Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Inflatable Insulation for mobile homes

Insulate your trailer with a giant baloon
  (+11)(+11)
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Essentially, insulation is non-moving air.

Mobile homes have horrible insulation and cost a lot of money to heat and cool throughout the year.

By taking two very large sheets of thick flexible plastic, and sealing the edges (being sure to make sealed cut-outs for the doors) and then attaching an air valve, one could drape this over a mobile home, and secure it to the ground, and then inflate it until taut to provide a large volume of immobilized air to insulate the structure.

For best efficiency, the plastic would have to be opaque or else heat would be lost via radiation in the winter, and likewise, the sun would shine through and heat the trailer up during the summer.

While this is not a perfect solution, and would be ugly as sin, it could drastically reduce utility bills for a very small investment. Care would have to be taken to not completely block all ventilation from the structure, else suffocation could result.

I completely expect this idea to get torn to shreds, but figured I'd share it anyway.

I'm thinking that while this idea is not very practical, a smaller version for insulating a tent or other temporary structure might be more doable.

CyberCod, May 11 2011

Shatner’s Bassoon http://www.youtube....watch?v=_SyurgZ8GaQ
[Ian Tindale, May 15 2011]

[link]






       Welcome to the HB, [CyberCod]. I like this idea. It displays that wonderful blend of deep intuitive plausibility and disregard of inconvenient physical laws that make this such an entertaining place.   

       (That is: I'm pretty sure radiant heat transfer would completely defeat the purpose. But the mental image still amuses. [+])
gisho, May 11 2011
  

       // suffocation might result //   

       Good safety tip. Many trailer-dwellers keep dogs, whose interests must be protected.   

       Possibly not a good idea in areas prone to tornadoes or hurricanes.
8th of 7, May 11 2011
  

       inflatable structures are baked. They can retain or repel heat by using different coatings. By employing a pressurized tubular structure the surface can be made rigid and a lower internal pressure is needed, in some cases the structure is simply self supported by way of aches or tension frame. The most recent Discover magazine includes an article describing an inflatable unpressurized structure that can be used as an emergency residence.
WcW, May 11 2011
  

       //Possibly not a good idea in areas prone to tornadoes or hurricanes.// -if it was well anchored to the ground it would improve tornado resistance for trailers. It's not like it could be much worse. I like the idea, but rather than a gigantic tent I would like to see a form fitting cover with holes for windows and ventillation.
DIYMatt, May 11 2011
  

       I think it it could work quite well in fact with some up and coming technologies it could do the insulation that you want and also provide hot water and power as well. If you used rows of half silvered inflatable mylar tubes connected together with a small water pipe at the parabolic centre threaded thru all the tubes painted with a printable solar cell.
SANEAlex, May 14 2011
  

       Could we make that a giant bassoon? I understand that asking for giant baleen would be too much.
normzone, May 15 2011
  

       Perfect, [CyberC]! Except for one little thing...   

       I would rather see the balloon filled with argon. It is a much better insulator. The pros (increased efficiency, drastically lower power bills, dog suddenly silent) would slightly outnumber the cons (expired owners).   

       Bun. [+]
Grogster, May 15 2011
  

       //The pros ... would silghtly outnumber the cons// Sounds like conjugal visitation night at the state penitentiary.
mouseposture, May 15 2011
  
      
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