How Do Low-E and Cloud Gel Heat and Illuminate?

Weather Panel architecture can be exactly the same as any other architecture for 1-4 story buildings, except the roof is made from Weather Panels, and has a 45° slope for snow to slide off. First the building is designed, then a Weather Panel roof is selected for heating and illumination. With the same installed cost as a conventional roof and heating system, and zero energy costs. The architecture is not solar, just the free heat and illumination.

The uninspired design shown below is an accurate solar and thermal model from which more complex and useful solar architecture may be elaborated. This building could be four 1500 sq ft (140 sq meter) apartments. Designed for cold, cloudy winters, the entire roof is made from Weather Panels and their steel structural frame. Heating Weather Panels have a prefabricated interior finish, such as plaster, wallpaper, or wood veneer. Their exterior may be any dark color. The optional illumination Weather Panels are shown below as blue. All the Panels are shown operating in their heating or illuminating mode, with the Cloud Gel clear. But because the Panels work with cloudlight, direct sunlight is too strong, and will usually turn the roof white.

WEATHER PANEL ENERGY FLOWS: (see Figures in Sections 6 & 15) The Low-E transparent insulation lets in cloudlight, but prevents the Panel's thermal storage layer from loosing heat outdoors. Since the Cloud Gel is attached to storage, they are the same temperature. So when storage is below its clouding temperature of, say 80°F (27°C), the Cloud Gel is transparent and lets cloudlight into storage, where it is absorbed as heat. But when storage is above its clouding temperature, the Cloud Gel turns white to reflect light and heat away from storage. Cloudlight, Low-E, and Cloud Gel work together to keep storage close to the clouding temperature. Day and night, winter and summer. Even while storage is heating a building.

BUILDING ENERGY FLOWS: In Winter, the top story is heated uniformly by thermal radiation from the Weather Panels' heat storage, which covers the entire ceiling. Hot air taken from the top ridge of the Weather Panel ceiling is circulated with fans and ducts to heat the lower storys. During sunny days, the fans circulate outside air through the top story to remove heat from the 5% sunlight absorption of the Weather Panels when they are white. On cool Summer nights the fans and ducts circulate outside air through the whole building, cooling everything, especially the thermal storage in the top story ceiling. This stored "cool" cools the building during the day.