Saturday, January 31, 2009

US Department of Energy - Passive Solar Design

U.S. Department of Energy - Building Technology Program

New construction offers the greatest opportunity for incorporating passive solar design features, as demonstrated by the design of the Solar Energy Research Facility in Golden, Colorado. For retrofit projects, consider daylighting strategies, heat control techniques, and using passive solar heating strategies to allow modification of HVAC systems.

Passive solar systems make use of natural energy flows as the primary means of harvesting solar energy. Passive solar systems can provide space heating, cooling load avoidance, natural ventilation, water heating, and daylighting. This section focuses on passive solar heating, but the other strategies also need to be integrated and coordinated into a whole-building design. Passive solar design is an approach that integrates building components—exterior walls, windows, and building materials—to provide solar collection, heat storage, and heat distribution. Passive solar heating systems are typically categorized as sun-tempered, direct-gain, sunspaces, and thermal storage walls (Trombe walls).

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