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SolaMate saves energy spent on home temperature regulation

By Damir Beciri
8 June 2009

solamate.jpgSpace heating and cooling represent the most significant proportion of present home energy needs. There are some projects related to the new forms of architecture which should drastically change the process of temperature regulation in order make it more natural and environmentally friendly. We will write about those projects in our future articles. This article shows a way we could adapt our existing habitat in order to make it more energy efficient. SolaMate is able to heat, cool and ventilate a building with the usage of solar energy.

SolaMate, Solar Air Heating, Cooling and Ventilation, is a product of young inventor Stuart Elliott. He is a mechanical engineer who used to work as a R&D manager with a large biomedical company. Needing a change from corporate life, he left his job two years ago to become a stay at home dad and look after his young children. It was during this time that he developed the concept for SolaMate.

At the core of the invention is a simple plastic extrusion with honeycomb cross section. It provides lightweight strength, individual air channels and a triple glazing effect, meaning the solar panel works just as well on cold days as it does warm days provided there is some sunshine.

SolaMate warms your home with fresh filtered air on cold winter days. The low emissions system harnesses the sun’s energy to cut your heating bills dramatically and create year-round comfort for your family. On hot summer nights, SolaMate injects cool outside air into your home for easier sleeping and less load on your air conditioner. In addition, the regular flow of fresh filtered air improves indoor air quality and creates a healthy home for your family by reducing dust, pollutants and allergens.

Solar energy penetrates clouds even on overcast days and the SolaMate panel is able to harvest this energy very efficiently. The SolaMate panel also responds instantly to sunshine. It is able to harvest the maximum amount of heat from those small bursts of sunshine that often appear between showers – even on a rainy winter day.

Current 5-star energy rating schemes encourage tighter sealing in homes which can lead to sick building syndrome and exacerbate breathing problems. “SolaMate reduces health conditions such as asthma, due to the medical grade filter which improves indoor air quality,” Elliott said.

The smart controller automatically adjusts the fan speed depending on the amount of sunshine, so you can be sure that all the available energy is being captured and transferred into your home.

SolaMate Solar Air Heating, Cooling is one of 25 finalists in INNOVIC’s International Next Big Thing Award™ 2009 – a competition to find and showcase the best new Australian and international innovations. Winners will receive over $60,000 in cash and prizes when they are announced on Thursday 2 July.

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