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Home-Heating Mirrors

Photovoltaics are wonderful, but there are some far cheaper ways to levitra soft tabs 100 mg harness the power of online viagra purchasing the sun to do good work for us. Capturing the sun's heat with solar water heaters, for example, is a far cheaper way to reduce your electricity bills than trying to turn that power into electricity.

Well, a new company called Practical Solar wants to take that up another step, and simply use mirrors to focus sunlight on buying cheap viagra your home, to keep it warm in the winter. Of course, this only works for people who get direct sun in their yards, and who live in sunny but cold places, but that's not an insignificant number of people.

Two of these Practical Solar-controlled mirrors focused on a room (preferably through a window) would have the same effect, roughly, as a space heater. Use ten of them, and you could burn your house down! (Note to Practical solar...please password protect the control system to protect against vengeful neighbors.)

The devices also provide natural lighting at almost all times of the day, so one could save power that way as well. Of course, having a little sun in your yard shining white-hot light into your eyes might detract from the view out of your window, but it's better than a high heating bill!

Via GreenTechMedia

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Comments (36)Add Comment
written by Poida, March 20, 2009
Nice idea, but I'd prefer a automatic heater/vent like those at

More practical as you don't get blinded when looking out a window...
written by loleeGreen, March 20, 2009
interesting indeed.... how're we going to keep our house warm at night?? but hey - when the heat is concentrated and get levitra cheap stored (efficiently) for later use, then it might work much better?
Why the pill price levitra low pole?
written by BruceMcF, March 20, 2009
I'd rather it be reflecting sunlight down into a room on the floor. But with a large east facing window in both the pantry and the kitchen, mirrors that would increase their evening sun in the winter, fall and early spring seems like a great idea. Dropped into the New Oil at Burning the Midnight Oil.
this doesn't work if the home works
written by dbell, March 21, 2009
If the home is properly insulated it will keep heat out in the summer and heat inside in the winter. Proper insulation would even keep out the heat from one of these heliostats, and is it's cool viagra tablets for sale a much better long term, practical solution. And it works at night.

Learn the building science.
written by Bob Wallace, March 21, 2009
Somehow I don't think I'll be investing any of canadian levitra 50mg my money in this idea.

Wonder how many people want to have intense sunlight blasted into their rooms all day long?

How about creating a "solar heat pump assist" instead?

Build a small addition on the house. Give it a glass window, lots of insulation, and thermal mass. Focus the light from the mirrors on that space and warm up the mass.

You could use that heat to greatly cut your heat pump electricity needs.

(Then, how many people are going to want their yards full of these mirrors?)

written by Magnulus, March 21, 2009
I quite like the idea myself. The direct sunlight I get during a cold winter's day is enough to heat my relatively large work room to a comfortable warmth that stays for at least three or four hours after the sun goes down, and that's without double glazing on the windows (I would get double glazing, but I don't own this place, so I can't.) The main annoyance is that the sun bears down on me and blasts me in the face so I can hardly see my computer screen.

With a system like this, the mirrors would be directed into the ceiling and would give a softer light than now. I wouldn't mind having a few of these things around my yard (if I had one).

Also: Let's say you don't get direct sunlight on your porch during the link for you daily viagra day, but you'd like to we recommend buy cheapest levitra have it. Direct these toward the area and link for you order usa cialis online get some collapsible white sheets to function as diffusors, and you'd have a lovely, warm and bright backyard.

It's an extremely simple and - in my opinion - elegant solution.
Expensive Kits
written by Carl, March 21, 2009
Interesting idea, though what is sold is a kit with the controller and heliostat frames with 2D tracker motor. You supply the mirrors, poles, wire, etc. and assembly. The mirrors are cheap ($15/8) but the frame and motor are ~$1000. It seems like a good way to add light to north facing windows. The economics may depend a lot on it's cool what is the cost of levitra local climate, since in many places it's cold when it's cloudy and cold when it's dark.

I don't see that the $20,000 (plus labor) example on the web site would really pay for itself because of the limited time of use. The problem is you don't get the heat when it's needed most.

