Circulatory Systems For Houses

The biological world has given models of systems that can be applied to other things. I was pondering air conditioning the other day during a tropical heatwave. The thought struck me that perhaps if a house had a circulatory system like an animal then the fluid could be chilled making the interior of the house cooler than the outside. This would circumvent the traditional model of air conditioning where the air is chilled by the AC. In this model, the air is chilled by cooler walls.

The way that it would work would be to circulate a liquid through the walls and floors that has excellent thermal transfer characteristics (like a non-toxic antifreeze or coolant). You could connect it to a heat pump and that way the circulatory system of the house would be heating the house in winter and cooling it in summer.


We already have radiant heating in houses where heating pipes are installed in floors, and heated liquid (sometimes hot water) is run through the system in winter.

I proposed modifying the system by not only running it through the floors, but in the walls as well. Then the system is connected to solar and geothermal and run by a computer. In the winter, the solar panels and geothermal collect heat and use it for heating.

Since the deep ground is always cooler in the summer, the geothermal can used to cool the house in the summer, saving on traditional air conditioning costs.

It's just a matter of time before we get smart houses that get away from the mere shelter model that they evolved from and become their own ecosystem habitats for us. And it all begins with a circulatory system.


Images for this blog entry come from:
www.thisoldhouse.com
www.emillsandson.com/radiant.htm

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