The History Channel and Invent Now Inc. announced that the top invention of 2007 award will be claimed by the Enertia Building System, which uses a patented process to increase the latent solar heat storage capabilities of wood materials. The system also uses milled wooden blocks to eliminate the many materials and labor-intensive steps of house wall construction, replacing them with simple screwed-into-place units. The result is a house built of a renewable material that heats and cools itself with free, natural clean energy
Each Enertia house is built with a small atmosphere between the walls and is connected to a sunspace. The glue-laminated wooden structure stores solar and geothermal energy in its cellulose, lignin and resin, which is seeded with mineral crystals to initiate phase change. Over time the thermal energy is released to heat the home. During the summer the process is reversed, and the wooden structure absorbs heat from the appliances and occupants throughout the day, dissipating it at night.
The Enertia Building System can have a significant impact in reducing the burning of fossil fuels and protecting homeowners from violent weather. According to Sykes, the current methods of building, heating and cooling houses is wasteful and inefficient, and building just one Enertia house is equivalent to taking 50 cars off the road.
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