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Passive Solar Energy

Authors note: A chapter on passive solar energy was in the original outline of the book, but I have no profound knowledge of passive solar energy and so will develop it here in waiting for enough material to warrant a full chapter. Ironically, passive solar energy simply so obvious that there is little to explain, but I will work on gathering as much technical info as possible.

For temperate climates, the orientation and size of windows, as well as intelligent design and good insulation, can fulfil nearly all heating needs in most regions.

For cooling, the placement of trees and vines around the dwelling lends significant freshness, creating shade but also breathing out water vapour. Construction is clay also also regulates the temperature, by adding thermal mass, but also the humidity as the clay will absorb vapour from the air when it is too humid and evaporate humidity into the air when it is too dry, tending towards the humidity level of 70%, within the ideal comfort zone for humans.

It is also possible to create a draft affect with a solar chimney which can cool the inside.

In regions where heating is necessary in winter but cooling necessary in summer, ledges above a window angled at roughly 22° upwards will allow sun to pass through the window in winter (when the sun is low in the sky) but block the light from hitting the window in summer (when the sun is high).


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