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: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

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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:
  • 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

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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.

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passive solar definition.
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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.

EcoWho Articles where 'passive solar' used: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.

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