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Radiant Heat Gain

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Old 08-13-2019, 10:12 AM   #1
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Default Radiant heat gain

My site is in the high desert of the western US, where it gets really warm in the summer. I'm a little worried about radiant heat gain inside the yurt in the summer months.

The

dome

is smoked so it should cut down on some of the direct sun entering there. But the sun is going to be pounding the exterior walls and roof and

heating

things up inside. I have the standard

insulation

kit from

Colorado Yurts

.

Am I going to need to get some kind of cooling to make it bearable to use the yurt in the summer months?

At some point I want to setup a small solar system, but didn't plan to have enough power to run an AC unit or mini-split. What's the experience of those in similar situations?

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Old 08-13-2019, 11:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

They definitely heat up, quite a bit. If you are in the desert where you get reliable sun, then I would invest in the best solar array you can get. They are rather cheap now. If you got the largest window air conditioner you could get, that would require 1,400 - 1,500 watts of electricity to run. That's 5 300 watt panels (though I would recommend 8). I have seen them as low as $200 a panel and even less if you find a deal say on Craigslist where a contractor has too many.

What size is your yurt? My guess is a 30' (like mine) would need a large AC unit, but a 20' might need only a 900 watt AC unit.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

I roll the sidewall up a foot and tuck it into the lowest wall tension band. That creates a real nice cooling draft through smoke hole.

Open door and window and vent through

dome

vent.

Cheapest of all secondary options, string a highline over the yurt and erect a huge poly tarp over the yurt to shield it from the sun.

Next idea get those angle iron fittings for wall tents and erect a huge frame over the yurt and tie the tarp to that. That will withstand the wind better but it cost some money.

If all that is a no go, and you have money, get a generator and install an A/C unit for the few months it is really hot. We finally did that this year after 20 years in the home I built for us. Lemme tell yuh our house is nice and cool as I type this in 70 degree comfort. lol I could care less if the utility bill went up $100/month. I work in hot all the time, I like cool at home. Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

More detail. 1" or 1 3/8ths" fittings. I have 1" for my wall tent frame. The big ones are more money and more stouter too. lol Get the 10' -1" or 1 3/8th" EMT posts at Lowes or Depot. Get the tarp and fittings at 'my tarp' or other online source. You can even do an octagonal frame set with those fittings. That's all I got. Good luck.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

Correction to first post: not 'angle iron fittings'. My angle fittings are welded steel tubing with thumbscrews to tighten the fitting to the frame. There are many different shapes, just figure out based on what frame you are doing.
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

If you have water, check out your site and plant some deciduous trees to the south and west of your yurt. Talk to your county extension service, (there is one in every county in the USA), and find out what to plant for shade and that is fast growing and drought tolerant. I suggest deciduous because you may want the heat in the winter months, and you could put the leaves in your compost pile should you decide to have one.

Figure out your grey water system and a way to deliver the grey water to the sites where you will plant your trees. you don't have to water them all at once, some today, some tomorrow, some the next. You get the idea. Maybe catch it in a barrel first so you know how much you are delivering. Don't spray it, deliver it directly to the roots if you can.

Plant your trees to the south and west of your yurt, far enough away so that they won't rub against your yurt when they grow up, again the extension service person should be helpful with how big they will get. You may want to plant more than one line and plan on removing the second line when they get large. Umm, that probably won't be in the first year, also depends on how much water you can deliver.

I will vouch for Bob's lifting the bottom of the cover on the north side. It really does work. Try that while your trees grow. If that isn't cool enough go for the generator or the solar panels as your budget allows.

Of course, all this depends on your water situation.

Water..... crooned with my best Sons of the Pioneers voice.

Best of luck,


Rod
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
More detail. 1" or 1 3/8ths" fittings. I have 1" for my wall tent frame. The big ones are more money and more stouter too. lol Get the 10' -1" or 1 3/8th" EMT posts at Lowes or Depot. Get the tarp and fittings at 'my tarp' or other online source. You can even do an octagonal frame set with those fittings. That's all I got. Good luck.

I'm interested to know more about these fittings. Any chance you could post a link to an example. I'm not even sure what to look for.

