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Cost Effective Passive Solar Design Concepts

A Passive Solar Heating Design

Homes can be designed using a passive solar design or an active solar design. Passive solar should not be confused with active solar design or photovoltaic solar cells. The marriage of passive solar design with zero energy homes makes cost-effective heating and cooling possible. In both types of solar design, solar energy is collected in various places throughout the structure. Once energy-efficient features are in place, the use of passive solar energy becomes more viable. Trapping solar energy is the first step in passive solar heating.

The Most Commonly Isolated-gain Passive Solar Home Design

When all the right design elements are incorporated the result is a home which uses passive solar design to keep your home comfortable without using a lot of energy. There are many ways to design a custom, passive solar, sustainable, green home. Passive solar design, known to the ancients, has been completely abandoned in the past few hundred years when it comes to modern home design and construction. The passive solar thermal building design may look ostentatious but it is actually a home, made comfortable by green energy. To design a completely passive solar home, you need to incorporate what are considered the five elements of passive solar design. You can apply passive solar design techniques most easily when designing a new home.

The Side Of The Home Facing South

The majority of windows are located on the north and south facades with the south side windows  having adequate shade protection. The most frequently used rooms should be placed along the longer, south side of the house, where sunlight can enter through the windows . In temperate Northern zones, buildings are constructed with few windows on the Northern side and large, wide windows on the Southern side. The equator-facing side of a building is south in the northern hemisphere, and north in the southern hemisphere. Houses are constructed, in the northern hemisphere, with their long axis in an East-West direction. There is berming on the north, east, and west sides of the house.

Unwanted Heat Gain And Glaring Direct Sunlight

The direct gain passive solar collector absorbed more heat than most other types of passive solar collectors. In a direct gain space, solar energy penetrates directly into the space where it is stored and used. Direct gain attempts to control the amount of direct solar radiation reaching the living space. The simplest method of transferring the heat from passive solar collectors is through convection. Both increase overall cost, and the latter will reduce the amount of solar gain into the sun space. Direct gain is the simplest and most intuitive of passive solar designs.

Cooler Than The Air Leaving The Top Vent

The hot air rises and cool air is drawn in low through vents or windows in the wall on the shaded side of the house. The top and bottom vents continue to circulate air as long as the air entering the bottom vent is cooler than the air leaving the top vent. As hot air is drawn out, the cooler, moist air from the cool tower is drawn into and through the master bedroom. Natural convection causing rising warm air and falling cooler air can result in an uneven stratification of heat. As warm air moves through the vents, cooler room air is drawn through the lower vents, where it is warmed and rises to repeat the action. The fresh air intake is on the windward side, and the stale air exhaust is on the leeward side.

Thermal Mass Large Enough For Annualized Heat Storage

Active solar heating systems require the use of solar thermal collector to absorb sunlight in order to collect and store heat. When heat is not needed, the excess solar heat in the Trombe wall is absorbed and stored by the high-mass wall. By spreading sunlight out over thermal surfaces, heat is stored for later use. The surface sits in the direct path of the sunlight, which hits the surface and is absorbed as heat. The thermal mass continues to absorb and store heat to radiate back into the room after the sun has gone. The sunlight is converted to heat energy, which heats both the air and thermal mass materials.

Your Solar Collectors Used For Water Heating

Flat plate solar collectors mounted on south elevations can be used to provide solar heated liquid for space and domestic water heating. Now with the rising costs of fossil fuels, solar hot water heating is making a comeback. Flat plate collectors provide heated liquid for domestic hot water and radiant floors. The collectors are placed below the thermal storage, which in turn is placed lower than the space it is to heat. Colder water from the bottom of the storage tank will be drawn into the lower entry of the solar collector to replace the heated water that was therm o-siphoned upward. A heat exchanger in the solar tank is used to provide domestic hot water.

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