The Kenogami House heating system

dean c Published: March 22, 2019, 3:46 p.m.Last updated: April 3, 2019, 12:01 p.m.

Earlier posts regarding the Kenogami House talked about using a phase change thermal battery, to avoid overheating during sunny winter days that provided too much passive solar heat. How well did that experiment work at collecting excess heat?  

It was also mentioned using the radiant hydronic floor, moving purposely heated water in the radiant tubing to help balance the excess heating. My understanding was that the unheated water in the tubing would absorb excess heat from the areas of the house that received direct sun, and collected passive solar heat, and moved the water through the tubing to the areas of the house that did not receive direct sun to “balance” the heat throughout the home. How well did this technique work?

Responses (1)

Mike Reynolds April 3, 2019, 12:17 p.m. Reply

Hi Dean, 

The owner of the Kenogami house was a board member of our French counterpart Ecohabitation.com, and regrettably he sold the house before he worked out any thermal battery heat-storage techniques so I don't have much to offer on that front unfortunately. You may have seen this already, but here is a page on phase change building materials, I still think there is tremendous potential for material phase changes to be used for energy efficiency, there are just no mainstream products readily available on the market to date. 

Our new demo house has a heat storage solution you may find interesting, it has a radiant floor heated with air tubes rather than hydronic, and those tubes will be fed with air warmed by a solar air-heating panel, so we are using the floor as a thermal battery to store solar heat. Here is a video of the installation