A passive solar heated home would probably be less expensive, but these could be used to retrofit, or compensate for shading.
Italian Village Gets Sun Mirror
written by Andrew Hurley, March 22, 2009
Possibly a development of this...
this is stupid
written by jm, March 23, 2009
this is one of the stupidest ideas I've seen to date. a much more practical method is using solar hot water heating with radiant floor heating into the house.

this idea is natural viagra type alternatives so so stupid
Terrible idea
written by Route66News, March 23, 2009
I could easily see these things set your house on fire during an unseasonably warm day in winter. In Oklahoma, where I live, it's not that unusual to have an 80-degree day in February. And sunlight tends to be pretty intense on certain winter days.
How do you get this past the zoning boar
written by MidiMagic, March 24, 2009
OK, how do you get this idea to go past the zoning board?

They won't allow windmills or satellite dishes. They frown on "unsightly" solar collectors on roofs. They even cited one man growing wheat in his back yard for "failure to mow".

They didn't even like the idea of painting the parts of the southern side of the house only the winter sun hits black, and the parts the summer sun hits white. They demand the entire house be one color, with another trim color allowed. And they blew their tops when someone painted a house purple.
Pretty Stupid
written by Brennan, March 24, 2009
I think the idea is pretty stupid from a few aspects. For one you can create the magnifying class effect where you could actually start fire on some materials if it is too concentrated and it is terribly ugly. Better looking ways to become energy efficient and in most places you would probably be cited for that in the yard.
written by hyperspaced, March 25, 2009
What's next? Solar hairdryer?
Great Thinking!
written by Lynn, March 26, 2009
I've just returned from Lowe's where I picked up a set of eight mirrors which I was planning to position to reflect sun into our house. All the light hits the front of the house. Our kitchen is at the back and consequently rather dark. I hadn't even considered the room-warming qualities which would be great in winter. I just want some sunlight so I don't have to turn on the lights as often. Great idea!
written by Alexandra, April 01, 2009
I can't believe that no one has written about this, but these things would become impractical as soon as the first snow falls, unless they are heated mirrors (thus negating the point) or you'll have to wake up, go brush off your mirror heating system, get ready for work, brush off your car, go to work and return to a cold house (assuming it's been snowing all day). This does not seem practical for places that experience snow.
written by Karen, April 01, 2009
MidiMagic, why don't you just aim the mirrors at the zoning board? Perhaps the heat will vaporize what little brains they have. I am always amazed at the audacity of petty bureaucrats (Little Hitlers). I could never live like that...
Regulating the heat where and when
written by Emmett, April 01, 2009
This seems rather half hazard.

Maybe what would make this more practical would be to focus the mirrors on a green house containing a thermal mass to capture and radiate the heat. Then you would need some sort of conduit/ducting system to transfer the heat to in a controled manner to the house.
Re: Snow?
written by JD, April 01, 2009
Before the clouds roll away, just brush them off and use them to melt the snow next time the sun comes out! You could aim them at your driveway so you won't have to shovel or use a gas-burning engine to power the snowblower! *8^)

Interesting idea though...

written by Mark, April 02, 2009
So let me get this straight...Mirror heating is perfect for locations that:

-get lots of sun in winter
-but don't get snow deep enough to cover the mirrors
-must be aimed in through the windows otherwise they just warm the siding
-take up yard space that could be used for something else (or here's a radical notion--NOT EVERYONE ON EARTH HAS/NEEDS A BIG YARD!!!)
-and there's the initial logic-leap of "Photovoltaics are wonderful, but there are some far cheaper ways to harness the power of the sun to do good work for us." Yeah so put a bunch of heliostat mirrors in your yard MUCH CHEAPER THAN PV!

This is a stupid idea on a micro level, and one of the reasons "green" ideas get bashed in the media.

