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Technology

Advanced Soleil Insulation

Two heat mirrors operate independently, based on the direction of heat flow,
to either reflect radiant energy or retard thermal emission.

The front air space (a.k.a. vent chamber) enables the radiant barrier (heat mirror) to reflect thermal radiation (electromagnetic, heat-carrying frequencies) from entering or exiting a structure depending on seasonal heat flow direction (inward in summer, outward in winter). Heat radiation reflected outward is trapped by a convection transforming membrane and converted into convection, decreasing vent chamber air buoyancy. The higher the efficiency of conversion, the higher the vent chamber temperature and the faster the vent chamber evacuates excessive heat from the structure – or sends it to be used elsewhere as a free energy resource. The rear of the vent chamber heat mirror is an R-Value substrate with a Low E material affixed inside its protective non-vented chamber. Each of the chambers slow energy transfer through the system. Integrating Soleil vented insulation into many conventional insulation systems would reduce BTU/hr throughput a minimum of 50%; some systems could experience upward of 90% BTU/hr reductions.

In short, this insulation system efficiently creates a remarkable artificial environment beneath the exterior building veneer.

The below stucco walls, tested with the same thickness and heat source, demonstrated how the Soleil insulation, with 10% less R-Value, required 45% less energy than conventional insulation to maintain an interior temperature at 70° F.

Without reflectivity and venting, the outdoor surface temperatures of conventional walls rise higher, and thus directly conduct more heat energy through the adjacent building materials and on to the “Batt” cavity.

With opaque vented and radiation-resistant
Soleil insulation, the outdoor surface temperatures are lower, conducting less heat through building materials and on to
the “Batt” cavity.

The above comparison demonstrates:

  1. Left: The exterior stucco superheated 45° F above the ambient air temperature and conducted most of its heat into the adjacent polyurethane insulating sheeting. Right: The stucco radiated into the adjacent air space most of its heat, which is then reflected and vented as exhaust.
  2. In both walls, depending on the material, color and texture of exterior surfaces, some small amount of radiation will be reflected.
  3. Left: The insulation sheeting adjacent to the stucco transferred nearly all of the heat by conduction, or by radiation allowed through voids, to the exterior surface of the fiberglass. Right: Radiant heat is reflected away from the fiberglass by the exterior surface of the radiant barrier, and the radiant and conductive heat energy absorption is inhibited by the Low-E interior surface of the radiant barrier. This substantially reduces the surface heat of conventional insulation behind the radiant barrier.
  4. The lower exterior surface temperature of the Soleil-insulated wall transfers less heat to “Batt” cavity.
  5. Conventional insulation sheeting adjacent to the stucco – even if wrapped with a radiant barrier, as some are for additional fire protection – cannot reflect radiation because a radiant barrier cannot reflect radiation without the adjacent air space.
  6. The exterior air space also allows outside air to enter a filtered grill to ventilate out heat buildup between building components. Cooler air from the crawl space can dramatically minimize or pre-cool exterior walls to create a net cooling supply at no cost, while
  7. Mechanical venting could expedite cooling.
  8. The exhausted heat, at no cost, may be used in a heat exchanger or as heat for another system (e.g. domestic hot water or heat pump).
  9. Without an interior adjacent air space, the Low-E interior surface of the radiant barrier could not inhibit the conducted energy, and would thus convert more radiation when it reached an exterior wall or roof surface.

Soleil insulation could be:


The savings in energy costs with Soleil insulation technology could more than halve most current retrofitting amortization periods by allowing existing buildings to achieve 50% to more than 80% reductions in energy consumption for heating and cooling. For applications in older buildings click on Masonry Buildings or Curtain Wall Buildings. The Company's Venting Channel Reflective Systems could be made so light they could be effectively applied under roofs, decks, shingles, etc., without replacing existing insulation or straining the structure.

Soleil building insulation is designed for use in conjunction with other conventional insulations, which it augments. In addition to reducing heat energy before contact with the fiberglass conduction its moisture seal is critical because fiberglass insulation, essentially unchanged in 70 years, is often subject to moisture, which “causes the loss of… most of its insulating value” (When Technology Fails by Mathew Stein, pg. 197), and it never can perform up to its designed and rated specifications (Oak Ridge R-Value Study).

Soleil Insulation Code Recommendations

At a demonstration of Soleil insulation, five engineers with the CA Energy Commission (CEC) and the CA Building Standards Commission (CBSC) recognized the potential energy savings and moisture elimination that can be achieved with Soleil’s configurations of radiant barriers and protected air spaces. Michael Leonard is available to repeat the demonstration, answer questions, and provide additional information. All five engineers stated that, when Soleil insulation could be tested and measured, they would recommend inclusion with good practice credit in Title 24 of The Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings section in the California Building Standards Code.

However, the CEC has no test to measure reflecting or ventilating insulation. The engineers' request for CEC funding to develop an ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) test protocol was turned down. The CEC and CBDC both work closely and influentially with the International Code Council, coordinating the California Building Code and the International Building Code. Neither building code can adequately address exterior surface temperatures as necessary to meet the energy savings goals set by the California state legislature until an ASTM protocol is developed to test and measure heat resistance with insulation that reflects and vents radiant heat and results in lower building surface temperatures. Today heat from the ambient air temperature is all that can be currently measured and tested for code purposes. (Soleil insulation complies with building codes, with an R-value comparable with fiberglass.) Dr. David Yarbrough, who founded R&D Services in 1994, initially to provide services for ASTM’s development of protocols for insulation testing, has offered his services to develop this needed ASTM protocol.

Several cities, states and nations have pledged to meet the “2030 Challenge” for “Zero Net Energy” (ZNE) buildings to produce as much energy as they consume by the year 2030. The California Energy Commission has adopted the challenge for commercial buildings and the more stringent challenge by the year 2020 for residential buildings. Some buildings have claimed to achieve ZNE with today's lenient code insulation standards by offsetting an excessive consumption of grid energy with a prodigious production of solar energy! For example, Soleil insulation could have eliminated approximately 31,000 of 70,000 solar panels designed to achieve ZNE for the University of California at Davis’ new West Village complex (West Village Study).