to get as much mass into the wall.

Dick
Thanks Dick, I am looking for ballpark figures at this point. You are correct in assuming the wall is for thermal mass. Can I may my own double paned glass windows? 3/4 " barrier? How far should the glass be distanced from the trombe wall. Should I place upper and lower vents in the wall?

May I hire you as a consultant??

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Old 01-12-2012, 12:18 PM   #5
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


Best bet is to Google tromble walls. Plenty of reputable sites have info on them.
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Old 01-12-2012, 12:40 PM   #6
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Best bet is to Google tromble walls. Plenty of reputable sites have info on them.
Thanks - they directed me here and I have at least been able to obtain feedback to specific questions, of which I have many. Maybe you can help?
1. Should I vent the heated area between glass and wall for summertime, i.e. chimney effect
2. How much distance should I have between inner glass and mass wall
3. Can I build the double paned glass myself with two pieces of glass and does it need to be a vacuum between the two pieces of glass
4. Should I use grout or sand to fill the cinder blocks - cost v efficiency

I plan on doing ALL the work myself, or as much as possible. I have a limited budget with time on my hands... Any and all input would be greatly appreciated. Work is to be in Sequatchie County, TN
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


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Thanks - they directed me here and I have at least been able to obtain feedback to specific questions, of which I have many. Maybe you can help? I wish I could. I thought some of the solar sites, where I've read about these, would be able to fill you in.

1. Should I vent the heated area between glass and wall for summertime, i.e. chimney effect *My GUESS is that you will need some, as the humidity may be excessive, and that could very likely drive moisture into you house wall. (I assume this is going on the outside of the house.) Too much will, of course, cool the mass too much. There must be a balance.

2. How much distance should I have between inner glass and mass wall *??

3. Can I build the double paned glass myself with two pieces of glass and does it need to be a vacuum between the two pieces of glass Why double pane? Are you using low e glass, or is the ROI minimal w/ that?

4. Should I use grout or sand to fill the cinder blocks - cost v efficiency Sounds like you know what you need to. It is a one-time expense, and sand has a thermal conductivity of about .25, whereas concrete goes from about that (if light) to over 1 (if dense). You need mass; go w/ concrete, IMO.
see after the bullets. i wish i could help more, but just have opinions. btw: is it advantageous to paint/tar the blocks black? it would seem that that would be cheap, easy, and of help.
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:50 PM   #8
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


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We need more details----where are you? What does local code allow for electrical conduit?

Is this an outside wall? Will freezing be a problem for plumbing?

What plumbing?
I am building this home in Dunlap, TN - 30 miles NW of Chattanooga. My desire is to cut electrical costs as much as possible via passive solar heating.

I want to build and install a solar water collector on the roof - 50 gallon capacity. How much reinforcement will I need for the rafters and ceiling joists? I plan on as little slope as possible for the roof?

As far as I know, I will not be subject to building codes in Dunlap, TN for this construction. While erecting the cinder block walls - and before filling with grout/sand, I want to install electrical conduit and needed plumbing.

I plan on doing ALL of this construction myself. I am rather poor and not very bright. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


Have you given much thought to other passive heating storage systems, specifically water? Or are you set on T.W.'s, though they don't have much for overcast days storage.....

Gary
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:01 AM   #10
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


Chief -

You can use sand in the cores to increase the thermal mass of the wall. The resulting wall weight/density will be slightly less, but still far superior to a lightweight wall that offers the benefit of the sun. They also do offer thermal benefits on cloudy days and even at night (thermal inertia). You may want to find a way to "dump" the excess heat when it is not needed.

I have never seen a Trombe Wall that created or was involved in a moisture problem. The ventilation and humidity inside the house will control the humidity since it is steady state situation as opposed to what happens in a lightweight home.

concrete is a great modulator of both heat and humidity. If the home is opened up in humid season, the concrete can slowly absorb some of the humidity and if the home is too dry in the winter, it can give off limited moisture for a relatively short period of time. - That is why HVAC engineers can downsize the heating and air conditioning systems and improve the livability.

Dick
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #11
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


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Have you given much thought to other passive heating storage systems, specifically water? Or are you set on T.W.'s, though they don't have much for overcast days storage.....

Gary
How would I incorporate the water into cinder blocks as a storage medium? I am planning on doing all the construction myself. Pouring cement into the cinder blocks (dry-stack construction) as I work my way up seemed the simplest and most efficient means of thermal mass storage.
Thanks for your input.
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Old 01-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #12
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


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Chief -

You can use sand in the cores to increase the thermal mass of the wall. The resulting wall weight/density will be slightly less, but still far superior to a lightweight wall that offers the benefit of the sun. They also do offer thermal benefits on cloudy days and even at night (thermal inertia). You may want to find a way to "dump" the excess heat when it is not needed.