Solar farms like in Spain and California are a much better idea because of the scale. PV panels and solar water heating are a much better idea on a local/micro level.
Thinking too small
written by Tom, April 02, 2009
It seems to me that this is ideal technology and scaled just about right to use to reflect the sun onto a black-body collector which is used to heat/boil a liquid transfer medium. Use it to supplement heating of a swimming pool or drive a small steam turbine electrical generator.
written by Gerri, April 02, 2009
Don't consider this idea. It creates an extreme hazard for birds. Bird-window collisions are already a serious threat, killing hundreds of millions of birds per year. Why create more reflections for birds to fly into?
written by Peggy Maurhoff, April 02, 2009
I am all for alternative energy methods. But this doesn't appeal to me. The glare of the mirrors would
drive me nuts. And if the homeowner could orient the mirrors so that it wouldn't bother them, what about their neighbors or the general public.
Limited applications
written by Valkyrie607, April 02, 2009
Seems to me this would work best in conjunction with intelligent passive solar design of houses. Perhaps to compensate where sun exposure isn't quite enough to keep the passive solar heating at optimum levels. Without passive solar design it makes very little sense.
written by Rain, April 02, 2009
this was the april fools joke, right?
What happens when
written by gnomic, April 03, 2009
What happens when all the mirrors focus on the house and it bursts into flames?
I use it and it works
written by Josh, April 03, 2009
I've been lining up mirrors on my deck in front of a set of sliding glass doors for several years. The temperature in that room rises several degrees on sunny days. It lowers my heating costs. I get plants to bloom that had never bloomed in my house before. The light that gets past the plants shines onto a brick wall. I get the mirrors for free at the swap shop at the town dump. I do have to adjust the angle of the mirrors every couple of weeks to focus the light. While the product Practical Solar is selling is undoubtedly more efficient then my system, my system is much cheaper - free.

written by barbionit, April 05, 2009
In the three dampish winter months, in a semi arid place, like where I live it can take days for laundry to dry on a line. Inside or outside. A hassle if you are out of underwear. I will try angling a mirror nearby, if next year I am still alive. What a savings over buying a dryer!
Snowed in
written by Mobis, April 05, 2009
Pitty they cant do it from space for a large area to keep snow melted in areas where its not wanted, do the whole town so we all can get around without having to use snow ploughs.
I thought of it
written by Tony, April 05, 2009
I thought of it long time ago, but didn't get around to implement it. I use another static approach, using a solar thermal collector to heat air and pump it into the house, getting fresh air at the same time. Heat is the lowest form of energy, so it's easy to generate heat. A problem was/is it's cloudy in winter when we need heat the most, at least in my area.
Discussions and analysis
written by M Hevezi, April 05, 2009
What I like most about this technology is the interest and discussion it provokes. Let's look at cradle-to-grave for all of these technologies; the pros and cons of alternatives.

They may be placed off the ground to minimize the interaction w/eyes on the ground?
I've always admired how the Egyptians us
written by Kim, April 07, 2009
To defuse light with mirrors or reflective metals to cascade a room in the light. They were placed in various areas, across large rooms, to light the room as the sun moved in orbit during the day.

The bright sun energy projected from a yard sounds a bit unsafe, but in Mexico, they have a tower with reflective pv, and it heats a water pipe inside the tower, to give heat as well as a steam to turn a generator and produce electricity.
Add a windmill for the night winds, to also turn at night when the sun is down as a back up with lithium battery charge.

In fact have two sets of backup emergency conversion, when the wattage drops to a certain point.

Just a thought.
written by D. Hawley, April 07, 2009
I tried this very idea last winter. Set up some surplus non-tracking mirrors in the back yard, shined them through a bedroom window and the morning sun significantly warmed up the room. The light also brightened up a very dark bathroom. No fires, no dead birds. (Mesa, Arizona)
written by barbionit, April 07, 2009
Yes, well in a cloudy area in the winter the sun just doesn't store. I tried to charge a tiny solar battery, the kind used for cameras and mobile phones on my roof for weeks. Only just now in April is it fully charged. A mirror on the other hand focuses the light. Am I right? And what is non-tracking
Lemony Idea
written by James, May 19, 2009
Hats off to all u guys who have tried and are small but important steps , am workin on sunlight to light up my house... will keep the team updated...any success stories here.

read an intresting article on village in Italy lit up with mirror..story dated 2006. Does anybody here have any updates..did it work?
written by Fred, July 09, 2009
this is an interesting concept

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