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Air-shock window panel side view 01

Air-Shock Window Panel

South facing windows can provide a useful amount of heat to a house, but also loose heat at night if the they are not covered with insulating shutters. Opening and closing such shutters by hand requires a continuing effort and twice daily attention.

This design is for a system that opens and closes these shutters automatically when the sun is out. It uses Air-Shocks that are intended for use on vehicles that occasionally haul heavy loads or pull trailers. They are like conventional shock absorbers except that they have an additional air chamber. Increasing the pressure in the chamber increases the force the air-shock applies. They can be used as rugged and inexpensive linear actuators that run on low air pressure.

The shutters are a wooden frame with foam insulation and plywood outer skins. They hinge at the bottom of the window and fold out. The inside of the shutter is painted white or covered with aluminum foil. This coating scatters more light and heat into the room.

To automate the shutters requires a small compressor and air tank like those used to inflate tires. The air is distributed through small diameter plastic tubing and controlled with solenoids and a light sensitive switch. The panels always move slowly and shocks also soften wind forces on the panels.

These shutters are made from inexpensive and easy to obtain materials. They require only simple home improvement level tools and skills.

We build a test example of these shutters were built back in the 1970's but the test was not widely published. This design now needs to be redesigned, test, and made available on the Web. If you would like to build this device, just send in this little form and write "Air-Shocks" in the text box.

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