Design for Passive Solar Winter Benefits

Shandy Heil, Reichel, Claudette Hanks  |  1/10/2007 6:50:35 AM

Figure 1) Overhang for South-facing Windows

Figure 2) Passive Solar Design with Thermal Mass

A passive solar home is designed to admit and store energy from the sun in winter for solar heating. To even out temperature swings, south-facing glass (with overhangs sized to admit winter sun) on the main living space should be coupled with thermal mass, such as tile or brick on a slab floor or a masonry partition wall. The best-performing thermal mass is relatively thin and spread out, covering an area in the room about six times the south-facing glass area. The thermal mass must receive direct sunlight, but it is not necessary for sunshine to reach all of it.

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