If global warming sends paradoxical shivers down your spine, just make bubbles and build a better future.
Solaroof's "ethical public domain" technology is based on "medium tech, high science" roofs, built with two (or more) layers of transparent plastic. A pump and a fan fill up the cavity space (between the layers) with soap bubbles, at will or automatically, in night/day and summer/winter cycles. This provides thermal insulation, which in turn lets plants do what they do best: grow and sweat. Plant growth can further be improved if the inner atmosphere is enriched with CO2. If a third inner plastic layer is used, cold water can be run on the topside of that skin, so excess humidity given off by plants within the building interior condenses and can be collected; if sea-water-friendly plants are grown, the system acts as a desalinator. The inner cavity space can also be used to run microalgae for a walk in the sun, stimulating growth, with promissing results for biofuel production. Finally, wouldn't people in extreme climates want temperature control for humans and animals too?
Solaroofs have a community of innovators around them: Richard Nelson (the inventor himself); Ross Elliot in Ontario, Canada (an early pioneer of this technology); Harvey Rayner in UK (DIY log); and a growing number of others in all sorts of climates. All are welcome to join the community at the yahoogroup and, if you want to add your own projects to the wiki, just send SolaRoofGuy or any member a request for the wiki password.
Are there any good examples of this being used for a building attached sunroom? Couldn't see one in the projects section.
Beadwall becomes bubble roof. Does Steve Baer know this is going on?
This has obvious drawbacks. I'll bet that nobody's tested the bubble-pillow concept in a Minnesota winter.
Erik Ehlert: I recall someone on the yahoogroup doing something of the sort. It may take some digging and googling.
gmoke: Thanks. Here's a link to the wikipedia entry for Steve Baer.
Engineer-poet: it's been tested in Canada winter, by Ross Elliott. I believe it's also being tested in the areas affected by the tsunami.