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# Passive Solar Design Handbook Q&A

• - CONTENTS: Passive solar design suggestions. Explanation of combination solar systems involving water well, direct gain, and Trombe wall in one building. How to calculate solar energy savings fraction for passive solar systems. Solar design handbook questions and answers. Solar Age Magazine Articles on Renewable Energy, Energy Savings, Construction Practices
• POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about the passive solar design handbook
• REFERENCES
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Passive solar design & effectiveness:

This article discusses the problem that Passive Solar Design Handbook leaves some passive solar evaluation (solar energy savings fraction) questions that are answered by an expert. Accompanying text is reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.

Our page top photo shows windows admitting morning solar gain in a nearly-balanced-energy passive solar home in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

## Passive Solar Design Questions for Combination Solar Systems

The question-and-answer article about passive solar design for combination systems that combine a water well source, direct solar gain, and a Trombe wall, quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.

The U.S. DOE illustration (left) identifies the five elements of passive solar design: aperature, control, distribution, absorber, and thermal mass (see PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN KEY ELEMENTS for details). The question below discusses use of a Trombe wall for thermal mass.

### Question: I have questions concerning the Passive Solar Design Handbook

For a house with a combination solar system, that is, combining a water well, direct solar gain, and a Trombe wall in one building, how does one go about finding the solar savings fraction?

Do the calculations take into account internal gains? -- Richard Glaser, Glenwood Springs CO

If the passive solar designed building has more than one type of energy system, divide the building load coefficient by the combined areas of all the passive solar energy system types to get a single Load Collector Ratio (LCR).

Using that LCR, determine the solar savings fraction for each alternative energy system type. This amounts to assuming that the entire solar wall is first one type, then the next, and so forth.

The final solar savings fraction is the average of each fraction weighted according to the percentage each solar energy system represents in the combined solar collector area.

The solar fraction calculation procedure is explained well enough in Volume III of the Passive Solar Design Handbook.

The LCR method of assessing the solar savings fraction does not take into account heat gains from people, lights, or appliances. For a closer look at the passive solar design method and for the answers to many other questions you may have about it, Solar Age Magazine published a series of articles beginning in May 1983.

### List of Passive Solar Design Key Reference Books including Online Texts

The first three passive solar design handbook links below are to free, online documents.

• Passive Solar Design Handbook Volume I, [PDF] the Passive Solar Handbook Introduction to Passive Solar Concepts, in a version used by the U.S. Air Force - online version available at this link and from the USAF also at wbdg.org/ccb/AF/AFH/pshbk_v1.pdf
• Passive Solar Design Handbook Volume II, [PDF] the Passive Solar Handbook Comprehensive Planning Guide, in a version used by the U.S. Air Force - online version available at this link and from the USAF also at wbdg.org/ccb/AF/AFH/pshbk_v2.pdf [This is a large PDF file that can take a while to load]
• Passive Solar Handbook Volume III, [PDF] the Passive Solar Handbook Programming Guide, in a version used by the U.S. Air Force - online version available at this link and from the USAF also at wbdg.org/ccb/AF/AFH/pshbk_v3.pdf
• The Passive Solar Design and Construction Handbook, [book sold at Amazon] Steven Winter Associates (Author), Michael J. Crosbie (Editor), Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-047118382 or 0471183083 is available at Amazon.com
• "Passive Solar Home Design", [PDF] U.S. Department of Energy, describes using a home's windows, walls, and floors to collect and store solar energy for winter heating and also rejecting solar heat in warm weather.

Here we include solar energy, solar heating, solar hot water, and related building energy efficiency improvement articles reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.

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Continue reading at PASSIVE SOLAR ENERGY MONITORING or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN KEY ELEMENTS to understand the basics of how passive solar heating systems work

Or see PASSIVE SOLAR DESIGN HANDBOOK - PDF - separate article as PDF

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