I have never seen a Trombe Wall that created or was involved in a moisture problem. The ventilation and humidity inside the house will control the humidity since it is steady state situation as opposed to what happens in a lightweight home.

concrete is a great modulator of both heat and humidity. If the home is opened up in humid season, the concrete can slowly absorb some of the humidity and if the home is too dry in the winter, it can give off limited moisture for a relatively short period of time. - That is why HVAC engineers can downsize the heating and air conditioning systems and improve the livability.

Dick
I have been worried about the humidity since I was warned it was a potential problem. Silly me, I have not considered ventilation for this small home ( 800 sq. ft. ). In addition to the passive thermal walls, I plan on using a small pot bellied wood stove in extreme cold. In the summer, I plan on using only window fans -no air conditioning at all. I plan on east and west wall windows for cross ventilation in the summer. I suppose in the cold months, the house will be closed tightly.

I am planning this home for my retirement - in a few years. I do not have much money and looks like I will be living on around $800.00/month after retirement in 8 years. With help from folks like yourself, I am absorbing as much info as possible, then hope to build this little home myself.

I assume you are a mason. I plan on pouring a 40 x 25' 4" slab floor then lay the cinder block wall (dry stacked ) on the slab. The south facing wall will serve as the trombe wall. Are you familiar with dry stacking block. I have read a rookie like myself can do it. How many rows of block can I lay before pouring cement into the cores. I will only pour cement into the trombe wall. I hope to use some synthetic pellets or foam in the non-trombe block walls as they will only serve as insulating walls.

Any and all input you can provide will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-14-2012, 05:52 PM   #13
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


In a few years, I plan to buy/remodel/addition a small house-800sq.ft. enlarging it to 1000sq.ft. One level, two bedroom, 1&1/2 bath retirement home. I researched TW's but the 7-10 no-sun days (or longer) around here discouraged me. I want passive solar, with back-up electric heaters, solar water pre-heating, and vestibules at back/front door to keep the heat inside the cellulosed double-walls. Here are some of my study sites; http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...xport/html/494
http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=12480
http://soe.rutgers.edu/files/Arch.pdf
http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=12850
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...er_heating.htm
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...ce_Heating.htm

Some of the ones I am going with: http://www.n3fjp.com/solar/solarhotair.htm

http://www.ibiblio.org/london/renewa.../msg00026.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/london/renewa.../msg00025.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/london/renewa.../msg00011.html
A drain-back solar or a pre-heater finned-line to a tank incorporated in the solar closets, and an ERV rather than a HRV which dries the air out. You may also want to check out 2 of sand under the slab with passive air heating ducts run through them for longer term than a TW. With a wood stove, the TW may all you need.



Gary
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Old 01-15-2012, 06:32 AM   #14
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Passive solar Trombe Wall


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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
In a few years, I plan to buy/remodel/addition a small house-800sq.ft. enlarging it to 1000sq.ft. One level, two bedroom, 1&1/2 bath retirement home. I researched TW's but the 7-10 no-sun days (or longer) around here discouraged me. I want passive solar, with back-up electric heaters, solar water pre-heating, and vestibules at back/front door to keep the heat inside the cellulosed double-walls. Here are some of my study sites; http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...xport/html/494
http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=12480
http://soe.rutgers.edu/files/Arch.pdf
http://www.energysavers.gov/your_hom.../mytopic=12850
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...er_heating.htm
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects...ce_Heating.htm

Some of the ones I am going with: http://www.n3fjp.com/solar/solarhotair.htm

http://www.ibiblio.org/london/renewa.../msg00026.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/london/renewa.../msg00025.html
http://www.ibiblio.org/london/renewa.../msg00011.html
A drain-back solar or a pre-heater finned-line to a tank incorporated in the solar closets, and an ERV rather than a HRV which dries the air out. You may also want to check out 2 of sand under the slab with passive air heating ducts run through them for longer term than a TW. With a wood stove, the TW may all you need.



Gary
Thanks a million GBR - this info should keep me busy the next few days. I really appreciate your time and input! I will post again as new questions arise
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:02 AM   #15
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Thanks a million GBR - this info should keep me busy the next few days. I really appreciate your time and input! I will post again as new questions arise
This is a pretty amazing site---Glad you came---Mike---

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