Dog House Terminology

Solar Dog House



Solar dog houses have particular appeal to folks living in the cold northern climes. The basic idea is to keep your dog warm by employing solar technology in the dog house design.

If you peruse Google Groups, you'll come across a number of ideas for building solar dog houses. One contributor suggests making a house with a solar heat collector as the outer layer on the south side. The collector is made from a glass window positioned over a black water-filled mattress that rests against the inner layer of the roof. The water in the mattress heats up during the day and functions as a radiator to provide warmth for a good portion of the night. To help retain the heat, a "shutter" with a reflective foil coating on the inside is placed over the collector at nighttime.

I came across this solar dog house while doing some Googling. It features an insulated cedar living den fronted by a solar unit made from polycarbonate panels. The solar unit is essentially a miniature green house with a circular doorway. As the sun shines down on it, the solar unit heats up and channels some of the heat into the adjoining living quarters of the dog. At night-time, the dog must rely on his own body heat and whatever residual heat remains from the solar heating. (Presumably, an inexpensive light-bulb heater could also be used). During warm weather, a reflective cover can be attached to the solar unit to keep the temperature from getting too high.

A team from the Florida Solar Energy Center created the "K-9 Comfort Cottage," a dog house that integrates solar energy and building strategies with dog comfort in mind. The structure was made of extruded PVC sheets on its sides and three solar panels on a white reflective roof. The solar panels powered a dog porch light, nighttime ventilation fan and an overhead "tail-safe" ceiling fan.  The K-9 Comfort Cottage was designed for a hot, humid climate although the builders provide adaptations that can be made for a cold climate.




 
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