Passive solar heating systems capture sunlight within the building’s materials and then release that heat during periods when the sun is absent, such as at night. South-facing glass and thermal mass to absorb, store, and distribute heat are necessary in the design.
How Does Passive Solar Energy Work?
Passive solar energy is an alternative energy source that is becoming increasingly popular as a way to reduce energy bills and take advantage of the sun’s natural rays.
It is renewable, sustainable, and cost–efficient. But how exactly does it work? Passive solar energy works by taking advantage of the sun’s energy and using it to heat and cool buildings.
Sunlight enters through windows, walls, and other openings, and warms up the building’s interior. This heat can be used to warm the air, water, and other materials inside a building.
Additionally, passive solar energy can be used to reduce a building’s energy demand by providing natural lighting, pre–heating air before it is drawn into a ventilation system, and cooling a building at night by allowing cooler air to enter and replace warm air.
To maximize the efficiency of passive solar energy, it is important to use the right building materials. Darker colors absorb more solar energy, while lighter colors reflect more.
Additionally, the orientation of the building matters. South–facing windows are most ideal for maximum sunlight absorption. The size, shape, and number of windows also play a role in how much heat the building will absorb.