Enclosed outdoor circuitry, moisture prevention
Russell McMahon email (remove spam text)
> What's the possibility of using a one-way mirror to collect
> heat through that will act as a (mediocre) insulator by internal
> reflection at night, like a Thermos flask ?
The equivalent of one way mirrors feature on the front of most solar
water/air heaters you see - they just don't look like that to us.
Ordinary "clear" glass is transparent to shorter wavelength light including
visible light (which is why we think it is clear) and near infrared. It is
generally opaque to longer wavelength IR. Incoming IR from the Sun is
shorter wavelength due to its high source temperature. Once it is absorbed
in the blackened collector it is immediately re-radiated but due to the
lower temperature the wavelength is longer and the glass is opaque to the
radiation, trapping it in the collector. Relying on this for night storage
may be a bit of an ask but one can add a shutter of some sort for this
(often called curtains :-) ).
Blown polystyrene beads inside a double glazed frame is used by some people
to make an unusual automated blind - beads are blown to and from storage and
window frame as required. .
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