SYNOPSIS: IN JUST THREE DAYS THE SUN DELIVERS TO US AS MUCH HEAT AND LIGHT AS WOULD BE PRODUCED BY BURNING THE EARTH'S ENTIRE OIL AND COAL RESERVES PLUS ALL THE WOOD OF ITS FORESTS.
SYNOPSIS: IN JUST THREE DAYS THE SUN DELIVERS TO US AS MUCH HEAT AND LIGHT AS WOULD BE PRODUCED BY BURNING THE EARTH'S ENTIRE OIL AND COAL RESERVES PLUS ALL THE WOOD OF ITS FORESTS. THE METHODS FOR HARNESSING THIS TREMENDOUS ENERGY SOURCE TO HEAT AND COOL OUR HOMES MAY BE AS CLOSE AS THREE TO FIVE YEARS AWAY.
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It is fairly clear now that the engineering of solar heating and cooling units is sufficiently advanced that they will compete roughly in the same price range as a standard gas or oil-fired or electric heating and cooling unit.
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DR. HARRISON SCHMITT, FORMER ASTRONAUT AND NOW NASA'S ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR ENERGY PROGRAMS.
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The big advantage to solar heating and cooling is that there are no fuel costs, that through the years, once it is installed, the primary source of energy is the sun and only modest amounts of other types of energy are needed in those few times when the sun is not shining and we cannot provide enough stored energy to operate the system.
THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL SOLAR HOUSE AT NASA'S MARSHALL SPACEFLIGHT CENTER IN HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA, UNLIKE MOST HOUSES, ENERGY FROM THE SUN IS USED TO HEAT AND AIR CONDITION. THIS REDUCES THAT LARGE PORTION OF MOST UTILITY BILLS THAT GO TO PAY FOR GETTING BILLS THAT GO TO PAY FOR GETTING ENERGY FROM THE UTILITY SOURCE TO THE HOME.
HERE'S HOW THE COLLECTORS ON THE ROOF OF THE SOLAR HOUSE WORK, WATER-FILLED TUBES INSIDE THE SOLAR PANELS ABSORB THE SUN'S HEAT, USING IT FOR DIRECT HOT WATER HEATING AND TO OPERATE AN ABSORPTION UNIT FOR COOLING.
Now let's move into the house itself and see what's going on in there. As we come into the solar house we see a standard air-conditioning unit, absorption type air-conditioning unit, and a heating unit for winter use. In the next room we have something that you normally wouldn't see in a house. We have a bank of instruments that is recording the information from a variety of sensors that are part of our engineering evaluation. For example, here we are seeing printout, graph, of the amount of solar energy that is hitting the plate collectors on the roof.
In the next room we have one of a number of rooms that are part f three trailers that have been combined to roughly simulate a five-room house. On the wall is a standard control unit for an air-conditioning unit and for the heating system.
In this room, which might be in an ordinary house, one of the kids' bedrooms, we've set up one of the displays of the engineering points that are being produced by our analysis of this solar system.
Here are the last two rooms of our solar house. The one on my right is used as office space again by the engineers analyzing our information. Here we have a computer, a small computer that is combining the information that we have gotten from the analysis of our solar house with the engineering parameters that have been measured and attempting, and we think successfully, to demonstrate that this concept will work when we apply solar heating and cooling technology to the energy needs of the nation.