Passive Solar Heating: An Innovative Energy Saver
The advent of passive solar heating techniques has induced many new home owners to resort to construction
designs that support passive solar heating. With the increasing prevalence of this design among the
upcoming buildings of today, it is imperative that every one of us get a thorough understanding about this
technique which would further enable us to incorporate the same in our own houses at some point of time in
What is Passive Solar Heating?
Passive solar heating is the technique via which the energy of the sun is trapped, stored and used for
household/commercial purposes without the usage of extra active mechanical devices. This form of trapping
of the solar energy makes minimal use of the conventional energy sources thereby offering affordable
installation, design and maintenance.
Types of Passive Solar Heating Design
There are three major passive solar heating designs that are in vogue today namely the direct gain, indirect
gain and isolated gain.
Direct gain is the passive solar heating technique where in the sun heats the target directly. For heating the
buildings, the construction is done such that the southern side of it has large windows that can be directly
exposed to the sun when kept open during the day, which in turn facilitates the direct absorption of solar
Indirect gain is the methodology of passive solar heating where in the solar energy is indirectly trapped and
used for heating the targets under consideration. In this type of passive solar heating, the thermal mass of the
building is places between the target to be heated and the sun. The thermal mass entails the constituents of
the building that have the ability to trap the solar energy during the day. The masonry, brickwork, water wall
and other items commonly referred to as the thermal mass help in trapping and storing the solar energy
during the day and reradiate the same during the night thereby keeping the rooms warm when the
temperature outside remains cold.
Isolated gain is the complex type of passive solar heating. In this technique, air/water in a trapper is heated
by the energy of the sun and it works based on the principle of convection. The water or air that is heated is
circulated to the storage tank and further utilized for household/commercial purposes while the air/water that
needs to be heated is sent back to the to the solar energy trapper.
Based on affordability and convenience, it is at your discretion to opt for the most suitable technique of
passive solar heating and cooling. However, it is highly recommended that you have a discussion with an
adept in this arena before resorting to the installation or construction of the same.
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