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Variable thermal resistance insulation may be used to controllably insulate an enclosure in order to take advantage of desirable thermal conductance heating or cooling when ambient conditions allow it.
English (United States)
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Variable Thermal Resistance Insulator
Variable thermal resistance insulation may be used to controllably insulate
an enclosure in order to take advantage of desirable thermal conductance
heating or cooling when ambient conditions allow it.
A variable insulator could be used in an attic floor of a building, for example,
to controllably insulate the building interior with respect to the attic space in order
to take better advantage of solar heating and/or night cooling of the attic space.
Attic floor insulation in present buildings is designed to protect the building
interior against hot and cold extremes in the attic space. There are many days
each winter when the attic space gets warm enough to supply heat to the
building. At such times, the thermal resistance of the insulation might be
reduced so that desired heat will be conducted into the building interior. During
the summer, the attic floor insulation protects the building interior from the warm
temperatures developed in the attic space during the day. At night, however, the
attic space cools and the thermal resistance might be reduced so that
undesirable heat will be conducted from the building interior into the attic space.
A variable insulator could be formed, for example, by constructing a
collapsible and inflatable honeycomb structure. It is well known that the function
of insulating materials is to create trapped pockets of air where convection is
inhibited. An insulating structure could be designed whi...