As energy efficient environmentally conscious engineers, we here at Glew Engineering do what we can to save energy and resources both around home and around the office. This might mean choosing products that are more environmentally friendly or energy efficient. It might mean using our surroundings to our advantage, like pulling cold air through a home or office at night so the building needs less air conditioning the next day. The most satisfying thing, though, is to employ our knowledge of mechanical engineering, materials science and thermal management to design custom hand-tooled solutions. In the next few blog posts, I'll review some of the current in-house engineering projects that are underway here and maybe give our readers a little inspiration [...]
Wind Load Calculation Wind Load Calculation is an overview of the force that blowing wind exerts on a tall object. A number of factors that influence the actual wind load on a real building, include the surrounding terrain, nearby structures, trees, and typical weather patterns for the area. Comparing wind load calculations are most complicated . Calculations try to account for as many of these external factors as possible, to the point where the wind load section in American Society for Civil Engineer’s ASCE 7 standard, spans five chapters and over 100 pages. Fig 1: Wind load calculation example structures ASCE 7's Applications Comparing one of ASCE 7’s Applications with the two equations [...]
Conduction and Radiation of Thermal Energy In my last blog post, I wrote about the conduction and radiation of thermal energy through windows and the thermal transmittance value, called the U-Factor, that characterizes that heat transfer. The U-factor is useful in evaluating window performance and making wise decisions when specifying components for a building, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. The National Fenestration Research Council (NFRC) mandates a second value alongside U-factor in its certification process, called the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). SHGC represents the ability of a window to resist heat gain from radiation, like the sunlight in Figure 1. This is obviously a challenge, given that the entire point [...]
Figure 1: Windows catching sunlight By Magda S [FreeImages.com Content License] In our last blog post, I wrote about the thermal resistance (R-value) and transmittance (U-factor) of insulation and windows. The R-value represents how well a material prevents heat transfer through its thickness, and U-factor is its inverse, representing how much heat a material will conduct through. These values are fairly simple to calculate for most building materials materials like the bricks and panels in Figure 1, as they primarily experience only conductive heat transfer. Windows are a more challenging proposition, however, since the heat transfer through them includes radiation across the entire spectrum, not just the visible light we see and the infrared we feel. In addition, [...]
Figure 1: FLIR image of two houses showing energy loss. Colors towards red on the scale indicate warmer surfaces and more energy loss. The basic principle behind thermal insulation is simple to understand. The harder it is for heat to travel through a material, the better insulator that material will make. In this blog, I’m going to take a look at how that effectiveness is quantified, after a brief review of the three methods of heat transfer. The building and construction industry use a ratio called the R-factor to indicate how well a building material can insulate a space. Also called the thermal insulance or thermal resistance, a higher R-value indicates a more effective insulator. Heat Transfer Methods There are [...]
Italian Masters: Volta Jump-Starts Electrical EngineeringFigure 1: Girolamo Cardano (1501-1576) Welcome back to our series on Italian Masters of math and science. Last week I wrote about Galileo’s extensive accomplishments both in the field of astronomy and beyond. This week, I’ll take a look at another renaissance polymath who dabbled in astronomy, along with his work in mathematics, medicine, biology, chemistry, philosophy, and gambling (yes, seriously): Girolamo Cardano. Cardano is a less well-known figure than Galileo or some of the other scientists I’ve written about who have famous equations or units of measurement named after them, like Volta or Torricelli. He is regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of his age, however, and made a great many contributions to science, [...]
Engineering designs and materials for roofing that work like a heat sink and help with the thermal management within a structure.