Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Glass Cave

Home under a Dome, or, Pleasant Under Glass
(+3, -3)
  [vote for,

Start with a conventional house, on a reasonably large piece of property.

Build over it, a large geodesic dome. Fill the triangles of the dome with special double paned glass.

Not air filled glass... but antifreeze filled. Use small pumps to constantly circulate the antifreeze between the dome and a geothermal loop.

Since the dome cuts off all the air, a ventilation system is needed... preferably one which recovers waste heat.

The obvious solution for this, would involve three fans, and two counter-current heat exchangers.

Fresh air would be brought in from outside the dome by the first fan, and pass through heat exchanger A. It would pass through a duct, through heat exchanger B, then enter the interior of the home.

Stale air from the home would be pulled by a second fan, through heat exchanger B, and vented into the space between house and dome.

Air between the house and dome would be drawn by a third fan, through heat exchanger A, and vented to the atmosphere.

The air space between the dome and the home acts as a thermal buffer, and as a layer of insulation.

Because of the antifreeze cycling from the geothermal loop to the dome, that air is always a moderate temperature. It might not be warm enough or cool enough to live directly in, full time, but it should vastly reduce the heating and cooling load of the house.

goldbb, Jun 15 2009

(?) Domed cities in Logan's Run. http://www.snowcres...vie/7more/dome2.JPG
You used thermite as antifreeze? [bungston, Jun 15 2009]

Ultimately, that's what it's all about http://kids.niehs.n...ov/lyrics/hokey.htm
[normzone, Jun 15 2009]


       And Dick Buckminster Fuller says put your right foot in...
4whom, Jun 15 2009

       Why just your right foot?
goldbb, Jun 15 2009

       /Why just your right foot?/ Because, ultimately, that's what it's all about.   

       I am perplexed by antifreeze. Why not vacuum?   

       Also, since obvious location for such complexity would be extremely harsh environment (Mars), once could use water condensed from inside of dome and CO2 enriched exhaust air to grow vegetables in space between dome and house.   

       I think monster domes covering living environments have appeared in many sci-fi scenarios.
bungston, Jun 15 2009

       Can you do this in a cubic format ? We like cubes.
8th of 7, Jun 15 2009

       your title is misleading. It's not really a cave at all is it? Batman is displeased. [-]
jaksplat, Jun 15 2009

       "Widely Known To Exist (Be Proposed)" ?
8th of 7, Jun 15 2009

       The purpose of antifreeze is to move heat from the structure of the dome into the geothermal loop (in summer), or move heat from the geothermal loop into the structure of the dome.   

       Vacuum would not be a suitable medium for moving heat, for reasons which should hopefully be obvious.   

       As for it not being a cave... well, no, but it has a very cavelike temperature... specifically, I would expect the air temp between dome and house to stay close to the temperature of the antifreeze coming out of the gothermal loop.   

       A cube would work, but it would require more materials to assimilate the same volume of space.   

       And as for domes being used to cover living environments in sci-fi books and films... have any of those fictional media suggested a hydronic fluid loop between the dome and the ground?   

       After all... that uninsulated, but geothermally temperature controlled, surface (and the volume it encloses) is what this idea is all about.   

       Being dome shaped is simply to minimize material costs and maximize structural strength... otherwise, it's unimportant.
goldbb, Jun 18 2009

       I do not understand the benefit of putting antifreeze in the dome. It seems counterproductive. Including antifreeze in a heat exchanger is fine, but having the dome be part of the loop seems to me to make the system more affected that it needs to be to the external environment.   

       Consider an antifreeze filled double paned dome dome vs double paned dome with vacuum between panes. In hot bright environment, dome would be reflective. Antifreeze would get unduly hot in dome despite refective outside, and would bring that heat inside and add it to air. Cold environment: clear dome to maximize greehouse effect. But antifreeze in dome is in proximity to cold outer air and sheds heat to it.
bungston, Jun 19 2009

       I think goldbb is trying to use antifreeze like blood in the skin. Not just a static shield but a source or dump for a heat circulation/utilisation system.
wjt, Jun 19 2009

       On hot, humid days you'd have condensation all over the dome!   

       What about using water instead of antifreeze? Build a house near a handy lake, and you're all set for cooling water.
sninctown, Jun 19 2009

       [+] but I'm imagining outside air being warmed/cooled as part of the antifreeze cycle as well as straight heat exchange ... gotta balance the heatsink equations quite a bit.
FlyingToaster, Jun 23 2009


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