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Bead Windows For Farm Homes
Now you can have your energy cake and eat it too when it comes to large window walls'. Notorious for wasting heat to the outdoors, window walls can now be installed with "portable" insulation, made up of tiny beads of polystyrene. The beads are used to fill the space between two panes of glass
spaced 21/2 in. apart.
The new "Bead Window" system involves a hidden motor, switch, tubes and a storage tank for the beads. If you want the window wall as a see-through window, such as during the day, leave the beads out. If you want an insulated wall instead, such as at night or on an extra cold day, just flip a switch and the beads are blown into the 21/2-in. cavity, ' completely filling it from top to bottom. The view outside, of course, is blocked, but the window wall now becomes heavily insulated against extreme cold in winter, or extreme heat in summer.
According to the manufacturer, Zomeworks Corp. of Albuquerque, N.M., the R factor of a 2 1/2-in. core window with the beads in is 8. With the beads out, the R factor is only 1.5. The window cavity also can be partially filled with beads to any height, up from the bottom.
The Bead Window concept is being used in passive solar collector glass walls, with beads out during the day for solar collection and beads in at night to hold in the heat that was collected during the day.
Jan and John Harrison, of Kingdom City, Mo., have a new Bead Window in their farm home. It measures 8 x 71/2 ft. in two sections. Jan Harrison told FARM SHOW they are very satisfied with the system. "It works beautifully. A regular window wall without the beads would lose us about $45 worth of heat in a winter. If we keep the Bead Window full all winter, the heat loss is only about $5." Beads blow in at the top, are. sucked out at the bottom, and are about the size of the BB's in shotgun shells.
Bob Cusick, a Mexico, Mo., extension home management specialist who worked with the Harrisons on their window, told FARM SHOW that a person can easily feel the difference in temperature when standing beside the window with beads in and beads out. Time required to fill the cavity with beads is about 3 min. he says, and the motor can be heard only if you are standing right beside the window.
Zomeworks officials note that unbreakable tempered glass is required, and that it should be 3/16 in, thick. A bead window wall can be built into a new home, or adapted to.an existing one. However, there has to be a place, such as an attic nearby, to place the bead storage tank, which is about 32 in. wide and 56 in. high.
Cost of the system, not counting glass or the window frame, is $433. It can be made to fill and empty automatically • on a timer at additional cost.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Zomeworks Corp., P.O. Box 712, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103 (ph 505 242-5354).

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1980 - Volume #4, Issue #5