Passive Solar Heating

Passive solar heating represents one of the numerous concepts referred to as passive solar design.

When appropriately integrated, these solutions may help with any structure’s heat transfer, temperature control, and artificial lighting.

Facilities that thrive from passive solar heating include everything from castles to massive regular servicing.

What is a passive solar heating system?

Passive solar heating systems collect daylight inside the materials of a structure and, after that, discharge that energy when the solar energy is not there, for instance, during nighttime.

South-facing glass and thermal capacity are required in the architecture to collect, hold, and disperse heat.

How does a passive solar heating system work?

Passive solar operates in a five-step process. Firstly, window panes looking south enable sunlight to filter through.

The aperture/collector step is the first phase of passive solar heating. Why are windows supposed to look south? Since south-looking windows receive additional sunshine compared to any other orientation in some places like North America.

Upon passing through the aperture, the energy is taken in by the absorber. The absorber is a black paint layer situated on top of a heat-retaining layer called heat capacity.

If you have spent time in the sun during the summertime, you’ll understand that darkened areas retain far more heat than brighter ones.

All of the sunlight absorbed by the absorber is transmitted to the heat capacity. Regardless of when the heat gets discharged to the house, a mechanism must exist for it to remain within.

The controller governs the whole heat transfer, such as under and overheating. The controller is a network of procedures that operate together, such as roof canopies, fans, and detectors that monitor any heating issues.

What is the difference between passive and active solar heating?

The primary distinction between Active and Passive Solar Heating is that Active Solar Heating uses light from the sun to supplement heaters, either heat or power.

Passive heating, on the other hand, uses solar heat that enters your house via window panes, roofing, and room partitions to heat items in your home.

What are the five elements of passive solar design?

Passive solar design is the utilization of the sun’s radiation to heat and cool standard rooms by exposing them to the sun.

Once sunlight reaches a structure, the substances can either glare, transfer, or retain heat from the sun.

Furthermore, the heat from the sun generates air circulation, which may be predicted in well-designed areas.

These fundamental reactions to heat gain result in architectural components, selection of materials, and locations in a house that can give both cooling and heating benefits.

 These elements include;

Apertures/ Light collectors

The term “light collector” alludes to huge, sun-facing glassed-windowed surfaces in your house where sun rays may penetrate.

In certain countries, such as Australia, the best direction for glass windows to face most ambient daylight is northward.

Natural light shining into your house isn’t only attractive and an intrinsic mood booster, but it also offers two energy-saving advantages.

Natural illumination allows you to utilize minimal unnatural lighting, and sunshine brings warmness, minimizing the necessity for supplementary heating in the wintertime.

Because the sun is further up in the sky during the summertime, broad canopies limit the quantity of sunshine and heat penetrating the residence.

The Absorber of Heat

It refers to a solid, darkish surface, such as a brick wall, floor, or storage tank, that takes in the heat during daylight and stores it in the heat capacity at the back of it.

Heat capacity is defined as the substance that holds or absorbs the heat generated by light from the sun.

It might be a masonry wall oriented toward the sun or a concrete floor. The thermal insulator or absorber is the black exterior area that is open to the light; the heat capacity is the substance underneath this layer that stores the sun’s heat that’s going to be released into the house during the entire day.

The Distribution

It is the technique via which the heat capacity’s retained energy or heat flows throughout the home.

It might involve vents or ducts, or it could just be the intrinsic behavior of the heat substance – say a wall – which emits heat accumulated all day further into the house during nighttime.

Solar heat is distributed in three basic methods, which are occasionally helped by vents and compressors:

When heat is carried between two items in direct touches, such as your barefoot on a heated surface, this is referred to as conduction.

Convection occurs when heat is transported through air or water. Heated air typically flows to colder places, so convection ovens cook food more entirely than standard microwaves.

When you sense warmth from objects near you, such as your skin on a sunny day, you are experiencing radiation.


It is here that the design is adjusted to fit the climate. Because the sun sits lower in the sky during the cold season, even if the weather is milder, sunshine may easily infiltrate via windows facing the sun.

Because the sun is further up in the sky in the warmer months, the roof overhang obscures the sunlight absorber and heat collector, enabling very little heat to get inside.

Air circulation and air conditioning are more examples of control mechanisms. Make the most of the airflow by strategically arranging windows to trap and distribute cool air throughout the property.

What are the three main things to consider when designing for passive solar heating?

Passive solar heating design aspects are essential to a developer. It is due to the assistance it offers designers in effectively and adequately using passive solar heating technology.

Furthermore, the design aspects function as a fundamental principle to assist designers and engineers in making informed judgments regarding the many design features of the passive solar heating system.

For example, building inclination, room location depending on use, supply of appropriate size and quantity of doors and windows, façade style choices, sealant, shadowing, and so on.

The considerations include;

Energy efficiency

To have sufficient sunlight exposure (between 9 am-3 pm), the passive solar house’s passive solar thermal insulation should ideally face the actual south or within 30 ° of the real south and not be obscured by barriers such as trees and buildings.

The windows facing south shouldn’t raise the expense of conditioning the home during the summertime. Summer sheltering is just as crucial in several areas as cold season solar energy absorption.

As a result, the developer should determine appropriate shadowing for windows using the sun’s summertime and wintertime orientations.

Good Windows

Design the structure to reduce solar glaring; for example, organize the rooms and furnishings arrangements of the house to evade sunlight on workstations, television sets, and other devices.

Enlarge the structure along the east-west direction if feasible to enhance the elevation looking south and the proportion of windows facing south.

Temperature controls

Include an impenetrable barrier around outside doorways, plug sockets, and windows while minimizing scorching in hot areas by eliminating windows facing east and west and employing correct shade components.

Scorching can raise cooling costs for immense structures with high interior radiant heat.


The passive solar design takes advantage of a building’s site, climate, and materials to minimize energy use.

A well-designed passive solar home first reduces heating and cooling loads through energy-efficiency strategies and then meets those reduced loads in whole or part with solar energy.


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