Passive Solar Energy
Passive solar is the description of converting sun-light into for useful energy (normally heat & light)
use of an active mechanical system. Examples are;
- ambient lighting
- building heating
Passive cooling is the
use of the same design principles to reduce summer cooling requirements. Passive Solar
energy and architecture were well understood in ancient Greece. The Greeks knew that in winter
the sun travels in a low arc across the sky, while in summer it passes high overhead. They built their
houses so that the low winter sun could penetrate deep into the house via a south facing
roofed porch called a portico.
During the summer, the porch with overhanging roofs shaded the building to offer passive solar cooling.
In better houses a courtyard protected the house openings from the cold northerly winds.
These design principals developed in ancient Greece serve modern Architects well today.
Retro-Fit Passive Solar Energy
In the U. K. and Ireland where we do not have to worry
about excessive summer cooling loads. A sloping roof window offers a good
way of introducing additional solar energy into a building. Extra light
and heat can make a big difference in the building comfort levels and
Active Solar Energy
Technologies that use a significant amount of conventional energy to power pumps
or fans are active solar technologies. Most of this website deals with Active Solar Energy.
Some passive systems use a small amount of
conventional energy to control shutters, night insulation, and other
devices that enhance solar energy collection and its storage. In these systems
the definition between Active and Passive system blurs somewhat.
An external site with more information;