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I am finally getting around to putting some photovoltaic panels under the
bracing Australian sunshine that hammers down on my roof (not nearly so
attenuated by stratospheric ozone as your watery northern-hemisphere
However, the people who built my house, back in 1901, put up a brick
chimney so tall that you could build an extra storey on the house without
extending it, if you felt so inclined.
Like a gigantic gnomon, this sweeps the roof each day with its shadow.
Now, in practice, we will get around the worst effects of this shading by using
In theory, however, it would be much better to replace some, but not all, of the
chimney's bricks with glass ones, fixed with glass mortar.
First, this would create the momentary, corner-of-the-eye illusion of a stack of
unsupported bricks high above the house. The cut-off would be ragged, with
one or two courses containing both glass and opaque bricks, as if to suggest
that individual bricks might be falling off as you watched.
Second, it would have a dappling effect on the sunlight, a bit like that of a
dimpled beer mug. Dimpled beer mugs are good.
The inside of the glass, at least, ought to stay clean, because what's under
the chimney is no longer a wood fire but a gas one.
The residual stack of opaque bricks resting on top of the glass ones could be
embellished with a bit of plaster sculpture so that it actually had a gigantic
gnome on, possibly aping King Kong.
Glass bricks in architecture
[Voice, Mar 06 2015]
||May I suggest fresnellically enhancing the concept? Perhaps
pretty coloured bricks as well for that stained glass effect.
This will give your home some perthanality. (West Aussie
||Glass isn't that transparent in brick form. You'll want a custom
||I think you should embrace your new house-sundial
concept. If, inside your house, you had a real-time
readout of the power generated by each solar panel
throughout the day as the shadow of the chimney
swept across them, you could use the ratio of power
outputs between the panels to tell you what time it
||Excellent work on the various word games played in this idea.
||What is this "sunshine " of which you speak? Your
words are strange to us ...
||[+] for "gigantic gnomon" alone.
||Rather than demo and rebuild, could you not wrap the chimney with a covering containing fiber optics to redirect sunlight so that, although there would still be shade, certain panels will always receive twice the light?
||You could mount the panels on a giant fan shape, pivoted on the chimbley, so that it rotates to track the sun.
||No, have the solar panels on the roof be individually
movable and program them to move so there is
always a gap where the shadow is. Mount the
panels that would have been in the gap on the
||Though I'm guessing solar efficiency is secondary,
simply being the catalyst to the idea of having a
chimney that appears to be discontinuous, which is
||[+] Nothing to do with my idea of taking the ruins of an old castle, which still have a bit of wall left, and adding glass and steel to restore it.
||Put the Voight-Kampff on him ... get him to tell you,
in single words, about his mother ...