The sun is a huge nuclear reactor that’s converting its own mass into photons. Trillions of photons fill Earth’s atmosphere every second. As you consider building a solar house, below are short guidelines that will help you during your planning stage.
Look for support support and ask questions
The first thing you need to answer is whether the local building department, housing associations and contractors with solar house building experience. Find out as much as you can, including the possibility for implementing all solar features that you need and any subsidies.
Correct orientation for passive solar heating
Passive solar heating and cooling can save up to 80% of a building’s heating costs, depending on the location climate and area. One of the main strategies involves facing the building’s long side with large windows toward the south. This is because southern side receives the most of daylight and consistent sunlight. Living spaces can be put on the south, maybe apart from a bedroom, if you want to keep it dark and cool. Storage spaces, bathrooms, utility rooms and garages can face the north. A narrow house where the family room has both northern and south views can be ideal in sone cases. Kitchens can face east to avoid the hot afternoon exposures while staying bright mornings.
Consider local natural environment
For example, if your family room is facing south to a hillside, you get two floors’ worth of good sun exposure while also having northern insulation. Try to keep the eastern side clear of trees, since permanent shading will hide the mornings’ sunshine (which always feels nice!). It goes without saying that you don’t want to cut trees down. Instead, keep the trees on the southern exposure, but make sure they don’t shade solar collectors on the roof.
Use proper shading and heat storage tools
Use high-performance windows blinds, awnings, overhanging eaves and solar screens. They retain heat and prevent direct bright sunrays overheating your living space. Heat can be stored in a mass of concrete or masonry, in beds of rock, in the soil, in tanks of water, or in aquifers.
Size and colour
A compact solar house will use less materials, less tools, will be cheaper to maintain and build. Extensive use of white or very light colored surfaces is desirable to avoud overheating the living space. White roofs are 50 percent cooler than dark roofs.
What other solar equipment will you need? For example, a solar cooker, solar heat pipe panels, solar tubes, reflectors or any equipment such as mirrors to concentrate solar heat.
What latitude are you in?
What is the sun’s path over the course of a year at that latitude?
What are the solar exposures and shading issues?
What are the local construction plans near your house in the next five years?
The Solar Photovoltaic Cells system is another question. The problem is that you just don’t know how much energy your house requires until you’ve lived in it for a year or so. Therefore, the best solution is to plan the house optimum for PV system from the very beginning, but wait some time, maybe a year, before installingthe PV panels. When the time finally comes, the panels will be quick and easy to install.
Louisa is rich media content creator, with background in computing, linguistics an geo-sciences. Focused on communicating charitable and environmental causes via new media channels and creative technology. Portfolio