PASSIVE SOLAR HEATING REDUCES ENERGY USAGE WITHOUT SOLAR PANELS
That’s the entire concept in a nutshell. Passive solar heating is designed as a way to reduce the energy usage in your building all based on how you design, layout, and modify your building over the years, rather than just installing solar panels on the roof. Solar panels are a great way to help the environment, but they are not the only application of solar in buildings to reduce energy usage.
Reduce Lighting Requirements
One major expense in large buildings is the electric to power their lights. A 100,000 square foot warehouse requires a lot of light. Passive solar design would inspire the designers of the building to utilize the sun to light the interior of the building. This could be done through skylights, large windows, or solar tubes. You can greatly reduce the number of lights required (which often contain harmful chemicals and aren’t manufactured in very environmentally-friendly ways), and the energy required to power those lights.
Reduce Heating Requirements
Another tip for reducing the energy usage in your building through passive solar heating is using the power of the sun to heat your building (while avoiding the use of panels). This can be done by analyzing the pattern of the sun during different seasons in your region. The sun is not always in the same spot in the sky – depending on the time of year it actually takes a different path. Putting large windows in an area of the building that will allow sunlight in during the winter will help to heat the building. You can also plant trees outside these windows that will grow leaves and block the sun during the summer, but shed their leaves and let the sun in during the winter. It’s a great way to keep your building comfortable while reducing energy usage.
Solar panels aren’t the only way to harness the power of the sun in your building to reduce your carbon footprint and energy usage. Passive solar heating has many different applications, above are just a few different ways you can utilize the sun in your building design.