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SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS
AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
AIR LEAK MINIMIZATION
AIR LEAK SEALING PROCEDURE
AIR SEALING STRATEGIES
BIOGAS PRODUCTION & USE
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FLOOR FRAMING & SUBFLOOR for TILE
FLOOR POURED FINISH ON CONCRETE SLABS
FLOOR RADIANT HEAT Mistakes to Avoid
FLOOR TYPES & DEFECTS
FRAMING DETAILS for BETTER INSULATION
FRAMING DETAILS for DOUBLE WALL HOUSES
FRAMING METAL STUD PERFORMANCE
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
FROST HEAVES, FOUNDATION, SLAB
GREEN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION CODES GUIDES
GREENHOUSE DESIGN for SOLAR HEATING
GREENHOUSE / SUNSPACE GLARE
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HEAT LOSS DETECTION TOOLS
HEAT LOSS INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS PREVENTION PRIORITIES
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEAT LOSS RATE CALCULATIONS
HEATING SMALL LOADS
HOUSEWRAP INSTALLATION DETAILS
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
INSULATION IDENTIFICATION GUIDE
INSULATION LOCATION - WHERE TO PUT IT
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LEED Building Designation & IAQ
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PLUMBING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
RADIANT SLAB FLOORING CHOICES
RADIANT SLAB TUBING & FLUID CHOICES
ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR
ROOF VENTILATION SPECIFICATIONS
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
SUMP PUMPS GUIDE
SWEATING (CONDENSATION) on PIPES, TANKS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
VAPOR BARRIERS & AIR SEALING at BAND JOISTS
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VAPOR BARRIERS & HOUSEWRAP
VAPOR CONDENSATION & BUILDING SHEATHING
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINDOWS & DOORS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD, COAL STOVES & FIREPLACES
WOOD STOVE SAFETY
ZONE VALVES, HEATING
Solar shades to block excessive sunlight or heat gains: this article discusses the function of sun shades to block direct sun for controlling heat gain in passive solar buildings.
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Guide to Choosing & Using Solar Shades in or on Buildings to Control Bright Sun & High Heat Gain at Windows
Our page top photograph shows an older solution to solar sunshading in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
These hinged solar screens can be latched and opened or shut as a hinged-vertical sunscreen (photo left side) or as an awning-type sunscreen (photo right side). As we show below, this system also permits individual sections of the louvered screen to be open or shut from indoors.
Our photo (left) shows a variety of solar sun shading alternatives in use in Buenos Aires, Argentina. - Ed.
Accompanying text is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss. Also see PASSIVE SOLAR Roof & Window Overhangs - an alternative to solar shades. Contact us to suggest text changes and additions and, if you wish, to receive online listing and credit for that contribution. For a discussion of night-time insulation using low-E solar shades, see SOLAR SHADES, LOW-E EFFECTIVENESS.
Finding Vertical Exterior Sunshades that Retract & Adjust to Block all Direct Sunlight
Question: Where can I find exterior solar shades that use vertical louvered elements that retract and adjust?
While there seem to be plenty of sources for exterior solar shades and interior solar blinds with horizontal fins, slats, or louvers, I have had no luck finding exterior solar shades with vertical elements that retract and adjust.
I have a number of projects with a western exposure overlooking the ocean, where only a vertical shading device can maintain a partial view, while blocking direct sun from above, straight on, and from below (reflected from the water). -- Chris Hendricks, Los Angeles CA
[ur photo at left shows a contemporary horizontal solar shade installation in Tucson, Arizona. As we explain below, for techical reasons vertical-louvered solar shade elements will be uncommon. - Ed.
Answer: Vertical solar shade elements are uncommon but some commercial alternatives are available.
This is a tall order for solar sunshading indeed! Louvered devices that effectively block all direct sun from all angles you mention would have to have both vertical (for low west sun) and horizontal (for straight-on and water-reflected sunlight). This adds up to an egg-crate configuration that would probably cut too much view to be acceptable.
Vertical-louvered systems made for commercial projects could be adapted, but not cheaply. The Moore Co. makes an adjustable vertical solar sunlight screen system with 8-inch aluminum blades that they could taylor to your requirements.
[Our photo (left) shows a versatile louvered sun screen installed on many windows in Buenos Aires, Argentina --DF]
We suggest you consider using an exterior woven polyester shade screen, either fixed or roller-mounted. Available in many colors (charcoal, silver gray, bronze and more ) a polyester woven sunshade screen will reduce solar gain by up to 90 percent, but still allow some through-visibility.
Polyester woven solar screens can be manually or motor-operated, or even automated to respond to sunlight. A polyester sunscreen shade is produced by Levolor Lorentzen and by Phifer Wire Products and other manufacturers.
[Our photo (left) shows use of a woven polyester screen suitable for difficult sunscreening applications, in use in New York City at a construction site. -- DF]
Pfifer also produces insect screening, interior and exterior screening products including
A variety of sun screen products and fabrics is currently available and are shown at Technical Reviewers & References where we list sun screen product and solar screening fabric producers and sources.
Our solar screen photograph (above) of a solar sunshade screening system in widespread use in Buenos Aires shows one of the opening positions of this system, viewed from indoors.
Also see our page top photo of this sunshade system viewed from outdoors.
Our detailed photo (left) demonstrates the ability to open and close individual solar screen segments for outdoor view or admittance of light and air in the strong-sun climate of Buenos Aires, Argentina. -- DF
The question-and-answer article about the use of solar shades or solar blinds and blocking unwanted heat gain from sunlight in buildings, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below was preceded (above) by an expanded/updated online version of this article.
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Technical Reviewers & References
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