Blog

Solar Innovations, Inc. Patents Pressure-Equalized Building Cavity Vent System

December 15, 2014

Solar Innovations, Inc. has developed a method to create a pressure-equalized system that can be easily integrated into windows, doors, and structures. This innovation provides a higher water performance without compromising the system integrity when compared to other products on the market.

The normal method for venting the system is to equalize pressure by opening a vent in the face of the system at the top to the exterior with coordinating weeps at the bottom of the system to let water out. This pressure is what determines how much force is “pushing” or “pulling” the water into the system. The pressure created by wind during a storm is used as a reference point for glazing industry testing. Although the normal system works in standard weather conditions, it inherently has a fail point in high velocity pressure areas like hurricane prone regions. If a storm’s velocity exceeds the designed pressure of the system, the vent will become a cavity by which water may enter the system. As a result, the vent may fail either by sealing faults or pure pressure failure.

Solar Innovations, Inc. developed a patented solution which utilizes the cavity between the exterior and interior of the unit. By installing a special vent tube system vertically (height dependent on goal pressures to achieve), Solar can take advantage of a more pressure neutral zone. The pressure on the outside of the building and inside of the building can change rapidly; however, a properly built wall will effectively act to slow down the pressure change and create an applicable condition to use the system to balance the pressure inside the product. This vent allows air of a more neutral pressure to enter the system and the water to escape via the weeps on the bottom of the system removing the high velocity conditions that may cause the original method to fail.

For example, a terrace door which would normally achieve 6psf on the water test was retrofitted with the patented building vent cavity system; the door quickly achieved 15psf water performance with room left for improvement. Solar Innovations, Inc. plans to use this system to provide top performing products for harsh environments while maintaining aesthetic appeal.

If you have questions about Solar’s patented building cavity vent system or want to learn about how Solar can help enhance your glazed product, please contact a Solar Innovations, Inc. sales representative at skylight@solarinnovations.com or 800-618-0669.

Building Cavity Vent System