Passive solar design: how does it work? It’s a common question, but not all, even the most experienced, glass professionals can provide a good answer to it. As of today, specialists at Tempe Glass know a variety of passive solar design techniques that can enhance the quality and comfort of any window. In this post, we want to talk about the so-called direct gain, which is believed to be one of the simplest and common energy-efficient techniques of window design. Really, we think that direct gain is one of the best passive solar design techniques ever created in the glass industry. In direct gain windows, usually made of transparent glass, the warmth of sunlight comes into the house. It should be noted, that direct gain windows usually face south. We at Tempe Glass believe that this is one of the best ways to make any house more energy-efficient. Once inside, the sunlight energy hits the floor, usually made of a dark well-absorbing material. The floor fulfills a complex function to absorb the energy coming through the window. At night, or in darkness, the floor will convert and radiate this energy back into the room.
Apparently, passive solar design is not limited to windows, and we at Tempe Glass have learned that windows can become energy-efficient, only when they are part of a broader design solution, e.g., floors and walls. You cannot be sure that your passive solar design windows work appropriately, if you fail to use appropriate materials for your walls and floors. If you simply wish to improve the energy efficiency of your home, use water-filled containers inside the living space to absorb, convert, and radiate the energy back into the room. Make sure the glazing area is large enough to let more sunlight energy in. Ask specialists at Tempe Glass about the most ideal thermal mass ratio for your climate. We will not forget to insulate the thermal mass from the outside climate, so that the heat you get from the sun does not drain away from your house.