We've given serious consideration to the idea of shading the yurt with shade sails or whatever they're called. I like this a lot. But in order for them to stay secure over the long term it seems like the way to do this is to use drill pipe (we have access to plenty in the land of drill baby, drill) and sinking them into concrete piers. Not sure how flexible that stuff is, when it's being flexed sideways by winds and the tension of the shades.

I guess we'll probably wait to see where we're going to need the shade the most (probably to the south and west) and design something that's viable over the long term.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Rod View Post
If you have water, check out your site and plant some deciduous trees to the south and west of your yurt. Talk to your county extension service, (there is one in every county in the USA), and find out what to plant for shade and that is fast growing and drought tolerant. I suggest deciduous because you may want the heat in the winter months, and you could put the leaves in your compost pile should you decide to have one.
Absolutely already thinking about trees. And since we're in the high desert western US the logical choice is cottonwood. Fast growing, somewhat controllable if you stay on top of them at the start and offer shade in the summer and sun in the winter. The question becomes placement and watering.


Quote:
Figure out your grey water system and a way to deliver the grey water to the sites where you will plant your trees. you don't have to water them all at once, some today, some tomorrow, some the next. You get the idea. Maybe catch it in a barrel first so you know how much you are delivering. Don't spray it, deliver it directly to the roots if you can.
This is a great idea. Hopefully we'll be at the yurt often enough (we're not living there full time) to make this a realistic possibility.


Quote:
Plant your trees to the south and west of your yurt, far enough away so that they won't rub against your yurt when they grow up, again the extension service person should be helpful with how big they will get. You may want to plant more than one line and plan on removing the second line when they get large. Umm, that probably won't be in the first year, also depends on how much water you can deliver.
I like the idea of planting multiple rows and maybe removing some later on, as they mature.


Quote:
I will vouch for Bob's lifting the bottom of the cover on the north side. It really does work. Try that while your trees grow. If that isn't cool enough go for the generator or the solar panels as your budget allows.
Hmmmm... I get it, but does the standard bubble wrap

insulation

move out of the way easily enough to be able to do this without a ton of hassle?
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rowlands View Post
I roll the sidewall up a foot and tuck it into the lowest wall tension band. That creates a real nice cooling draft through smoke hole.

Open door and window and vent through dome vent.
The insulation is going to have to be moved out the way as well. Is that pretty easy to do?
And of course, we need to be thinking about bugs in the summer, so do you screen over that part of the wall so you can stay pretty bug free?

Quote:
If all that is a no go, and you have money, get a generator and install an A/C unit for the few months it is really hot. We finally did that this year after 20 years in the home I built for us. Lemme tell yuh our house is nice and cool as I type this in 70 degree comfort. lol I could care less if the utility bill went up $100/month. I work in hot all the time, I like cool at home. Good luck.
I plan to have a generator, for emergency power. How big should I plan to go if I want to run a small AC unit off it?

And thanks for the replies! I'm glad I found this forum and there are good people out there willing to jump in and answer some questions for us newbs.
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Old 08-15-2019, 08:29 PM   #10
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Default Re: Radiant heat gain

Can't answer questions about generator size off the top of my head. I never owned or used one. People do use generators all the time in campgrounds nowadays. I'm thinking smaller A/C units can run off them, but that is merely a guess.

The gen needs enough juice to run your A/C unit and Home Depot Lowes Harbor Freight etc. are gonna have the specs on the generators output on the unit or in a 'spec table' online. Your perspective A/C should have specs on its power needs as well. Or get on an online camping site and start looking at 'A/C- gen' threads like I would. lol

As for bugs, beats me how to keep them out. A guess would be screening the wall all the way around just might work? Certainly window screening is cheap and easy to zip tie to the wall lattice.

I never had need to think about bugs in this nice arid climate around here, plus I don't live in my yurt. However if I lived in skeeter hood I'd be all over screening the yurt I HATE the little mofos. I regularly beat the wasps outta my yurt as they attempt to nest around the smokehole and rafters. Good luck and enjoy the ride.
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