Alaska Patent of the Month – September 2022
Building and construction projects must always consider the annual weather conditions to be faced. A house built in an arid land will not require the same construction as one built in a wetland. The same is true for those built in areas that face regular cooling and warming cycles with extremes on either end. This cycle of temperatures can cause the ground as well as the construction materials themselves to swell and shrink, impacting the structural integrity. In these conditions, maintaining the permafrost layers at or below freezing can become a significant concern.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has designed a hybrid thermosiphon system meant to consistently maintain this permafrost and the active frost layers to support construction in the area.
The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is a non-profit Tribal health organization designed to meet the unique health needs of Alaska Native and American Indian people living in Alaska.
Their thermosiphon uses a passive refrigeration cycle to maintain the frozen layers using cold air during cool seasons. As the air temperature rises during the warmer months, the system transitions into an active refrigeration mode that uses a refrigeration system to minimize thawing. This optimizes efficiency by drawing on the available cold air during cool seasons. With this in place, the permafrost layers beneath a building may be maintained, improving overall structural stability for the building and – hopefully – increasing its lifespan.
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