Earth, Air, Fire and Water are the four classic elements upon which all materials are made according to ancient beliefs. Many more elements were discovered since that time. As a matter of fact 94 naturally occurring elements have been discovered and a few dozen were created artificially. Back in the good old days diagnostic tools were limited and people had to rely on direct observation. Fire and Water are very different, but careful observation of burning wood reveals combustion for Fire also produces ash (Earth) and Water. If we think of the sun as Fire the connection with water starts to make sense.
The Sun Connection is the Sun water that makes life possible. Plants use sunlight directly by converting CO2 and H2O into sugar and by transporting this energy to roots through a network of cellulose fibers. In plants chlorophyll is the energy transport chelate that makes direct use of solar radiation. In animals a similar chelate know as hemi is used as an energy transport catalyst. The hemi carry oxygen to cells and produce energy by combining this oxygen with plant sugars. The combustion products of sugar and oxygen are of course CO2 and H2O so the cycle of life continues. The similarity between the Magnesium chelate chlorophyll and the Iron chelate hemi is a stunning proof of the evolution of animal life from plant life, so: under the sun, we are all connected.
The Water Connection is an also an essential part of the life process, not only for transferring sun energy but also for the universal solvent energy transport mechanism. Microorganisms that live in the ocean use the solvent properties of water directly while multicellular organisms rely on circulation, but weather organisms live in the ocean or roam across a barren desert they still depend on the chemical energy made from sunlight in the presence of water. In addition to being chemically dependent on water we are dependent on it’s physical properties.
The Heat Capacity of Water is a physical property that makes water special. This ability to store heat is mainly due to the OH stretching frequencies within the water molecule. Alcohols and glycols have OH bond, streaching, frequencies, but these compounds can not compare with water when it comes to storing and transferring heat. Of course all substances exist in three physical states that depend on temperature and pressure. Fortunately the liquid state of water is commonly available in most earthly habitats within earthly climatic conditions. In the liquid state water has a specific heat of 1 calorie/gram °C or 4.186 joule/gram °C which is higher than any other common substance. For this reason water provides a valuable, heat storage medium. Without the water from oceans and rivers to hold heat our planet would experience temperature aberrations beyond the range of adaptability.
Storing Heat Energy in Water is perhaps the safest, most cost-effective method of storing sun energy. Unfortunately a large volume of water takes up a large space and most dwellings have insufficient living space as is. An alternative to basement heat storage involves the construction of a heat storage vault against an external house wall. A second alternative involves the construction of a remote sun shed to be used for both heat collection and heat storage. And then there’s the third option which involve the planing and construction of a solar home from scratch. This is where I come into the picture.