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Thermal refuge

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Ehouse, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    With Temps hovering around 115*F around Sidney Aus., people freezing in Greece, and the inability of people to stay warm following Sandy, I got to thinking about some extra ICF blocks I have leftover. Since I have to store them anyway, why not stack up a small room in a corner of the basement as a hedge against such extremes. 50-60 degrees (basement) seems like a good neutral temp. which ever way it may go. Then I got thinking that these forms would make good emergency structures in disaster situations; say you had a couple hundred people huddling together in a gym with no heat. You could lego up some cubicles in short order. Given that there are versions that knock down flat they would take up little storage room and could be easily stock piled for emergencies. Many possibilities, but two questions come to mind:

    Assuming R30, and 2 adults, how many square feet of space could be warmed to say 60 degrees with body heat alone?

    I know safe propane heat could be used in a power outage (DV MiniFranklin), but what about cooling? are there any propane based cooling technologies out there for conditioning small spaces?

    Got any Ideas?

    Ehouse

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  2. Circus

    Circus Member

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    Very common. At least it was 80 years ago. Search "gas air conditioning" .
  3. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    You might just want to plan to run a propane generator that can then power a small AC unit and provide lighting etc. It would be more useful than a dedicated gas AC unit.
  4. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Iv often about small (very small) self contained housing units built from SIPs(structural insulated panels) Possible about 100-200 SQFt. Kind of like these tiny houses DIYs are building and living in all over the country. Perfect for temporary housing for All kinds of Disaters,storms ,Floods(after), wild fires,earth quakes ect. Energy requirements would be minimal in any kind of climate.(Heat with a candle, cool with an ice cube ) Could be mass produced economically and indefinitely reusable. Plug in water,electric (camper style) and you got a home.
  5. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Ok. If you figure 180 W, that is ~600 BTU/h. With R-30, and 450 sq ft of total area, the Delta-T would be ~40°F. 450 sq ft would cover the walls roof and floor of a 8x10' room. Cool.

    But, they would need fresh air. Normal ventilation standard is 15 cfm per person. 30 cfm x 40°F (Delta_T) *1.06 BTU/cf*°F, and we are now talking 1300 BTU/h for their air, or double what was lost by the envelope. So, you would need to skimp on the ventilation (lots of issues including humidity/condensation), or put in some sort of HRV to make a 'passive shelter'.

    Might be more efficient to give them ventilated tents and good sleeping bags.
  6. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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  7. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Passive shelter. that's it in a nutshell. Let's build one right now. First, I think foam is better than tents and bags for it's insulating value, ease of deployment and storage. What happens in an igloo as far as ventilation?
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good question. In a super tight well insulated envelope, condensation becomes a real issue too.
  9. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    You need a small hole in the top to allow hot stale air to escape & an intake hole low on a wall for fresh air, then let convection take care of circulation. Not perfect, not monitored or controlled in a measured way but entirely doable in a disaster situation. BTW Iglloo's work this way you just dont warm them up enough to encourage melting, not a concern in a SIPs
    constructed emergency shelter. Sounds like a good inexpensive way to prepare Ehouse.
  10. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    Not a personal attack toward you or your country but it's got to be better than the tents your Govt. supplied to the native Canadians around Hudson bay displaced by DeBeers. Not trying to bash, but at least we give our refugees (when we get around to it) lovely toxic stinkin' FEMA trailers!

    Ventilation could be manually assisted, and a small treadle or even a hand crank could supply minimal lighting.

    I think cooling would be more of a challenge than heating.

    Another drawback to foam is light weight if used outdoors.
  11. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Ehouse
    YOu cant go the ICFs if you want to remain MOBILE THe structure im talking about can easily be moved from place to place on a medium sized trailer pulled by a pickup truck.
    THink camper. These things would be Mfgd in large numbers possibly by modular housing companies.
  12. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I think doing it with SIP's is a great idea; it's not either/or however. each has advantages and drawbacks. The collapsable versions of ICF's are very portable. My original Idea was for quick- up indoor structures in a gym say, or pole barn when there is no power available, stored at such sites so people don't freeze or bake waiting for help.

    SIP's or stress skin panels (SSP's) would be better in many outdoor situations. What about reversible with reflective Mylar on one side for repelling heat, and dark for absorbing it? How would you join them, velcro ? ICF's go together lego style.

    What size modual would you use? By basing things on 12' you can use mods of 1,2,3,4,6,or 8'. I'm picturing a 12' square divided in half by a common wall giving two spaces slightly smaller than Woodgeek's ideal.
  13. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I may try this, this summer as my cabin in the woods needs to be replaced. Im thinking about 16-20 Wide by about 24-30 long,one floor with sleeping areas in the loft/ceiling area. Ill use good insulation and log siding in and out. Should be large enough for my 5 member family on weekends. Of course there will be a small wood stove,for cooking as well as heating. Spring water fed and composting toilets. Its back to pioneer days this summer.

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