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Passive Solar Heating Principles & Calculations

Harlan H. Bengtson, Ph.D., P.E.


Course Outline

This course identifies and describes six components that typically make up a passive solar heating system and five basic types of passive solar heating systems.  Sources of data on solar radiation rates and on heating requirements are discussed and estimation of the heating load for a building is discussed and illustrated with an example.  Estimation of the fraction of heating requirement provided by a passive solar heating system of specified size at a specified location is discussed and illustrated with examples.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will

Intended Audience

This course is intended for mechanical, electrical and energy engineers.


Benefits to Attendee

An attendee of this course will have basic knowledge about passive solar heating system components and types of systems.  The attendee will also be able to obtain required data on heating requirements & solar radiation rates, and will be able to make calculations to estimate building heat loss, and fraction of heating requirement provided by a passive solar heating system of specified size at a specified location.


Course Introduction

A passive solar system for space heating converts the sun’s radiant energy to heat upon absorption by the building.  The absorbed thermal energy (heat) is stored in components of the building and/or used directly to heat the building.  In a strictly passive system, energy flow within the building is by natural means (conduction, natural convection and radiation).  This course describes components of and types of passive solar heating systems.  It also presents methods of obtaining required data and making calculations on performance of a passive solar heating system.


Course Content

The course content is in the following PDF file:

Passive Solar Heating Principles & Calculations

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Course Summary

This course identifies and describes six components that typically make up a passive solar heating system and five basic types of passive solar heating systems.  Sources of data on solar radiation rates and on heating requirements are discussed and estimation of the heating load for a building is discussed and illustrated with an example.  Estimation of the fraction of heating requirement provided by a passive solar heating system of specified size at a specified location is discussed and illustrated with examples.

Related Links

1.  Goswami, D. Y., Krieth, Frank, and Kreider, Jan F., Principles of Solar Engineering, Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis, 2000.

2.  Anderson, Bruce & Wells, Malcolm, Passive Solar Energy: The Homeowners Guide to Natural Heating and Cooling, Andover MA: Brickhouse Publishing Co., 1981  (available for free download at the website given below:) http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/SolarHomes/PasSolEnergyBk/PSEbook.htm

Websites:

1.  Solar DIY Space Heating Projects http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/SpaceHeating/Space_Heating.htm#Basics

2.  Passive Solar Heating & Cooling – Arizona Solar Center http://www.azsolarcenter.com/technology/pas-2.html

3.  Solar Radiation Data Manual for Buildings  (Provides solar radiation and illuminance values for a horizontal window and four vertical windows (facing north, east, south, and west) for 239 stations in the United States and its territories.)  http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/pubs/bluebook/


Quiz

Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.


DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.