A Personal Blog on Bicycle Transportation and DIY Projects

The 2 liter solar bottle idea for free lighting in my house.

I am still amazed at how you can get 50 watts of lighting from a 2 liter bottle filled with water. 

This got me thinking about where I could use such technology at home.   A while back, I borrowed an infrared temperature gun to measure where all of the high temperature areas were around the house.  To my surprise a great majority of the heat did not come from the ceiling, but from the sun shining through the windows!  Even if you put up curtains, that heat had already entered the room and will eventually heat it. 

Since then, I created a temporary solution of putting foam board on the windows.  While the heat when down drastically, the rooms are now dark….

The solution would be double pane glass.   Double pane windows will  insulate and also block the radiant heat from the sun.  However, it is expensive. 

That being said, I have an extremely inexpensive low tech idea.  Why not take a thick sheet of styrofoam, cut holes in it and place the 1 liter water bottles will with water into the holes for an exact fit?  The styrofoam will make a perfect seal into the window frame, thus insulating from the heat, and the water bottles will let the light come though.  At 6 water bottles creating I guess, 25 equivalent watts of light each, that is equivalent to a 150 watt lightbulb where the window used to be.   Here’s some sketchup models I created of the idea.

window 1

window 2

OK, it may not seem “pretty” at first, but maybe it will look really nice if you cover the styrofoam side facing in the room with a decorative wallpaper?   Or maybe the prismatic effect of the bottles will enhance the look of the room?  You can’t find out unless you try it.


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