brilliant work for simple reliable green, passive solar home comfort!
To devote an entire book to three solar-heated houses may seem absurd. A typical solar house can be described in a few pages. But Saunders’s three low-cost, 100% solar houses are different–very different. They embody several radically new approaches to solar heating. The design goals and also the general strategies used are new and strange, and some of the key components are puzzling even to experienced solar designers. A galaxy of new concepts is involved. To clearly convey what the designs are all about, and what exactly the heating and cooling systems consist of, requires a book. Norman Saunders: Inventor and Doer Norman B. Saunders, a professional engineer residing at 15 Ellis Road, Weston, MA 02193, is a thoughtful, quiet, deliberate inventor: an inventor of the lone-wolf type and one of New Englands’s best known solar consultants. His passion is devices that are simple, homely and durable. He avoids like the plague any device that is merely brilliant, flashy, impressive, or striking. From forty years’ experience in physics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and electronics engineering, he has developed the greatest distrust of “brilliant” devices which, so often, turn out to cost three times as much as anyone had predicted and to break down much too promptly. He turns his back instantly, with no apology, on most types of conventional solar heating equipment. Ignoring popular trends in solar design, he goes his own way, trying to formulate the heating and cooling requirements in the simplest and most basic way possible. One of his main approaches is to use a multipronged attack: use a lot of “little” pieces of equipment that will work together well. Each, although simple and unimpressive, contributes significantly. Together they provide a full but low-cost solution. Accordingly, his inventions cover a broad range, from special glazing materials and special window structures to special south roof louver systems, special heat-storage assemblies, and special airflow controls; also, various special systems for use in commercial buildings, eg high-temperature (steam-producing) systems. (The appendix lists many of his patents.) But he does a lot more than think and patent: he tries out his inventions prompltly. He puts them to work, either in his own house or in houses of friends or clients. Often he continues to improve a given invention, year after year.