Using Cool Cell technology Zomeworks has developed a single system to heat and cool buildings, heating a building in the winter and cooling it in the summer.
The Double Play system uses one or more absorber panels attached to the south side of a structure, with water storage in the ceiling and radiator/absorber cooling coils on the roof.
The advantages of interior storage of heat and coolth overhead are explained by Norman Saunders in Bill Shurcliff’s book, Super Solar Houses. As he explains, heat and coolth from overhead pass to the space below in different manners. In summer, warm air rises to the mass of water in the ceiling and cool air returns. In winter, heat heat radiates from above and can be blocked with aluminum louvers: heat radiates to the space below only when the louvers are open. The mass of water in the ceiling has been located to ‘shine’ on the space below, and opening the louvers doubles, or even triples, radiant flux. Unlike trombe or drum walls, direct-gain systems and radiant floors, Cool Cell systems with louvers provide a source of heat that does not automatically flow into the space at a free rate but can be controlled as desired for comfort. If radiant heat alone is not enough, a fan may be used to pull down warm air; and heat so delivered vastly outweighs the energy to run the fan.
Double Play systems work best in dramatic climates such as the West and Southwest of the United States, where nights are cool, days are hot and winters are sunny. Cool Cells can meet the demands of colder climates with the addition of a south-wall absorber that circulates warm water to the interior via convection. Glazing and selective surfaces can also be used.
Two outbuildings, constructed at Zomeworks, test the concept. Both are successful. More development is required to bring down costs for this Double Play building. One building is now for sale while the other is used for meetings and tours.
A much less costly application is currently under construction. This involves taking a 20’ x 8’ cargo container and retrofitting it as a Double Play structure. The current model features a door and two windows, along with insulation in the walls and floor. Water bladders sit on the roof with a proprietary system for separating the top layer of water from the bottom layer within the bladder. This eliminates the need for ceiling water storage. This iteration of the Double Play container will be used as a storage facility requiring temperature control, and will be tested in Albuquerque in coming month.