There are two types of solar thermal space heating: active and passive. Passive solar thermal techniques are built into the home’s original design. Passive solar heating does not use any pumps, fans, or other electrical devices to distribute heat through the home. Heat is absorbed through the building structure itself. Passive design is advantageous because it is building integrated and requires little to no maintenance.
When designing a home for passive solar thermal heating there are several important factors to bear in mind. Types of materials used and the home’s location relative to the sun are the general issues and permeate nearly every aspect of the building’s construction. Typically, passive solar heated homes will be situated onsite to maximize solar exposure, have large south-facing windows, and an open floor plan.
Three approaches to passive solar thermal heating are direct gain, indirect gain, and isolated gain.
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