Passive Solar, definition of

Passive Solar

Passive solar design refers to the use of the sun's energy for the heating and cooling of living spaces. With this approach, the building itself or some element of it takes advantage of natural energy characteristics in materials and air created by exposure to the sun.

Passive systems are simple, have few moving parts, and require minimal maintenance and require no mechanical systems. Often the thermal characteristics of materials are extensively used, often termed as Thermal Mass design.

EcoWho Articles where 'Passive Solar' used:
  • Buying a House
    Buying a house can be one of the biggest financial decisions you will make, we provide some advice on how make it go more smoothly and how to ensure you find a property that is good for you and the environment.
  • Underfloor heating, is it Green?
    We look at the various options available for underfloor heating and whether it can be considered or made more green.
  • Climategate, what is going on?
    Global warming, climate change, greenhouse effect and climategate; how 'valid' is the climate science?
  • Solar Energy - how you can use the Sun
    The Sun's Energy can be used in way different ways, we look at the various options available.
  • Solar Power - the facts about setting up Solar Power
    Solar Power systems installed at the home or office can reduce environmental impact. How solar panel systems work is described and how you and the environment benefit.
  • Ecologically Sustainable Development, what it is and how you can do it
    Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) is defined and explained in detail in this article; and how it helps you to be more green and eco friendly.
  • What is R-Value, U-Value and how do they relate to insulation?
    How the R-value of a buildings insulation or home is calculated and the factors that effect the final R value, and how to use it.
  • What is a Trombe Wall and how can you use one?
    Trombe Walls can provide free heating, cooling and ventilation. We explain how Trombe Walls work; how to build a Trombe Wall and how such a wall saves money by reducing energy usage.
  • Low Allergen Building Design
    Low allergen design is a whole building approach that aims to reduce and avoid all known allergens, and to minimize the conditions in which they occur. This article shows you how.
  • The importance of building orientation
    Building orientation to the Sun is important to reduce energy consumption, keeping comfortable and saving money. This article explains how best to get building orientation correct. Through a combination of benefits and opportunities the correct building orientation could save you thousands.
  • What is Passive Solar?
    Passive solar building design is explained and how passive solar principals are used to design green homes and buildings, and save you money.
  • Green Home Building and Ecology in Australia
    Info and sites that help with building a sustainable and green home in Australia and useful government agencies to be aware of. Also advice on dealing with architects and builders.
EcoWho blog posts where 'Passive Solar' used:
  • Passive Solar Design advice
    Passive Solar design can be applied to existing buildings as well as new buildings. We explain some useful techniques and give links to useful resources.
  • Passive Solar
    Passive Solar is often banded around as a good thing to do to make your house more green; we look at it in more detail.
Online tools where 'Passive Solar' used:
  • Passive Solar Design Eaves Calculator
    Works out the ideal Eave depth for a given height of window and world location; so the Sun comes in in Winter but not Summer, maximizing the passive solar effect.

Related Tags: passive solar, architecture, green building

Search the Web for Passive Solar
What is Passive Solar?
Passive Solar definition.
About Passive Solar.
Passive Solar Design

Passive Solar Design is undergoing a resurgence as more people not only recognise the comfort benefits and lower energy bills of solar architecture, but now see a way of helping reduce the polluting effects of green house gases through less reliance on fossil fuels for heating and cooling.

Basic house design principles include:
  • Orientation of the main living areas towards the North (or South if in the Northern hemisphere)
  • Glazing used to trap the warmth of the Sun.
  • Thermal mass to store the heat from the Sun.
  • Insulation to reduce heat loss or heat gain.
  • Ventilation to capture cooling breezes.
A well designed solar home should remain within 18 degrees C to 28 degrees C throughout the year and save 60% to 70% in average household heating costs.

EcoWho Articles where 'Passive Solar' used:
  • Low Allergen Building Design
    Low allergen design is a whole building approach that aims to reduce and avoid all known allergens, and to minimize the conditions in which they occur. This article shows you how.
  • The importance of building orientation
    Building orientation to the Sun is important to reduce energy consumption, keeping comfortable and saving money. This article explains how best to get building orientation correct. Through a combination of benefits and opportunities the correct building orientation could save you thousands.
  • What is Passive Solar?
    Passive solar building design is explained and how passive solar principals are used to design green homes and buildings, and save you money.
EcoWho blog posts where 'Passive Solar' used:
  • Passive Solar Design advice
    Passive Solar design can be applied to existing buildings as well as new buildings. We explain some useful techniques and give links to useful resources.
Online tools where 'Passive Solar' used:
  • Passive Solar Design Eaves Calculator
    Works out the ideal Eave depth for a given height of window and world location; so the Sun comes in in Winter but not Summer, maximizing the passive solar effect.
News & Blog articles where 'Passive Solar' used:

Related Tags: passive solar, green building, thermal mass, solar homes

Search the Web for Passive Solar Design
What is Passive Solar?
Passive Solar definition.
About Passive Solar.
Passive Solar Energy

Passive Solar Energy is the energy captured by a building from the Sun and used to either heat or cool a building.


The heating is usually a direct mechanism, where as the cooling is done by using the Sun's energy to help displace heat within a building, for instance by 'sucking' air through a property using a roof ventilation system.

News & Blog articles where 'Passive Solar' used:

Related Tags: passive solar

Search the Web for Passive Solar Energy
What is Passive Solar?
Passive Solar definition.
About Passive Solar.
Passive Solar Heating

Passive solar heating is one of several design approaches collectively called passive solar design. When properly combined, these strategies contribute to the heating, cooling, and day lighting of nearly any building. The types of buildings that benefit from the application of passive solar heating range from houses to large office facilities.

Passive solar heating typically involves:
  • Solar energy collection through properly-oriented, south-facing windows.
  • Storage of this energy by "thermal mass," which are building materials with high heat capacity such as concrete slabs, brick walls, or tile floors.
  • Distribution of the stored solar energy back to the living space, as required, via the mechanisms of natural convection and radiation.
  • Window specifications to allow higher solar heat gain coefficient for Solar facing glazing.
Passive solar heating systems do not have a high initial cost or long-term payback periods, both common with many active solar heating systems. 

Another benefit to passive solar heating is increased comfort: if properly designed, passive solar buildings are bright and sunny and in tune with climate and nature. As a result, there are fewer fluctuations in temperature, resulting in a higher degree of temperature stability and thermal comfort.

News & Blog articles where 'Passive Solar' used:

Related Tags: passive solar, thermal mass

Search the Web for Passive Solar Heating
What is Passive Solar?
Passive Solar definition.
About Passive Solar.

Click on a letter to see all the terms and definitions that begin with that letter.

A free Android app containing all these definitions is now available, called the Green Dictionary. Click here to see the entry on the Android market; or click here if on an Android phone.