Home Back Issues June 2010 Wax in walls could cut heating and cooling costs

Wax in walls could cut heating and cooling costs

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010

WaxInsulationDavid Sailor, director of Portland State University’s Green Building Research Laboratory, began working in July 2009 on a better heating and cooling system for buildings: wax that absorbs and releases heat. His idea is to incorporate wax — similar to earwax, honeycomb wax or wax you might find while wandering around Nehalem — into a building’s walls. The wax is inserted into plastic capsules smaller than grains of sugar to maintain their shape and then mixed into the material of the wall. They melt at high temperatures, capturing heat and cooling the building. When the temperature cools, the wax solidifies and releases heat. “You’re able to lessen the peak temperatures that building will see most days of the year,” Sailor says. “You can remove the need for air conditioning.” First Sailor must find the optimal chemical composition for capturing heat in concrete walls. He’s researching the matter and expects results within a couple of months. He hopes his wall wax will evolve into a widespread component of green building technology with a dual benefit of cutting heating and cooling costs and saving the environment.    

AMANDA WALDROUPE
 

Comments   

 
Charles
0 #1 this is not a new ideaCharles 2010-06-09 14:20:33
The 2007 Solar Decathalon winner, designed at Universität Darmstadt in Darmstadt, German uses the same technique.
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Don
0 #2 FlawDon 2010-06-09 14:29:10
I think this only works if temperatures vary from day to day, or time to time. I don't think it would work in Barrow, Alaska where it never gets above freezing. And, I think if would have little use in Las Vegas, Nevada when it can be 100 or so degrees for days at a time.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Launch

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

September's Launch article features Orchid Health, BuddyUp and Inter-Europe Consulting.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


Read more...

October surprise

News
Sunday, October 12, 2014
roundup-logo-thumb-14BY LINDA BAKER

Cylvia Hayes, tabloid vs. watchdog journalism and the looming threat of a Cascadia earthquake.


Read more...

Gender Code

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD

Janice Levenhagen-Seeley reprograms tech.


Read more...

Downtime

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

I'm not very interesting,” says a modest Ray Di Carlo, CEO and executive producer of Bent Image Labs, an animation and visual effects studio.


Read more...

Two sides of the coin

Contributed Blogs
Monday, August 25, 2014
0825 thumb moneyBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS