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DIY Vacuum Insulated Panels

 
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I am hoping you guys can chime in, I figured this was the most appropriate forum to post this in. If not, please move, and so sorry!

I am wondering if a sort of diy vacuum insulated panel would be feasible to produce. The main issues I can think of are that the vacuum will eventually fail, or that the way in which the panels are normally designed are incompatible with a DIY approach.

If a simple design could be thought up, and one that would hold insulation indefinitely, assuming all the best, that would really change how one could build in any climate, and give some power back to those who are looking to build there own homes.

I know it is likely a pipedream, but if anyone could offer advice or thoughts, I'd truly appreciate it!
 
pollinator
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What type of panel are you considering?  Glass?

If using glass I think it could be done but you would need bracing in between the panels to support them and keep them from bowing in due to the vacuum.  I would think it would need to be some sort of square tubing with holes from side to side to allow the air to pass through while vacuuming out the air.  The only vacuum pump I am familiar with (just because I don't know of others due to lack of experience) is the one for working on AC systems.  With that in mind I think you would need to have the valve fitting built into the window frame so you can attach the vacuum pump hose, but you would need to have a very accurate gauge so you know when to stop before the glass shatters.  (if'n the glass would shatter)

Any my final thought is glass itself is not a good insulator for heat/cold.  Properly designed it would be better than just a glass panel but I don't think it would have a very good R-value.

This is definitely a good topic for discussion.  Plenty of knowledge and creative minds on this forum.
 
Riley Smith
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This is how one company makes them, at least.

I think this way is probably not within diy reach, in a practical manner at least.

I was hoping some sort of shell, say plastic, with a core of insulatable material could be vacuum sealed, and perhaps not be as good as the "proper" types, but could hopefully be easily diy and also greatly increase an R value of insulation.
 
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Hi Riley,
DIY vaccum insulated panel would be brilliant
Earlier, I was considering mycelium insulated panels for my dojo design in Ant village, but it doesn't have a high enough R value (~4), to support my thermal comfort needs. Vaccum insulated panels have an R value of 25-30, and EnergyStar recommended in Montana is 50 for walls. So I could get there with two inches of vaccum. Let me see what I can engineer.
 
gardener
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What about a brick of aircrete wrapped in mylar?

I don't know how hard a vacuum you need to pull for this, but if it's strong enough one of those vacuum bag sealers (Eg foodsaver brand) could be a convenient way to suck down and fuse in one step.
 
                              
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Sorry new to the site. I was dreaming about placing vacuum storage bags with old shredded clothes in a radiant foil sandwich. maybe not as good of an R value, but may be better than blown. Maybe there is a way to enhance the durability of the vacuum.
 
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The claim lately on VIP r value seems to be 50 or 60 for a 1 inch thick vacuum panel.
If you have an inch of rock wool in the panel, it is R4 at best. So if and when you loose your vacuum you are dropping at least  TEN fold in R value.
For this reason, I would not even consider doing this without a vacuum system attached to the panels. Plumbing for both pressure and vacuum, is already being done. In this case the vacuum required is not much. Negative is negative, and means there is no air present. If the panels are plumbed in parallel you can quickly locate a leak. It is possible with a ballast tank, to have perpetual leaks.
It's a low vacuum and would draw down very quickly. In theory you R value would go from 4 to 40 in seconds. With a durable bladder (vacuum bag), the vacuum pump might kick on once a month.
Foil bags are used to control radiant heat. You have two spaced radiant foils that probably brings that R4 (rockwool) to R10 ( dependant on application)
Why has this not been a major going concern before now?
Have you seen the price of insulation lately ! And, the new code requirements for insulation !
Vacuum pumps and hose are cheap.
Even a central vac pulls a negative 3 or 4 psi. Every time you turn it on.
OK, I just heard a bunch of mad inventers scrambling for the man cave.
A central vac-wall panel maintainer.

Terry eh

 
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