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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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    • CommentAuthorj40
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
     
    I've recently had two Solatubes fitted in my lounge in my bungolow which have made a massive difference to our living space, which we often had to turn on the light during the day.

    Until recently I didn't even know these sun tube / pipes / tunnel even existed. They are an excellent innovative idea but actually very simple. Sorry- I should explain- essentially a system which, through a highly refelctive tube, brings natural light from your roof (by way of a sky window or dome) into your dark rooms - normally first floor- or ground floor on bungolow (but i have also heard that it can be brought down to ground floor in a two storey house).Apparently it can be installed in basements through the wall- like a porthole!

    Anyhow, I was just wondering how many people are amazed that these natural light sun tubes / pipes are not more widely known about? And trying to find a company to fit them wasn't easy either - but eventually did and they were excellent.
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
     
    They are great for a short span, maybe a metre, but mine stretches over 2 metres and is a bit poor....
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
     
    They are better suited to hotter sunnier climes -- I think they are overpriced and a waste of money in the UK
    • CommentAuthorTerry
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
     
    Rachel, what type of tube is yours - rigid or the concertina type?
    as you infer performance definitely goes down with increase in length, and also with any bends.
    j40 - these tubes are fairly well advertised in the building press and at shows etc. There have been a number of threads on here discussing them.
    Will be fitting our solatubes soon.
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2008
     
    mine is rigid and no bends. going to take it out and try somewhere else of shorter span. the extra lengths cost a bomb but I thibk they are going down in price. bought mine 3 years ago.
    • CommentAuthorj40
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2008
     
    Rachel- you might want to check out Solatubes- they have the most highly reflective tubes out of all of them- and apparently the bigger ones (350mm) can span 9mtrs- although I doubt that! Mine span 2 mtrs each and are excellent. Terry, who is fitting your Solatubes or are you doing it yourself?
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2008
     
    My 1m extensions cost £100 each! So, I'll have one or two available if I change the position. Any takers? Will be much cheaper of course.
    • CommentAuthorDavipon
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2008
     
    I've fitted a couple of the velux rigid tube solar tubes,was quite impressed with efficiency in a middle of house bathroom,Travis Perkins sell them but not cheap outside of trade.
    • CommentAuthorj40
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2008
     
    Do the Velux have domes Davipon?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2008
     
    No they are square on the outside of the roof -- round flat pearl on the ceiling.
    • CommentAuthorTerry
    • CommentTimeAug 25th 2008
     
    j40 - fitting ourselves in a couple of months
    • CommentAuthorarthur
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2008
     
    How do they affect the insulation of the roof they penetrate? I seem to remember getting the impression from somewhere that the cost of light would be increased heat loss...
    • CommentAuthordocmartin
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2008
     
    Sunpipe seem very reluctant to publish U values on their website. How thermally efficient are they?
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2008
     
    They cannot even be described as thermally efficient -- they are not and they are problematic to both try to insulate and to stop drafts.
    • CommentAuthorj40
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2008
     
    From what i believe- and i only know Solatube- the diffuser has a double glazed and meets all U values etc. Some do wrap insulation around them but it is not required.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2008
     
    But then the tube itself is totally uninsulated and must cause big heat losses.
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2008
     
    No drafts if you seal them and one can insulate around the tube.
    • CommentAuthorDavipon
    • CommentTimeAug 26th 2008
     
    Havn't insulated or draft proofed solar tubes,with a 4" extractor 3 feet away going directly to a tile vent didn't seem much point worrying about a minimal heat loss.
    • CommentAuthordocmartin
    • CommentTimeAug 27th 2008
     
    Rachel, several times, on TV programmes, I have noticed significant condensation inside sun pipes. One make describes air exchange through the outer nylon gasket; how can they then be completely sealed?
    • CommentAuthorTerry
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2008
     
    Seem to recall one of the manufacturers advertising bumff giving a U-value of 2.0
    • CommentAuthorRachel
    • CommentTimeSep 6th 2008
     
    yes, maybe not totally sealed. I take it back... No condensation in mine.
    • CommentAuthorSilky
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2016 edited
     
    this seems to be 1 of 2 threads from 2008 on sun tubes, just been doing some googling, there's a website for a British manufacturer called Addlite that are claiming u-values 'up to' 0.43 and a patent double glazed thermal break ( double glazed insert in the tube ). Anyone else have the inside track on this, ie. does this Patent explain why the other systems from Velux et al. don't seem to do the obvious thing and have such poor u-values? Has anyone tried the Addlite product?
    • CommentAuthorGotanewlife
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2016 edited
     
    I have 2 'ordinary' sun tubes - they are very expensive! Not unusual to get condensation on my lenses - yes DG sun tubes sounds good and might stop condensation but you have to consider where the insulation falls in relation to the surrounding insulation or you could end up with really nasty condensation. They also need a lot of care to fit - trust me!

    The diffuser is DG but as this drops to a suspended PB ceiling it doesn't help much....I did surround mine with foam as a fixing and insulation and worked very hard on making water proof. Also note that, as mentioned above, top cover is deliberately not air tight as condensation inevitable, so runs down outer hemisphere into foam ring and evaporates away idc or overflows outside. So consider that whole tube is 'cold'

    Mine are just excellent, wouldn't be without them!! Also wouldn't even dream of paying more for better engineered ones unless perhaps going PassivHouse.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2016
     
    But you are not in the UK are you.
    • CommentAuthorSilky
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2016
     
    nor me ( UK ), this is relevant for condensation?

    I'm planning warm roof, so I would place the DG thermal break within the insulation layer. The above mentioned product is also claiming air tightness. I think I will call them this week but would be keen to get some independent feedback.
  1.  
    Yes I am in Italy but that makes no difference whatsoever to this thread. At least I have them and, indeed, fitted them myself as part of a refurb.

    Just had a look - nice bit-o-kit! I am only dubious as to the light collection claims - the best orientation is to mount the domed collector horizontally and pass through the sloped roof vertically - which isn't an option for obvious reasons given their thermal break needs to be in the same plan as the roof. In addition, the glass thermal break will reflect light (twice!) so absolutely cannot get close to non-thermal break transmittance tubes of well over 95%. Still all-in-all looks good and not as expensive as I imagined.

    If anything (dust water) falls on the DG section it'll be a bugger! Looks easy to ensure air tightness. You are certainly going to need to trust their engineering and R&D. Would I have paid more than a third more for it? - probably not but then I only have 100mm of white EPS in my roof. Reckon I could DIY the DG break without too much effort though, now I have seen the idea :wink:
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2016 edited
     
    I will never use them in the uk, fine ish with good quality of light when you want light but not heat.

    Plastic on a roof leaves me cold insulating them is difficult, insufficient light, condensation, all downsides
  2.  
    We had 2 in the Energy Centre in Sheffield (UK).

    I agree that they are not great thermally, but in terms of getting light to inaccessible places - excellent. I have not had a close look for a few years, but the one upstairs lit an otherwise unlit WC.Roughly 2.4m and a good bend to get to the roof slope, and it looks as if you have left the light on! No major condensation issues except when the local 'darlings' broke the dome.

    In this case a high-performance roof-light and a 'tunnel' simply would not have worked.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeFeb 29th 2016
     
    Roof window and a light well works better and gives ventilation too
  3.  
    There are also options with fibre optics which may be more appropriate for passiv hus. Don't know how the cost compares....
   
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