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Home Page > Solar Power > Passive Solar Design.

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A newly built passive solar house.

Passive Solar Design.


Passive solar design is the process of designing and orientating new buildings or modifying existing ones to purposefully capture the suns natural energy.

The Romans first discovered that by glazing the south-facing windows and porches of their buildings, solar energy could be trapped, heating the building and keeping the temperature constant into the night. This simple phenomenon is called the "greenhouse effect", today we call a building that uses the greenhouse effect a "passive solar building".

The basic principles of passive solar design are;

• Orientating buildings to have much larger south-facing windows (more sunlight exposure) than at the north side.

• Interior spaces requiring the most heating and lighting should be along the south facing side, with less used rooms (utility room, garage etc.) on the north side.


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The DTI's New and Renewable Energy Programme
Scottish and Southern Energy plc.