Passive solar house design is an approach to building design that uses sunlight to improve energy efficiency and comfort. It involves optimizing the building’s layout, orientation, and materials to make the most of solar energy for heating, cooling, and lighting while reducing reliance on external energy sources.
The basic principle behind passive solar heating is the greenhouse effect. When sunlight passes through glass or plastic and hits a dark-colored object, it is converted into heat. This heat is then stored inside the structure. To escape, the heat must warm up the glass, which then radiates the heat outside. However, to create a solar heating system, it’s not enough for sunlight to be turned into heat behind glass. The system must also store that heat and control its distribution. This is where the thermal storage mass and the glass work together. The glass allows energy to enter, while the thermal storage mass stores it.