Organization of the ground plan
In the passive utilisation of solar energy, the heat is utilised through direct incident radiation and heat storage in specific structural components such as walls and floors.
Because of the condition under which solar energy is used passively, the arrangement of the ground plan necessarily follows a particular logical layout. The continuously used living and sleeping accommodation should be south-facing and provided with large window areas. It is useful to provide glazed structures in living and sleeping areas. It is useful to provide glazed structures in these living and sleeping areas. There are three important reasons for this :
(1) Extension of the living area
(2) Gain in solar energy
(3) Provision of a thermal buffer zone
The little-used low-temperature unheated rooms, with low natural light requirements should be north-facing. They act as a bugger zone between the warm living area and the cold outside climate.
Use of solar energy
In the use of solar energy, a distinction is drawn between the active and passive use of solar energy.
The active use of solar energy necessitates the application of equipment such as solar collectors, pipework, collector vessels circulation pumps for the transfer of the solar energy. This system entails large investment and maintenance costs which must be recovered solely by saving in the cost of energy. As a result, such systems cannot be operated economically in single family houses.
The passive use of solar energy necessitates the use of specific structural components as heat stores, such as walls, ceilings and glazed units. The efficiency of this system depends on specific factors :
(1) Climatic conditions – mean monthly temperature, solar geometry and incident soar radiation, hours of sunshine and level of incident energy radiation.
(2)Methods of using the solar energy-indirect usage, direct usage.
(3)Choice of materials – absorption capability of the surface and heat storage capability of the materials.