Denver Company Creates Wall That Heats Building

Posted: 08/10/2012 
Last Updated: 297 days ago

Denver-based RavenBrick LLC has created a breakthrough green energy device called RavenSkin that harnesses the sun’s energy to heat buildings and make them more energy-efficient.

“Everybody’s been in a building where the windows and walls make them either cold or hot,” said RavenBrick CEO Alex Burney. “This one actually regulates it so it’s much more comfortable as well.”

RavenSkin is a three-inch thick wall that can be used in large commercial buildings that do not require load-bearing walls. RavenBrick integrated its RavenWindow technology, which automatically darkens to regulate how much of the sun’s heat enters the wall.

So on hot summer days, the wall insulates the building from the sweltering sun. But when it gets cooler outside, the sun’s radiation is captured inside the wall using a recycled corn waste product. Then, through a scientific process, RavenSkin releases the heat into the building when it’s needed.

“If you put 25 percent of this material on a building, and then that building did not have any heating and cooling apparatus, the temperature inside that building would never go higher than 75 degrees or lower than 65 degrees,” Burney said.

According to RavenBrick, the savings in utility expenses could reach 50 percent. Also, the return on investment for RavenSkin smart walls comes almost immediately in new construction.

“The average wall product commercially is about $20 per square foot just for the materials,” Burney said. “And we’ll be right around that initial cost range.”

RavenBrick is initially targeting the commercial building sector due to the larger immediate impact in reducing energy consumption. However, the technology can be incorporated into residential homes. Large panels could be framed in to the structure in the same manner windows are installed. And from the inside, the paintable surface has the appearance of textured drywall.

RavenSkin was moved out of the research and development phase in July. RavenBrick hopes to begin installing the wall systems as early as September or October.


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