Passive solar heating

silicon solar cells
Passive solar energy
silicon solar cells



Passive solar heating design means that your house absorb solar heat during the day and give off heat at night. Go outside on a hot and sunny day, and you'll feel the power of solar heat. Today, many buildings are designed to take advantage of this natural sun resource through the use of passive solar . The south building side always receives the most sun power energy. Therefore, buildings designed for solar heating usually have big, south-facing windows. Floors and walls are built of materials that absorb and store sun heat. The floors and walls will then heat up during the day and release heat at night. This passive solar design we call direct gain. Similar passive solar design features include trombe walls and sunspaces – see picture below. A sunspace (which is much like a greenhouse) is built on the south side of a building. As sunlight passes through glass, it warms the sunspace. Proper ventilation allows the heat to circulate into the building. On the other hand, a trombe wall is a very thick, south-facing wall, which is painted black and made of a material that absorbs a lot of heat. A pane of glass or plastic glazing, installed a few inches in front of the wall, helps hold in the heat. The wall heats up slowly during the day. Then as it cools gradually during the night, it gives off its heat inside the building. Many of the passive solar heating design features also provide daylighting. Daylighting is simply the use of natural sunlight to brighten up a building's interior. To lighten up north-facing rooms and upper levels, a clerestory—a row of windows near the peak of the roof—is often used along with an open floor plan inside that allows the light to bounce throughout the building. Too much solar heating and daylighting can be a problem during the hot summer months. Fortunately, there are many design features that help keep passive solar buildings cool in the summer. For instance, overhangs can be designed to shade windows when the sun is high in the summer. Sunspaces can be closed off from the rest of the building. And a building can be designed to use fresh-air ventilation in the summer.



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