Passive Solar Design for the Home

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Windows, walls and floors can be used to store and distribute solar energy through passive solar design. Unlike other solar heating systems, this design does not involve mechanical and electrical devices such as pumps or fans to move the heat. This guide from the U.S. Department of Energy provides the basic information about passive solar design. There are five elements that constitute a complete passive solar design using the direct gain approach, including:
  • Aperture (Collector)
  • Absorber
  • Thermal Mass
  • Distribution
  • Control

You can also incorporate indirect gain and isolated gain designs. Read more to get a basic understanding of the physics of heat movement that makes this energy source possible.

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